Sunday (S)elebrations: Easter!

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(Pictured above: “Easter garland, “Bunny Bait“, “Bunny Boxes“). I’m not usually very good about preparing for most holidays, but when it comes to Christmas and Easter, I try to do my best! This year the kids and I have been making all kinds of fun stuff, and it has been great fun!20120404-234202.jpg
(Pictured above: “Feather your nest with papier-mâché“, “Daffodil candy cups“, and “No glue favor boxes.”)

Easter traditions are so much fun. Easter egg hunts and candy and presents are always a good time. I hope that my children really grasp our holiday traditions and enjoy them as a means of family togetherness, joy, and creativity.
Still, as awesome as traditions are, what I really pray my kids grasp from our holiday traditions is the importance of the reason we are celebrating in the first place! Easter will always be, first and foremost, a celebration of the sacrifice that was made for us by the Savior, Jesus Christ. For me, the image of the empty tomb will always be the symbol of the Atonement. My testimony arose in the midst of trials when I needed His strength and comfort the most. I didn’t receive immediate ease from my care but I knew that I did not have to bear my burden alone.
The Atonement is the hope and faith in the Resurrection and the reality that everyone will return to God’s presence after death. But, more than that, the Atonement is my daily grace and my strength. When I arise in the morning I pray for the strength of the Savior to bear me up and get me through it in spite of myself and my weakness. Before I retire to my bed at night, I lay my burden at His feet and pray He forgives of my weakness. Because of His suffering I know He will comfort me for even those troubles that are not associated with sin. In faith, I believe He stands beside me in this life, and He will be there right beside me when I stand before the Father to evaluate my life in the end.
Some of my favorite scriptures on the Atonement are Alma 7:11-12 “And he shall go 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 death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.” (Book of Mormon, Alma, Chapter 7).  Helamen 14:15-17 “For behold, he surely must die that salvation may come; yea, it behooveth him and becometh expedient that he dieth, to bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, that thereby men may be brought into the presence of the Lord. Yea, behold, this death bringeth to pass the resurrection, and redeemeth all mankind from the first death—that spiritual death; for all mankind, by the fall of Adam being cut off from the presence of the Lord, are considered as dead, both as to things temporal and to things spiritual.  But behold, the resurrection of Christ redeemeth mankind, yea, even all mankind, and bringeth them back into the presence of the Lord.”  And SO many more!  Happy Easter everyone!
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