This Easter weekend The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will join the Christian world in celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Latter-day Saints practice Easter much like the rest of Christianity. They embrace the symbolism of renewal found in nature and expressed in tradition. But something more concrete than symbols and more meaningful than rituals underlies this time of rebirth. The foundation of this season of hope is the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is the “life and the light of the world” (Doctrine and Covenants 11:28).
Everyone seeks certainty in a world of doubt. Thus, Easter is a reminder of the certainty of life: life after loss, life after grief, life after death. The late President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910-2008) declared: “We know not all that lies ahead of us. We live in a world of uncertainty. … But one thing we do know. Like the Polar Star in the heavens, regardless of what the future holds, there stands the Redeemer of the world, the Son of God, certain and sure as the anchor of our immortal lives” (Ensign, March 2008).
Thus, the only thing more certain than death is the certainty of life. Moreover, the redemption of mankind from death is not a limited promise to a few but a universal covenant with all. The apostle Paul proclaimed that “as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). Likewise, President Thomas S. Monson, worldwide leader of the Church, said, “Because our Savior died at Calvary, death has no hold upon any one of us” (Ensign, May 2007).
The Latter-day Saint view of life, and of death, is shaped by this knowledge. Most importantly, the resurrection brings about the realization of human destiny. This spiritual journey begins in a pre-mortal life of consciousness and decision making, then continues into a mortal life with a very specific purpose, and culminates in the hereafter where the essence of living — learning, choosing, caring for others and experiencing love — can find full expression. Latter-day Saints live life knowing that mortality is not an end in itself but only a stepping stone to eternity. The reality of the resurrection is not a vague belief but a firm assurance. It's as meaningful today as it was 2,000 years ago.
So, just as the dark Friday of Christ’s crucifixion passed into the bright Sunday of His resurrection, the hope that Easter brings has come again. In the words of apostle Joseph B. Wirthlin, “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.” But, he continues, “no matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come” (Ensign, November 2006).