Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Saturday, April 8, 2023

How Do We Know that Jesus Christ Was Resurrected?

My Come, Follow Me studies took me to numerous scriptures this week to study about the last week of the life of Jesus Christ. It was an Easter lesson titled “O Grave, Where Is Thy Victory?” The counsel given prior to the lesson was: “As you read the testimonies of the Savior’s Resurrection in this outline, make note of the feelings and impressions that come to you from the Holy Ghost.” I followed these instructions and made several entries in my spiritual journal. The lesson was introduced in the following paragraph. 

During the last week of the Savior life, many Jews around Him were participating in the traditions of Passover. They prepared meals, sang songs, and gathered together to remember the deliverance of the house of Israel from slavery to the Egyptians. Families listened to the story of the destroying angel passing over the homes of their ancestors who had marked their doors with lamb’s blood. Amid all these celebrations so rich with the symbolism of deliverance, relatively few were aware that Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, was about to deliver them from the slavery of sin and death – through His suffering, His death, and His Resurrection. Even so, there were those who recognized Jesus as their promised Messiah, their eternal Deliverer. From that time onward, disciples of Jesus Christ have borne witness to all the world “that Christ died for our sins …; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

The principle to be discussed in this post can be found in Matthew 28:1-10; Luke 24:13-35; John 20:19-29; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, 55: “Many witnesses testify of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Here are some of the witnesses who saw the resurrected Jesus Christ.

·         Mary Magdalene and the other Mary saw two angels who told them that Jesus Christ was risen and that they should go tell His disciples. As they went, Jesus met them an told them to tell the brethren to go into Galilee to see Him. (Matthew 28:1-10)

·         Two disciples were walking on the road to Emmaus when Jesus joined them. They did not recognize Him and shared the events of the previous days. He showed himself to them. (Luke 24:13-25)

·         On the same day that Mary Magdalene told the disciples that Christ was risen, He appeared to them behind closed doors and gave them the gift of the Holy Ghost. Thomas was not in attendance and did not believe their account Eight days later, He appeared to them once more. The second time, Thomas was in attendance and saw and touched the risen Christ. (John 20:19-29)

·         Paul recited a list of names of people who saw Jesus Christ after His Resurrection: Cephas (Peter), the Apostles, five hundred brethren, James, and Paul. (1 Corinthians 15:1-8, 55)

·         Christ appeared to the Nephites – men, women, and children -- gathered at the temple in ancient America. (Book of Mormon – Another Witness of Jesus Christ, 3 Nephi 11)

·         The resurrected Lord visited Mormon when he was fifteen years old. (Book of Mormon, Mormon 1:15)

·         Moroni saw the resurrected Lord face-to-face and spoke with Him in his own language (Ether 12:38-39)

·         Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon saw the resurrected Jesus Christ on the right hand of God on February 16, 1832, in Hiram Ohio. (Doctrine and Covenants 76:19-24)

·         Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery saw the resurrected Jesus Christ in the Kirtland Temple, Kirtland, Ohio, on April 3, 1836. (Doctrine and Covenants 110:1-10)

·         Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ in a grove of trees early in the spring of 1820. The Father pointed to the Son and said, “This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” (Joseph Smith – History 1:15-17)

As we can see, many people have seen the resurrected Jesus Christ and borne witness of their experience. After the resurrection of Jesus Christ, other people were resurrected and appeared to many people. (See Matthew 27:52-53; 3 Nephi 23:9.)

In his final remarks in General Conference a few days before his death, Elder Bruce R. McConkie bore the following testimony:

I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears.

But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God’s Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way. 

Elder McConkie is an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ and a special witness of Him. He saw, heard, and knew things that I have not. Yet, I can join with him in testifying that Jesus Christ lives and leads His Church today, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know this information because the Holy Ghost has borne witness to it to me. He will also bear this witness to you when you have shown real intent to know it.

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