The thing I love most about Easter is that, for us, it is almost entirely simply a spiritual holiday. I love that the world and all its materialism hasn't got its meaty little hands into this part of my life. It is really just about remembering our Savior and all that He did for us.
My parents do an egg hunt in their gorgeous backyard...they always set up and provide the egg-coloring (my mom boiled 5 dozen eggs!) and the hunt. I don't even have to boil an egg or remember to buy vinegar. This year Ethan surprised everyone with his competitive angst over finding eggs. This was no surprise to us that live with him. He just hates to lose. At anything.
On Sunday morning I awoke early to attend the annual Easter Morningside that our stake holds for the youth. This is held every Easter morning at the temple. An unbelievable way to start this sacred day. Every year as I arise in the dark and dress, my mind is drawn to Mary Magdalene. And as I dress, I see her doing the same and in the quiet dawn making her way to the tomb. It is a powerful moment for me. And then we spend an hour in front of the temple, remembering that because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can be saved from death and hell and sealed together for eternity.
At church I taught the young women's lesson and gave each of the girls their own copy of the March Ensign which is all about our Savior. We read parts of it together and sang hymns between readings.
My favorite moment of the weekend came as we sang the closing hymn together at sacrament meeting, Christ the Lord is Risen Today. Though none of us can really sing, my family nevertheless really FEELS the hymns soul-deep. This one was no exception. As I looked down the bench at my family, they were all singing "Al-le-lu-ia!" at the top of their lungs. I was completely undone watching Ethan belting out his joy along with the rest of my children. And I thought, "Yes, sing! Sing! Because of Him you are mine forever."
After church we had a very nice Easter dinner with Tim & Christine, my parents, and Emily and David.
Before I close this post and my Easter season, I thought I would leave something I read last fall, but has stayed with me ever since. I think of it often and maybe it will bless your life as well. It was given in a talk at BYU by Thomas B. Griffith. He said:
In the last revelation Joseph Smith received before he was permitted to organize Christ’s Church on the earth—in what was the capstone of Joseph Smith’s preparation to be an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ—the Lord gave the only first-person detailed account of the suffering He endured so that we would not need to suffer the full effects of our disobedience:
For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; . . .
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— [D&C 19:16, 18]
There is something curious about this narrative. Verse 18 ends with a dash. The Savior did not complete His thought. Why? I don’t know, but I am persuaded by the explanation that the Savior might have cut short His description of what He suffered because it was too painful for Him—some 1,800 years after the event—to complete the description (see Eugene England, The Quality of Mercy [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1992], 52). Now what kind of a God do we worship? An awesome God who wants us to know that His love for us is infinite and eternal. A God who wants us to know that His love for us gave Him the strength to suffer for us. Knowing this ought to be enough to move us to submit our lives to Him in obedience and gratitude.
I can hardly bear to think of it and I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me.