The Empty Garden Tomb l Worship

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15: 20-22)
By Bishop Gordon Nishimoto, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints | Apr 04, 2018

In April 2016, Elder Paul V. Johnson, a church leader, shared the following personal experience, “Nearly one year ago, our daughter Alisa died. She had struggled with cancer for almost eight years, with several surgeries, many different treatments, exciting miracles, and deep disappointments. We watched her physical condition deteriorate as she came to the close of her mortal life. It was excruciating to see that happen to our precious daughter - that bright-eyed little baby who had grown up to be a talented, wonderful woman, wife, and mother. I thought my heart would break. Last year at Easter time, a little over a month before she passed away, Alisa wrote: ‘Easter is a reminder of all that I hope for myself. That someday I will be healed and someday I will be whole. Someday I won’t have any metal or plastic inside of me. Someday my heart will be free of fear and my mind free of anxieties. I am not praying that this happens soon, but I am so glad I truly believe in a beautiful afterlife.’”

Dear friends and neighbors, it is Easter, and we commemorate one of the greatest of all events in the history of mankind - the breaking of the bonds of death by Jesus, the Son of God.

Because of what happened on Easter, we have the hope that we will live again after this life. The physical pains of this life will be gone and we will be resurrected with a perfect immortal body.

Some 2000 years ago, the Bible recounts, “In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher.  And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.  His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:  And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.  And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.  He is not here: for he is risen.” (Matthew 28:1-7)

Of this, a modern-day prophet and previous president of our church, Thomas S. Monson, has said, “Our Savior lived again. The most glorious, comforting, and reassuring of all events of human history had taken place - the victory over death. The pain and agony of Gethsemane and Calvary had been wiped away. The salvation of mankind had been secured. The Fall of Adam had been reclaimed.  The empty tomb that first Easter morning was the answer to Job’s question, 'If a man die, shall he live again?' To all within the sound of my voice, I declare, if a man die, he shall live again. We know, for we have the light of revealed truth.’”

To close, Elder Johnson continues, “I am grateful for the blessings that are ours because of the Atonement and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. For all who have laid a child in a grave or wept over the casket of a spouse or grieved over the death of a parent or someone they loved, the Resurrection is a source of great hope. What a powerful experience it will be to see them again - not just as spirits but with resurrected bodies. I long to see my mother again and feel her gentle touch and look into her loving eyes. I want to see my father’s smile and hear his laugh and see him as a resurrected, perfect being. With an eye of faith, I picture Alisa completely beyond the reach of any earthly troubles or any sting of death - a resurrected, perfected Alisa, victorious and with a fullness of joy.”

There is so much hope. Easter reminds us all.

I firmly believe in the reality of the Resurrection.

Jesus Christ lives, and because of Him, we will all live again.

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