Elder Dieter F. Uchdorf
President Uchdorf tells of a statue of Christ damaged in a bombing during WWII. The townspeople tried to repair the much loved statue, but the hands were too damaged to be fixed. They decided to put the statue up anyway, without the hands, but with a sign on the base which read, "You are my hands." Christ gave His life in service and love for others. We need to learn to feel the Savior's embrace. We often condemn others too quickly but are slow to forgive. We should be there for our brothers and sisters and love others as we love ourselves. Our priorities should be the two great commandments: to love God and our fellowman. Love is the grand motive of the Plan of Salvation. We should commit to become His hands that others, through us, might feel His love.
Elder Richard G. Scott
Easter morning Christ had the opportunity to rise from death and live again. How God must have rejoiced that day when his Son shattered the chains of death! Easter is the sacred season when the Christian gives humble gratitude to the Savior. It brings thoughts of love. He is a resurrected being who can love more than we can express. He gave his life and His atonement made fully active the plan. He is the fountain of all truth and fulfilled all of His promises. Without the atonement the plan could not have been put into effect. When we obey a law we are blessed. If we break a law we have the opportunity to repent, thereby avoiding the law of justice. No mortal can fully understand and appreciate what He has done for us. Understanding the atonement will greatly enhance mortal life. Challenges the Savior faced include:
1. Enormous sense of responsibility--everything had to be done perfectly or else the Plan of Salvation would have failed
2. He had to personally feel the consequences of all mankind's actions
3. Endure Satan's attacks without the presence of the Father nearby--He had to accomplish the atonement completely on His own.
It is imperative need for each of us to strengthen the need for the atonement, especially as the world becomes more devoid of morals. Establish a personal study plan to learn more about the Atonement and the Savior's calling as our Redeemer. Heartfelt prayer will fortify your testimony of the atonement. You can also strengthen you testimony of the atonement by going to the temple often.
As parents it is your responsibility to raise your children on truth. The Church is important, but it is in the home where children will learn more. We will be released from our many callings--except for being a mother or father. Prepare your children for the many challenges they will encounter in life.
President Donald L. Halstrom
Complications in a birth caused a baby to die. The parents blamed the doctor fully for the death of their baby. Eventually disassociated themselves from the Church. Four generations have now been effected by this choice. In President Halstrom's family similar occurrences took place, but instead of turning away from God, those suffering turned to God for help. This life provides us with great joy and great pain; we cannot know one without the other. No matter what the size of the issue, how we respond to it can reset the course of our lives. Joseph Smith was a great example of one who suffered greatly, but responded by turning to God. The best method is to deal with matters directly, not give up, and to turn to the Lord. Let Him share your burden. Never let an earthly circumstance disable you spiritually.
Sister Cheryl C. Lant
Child recognized image and knew the name of the Savior. Christ's invitation to seek Him is an invitation to know Him and what He has done for us. Knowing Him comes from a lifetime effort. It is our sacred responsibility as parents to bring our children to the Savior that they might see His face. As we bring our children to Him we also bring ourselves. How do we do this?
1. Learn how to love the Lord and our families -- this requires time and selfless service.
2. Become a worthy example for them -- this is also a process; it is important we seek the Savior's face for ourselves to be able to show it to our children. Ask yourself, "What do my children see when they look at my face?"
3. Teach our children the Gospel and how to live it's teachings -- from the scriptures and the prophet. Help them to learn to feel the Spirit. Children intuitively want to be good. It is up to us to protect them and help them. Teach them correct principles and help them apply them in life.
It takes a lot of hard work, patience, and faith. But nothing is more important. The Lord loves the children and will help is by praying for them and for us. "Behold your little ones." We are the angels that Heavenly Father has sent today to bless the children and encircle them with the fire of faith.
Elder Quintin L. Cook
The final two days before the death of Christ were very important because three significant ordinances and doctrines were presented to the apostles: the ordinance of the sacrament, the doctrine of loving one another, and the promise of the Holy Ghost as a constant companion. Because of Christ's death, we too will live again. Our path of discipleship requires us to also follow these same three points.
1. The sacrament meeting is the most sacred meeting of the Church. We must remember and reverence the sacrament because it allows us to repent and become a saint.
2. We need to learn to love one another and spend our lives trying to be more loving and kind. How we relate and interact with each other is a measure of how well we are following Christ.
3. Learn to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost. If we are sealed by the Holy Ghost we will be blessed with all that the Father has.
No one is exempt from the storms of life. President Cook tells of the Samoan stake president who saw a tsunami coming and frantically saved some school children, his daughter, and mother. We need to follow our leaders' warnings to be safe.
President Thomas S. Monson
On a visit to London England, President Monson visited the Tate Gallery where he saw many masterpieces. He also saw another picture of a cottage and some women watching for fisherman who had been lost at sea. "A Hopeless Dawn" was the name of the picture.
Of all the facts of mortality is the certainty of death. Everyone wonders what comes after death. "If a man die, shall he live again?" asked Job. If there is a design in this world, there must be a designer. In Genesis we learn the Grand Designer created the earth. Last of all He created man in his own image. Man alone received intelligence, a brain, a will, a mind, and a soul. With these elements he had the capacity for faith and hope. To understand the meaning of death we must appreciate the meaning of life. We need to know we lived before we were born. A plan was presented there and a Savior was provided for us so we could overcome sin and death. As a result, Christ, the Savior, came to the earth. Near the end of his life He held the Last Supper. No one can understood what He did in Gethsemane, after which he was falsely tried, beaten, and then crucified. After giving up His life on earth He returned to His father while His body was placed in a tomb. Three days later Mary found the tomb empty and saw the resurrected Savior.
What happened that morning was the answer to Job's question.
President Monson testifies of the resurrection. He has read the scriptures and has read the words of Joseph Smith. The darkness of death can always be dispelled by revealed truth. "I am the light and the truth." President Monson tells of a letter of man with seven sons, one son, Jason, became ill but said he would "never" lose faith in Christ.