April 15, 2007

By Melbo

Most Christians try at the very least to attend a church service twice a year, usually Christmas and Easter… with Easter Sunday among Christianity’s most sacred Sabbaths. This includes us Mormons (yes, we ARE Christians). While I praise Mormons on their typically regular albeit tardy attendance (we make you sign a roll in every class), we too seem to make a special effort on holidays. I remember as a kid (and on a few occasions in my twenties) I’d reserved my “dry heaving” for regular old church days. I wouldn’t dare fake sick on Easter lest I be struck down and pelted by a barrage of Cadbury cream eggs.

Yes, Easter is super special. That’s why the place is packed wall to wall with everyone and their mom wearing their yellowest oxfords and bluest dresses. So naturally that’s the Sunday I get asked to speak at the pulpit. That’s right, I was the lucky schmuck chosen to address the congregation regarding what else… the Resurrection. You should have seen my husband chuckling in the corner as the ward clerk asked me to accept this assignment (as though I had a choice… and hey… aren’t spouses supposed to get these invitations together?). While I’m actually really glad I accepted, what I wanted to do to my husband at that moment wouldn’t have warranted me an all-access pass to the celestial kingdom. But I digress.

I opened my talk last week with few light jokes to warm everyone up and then I jumped into the nitty gritty… primary songs (that’s what you get for asking a CTR 6 teacher to speak). I recited the words to the well known primary hymn, “Did Jesus Really Live Again.” It was pretty intense. I probably could’ve ended things right there, but I’d promised to speak at least 15 minutes.

In hindsight, I have to admit I did a pretty good job considering my limited knowledge about the Resurrection. I mean, I know the basics like the hand in glove analogy and all that (thanks JP), but in preparing my talk I realized I had a lot of unanswered questions. I wanted to try and answer these hows and whys in my talk, but there don’t seem to be clear answers. For example, why all the emphasis on the Firstborn? And why did Christ have to be first? Also, how exactly does Christ’s Resurrection pave the way for our own physical Resurrection? And why is the Resurrection always capitalized? I haven’t yet found answers that satisfy me, but that’s certainly not a deal breaker. I won’t leave the church over it. I just thought my curious inquiries would make good talk material.

Since I didn’t find any of the profundities I’d hoped, I shared with the Brothers and Sisters a number of scriptures and quotes and a little anecdote from NPR that I’d recently heard. It was a sort of thank you or homage that helped me to understand the Resurrection a little better. In it the narrator related the details of a kidney transplant he’d received a few years earlier. He learned after the procedure that his kidney had been donated by a couple whose 14 year old son died in a skateboarding accident. After years of battling with his mortal predicament, the storyteller had been given a new lease on life that came only through the death of another. In the face of this incomparable gift, this man struggled for how to adequately thank the family whose son’s death had allowed him to live. But can we sufficiently thank someone who has made the ultimate sacrifice for us, such as Christ or this boy? Maybe not, but I suppose the best we can do is honor them the in best way we know how, such as the narrator did with his radio program and try to live worthy of our gift.

I finished off with a quote of President Hinckley’s from general conference two weeks ago:

“Now, the next thing of which I am certain, and of which I bear witness, is the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. Without it life is meaningless. It is the keystone in the arch of our existence. It affirms that we lived before we were born in mortality. Mortality is but a stepping-stone to a more glorious existence in the future. The sorrow of death is softened with the promise of the Resurrection. There would be no Christmas if there were no Easter.”

I like this quote because it pretty much sums everything up. The Lord’s purpose in coming to this Earth was to atone for our sins and to be resurrected. Otherwise he may as well not have come. The same goes for us. Christ, the atonement, and our eventual Resurrection and return to our Father are inextricably intertwined (even though I’m still working on understanding exactly how). Call me what you want, but I’m a big fan of this happily ever after.


  1. You better not do anything that would jeopardize your all-access pass to the celestial kingdom because I’m planning on riding your coattails in.

  2. As the first guest blogger you’ve set the bar v. high.

    You’ve nearly convinced me to attend church, especially next Easter … if for no other reason, simply to avoid being pelted with Cadbury eggs!

    Thank you for guest blogging.

  3. It’s my pleasure!

  4. This was a great post, and nice timing with the speaking ON Easter Sunday AND blogging about it! And because you quoted NPR in your talk we are friends for life.

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