It’s Easter morning and here in Utah a light dusting of snow fell overnight. Nevertheless, as happens with each spring snow, the tulips in my garden are still peeking out cheerfully, opening and turning to the sun as it rises. To me, there could be no better symbol of the message of Easter. As spring’s new life breaks forth giving color and warmth after a long, cold winter, so too does the promise of Life everlasting bring light and warmth to the cold, winters of this life.
Over 2000 years ago, a garden tomb was found empty. Jesus Christ had risen from the dead, and in so doing had opened the door to Eternal Life for all of us. It is that knowledge that has carried our family through some of the darkest winter moments.
This past year and a half hasn’t been easy, and we know the road ahead will be harder, still. Many times, I have shed tears as I’ve watched Patrick suffer pain and illness beyond my ability to comprehend. And yet, I know that there is One who can comfort him when I cannot. I know that Christ went forth “suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. . . . And he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, . . . that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people” (Alma 7:11-12)
Patrick’s body is imperfect now. Yet, because of the resurrection of Christ, “The soul shall be restored to the body and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame.” (Alma 40:23)
And, in the moments when we are reminded that this life is fleeting and that Patrick’s life may be a short one, I find comfort in the knowledge that. “… little children also have eternal life.” (Mosiah 15:25)
Modern prophets have proclaimed: “The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World) On a winter day in 2009, our family knelt at an altar and were sealed together for time and eternity. The atonement made possible not only eternal life, but eternal love and eternal families.
We may not know what the future holds, “But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.” (Mosiah 16:8) There is hope in whatever lies ahead.
This morning, I know of a little boy who is receiving a long-awaited heart transplant. Like tulips reaching for the sun on a snowy Easter morning, this boy’s family is seeing a miraculous glimmer of hope at the end of a long winter.
We hope Patrick’s turn will come soon, too. But whatever the outcome, this Easter I am grateful for the hope that brings springtime to my snowy days.. and for the knowledge of the atonement and resurrection of my Savior.