This weekend Mormons are participating in an Easter initiative. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the correct name of the Church) are sharing their testimonies of Jesus Christ in connection with a moving video about the events surrounding the atonement, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Many are also choosing to have these testimonies shared on Facebook as well. As of this writing, more than 2500 testimonies had been shared.
The initiative gives Mormons an opportunity to demonstrate that they are indeed Christians. Visitors reading the testimonies can discover for themselves just how Mormons view their Savior and His mission. It’s an opportunity for ordinary Mormons, as a group to say, “Yes, I am a Christian and here is what the word means to me.”
People who view the video and read the testimonies will have other opportunities to learn what Mormons believe about Jesus Christ, as well. The Church has created a series of Bible videos, with more in the works. They are filmed at a special studio in Utah that has been designed to look like the Holy Lands. The actors speak only the words of the King James translation of the Bible and every effort is made to make everything as authentic as possible. Visitors to the website can download an app that will allow them to view the videos at any time on their electronic devices. They can also order a free Bible if they live in the United States or Canada.
When I shared my own feelings on the website, I wrote about my mother’s death on Easter morning in 2008. I was across the country and the call came very early in the morning from my adult daughter, who still lived in the west near my mother. In the first hours, everything was very busy as we began making plans to fly west and as I tried to line up someone to take the class I was supposed to teach that morning. Eventually, I sent my family on to church so I could take some time alone to ponder, pray, and grieve. I went into my office, which was my favorite room in the house. It had pictures on the wall of Jesus Christ with children. They were framed covers from the church’s children’s magazine. Looking at them, I turned on my computer and went to LDS.org, the official Mormon website. I sat quietly reading the Easter messages on the site.
Because it was Easter morning, I found myself thinking more of the atonement than I had when my father died. I thought about what it meant for me personally. Because Jesus Christ atoned for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane and died for us on the cross, my parents were not just dead. They lived on in Heaven. I knew that when I died I could be with them forever.
It always makes me sad when children whose parents have died say, “I don’t have a mother.” Of course, they have a mother. Even if she is gone, she is still the child’s mother. Mormons believe God intended families to be forever, not just until death. When God created Adam, he promptly turned him into a family by giving him a wife. He placed in Adam’s heart a deep love for Eve and commanded them to put each other first. The power of this love tells us what God intended families to be. The love of parent and child is even greater and again, it is a testimony to us of what God wants our families to become.
We are told that in Heaven we will be happier than we could ever imagine being. How could that be possible without our families? Here on earth, we are never completely happy when we’re away from the people we love most. We will still be ourselves, whoever we have made ourselves into during our loves and what is in our hearts and minds will go with us into our next life. This includes our love for our families.
On that Easter morning, I was grateful the Savior had given up so much so I could have so much. I found my comfort in His promises of eternity for myself and for my family.
Watch a video of Mormons and their experiences with the atonement and read written testimonies of ordinary Mormons. This series of videos also includes the beautiful new Easter video:
Terrie Lynn Bittner
The late Terrie Lynn Bittner—beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend—was the author of two homeschooling books and numerous articles, including several that appeared in Latter-day Saint magazines. She became a member of the Church at the age of 17 and began sharing her faith online in 1992.