Out of the many holidays we celebrate each year, Easter is one of the most important. It is a time to remember Christ and the glory of His Atonement. While it can be easy to focus on candy and Easter egg hunts, finding ways to turn your family towards Jesus Christ is easier than you think. Here are just a few simple ideas any individual, family, or group can do before, during, and after Easter Sunday.
Before Easter: Read scriptures that highlight Christ’s life
The Topical Guide and Bible Dictionary are great places to start. Key words such as Easter, Christ, Resurrection, and Crucifixion can help your family find definitions and references that can clarify and remind children and adults of Christ’s life and teachings. This is a great way to spend Family Home Evening or to bring a family together the night before Easter.
The reference Easter in the Bible Dictionary says, “This word occurs only once in the Bible (Acts 12:4) and then would be better translated ‘Passover.’ The word Easter is from Eastre, a Norse goddess whose pagan festival was observed at the spring equinox. The association of this pagan goddess with the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ was only by adaptation and synthesis. There is no real connection. Jesus, being the Lamb of God, was crucified at Passover time and is the true Passover (see 1 Cor. 5:7). He was raised from the grave on the third day thereafter. It thus became a springtime anniversary and has come to be called Easter in the Christian world.” Reading this as a family can help to teach a lesson that although holidays may be associated with worldly things, the true meanings behind holidays such as Easter can remind us of Godly, beautiful things.
In the Bible Dictionary under Resurrection, it says, “One of the most fundamental doctrines taught by the Twelve was that Jesus was risen from the tomb, with His glorified, resurrected body, as in Acts 1:21–22; 2:32; 3:15; 4:33. To obtain a resurrection with a celestial, exalted body is the center point of hope in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Resurrection of Jesus is the most glorious of all messages to mankind.”
On Easter Sunday: Watch The Life of Jesus Christ Bible Videos
The whole family can gather around for an inspirational movie night that is enjoyable while maintaining the spirit of Easter Sunday. The Bible Videos can be found free online, or can be purchased here. If time is scarce, there are short segments that can be played such as “To This End Was I Born.” The section “Lazarus is Raised from the Dead,” also highlights the Resurrection in a different way. Before Christ was crucified, He testified through example that He was more powerful than death. He showed that He could overcome death by raising Lazarus from the dead. It gave a powerful testament to not only His power, but to the life that we can have after death.
Read talks on the Resurrection
In conference two years ago, Elder D. Todd Cristofferson gave a powerful talk on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Within his talk, he told the story of Christ’s crucifixion and the “joyous morning of His Resurrection” that followed. He spoke of the meaning and testimonies of this Resurrection and the fact that it allows us to “have ultimate trust and confidence in His power to overcome all else and grant us everlasting life.” Reading this talk as a family or even individually gives a true, solemn reminder that He lives. Talks like this and others allow for times of quiet and contemplation on Easter Sunday.
After Easter: Watch General Conference
On Easter Sunday, many families spend time hunting for eggs and goodies. Children are excited for their chocolate surprises. They want to know what the Easter Bunny left them. This year, General Conference falls right after Easter and is at the perfect time to focus on keeping Christ in your life year-round. A week after the Easter egg hunts and chocolate-stuffed faces, sessions of General Conference will be broadcast around the world, reminding us all of the real meaning of Easter. It is a time to celebrate Christ’s empty tomb, a tomb that signifies Christ’s resurrection and our assurance that we will be resurrected too. During conference weekend, we are all advised to follow the admonitions of the Prophets and Apostles. Let us focus on Christ’s resurrection as we are taught of His life and teachings. With our life centered on Christ, may we speak with the confidence that Martha had in John 11:24, “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”