(This article is reposted from Easter 2014)
Adrian Sanchez Roman (Mexico City, Mexico): My sense of Easter comes from reflecting on the principle of sacrifice — from Adam, the miracles of Moses in Egypt, the attempted sacrifice of Isaac, and the triumph of Jesus Christ over death. It fills me with such enthusiasm and hope in my life to know that our Heavenly Father gives us continuous opportunities for rebirth and flourishing, carrying the message of spiritual freedom so that we can all achieve the splendor of the light within each of us, and that this light not be suppressed, but rather expanded. This is the message of the Father’s love: to transcend and definitively break all bonds, like the dawn breaking into day. We can rest assured of renewed confidence.
Alejandro Alcántara (Hidalgo, Mexico): Atonement for me is God’s ability to love without limits or conditions. Jesus Christ loves us without limits. I’m grateful for this gift that God has given us.
Andreas Büttner (Potsdam, Germany): Easter means for me that the Love of our Savior was fulfilled by the atonement in taking upon himself our sins. It means also for me, that Jesus showed his love to all mankind – no matter what they think, how they feel, where they come from or which sexual orientation they have.
Easter also is a holiday for the family, which I will – as every year – celebrate together with my family. It brings families closer to each other.
Anna Empey (Utah): Easter is a season of reflection, and renewal. Every Easter I see the world come alive again and my spirit is refreshed and encouraged to balance my life and take time to ponder how i can be renewed and better. Easter means light, peace and comfort, and the dark cold winter is over. Easter always gives me hope.
Carol Lynn Pearson (Bay Area, CA): Besides the hope of eternal life in that Other World we’re promised, Easter also symbolizes to me the small but powerful resurrections we experience after the small but horrendous crucifixions we endure. Deaths of all kinds are often followed by openings into new life.
Ellen Koester (SLC, UT): Easter to me, is the ultimate sign of love. Christ loved us so much that He defended us from Lucifer’s disastrous plan of forced obedience. He loved us so much that He came and fulfilled the Law in order to bring a new and everlasting covenant, where we are forgiven of our sins. He loved us so much that he bore the weight of the world and suffered the price of our sins. He shouldered the weight of our guilt, pain, sorrow, and suffering. A weight so large and so traumatic that He showed a rare moment of mortal hesitation and plead with His Father, Our God, to “take this bitter cup” from Him. And yet, He pressed on bearing the weight that would cause His blood to run from every pore.
What does He ask for in return? He tells us in the 13th Chapter of John, 34th verse,”A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” May we ever follow His example.
Fred Bowers (Washington, DC): What does Easter mean to me? Love, joy, and the opportunity to reflect on the ultimate sacrifice Christ made to make a way for each of us to return to God and our extended eternal family. We will join an extended eternal family consisting of our birth and adoptive families and fellow LGBT Mormons who lived before us. LGBT Mormons who persevered through so many difficult trials as living witnesses of the gospel’s promise of eternal life to all who would receive it – regardless of their sexual orientation.
João (Coimbra, Portugal): Easter hasn’t always had the same meaning for me. It started out as something religious that people would discuss at church. After that it was just a day where I’d receive huge amounts of chocolate. After joining the Church everything became more clear. Now I know its importance and what it stands for. Easter is a day when everyone should be thankful. Jesus Christ resurrected and overcame death so that we could all have that opportunity.
John Gustav-Wrathall (Minneapolis, MN): I have had some very unique and sacred experiences that leave no doubt in my mind that Jesus Christ is real, that he is alive, and that all power is in his hands. I love the story of Joseph Smith, which reminds us that he continues to lead and guide us even in this modern world which often refuses to know the way of Love he showed us.
Jesus has walked with me through the valleys, he’s with me in the dark and frightening places, even when I’ve not been fully aware of it at the time, and when I look to him he shows me the way ahead. There’s no doubt in my mind or in my heart that he has prepared a special place for each of us, lesbian, gay, bi, SSA, transgender, cisgender and straight. I’m grateful that the trials of our lives give us an opportunity to exercise faith in Him.
Justin Forsythe (Ireland): Easter to me has spiritual significance, but the season also reminds me of my family and our traditions that were probably not so unique but still very special.
Luis Granados Muñoz (Spain): Easter is the time when you remember the greatest love that ever happened in the world, the love of Jesus Christ, the greatness of whose love for us mankind does not really know.
Easter time is a time of reflection, a time of love, a time for faith to open up the light that we are.
Easter is a magical time, a time of faith.
Peter Howland (McMinnville, OR): Easter has always symbolized a new beginning, with the events in Jerusalem so many years ago, along with the beginning of warmth after a long winter. I am especially grateful for new beginnings this year, with the passing of my mother. It is a new start not worrying about her suffering.
Peter van der Walt (South Africa): All I can say for this period is that I am grateful. Life sometimes gets rough… And the week is a good reminder that suffering and fear are always temporary. Love… Truth… and Grace. Those are eternal. I’m well aware that I’m not always the perfect person. This week reminds me that it’s okay not to be. That it’s not all up to me. For this, there is no proper response but Heavenly Father…
Randall Thacker (Washington, DC): Easter is the testament of the reality of life after death. I personally have a knowledge that our lives will continue after this mortal realm. The grave truly has no victory. What a wonderful gift that Christ has given!
Roxana Lopez (Argentina): You’re not alone, the Lord is with you. And also with him are all of us. He knows us each and we follow him. This Easter we invite you to renew your trust, confidence and faith in the Savior. We are part of a heavenly plan and you are very important. Through the trials we all experience we are tested, so let’s not turn from the truth. We are all invited to participate in this spiritual renewal, casting off doubts, disappointments, discouragement and whatever hinders our personal progress. The Savior loves us as we are. Let us refine our understanding and make way for wisdom because we believe in God the Father through faith and hope, and grow spiritually. Let’s never cease praying and reading scriptures. Happy Easter!
Samy Galvez (Guatemala): As Easter approaches, I reflect upon everything the Lord did for us. I am grateful for His example, the way in which He treated others. I do not understand all that He went through, but I am eternally grateful that He willfully would choose to go through the same things I’ve gone through and have a clear idea of how I feel. I know He understands and He can bless us if we seek to do His will.
Teddy Wade (Kaohsiung, Taiwan): While people are celebrating Jesus Christ’s resurrection, remembering what he’s done for all human beings, this year means more to me than ever. I got married to a wonderful man like I’d always wished and we are going to visit his family on Easter. I am very grateful that we have Heavenly Father’s blessings and Lord’s sacrifice so we can live happy even when our days have ups and downs.
Todd Richardson (New York, NY): “If a man die, shall he live again?” I am grateful at this time of year to pause and reflect on the answer to Job’s question. Our celebration of Christ’s triumph over death is a reminder that the gift of resurrection is for us all. Because of His sacrifice, I can live again.
Wendy Williams Montgomery (Bakersfield, CA): The beauty of Easter is more than the message of our Savior’s Resurrection – as glorious as that is. It is the promise of new beginnings and fresh starts; and of reshaping our lives into an ever improving version of who we are meant to be.