Our Easter Service centered around the following stories with special music, congregational hymns, and communion.
Story # 1
Signs of Christ’s Crucifixion in the New World III Nephi chapter 4
In the 34th year, in the first month, in the 4th day of the month, there arose a great storm, such as never had been known in all the land. There was terrible thunder inso much that is shook the whole earth; and there were sharp lightnings such as never had been known. The city of Zarahemla took fire and the city of Maroni sank into the depths of the sea. Mountains rose and highways were broken. Some people were carried away in a whirlwind. And this lasted about 3 hours. Some say it lasted longer but all the destruction was done in about 3 hours.
Then a thick darkness fell upon the land. There could be no light because of the darkness. No candles could be lit, no torches and no fire could be kindled. There was not a glimmer of light neither the sun, nor the moon nor the stars could be seen. And this lasted for the space of 3 days. And the people cried.
While it was still dark the people heard a voice that said, “Woe, woe, woe to the people of the earth. You must repent and I will heal you. I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I am the light and life of the world. Whosoever will come to me with a broken heart and contrite spirit, him will I baptize with the Holy Ghost. Therefore repent and come to me as a little child. I have laid down my life for you and have taken it up again.”
Story # 2
Mary Magdalene Learns Jesus Has Risen. John chapter 20
On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the sepulcher and saw the stone had been rolled away and 2 angels were sitting in the tomb. She ran to get Peter and the other disciples. Peter got there first and bent down and looked in the tomb and saw the linen clothes lying there, but not Jesus. The disciples all looked in and didn’t know what to do so they all went home to their houses, but Mary stood there weeping.
The angels said to her, “Woman, why weepest thou?”
She said, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.” Then Mary turned around and saw Jesus standing behind her, but she didn’t recognize him.
Jesus said, “Woman why weepest thou?”
Mary thought he was the gardener and said, “Sir, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have laid him.”
Then Jesus spoke her name, “Mary.” And suddenly she recognized him. She reached out to hug him, but he stopped her. “Hold me not, for I have not yet ascended to my Father, but go and tell the disciples that I have risen.”
Story # 3
The Road to Emmaus Luke Chapter 24
Two of them, that had seen the empty tomb, went that same day to a village called Emmaus which was from Jerusalem threescore furlongs (which is about 6.89 miles). As they walked they talked about all the things which had happened.
Jesus himself drew near and went with them and said unto them, “What manner of talk is this and why are you sad?”
One of them, Cleopas, (Jesus’ uncle) said to him, “Are you a stranger in Jerusalem that you do not know these things which have come to pass?”
Both men continued to tell Jesus about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word and how the chief priests and rulers had condemned him to death and crucified him. “We trusted that it had been he who should have redeemed Israel.” They said. “And besides this, this is the third day since these things were done. Certain women made us astonished for when they went to the sepulcher they found not a body and they said they had seen a vision of angels who said that Jesus was alive.”
Jesus said to them, “You slow of heart to believe, the prophets beginning at Moses have expounded all these things in the scriptures.”
Soon they drew near to Emmaus and they said to the man with them, who was actually Jesus, “Abide with us for it is getting toward evening.”
So Jesus went with them and as they sat at the evening meal, Jesus took bread and blessed it and brake and gave it to them. Suddenly their eyes were opened and they knew it was Jesus. And just as suddenly Jesus was taken up out of their sight.
And they got up that same hour and returned to Jerusalem to tell the eleven that Jesus had risen indeed.
Story # 4
Jesus Appears to the Disciples John chapter 20-29 Matthew 28
The same day at evening, being the first day of the week; when the doors were all shut, for the disciples were assembled in fear, Jesus came and stood in the midst and said, “Peace be unto you.” He showed them his hands and his side. They were glad when they recognized the Lord. He said again, “Peace be unto you; as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whosoever’s sins you forgive, they will be forgiven.”
Now Thomas was not with them and when they told Thomas he said, “Unless I shall see the print of the nails in his hands and thrust my hand into his side I will not believe.”
Eight days later, the disciples were again assembled behind locked doors. This time Thomas was with them when Jesus came and stood in the midst of them and said, “Peace be unto you.”
Thomas reached out and looked at Jesus’ hands and touched Jesus’ side and this time he believed. Thomas said, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus told Thomas, “Because you have seen me, you believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed.”
A third time Jesus showed himself to his disciples when they had dined. Jesus turned to Simom Peter and said, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?”
Simon Peter replied, “Yes, Lord you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
A second time Jesus asked, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?”
A second time Simon Peter replied, “Yes, Lord you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”
A third time Jesus asked, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?”
Simon Peter replied, “You know all things. You know I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”
The eleven disciples had gone to Galilee to a mountain where Jesus had told them to go and when they saw him they worshiped him.
And Jesus said to them, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observed all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, unto the end of the world.”
Story # 5
The Risen Jesus Appears in the New World John chapter 10 III Nephi Ch. 5
Before Jesus’ crucifixion he was teaching his disciples when he said, “A good shepherd knows his sheep and careth for his sheep; and I lay down my life for my sheep. Other sheep I have, which area not of this fold. Them also shall hear my voice.”
Now it came to pass in the land Bountiful, that there was a great multitude gathered and they were conversing when they heard a voice as if it came out of heaven. It was not harsh or loud, and though they did not understand it, it caused their hearts to burn. A second time they heard the voice, but still did not understand it. A third time they understood and it said to them, “Behold my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye him.”
Then they looked up and saw a man descending out of heaven. He was clothed in a white robe and he came down and stood in the midst of them. And they were all silent for they thought it was an angel. He stretched forth his hand and spoke to the people saying, “Behold, I am Jesus Christ, of whom the prophets testified. I am the light and the life of the world, and I have drunk out of the bitter cup which the Father hath given me and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world.”
And they came forth and saw his side and the nail prints in his hands and feet and cried out in one accord saying, “Hosanna.”
Story # 6
Jesus Blesses Children in America III Nephi chapter 8
Jesus taught the people many things and prayed for them. One time as He finished praying He rose from the earth and said, “Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now, because of your faith, my joy is full.” And Jesus wept because he was so happy.
Then He took their children and one by one He blessed them and prayed to the Father for them. And when He had done this He wept again. This time it was because he loved the children so much.
Then He spoke to the multitude and said, “Behold your little ones.” And the heavens opened and angels descended and encircled those little ones and ministered to them.
Story # 7
Jesus Serves Communion in the New World III Nephi chapter 8
There were about 2,500 souls there and Jesus commanded his disciples to bring bread and wine. Jesus took the bread, broke it and blessed it and gave it to the disciples to eat. He commanded them to give it to the multitude. Jesus said, “This shall you do in remembrance of my body which I have shownG to you. And it shall be a testimony unto the Father that you do always remember me. And you shall have my Spirit to be with you.
Then He took the wine, blessed it and gave it to the disciples. He commanded them to give it to the multitude. Jesus said, “This doth witness to the Father that you are willing to do that which I have commanded you. And this shall you do unto those who repent and are baptized in my name; and you shall do it in remembrance of my blood which I have shed for you, that you may witness to the Father that you do always remember me. And if you do always remember me you shall have my Spirit to be with you.
And Jesus continued to teach and bless the people until there came a cloud that overshadowed the multitude so that they could not see Jesus. And while they were overshadowed, Jesus departed from them and ascended into heaven.