On Easter Sunday, Jesus Christ was resurrected, fulfilling prophecy and the requirements needed to complete the work of His atonement for the sins of mankind.
Mary Magdalene went to Christ’s tomb early Sunday morning to dress and care for His body when she found it empty. She ran to tell Simon Peter and another disciple that His body had been stolen from the tomb, not knowing where it had gone. They raced back to the tomb to find it still empty with nothing but the linen He was wrapped in. Eventually, Peter and the other disciple went home and Mary was left alone to weep outside of the tomb.
As recorded in the new testament by John, when Mary looked back in the sepulcher she saw two angels sitting on the bed where Christ’s body had been laying — the same angels who struck the guards sent by Pilate to watch the tomb — and they spoke to her.
“And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou,” says John 20:13-14. “She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.”
Christ was standing behind Mary when He asked her why she was crying and who she was looking for. Mary, thinking He was just a gardener, pleaded that if He was who had taken the body of her Savior, He could tell her where He is so she could take Him away.
According to John 20:16-17, “Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.”
After witnessing the living and resurrected Christ, Mary ran to the apostles once again but this time with glad tidings. That evening, Christ appeared to His disciples, where He showed them the nail prints in His hands and the wound in His side and they knew it was the same Christ that they witnessed on the cross just three days prior.
After His appearance to the disciples, Christ also appeared and witnessed to others of His resurrection. As He visited His followers, He taught them how to continue the work of salvation among their people through baptism.
The Book of Mormon also makes an account of the Savior’s appearance to the people of Nephi. Days before, the Nephites had witnessed the prophesied signs of the death of the foretold Savior such as earthquakes, thunder and a long period of darkness.
“Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world,” states 3 Nephi 11:14-15. “And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.”
In the recent April 2023 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Russell M. Nelson extended a special Easter invitation to listeners to read the account of the Savior’s visit to the Nephites in 3 Nephi.
“I plead with you to come unto Him so that He can heal you,” exclaims President Nelson. “He will heal you from sin as you repent. He will heal you from sadness and fear. He will heal you from the wounds of this world. Whatever questions or problems you have, the answer is always found in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Learn more about His Atonement, His love, His mercy, His doctrine and His restored gospel of healing and progression. Turn to Him! Follow Him!”
Easter Sunday or not, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ will always be something to remember.