I am looking forward to celebrating Easter this year. I have been through a lot of emotional and spiritual growth, and that journey has caused me to take a spiritual journey that I never imagined possible.
There are skeptics who will say that there is no way for anyone to know that there is a God, or that if there is a God, that circumstances here on planet Earth are proof that He has little or no interest in the human race. They cite current events, calamities, and crimes of heinous proportions to back their claims.
I would suggest that they are looking in places for things that go against who God says He is and how He has told us He operates. While He is perfectly capable of stepping in and wiping away all evil, He has chosen not to do so. His plan for mortal life was to give us a chance to learn to choose what it good, and that can only happen if we are confronted with evil in all of its various forms. While there are many good arguments and examples out there to explain how we can know that God exists, the two I like the most are salt and wind.
In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we stress learning and knowing truth by listening to the Holy Spirit. Many times, people will ask a member of our faith to explain how they know they have felt the Holy Spirit and that it’s not just wishful thinking or delusion.
The analogy of salt works well. The best way we have in the English language to describe the taste of salt is that it is “salty.” We can explain that it enhances the flavor of food, but we are at a loss to describe how. However, anyone who has tasted salt knows the taste and how it differs from sugar and other seasonings and flavorings. Those who have added it to food know of its effects and can even identify food that has too much or too little salt for their preferences.
So it is with the Holy Spirit. If you have never experienced the influence of the Holy Spirit, I do not have words to describe the feeling of it’s influence. I, however, could tell by the effect it has on people I have known that the Holy Spirit exists and makes a difference in people, and I followed their example and went to places where I, too, could feel its power. By taking this course, I have learned that the Holy Spirit is real and powerful.
It is impossible for the unaided human eye to see the wind, but we all know that it exists. We know it exists because we can see branches sway when the wind blows, we had to rake up leaves after a blustery day, and we’ve felt the wind as we’ve worked and played outdoors.
So it is with the Holy Spirit. The evidence of the reality of of God and His continuing influence through the power of the Holy Spirit is found in those who believe and who are willing to walk the walk. The Holy Spirit changes those that it touches.
What Does All of This Have to Do with Easter?
Good question! As I said at the beginning of this post, I am really looking forward to Easter tomorrow. My experiences of the past year have brought me closer to my Savior, and I have experienced His power and influence in my life through the power and influence of the Holy Spirit. I am looking forward to focusing on the Atonement and what it means in my life, of feeling extra gratitude that the Savior loves me so much that He was willing to sacrifice everything to give me the opportunity to have eternal life. I am grateful He set the example of who I am supposed to be and how I am supposed to live. And, above all, I am grateful that He overcame the power of death and tells me that I have nothing to fear.
By the power of the Holy Ghost and the testimony that lives in my heart, I bear witness that Jesus Christ lives. I bear witness that He was, and is, the Son of God who came to earth to do for each of us what we could never do for ourselves — grant us power over sin and death — if we will but follow Him and do as He asks. I know throughout every fiber of my being that choosing God is choosing the best that life has to offer, and that peace and happiness can be found in the middle of any circumstance if we stay focused on what is of eternal importance.
My wish for you is that you may know these things, too.
The LDS church has made a beautiful movie about what it might have been like to be able to speak with someone who really knew the Savior:
Modern prophets bear testimony of the reality of Christ and His resurrection:
“Sunday Will Come,” a beautiful talk about the Atonement and the hope it brings:
Here, in 3 segments, is a video made by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints about the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ: