Growing up, I had a hard time forming friendships. However, I had one special friend who stuck with me through my high school years and beyond—Kyle. Kyle was intelligent and had lofty dreams for the future. He had finished studying medicine in college and gotten engaged, and all seemed bright for him. Then tragedy struck.
Kyle was a fan of motorcycles and loved to ride with a big group. The day before he was going on one of his motorcycling trips, we had spent the day hanging out. All seemed right with the world. Then, a couple of days later, his fiancée called me. An oncoming vehicle had swerved into his lane while he was riding, severely injuring him. Though the medics tried to save him, he died on the way to the hospital. This news hit me hard.
How could this happen? A young man with a bright future, one who was a rare close friend to me, was taken just like that. This horrible circumstance seemed too unfair for him and all who cared for him. I struggled to come to terms with it.
This tragedy happened to fall just after Easter that year. I had always been taught the importance of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, but never before had the reality of its meaning been so important to me until Kyle died. This meaning was further magnified because around the same time, I was asked to teach a lesson in Sunday School about the plan of salvation. Through my tears and pained heart, I knew that this was not really the end for Kyle. The knowledge the gospel brought to me was truly comforting. I knew I would see Kyle again.
This is why the meaning of Easter is so important. It’s more than just a time to remember that the Savior died for us and was resurrected—it’s a promise to all of us that we too will live again. The moment Jesus Christ was resurrected was one of the most significant events in God’s plan of salvation because it was the victory over death. Even centuries before it took place, it was a moment that was anticipated and celebrated by the faithful. Lehi, for example, testified to his son Jacob that Christ would lay down his life and take it up again “that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise” (2 Nephi 2:8).
The importance of the Resurrection goes beyond just the fact that we will all live again. Rising beyond death and gaining immortality is only the beginning. The scriptures consistently promise us that if we are faithful, we can obtain eternal life in addition to immortality. This promise was reiterated by President Joseph F. Smith (1838–1918). Referring to the righteous in the spirit world, he said that the Savior “gave them the power to come forth” and “enter into his Father’s kingdom, there to be crowned with immortality and eternal life” (Doctrine and Covenants 138:51). The promise of eternal life is that if we are faithful, we can dwell eternally with our Heavenly Father. No other promise was of greater comfort to me when I was grieving for Kyle.
Though I felt sorrow for Kyle’s death, knowing that Jesus died and lived again just so we could all live again after death brought strength to me during that trying time. As the meaning of Easter and the promises it offers filled my heart, I was able to deliver a lesson that next day on the miracle of the plan of salvation. Just as I testified then, I testify now that through Jesus Christ, we will all receive the gift of immortality. No matter how tragic death may be, Christ paved the way for new life to come forth. And if we always remember those promised blessings, we can always move forward with hope in any circumstances.