Easter morning featured many reflections on the "most glorious, comforting and reassuring of all events of human history" — Jesus Christ's resurrection and victory over death — during the LDS 180th annual general conference Sunday.
"The empty tomb that first Easter morning was the answer to Job's question, 'If a man die, shall he live again?' To all within the sound of my voice I declare: If a man die, he shall live again," President Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said.
Besides referring to it as the most glorious event in human history, he also said, "In our hour of deepest sorrow, we can receive profound peace from the words of the angel that first Easter morning, 'He is not here: for he is risen.' "
"On this Easter Sunday, and every day, as we contemplate with reverence and awe how our Savior embraces us, comforts us and heals us, let us commit to become his hands, that others through us may feel his loving embrace," President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor of the First Presidency, said.
Elder Richard G. Scott, Quorum of the Twelve, spoke on the topic "He Lives! All Glory to His Name!" "This Easter resolve to make the Lord Jesus Christ the living center of your home," he challenged.
"Should you have been disobedient to his commandments and feel unworthy, recognize that this is why the Lord, Jesus Christ, laid down his life. Through his atonement he has opened forever the opportunity to overcome such mistakes, to repent of improper choices, and to conquer the negative effects of a life contrary to his teachings," Elder Scott continued.
"While we rejoice in the supernal significance of Gethsemane and Calvary, our focus has always been in the resurrected Lord," Elder Quentin L. Cook, Quorum of the Twelve, said.
"As we commemorate this Easter morning, let us turn to the Lord, our 'Bright and Morning Star,' " Elder Donald L. Hallstrom, of the Presidency of the Seventy, said in his address, "Turn to the Lord."
"On this Easter Sunday, we remember the life of the Savior. It is he whom we desire to emulate in all our actions," Elder James B. Martino, of the Quorum of the Seventy, said.
In his conference closing address, President Monson also admonished members to "look to the lighthouse of the Lord" in a world that has drifted from the harbor of peace. "The Lord loves us, my brothers and sisters, and will bless us as we call upon him."
President Uchtdorf also warned not to condemn others too quickly and with too little compassion, as we may confuse the sin with the sinner in our zeal.
He also advised that members should not obsess over the "finest details of life, the law, and long lists of things to do," and then neglect the two great commandments of loving God and our neighbors.
Elder Gregory Allan Schwitzer of the Quorums of the Seventy addressed "Developing Good Judgment and not Judging Others." He said, "Although the Savior asked us not to judge others, he still expects us to use excellent judgment."
Elder Cook pleaded with members to be civil in their discourses and interactions with others. "This is especially true when he disagree," he said, stressing that it is more important to conduct ourselves as Christ lived and taught, rather than to vent our anger or deeply held opinions.
We live in a noisy, contentious world, where it is possible to view or listen to information, music or pure nonsense every waking hour of the day, he said.
"If we want to have the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, we must find time to slow down, ponder, pray and live so we are worthy to receive and act upon his promptings," Elder Cook said.
He also said reassurances have been given to choice members that their loved ones lost in recent earthquakes and tsunamis, as in Chile, Haiti or the islands of the Pacific, will be reunited with them in the hereafter. He said while physically "higher ground" was critical for survivors in tsunamis, spiritually higher ground is also critical for our eternal welfare, and the blessings of temple ordinances offer the best refuge and protection in a sinful world.
Elder Neil L. Andersen, Quorum of the Twelve, promised single mothers they will feel the power of heaven blessing them as they speak of Jesus Christ to their children. He also made a special appeal to fathers to talk to their children about the Savior and his importance.
"Although there may be times when a child does not listen with a believing heart, your testimony of Jesus will remain in his or her mind and soul," he stated.
Elder Robert D. Hales, Quorum of the Twelve, also addressed the mission of parents and even leaders to serve and lead the youth of this world. He stressed that the Lord has said this is "an imperative duty that we owe to all the rising generation."
Elder Russell M. Nelson, Quorum of the Twelve, spoke on "Generations Linked in Love" and stressed the importance of family history efforts — especially though the "New FamilySearch" system, which he stressed is a giant step forward, though "it is still just a step."