Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sunday Did Come

I love Easter. I have always loved it, but never as much as I have for the last few years.

When I lived in Romania, Easter was a bigger deal than Christmas. And it makes sense, after all. It is because there was an Easter that we even celebrate Christmas. My mom always taught me this, and Gordon B. Hinckley reiterated it when he said that without Easter, Christ's birth would have just been another birth of any other child.

In Romania for Easter, the common greeting of "good day" or "hello" is completely replaced with "Christ resurrected!" To which you respond, "True, He resurrected." You answer the phone like that, strangers say it to strangers, and even the newscasters begin their program with that.  You say it all week long. I just love that. I wish we did that here.

Whenever I express what I am happy and grateful for, it roots back to what we refer to as the "gospel." The gospel of Jesus Christ. And I love that the word "gospel" roots back to the old English word that means good news or glad tidings. At Christmas time we read of the angels who bring "glad tidings" to the shepherds. And it all is infinitely connected. The glad tidings is that He came to the world. He came to the world to do what He promised He would do. Christmas is to celebrate His lowly beginnings. Easter is to celebrate His sublime sacrifice and biggest miracle in the history of the world.

But what makes it good news is what it all means to us.

It's good news to us because it means that this life has meaning to us. This life isn't the end. We don't need to live life in despair believing that everything will come to a depressing end. We don't need to feel like there is no point to life if it all just ends anyway.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is the message that Jesus Christ came to the earth and showed us how to live life. He also came to earth to make a way possible back to God the Father, if we follow His teachings. It's the gospel of great news, because every single person is eligible for it.

But there is more to it than just the grand scale of things. The teaching of immortality and eternal life is something that is hard to grasp at times, and at other times it seems so distant from us. How does all of this benefit us in our day to day lives??

The atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ mean so much to us on the grander scale of being here on earth, but it also means so much to us on an everyday basis. It not only gives us hope for life after death, but it also gives us hope that our daily struggles are not in vain. Christ descended below all things in order to give us the help we need on a daily basis, through each and every one of our struggles.

One of the very best talks that has ever given about this was by Joseph B. Wirthlin in his talk "Sunday Will Come." He says:

"I think of how dark that Friday was when Christ was lifted up on the cross.

"On that terrible Friday the earth shook and grew dark. Frightful storms lashed at the earth.

"[...] On that Friday the Savior of mankind was humiliated and bruised, abused and reviled.

"It was a Friday filled with devastating, consuming sorrow that gnawed at the souls of those who loved and honored the Son of God.

"I think that of all the days since the beginning of this world’s history, that Friday was the darkest.

"But the doom of that day did not endure.

"The despair did not linger because on Sunday, the resurrected Lord burst the bonds of death. He ascended from the grave and appeared gloriously triumphant as the Savior of all mankind.

" [...] Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.

"But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.

"No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come.

"I testify to you that the Resurrection is not a fable. We have the personal testimonies of those who saw Him. Thousands in the Old and New Worlds witnessed the risen Savior. They felt the wounds in His hands, feet, and side. They shed tears of unrestrained joy as they embraced Him."

I can't really say anything else to top that, because it is absolutely wonderful. All I can say is that I know that it's true. And I know that it all happened. Jesus Christ resurrected. And He is our hope and our happiness. The best news of all.

And that's why I love Easter so much.

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