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“Fear Not . . . He Is Not Here For He Is Risen”

“Fear Not . . . He Is Not Here For He Is Risen”
During this month of April we celebrate the Easter season and reflect with reverence and gratitude on the atonement of Jesus Christ, which atonement includes the resurrection and confirms His triumph over the grave.  It was the central event in all of human history.  Since the creation of the world, all the holy prophets have taught the crucial importance of this great event and its necessity in the lives of every human being.  The doctrines of the restored Church of Jesus Christ teach us why.

 God is our Heavenly Father and He loves us.  His work and His glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of His children.  (Moses 1:39)  This divine goal could not be achieved without the opportunity for us to exercise our agency and make our own decisions in order to learn to choose the good and reject the bad.  For this purpose, the world was created.  As part of the great Plan, Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit and were cast out of the presence of God and became mortal.

Mortality was a great blessing for Adam and Eve because as mortals they could now begin to exercise their agency to choose the good.  But mortality also created some great challenges since with mortality came death – both physical death and spiritual death which is the separation from the presence of God.  God is perfect.  Nothing and no one who is imperfect can enter His presence.

Thus Adam and Eve and all of their posterity were lost, subject to physical and spiritual death, without the possibility of returning to the God’s presence.  But God foresaw this problem and prepared a Savior to come to earth and to conquer spiritual and physical death. How would He do it?

The only way to conquer spiritual death was to suffer for the sins of all humanity.  Sin always brings suffering, and the law of justice requires that someone pay its awful price.  Alma asked his son Coriantor, “What do ye suppose that mercy can rob justice?  I say unto you, nay”.  (Alma 42:25)   Through the Savior’s atonement, He paid the price of our sins and satisfied the law of justice.  As King Benjamin taught,

And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people. (Mosiah 3:7)

Christ has invited us to repent of our sins so that we will not have to suffer as He suffered, lest our:

sufferings be sore – how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.  For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent (D&C 19:15-16)

Christ has also overcome physical death by virtue of the resurrection.  The prophet Abinadi taught:

And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or have broken the bands of death that the grave should have no victory, and that death should have no sting, there could have been no resurrection.  But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.  (Mosiah 16:7-8)

This is why we celebrate Easter in memory of the great sacrificial atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ.  This is why we can say as did the angel:

Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.  He is not here: for he is risen  (Matthew 28:5-6)

During this Easter season, let us rejoice in the ministry and the mission of our Savior Jesus Christ, and commit ourselves to follow Him and to keep His commandments.