The Contrasting Messages of Easter
When the object of our faith rests on Christ's completed work on the cross, we join the great hosts in heaven by rejoicing, "He is Risen! Hallelujah! He is Risen indeed!"
Easter is a proclamation of victory! The empty tomb and Christ's resurrection is the triumph that grants us the assurance that God's promises are true! We can take Him at His Word! We are forgiven! Our names are written in the Book of Life! Faith receives and holds on to these promises of Christ's work on our behalf.
What a contrast to the Easter message that Mormons heard over the weekend.
The teachings of Mormonism give reverence to the work of Christ on the cross. As God's literal son, He perfectly carried out the LDS plan of salvation by doing his part. By Christ's Atonement, physical death was conquered. By this act, all people will be saved from death and be resurrected. The redemptive work of Christ was conquering death and by his resurrection all mankind will also conquer death and be resurrected.
The Mormon cry at Easter is, "He lives and we will too!"
Now it is up to you to do your part.
Mormons are called to be like Christ; to follow His example by carrying out Heavenly Father's plan of salvation; to use Christ's Atonement as a means to gain strength and knowledge to be obedient and worthy in following the commands and ordinances of the Church; to continue to be valiant in following the path of eternal progression so that they may "inherit" or achieve Eternal Life in the Celestial kingdom; and someday be with their eternal family.
It's all up to doing all you can do to qualify for these gifts or blessings from Heavenly Father so that Mormons may eternally progress.
Reflecting on Easter, President Thomas Monson, the current living prophet of the LDS Church, stated, "So that we might have every chance of success, He provided a Savior, who would suffer and die for us." He also shared the story of a fifteen year old boy who recently died from an illness. The boy's father sent a message to Monson that included a photograph of his dying son on a hospital bed. His older brother was standing next to the bed holding his mission call. The caption beneath the photograph read, "Called to serve their missions together - on both sides of the veil." It also included a letter from his sister who was serving an LDS mission in Argentina. She wrote, "I know that Jesus Christ lives, and because He lives, all of us, including our beloved brother, will live again too. .. We can take comfort in the sure knowledge we have that we have been sealed together as an eternal family. ... If we do our very best to obey and do better in this life, we will see him again."*
That is the Mormon understanding of Easter. Christ has done his part and by his perfect life and death, we have been given the opportunity to fulfill our divine potential and become like him in every way.
What a different gospel then the one presented in the Bible!
Because Jesus declared, "It is finished!", and then rose triumphant on Eastern morning, we have full comfort, peace, and assurance. We know that our inheritance in heaven is secured, not by our works but by his great work on our behalf. Our rooms in the presence of God are finished, because our sins have been fully paid for by the perfect sacrifice of Christ.
"He is risen!" And so will we, because Jesus has done it all. *"He is Risen!" by President Thomas S. Monson (May, 2010, Liahona magazine)