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President Thomas S. Monson: 'He is risen!'

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 2 2015 3:48 p.m. MDT

The empty tomb that first Easter morning was the answer to Job's question, "If a man die, shall he live again?" President Thomas S. Monson said.

"To all within the sound of my voice I declare, 'if a man die, he shall live again.' We know, for we have the light of revealed truth."

Addressing Church members around the globe on Easter morning, President Monson spoke on the topic, "He is risen."

"Among all the facts of mortality, none is so certain as its end," he said Sunday morning. "Death comes to all; it is our universal heritage. It may claim its victims in infancy or youth; it may visit in the period of life's prime; or its summons may be deferred until the snows of age have gathered upon the head; it may befall as the result of accident or disease, or through natural causes; but come it must.

"It inevitably represents a painful loss of association and, particularly in the young a crushing blow to dreams unrealized, ambitions unfulfilled and hopes vanquished."

President Monson said every mortal being, faced with the loss of a loved one or standing himself on the threshold of infinity, has pondered what lies beyond the veil.

Centuries ago, the man Job, so long blessed with every material gift only to find himself sorely afflicted by all that can befall a human being, uttered a timeless, ageless question: "If a man die, shall he live again?" (Job 14:14), said President Monson.

"This glorious Easter morning, I'd like to consider Job's question ... and provide the answer, which comes not only from thoughtful consideration but also from the reveled word of God."

To do so, President Monson began with the essentials.

"If there is a design in this world in which we live, there must be a Designer. Who can behold the many wonders of the universe without believing that there is a design for all mankind? Who can doubt that there is a Designer?"

The Grand Designer created the heaven and the earth. He created the sun and the moon and the stars. He called for living creatures in the water and fowls in the air. He made cattle, beasts and creeping things.

"Last of all, He created man in His own image — male and female — with dominion over all other living things," President Monson said.

"Man alone received intelligence — a brain, a mind and a soul. Man alone, with these attributes, had the capacity for faith and hope, for inspiration and ambition."

President Monson said to understand the meaning of death, Latter-day Saints must appreciate the purpose of life.

"The dim light of belief must yield to the noonday sun of revelation, by which we know that we lived before our birth into mortality. In our pre-existent state, we were doubtless among the sons and daughters of God who shouted for joy because of the opportunity to come to this challenging yet necessary mortal existence.

"We knew that our purpose was to gain a physical body, to overcome trials and to prove that we would keep the commandments of God. Our Father knew that because of the nature of mortality, we would be tempted, would sin and would fall short. So that we might have every chance of success, He provided a Savior who should suffer and die for us. Not only would He atone for our sins, but as a part of that atonement He would also overcome the physical death to which we would be subject because of the Fall of Adam.

"Thus, more than 2,000 years ago, Christ, our Savior, was born to mortal life in a stable in Bethlehem. The long foretold Messiah had come."

The Savior was baptized. He called the Twelve Apostles. He blessed the sick and even raised the dead.

"And then the mortal mission of the Savior of the world drew to its close. A last supper with His apostles took place in an upper room. Ahead lay Gethsemane and Calvary's cross.

"No mere mortal can conceive the full import of what Christ did for us in Gethsemane," said President Monson.

Following the Agony of Gethsemane, the Savior was seized by rough, crude hands and accused and cursed. "Finally, on a hill called Calvary, while helpless followers looked on, His wounded body was nailed to a cross. Mercilessly, He was mocked and cursed and derided."

President Monson said that at the last minute the Master could have turned back, but He did not. "He passed beneath all things, that He might save all things. His lifeless body was hurriedly but gently placed in a borrowed tomb.

"No words in Christendom mean more to me than those spoken by the angel to the weeping Mary Magdalene and the other Mary when, on the first day of the week, they approached the tomb to care for the body of their Lord. Spoke the angel, 'Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen.'

"Our Savior lived again. The most glorious, comforting and reassuring of all events of human history had taken place — the victory over death. The pain and agony of Gethsemane and Calvary had been wiped away. The salvation of mankind had been secured. That Fall of Adam had been reclaimed."

President Monson said he has read and believes the testimonies of those who experienced the grief of Christ's crucifixion and the joy of His resurrection. "I have read — and I believe — the testimonies of those in the New World who were visited by the same risen Lord."

The darkness of death can always be dispelled by the light of revealed truth, President Monson said.

"My beloved brothers and sisters, 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.' ... As one of His special witnesses on earth today, this glorious Easter Sunday, I declare that this is true."

To watch this talk on video go to ksl.com.

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company