Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter


This Easter Sunday, I want to share with you my sincere knowledge that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the living Son of the living God. He is the Lamb "slain from the foundation of the world," (Revelation 13:8), who offered Himself as a willing sacrifice for sin to fulfill the Plan of His Father. (Moses 4:2). He is Jehovah, the Creator of both heavens and earth. (John 8:58; Mosiah 3:8).

I testify that Jesus descended from His exalted place in heaven and took upon Himself a body of flesh and blood. (1 Nephi 11:13-23). Born to the virgin Mary in Bethlehem and raised by the carpenter Joseph, "Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man" until the time of His ministry arrived. (Luke 2:52).

He was baptized by John the Baptist in the River Jordan. He lived, served, and loved all. He healed the sick and raised the dead. With the touch of His hand, the blind saw, the dumb spake, and the lame leaped. (1 Nephi 11:24-31). He organized His Church, "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, . . . Himself being the chief corner stone." (John 15:16; Ephesians 2:20).

To fulfill the great Plan of our Father in Heaven, I testify that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sins. And by satisfying the demands of Justice, Jesus Christ has extended Mercy to us all. (2 Nephi 2:5-10).

Yet despite His goodness, the world judged Him, lifted Him upon the cross, and slew Him. But death had no power over Him!

I add my testimony to that of the angels standing as witnesses at the empty garden tomb, "Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen. . . ." (Luke 24:4-6). I know that He is risen.

As a resurrected being of flesh and bone, Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene who wept when she went to Jesus’ tomb and found it empty. (John 20:11-18). And He appeared to the Eleven. They handled Him, thrust their hands into His side, felt the prints of the nails in His hands and feet, and knew that Jesus truly was the promised Messiah. (Luke 24:36-48). And more than 500 also saw the Risen Lord before He ascended to heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:6). I testify that Jesus promised to return. (Acts 1:11).

And I testify that Jesus’ earthly ministry did not end with His ascension. After His resurrection and ascension, Jesus appeared on the American continent to an ancient civilization which knew of His coming. They also thrust their hands into His side and felt the prints of the nails in His hands and feet. And they knew that Jesus was the Christ, the promised Messiah. (3 Nephi 11:10-17).

While He visited the inhabitants of ancient America, Jesus healed the sick and raised the dead; the lame leaped, and the dumb spake. (See 3 Nephi 17). He organized His Church, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, . . . Himself being the chief corner stone." (Ephesians 2:20; See 3 Nephi chapters 11-28 to read the account of Jesus’ visit to the American Continent). Jesus left them but promised to return.

And I testify that Jesus Christ continues to manifest Himself to all nations through modern-day prophets, the first of whom was Joseph Smith. Joseph sought God to know which church to join, and in answer to his prayer, Jesus Christ appeared with His Heavenly Father and bestowed upon Joseph the fulness of the Everlasting Gospel. (Joseph Smith History 1:1-20).
And He has not limited His appearances to Joseph Smith. Jesus Christ has appeared to Oliver Cowdery (D&C 110:1-11), to Sidney Rigdon (D&C 76:22-24), to Lorenzo Snow, to Melvin J. Ballard, to David B. Haight, and to others who have not been permitted to share their experiences.

And He will continue to manifest Himself to His servants until He returns to this earth to rule and reign as King of kings and Lord of lords.

And last of all, although I have not seen nor handled Him, I testify that if the veil were to part and Jesus were to stand before me, I would not know any better than I know now that He lives and is the Savior of the World.

I know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.

This is my Easter Testimony, in the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen!

7 comments:

Shaillé said...

Craig,

Thanks for the post!! It was great hearing from you and to see your blog. That's an amazing blog you guys have there. Wow! :)

We need good lawyers like you. Any chance you'll run for politics/president? :) My brother-in-law just graduated from Willamette here in Salem and is practicing with a firm regarding workers comp etc.

Good luck with your studies and hope you had a good Easter weekend. I just heard from Trevor Bingham - he has a wife, cute kid and one on the way - he will be deployed as an assistant commander to Kuwait soon. And Jason Smythe is a radiologist resident up in the Midwest and has two cute kids. It's great seeing/hearing how the ol' mission buddies are doing. It's amazing how the Lord sends us all on various and continuous "missions" after our missions to Ecuador. :)

Anyway, take care hermano!

Casey

Casey Claypool said...

Sorry - didn't realize I was putting that under my wife's Blog account. :)

Praise the Highlander said...

Nice post. I also believe Jesus Christ is the son of God. To quote Einstein, "the rest are details." Happy Easter.

OsoDelSol said...

Thank you for the picture you put up. I've never been anywhere else that affected me so greatly, and it's a place that is never far from my mind.

:)

Craig Pankratz said...

Oso,

I refer you to the rules: I'm feeling some of that divine envy right now.

And you might be interested to know that several modern prophets, after entering the garden tomb, expressed their feeling that it is the place where Christ was buried.

And you got to be there. Even if it happened 2000 years ago, just thinking about being where Jesus was laid is making me weep.

Thanks for sharing.

-Craig

OsoDelSol said...

Re whether true site: I don't claim any gift of prophecy, but that was exactly and strongly the sense I got there. You've given me a post idea, sir....

Re presence: I don't know of anyone in the group who didn't.

That's it. Sometime this week I shall give you a post on this.

Craig Pankratz said...

Oso,

You may not have the gift of prophecy, but you received the gift of revelation by the power of the Holy Ghost while you were there.

What you felt at the Garden Tomb is the same feeling which has confirmed to me all that I believe and know concerning God, including my conviction in the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith.

I look forward to your upcoming post.

-Craig