Because of Him

The Church of Jesus Christ has released an Easter initiative in the form of a new website. You can also read about the initiative here.

Jesus is the Son of God, our Savior and Redeemer. Because of Him, death is not the end, and life takes on new meaning. We can change, we can start over—and we can live again with God. This Easter, celebrate His life and discover all that’s possible because of Him.

One of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s most endearing testimonies to me is this one.

The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it. (Source)

This is also, fundamentally, the message of the Book of Mormon.

 [B]elieve in Jesus Christ, that he is the Son of God, and that he was slain by the Jews, and by the power of the Father he hath risen again, whereby he hath gained the victory over the grave; and also in him is the sting of death swallowed up. (Mormon 7:5)

I have faith in the Atonement and Resurrection of Christ because of the testimony of the Book of Mormon and the Prophet Joseph Smith. I have faith because I am convinced that a resurrected, corporeal Jesus actually appeared to an assembled group of historical Nephites. I have faith because I am convinced that a resurrected, corporeal Jesus actually appeared to the Prophet in a grove of trees in upstate New York and later in the sacred walls of the temple in Kirtland, Ohio.

I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. . . . When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him! . . . I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true. . . . I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it. (Joseph Smith–History 1:16–17, 25)

The veil was taken from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened. We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us; and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber. His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying: I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father. (D&C 110:1–4)

That is the testimony of one who knows.

Then there’s this video to go along with the one above.

This video reminds me of a quote by President Lorenzo Snow that I read just this morning.

Do not expect to become perfect at once. If you do, you will be disappointed. Be better today than you were yesterday, and be better tomorrow than you are today. The temptations that perhaps partially overcome us today, let them not overcome us so far tomorrow. Thus continue to be a little better day by day; and do not let your life wear away without accomplishing good to others as well as to ourselves. (Source)

I would strongly urge everyone to visit the website above as they prepare to celebrate Easter this upcoming week.