Monday, March 25, 2024

Get to Know Your Geeks: Easter Scriptures

In April 2023 during General Conference, Elder Gary E. Stevenson gave a talk titles "The Greatest Easter Story Ever Told" In that talk he mentioned "The more I thought about our [Easter] celebrations, the more I found myself wondering if we are inadvertently shortchanging the true meaning of this holiday, so central to all believers in Jesus Christ. Then he goes on talking about the significance of Easter and how we should strive to make this holiday the most important one during the year. As the holiday draws closer we Latter-Day Saint Geeks thought it would be appropriate to share some of our favorite Easter scriptures. 


Michael - Isaiah 53:2-6 (see also M
osiah 14)

For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground; he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him there is no beauty that we should desire him.
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all.

For Christmas many of us read Luke 2 and read about the saviors birth. During Easter I reflect on Isaiah and what he foresaw the savior do. I believe when Isaiah is talking about Jesus Christ I feel that it is poetic and beautiful how he describes the Master. No wonder Isaiah is one of the most quoted prophet. 

I like Isaiah 53: 2-6 because it go over the suffering that the savior went through, and more importantly the reason why. He was wounded not because he was hated, but because of our sins. We all sin and we need Jesus to cleanse us from it. I believe in Jesus Christ, I believe that he knows each and everyone of us. I am grateful that he was willing to be wounded for us. 

Kenton - Alma 42:15, Luke 22:40-44, and 2 Nephi 26:24-25

I'm particularly fond of this scripture from the Book of Mormon in Alma 42:

15 And now, the plan of mercy could not be brought about except an atonement should be made; therefore God himself atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy, to appease the demands of justice, that God might be a perfect, just God, and a merciful God also.

We understand somewhat of what this "atonement" meant, from Luke 22:

40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.
41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

In order for us to be claimed by the plan of mercy, in order for us to be claimed by the grace of Christ, it was necessary for him to suffer, even a suffering beyond what he wanted to bear, in order to understand our griefs, and in order to satisfy justice and the law. In the end, all of our pains, sufferings, abuses, trials, and difficulties will be made right, and it is made right through the blood of Jesus Christ, who suffered for us all. All we need to do is to come to him, as described in 2 Nephi 26:

24 He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.
25 Behold, doth he cry unto any, saying: Depart from me? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but he saith: Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price.

He offers his love, his sacrifice, and his gift freely; if we will but come to Jesus he will heal us, he will take us in, he will fill the emptiness in our souls, and he will mend our broken hearts, and give us strength through our difficulties. All we need to do is to turn to him, and seek him out, and try to come closer to him, and he will try and come closer to us. 

Spencer - D&C 76:21-24

I'm grateful for the extra emphasis the Church has put on Easter in recent years, especially as I've wondered how to raise my family in faith. As a father, even more than before, I can pick out moments each and every day to emphasize my personal need for the Atonement. I make daily mistakes with my girls and my wife. It isn't enough to white-out the mistakes, but I need the Savior's grace to change me and make me better with each day. And as my favorite contemporary Christian song says, "Grace wins every time!" Moroni emphasized the power of grace as he closed his father's book in Moroni 10:

32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.

As we close this blog post and look forward to Easter next week and General Conference the week after, I want to finish with some modern-day scripture from Doctrine and Covenants 76:

21 And saw the holy angels, and them who are sanctified before his throne, worshiping God, and the Lamb, who worship him forever and ever.
22 And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
23 For we saw him, even on the bright hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—
24 That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.

"The Savior will return. Soon, He will be here." (Final lines of the Hill Cumorah Pageant)

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