Once again we are celebrating Easter. Today is a chance to contemplate the meaning of Life and Death. An opportunity to reflect on the matchless Love of God, the incomprehensible suffering of Jesus, and the miracle of His triumph over death.
Easter is a celebration of Hope.
Easter is God’s promise that death is not the end. Easter is also God’s promise that no matter how awful, or hard, or painful our life’s journey may be here on earth, He knows what we are going through. We are not alone. Our life has a meaning, and you and I have a divine purpose. He knows us.
Easter means that each of us are a priceless treasure to God, and He has given us everything.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16
He has suffered everything, for us.
“Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—
Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook andafinished my preparations unto the children of men.” – D&C 19:18-19
Easter is quite arguably the very happiest holiday of all time! Easter is literally the gift that keeps on giving!
“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” – 1 Corinthians 15:22
“Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy” – 2 Nephi 2:25
I know a family who carries Easter close to their hearts. The Neilson Family seem, to me anyway, to be living Easter every day. I guess that’s why it’s so fitting and symbolic that Stephanie “nie nie” Neilson’s book was just released in time for Easter.
If you haven’t heard about “Nie Nie” yet, or read her blog, or encountered her inspirational story on radio and television, I would like to share it with you today. And, if you already have heard her story, I would like to celebrate it once again with you.
This is a story of finding hope in the ashes of life, a story of unquenchable love, a story of eternal family bonds, a story of beauty born from pain, and a story of how joy truly does “cometh in the morning” (Psalms 30:5). Because “He is risen” all of us will rise. And we do not have to wait to rise from physical death! We each are invited to rise here and now – in this life. We can rise from hopelessness, we can rise from sorrow, we can rise from fear, we can rise from grief and all manner of pain. This is what the joy and promise of Easter is all about!
Stephanie Neilson has already learned that Heaven is not so far away, after all. Heaven is . . . Here!