My dear brothers and sisters, what a privilege it is to stand before you today. United with those who have already addressed this conference, I testify to you that Jesus Christ lives. He directs His Church; He speaks to His prophet, President Russell M. Nelson, and He loves all Heavenly Father’s children.
On this Easter Sunday we commemorate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer,1 the Mighty God, the Prince of Peace.2 His Atonement, culminating with His Resurrection after three days in a borrowed tomb, stands as the greatest miracle in human history. “For behold,” He pronounced, “I am God; and I am a God of miracles.”3
“Have miracles ceased because Christ hath ascended into heaven, and hath sat down on the right hand of God?”4 the prophet Mormon asks in the Book of Mormon. He answers, “Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men.”5
Following the Crucifixion, an angel of the Lord appeared to Mary and a few other women who had gone to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus. The angel said:
“Why seek ye the living among the dead?”6
“He is not here: for he is risen.”7
The Book of Mormon prophet Abinadi proclaimed of that miracle:
“If Christ had not risen from the dead, … there could have been no resurrection.
“But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.”8
The miraculous acts of Jesus Christ caused the early disciples to exclaim: “What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.”9
As the early Apostles followed Jesus Christ and heard Him teach the gospel, they witnessed many miracles. They saw that “the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.”10
Miracles, signs, and wonders abound among followers of Jesus Christ today, in your lives and in mine. Miracles are divine acts, manifestations and expressions of God’s limitless power, and an affirmation that He is “the same yesterday, today, and forever.”11 Jesus Christ, who created the seas, can calm them; He who gave sight to the blind can lift our sights to heaven; He who cleansed the lepers can mend our infirmities; He who healed the impotent man can call for us to rise up with “Come, follow me.”12
Many of you have witnessed miracles, more than you realize. They may seem small in comparison to Jesus raising the dead. But the magnitude does not distinguish a miracle, only that it came from God. Some suggest that miracles are simply coincidences or sheer luck. But the prophet Nephi condemned those who would “put down the power and miracles of God, and preach up unto themselves their own wisdom and their own learning, that they may get gain.”13
Miracles are wrought by divine power by Him who is “mighty to save.”14 Miracles are extensions of God’s eternal plan; miracles are a lifeline from heaven to earth.
Last fall Sister Rasband and I were on our way to Goshen, Utah, for a worldwide Face to Face event being broadcast to over 600,000 people in 16 different languages.15 The program was to focus on the events of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, with questions submitted by young adults from around the world. Sister Rasband and I had personally reviewed the questions; they gave us the opportunity to testify of Joseph Smith as a prophet of God, the power of revelation in our lives, the ongoing Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the truths and commandments that we treasure. Many listening today were part of that miraculous event.
Initially the broadcast was to originate in the Sacred Grove in upstate New York, where, as Joseph Smith testified: “I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!”16 That, brothers and sisters, was a miracle.
The worldwide pandemic forced us to relocate the broadcast to Goshen, Utah, where The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has re-created, for filming, a section of old Jerusalem. Sister Rasband and I were within a few miles of Goshen that Sunday evening when we saw thick smoke coming from the direction of our destination. Wildfires were blazing in the area, and we worried the broadcast might be at risk. Sure enough, at 20 minutes to 6:00, our broadcast time, the power in the entire complex went out. No power! No broadcast. There was one generator that some thought we might be able to power up, but there was no assurance it could sustain the sophisticated equipment at hand.
All of us on the program, including narrators, musicians, and technicians—even 20 young adults from our own extended family—were fully invested in what was to take place. I stepped away from their tears and confusion and pleaded with the Lord for a miracle. “Heavenly Father,” I prayed, “I have rarely asked for a miracle, but I am asking for one now. This meeting must happen for all our young adults around the world. We need the power to go on if it be Thy will.”
Seven minutes after 6:00, as quickly as the power had gone out, it came back on. Everything started working, from the music and microphones to the videos and all the transmission equipment. We were off and running. We had experienced a miracle.
As Sister Rasband and I were in the car returning home later that evening, President and Sister Nelson texted us with this message: “Ron, we want you to know that as soon as we heard the power was out, we prayed for a miracle.”
In latter-day scripture it is written, “For I, the Lord, have put forth my hand to exert the powers of heaven; ye cannot see it now, yet a little while and ye shall see it, and know that I am, and that I will come and reign with my people.”17
That is exactly what happened. The Lord had put forth His hand, and the power came on.
Miracles are worked through the power of faith, as President Nelson so powerfully taught us in the last session. The prophet Moroni exhorted the people, “If there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith.”
“Behold, it was the faith of Alma and Amulek that caused the prison to tumble to the earth.
“Behold, it was the faith of Nephi and Lehi that wrought the change upon the Lamanites, that they were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost.
“Behold, it was the faith of Ammon and his brethren which wrought so great a miracle among the Lamanites. …
“And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles until after their faith; wherefore they first believed in the Son of God.”18
I could add to that sequence of scriptures, “It was the faith of earnest young adult performers, broadcast professionals, Church leaders and members, an apostle, and a prophet of God that sought so great a miracle that the power was restored to a remote movie set in Goshen, Utah.”
Miracles can come as answers to prayer. They are not always what we ask for or what we expect, but when we trust in the Lord, He will be there, and He will be right. He will suit the miracle to the moment we need it.
The Lord performs miracles to remind us of His power, His love for us, His reach from the heavens to our mortal experience, and His desire to teach of that which is of most worth. “He that hath faith in me to be healed,” He said to the Saints in 1831, and the promise continues today, “and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed.”19 There are laws decreed in the heavens, and we are always subject to them.
There are times we hope for a miracle to heal a loved one, to reverse an unjust act, or to soften the heart of a bitter or disillusioned soul. Looking at things through mortal eyes, we want the Lord to intervene, to fix what is broken. Through faith, the miracle will come, though not necessarily on our timetable or with the resolution we desired. Does that mean we are less than faithful or do not merit His intervention? No. We are beloved of the Lord. He gave His life for us, and His Atonement continues to release us from burdens and sin as we repent and draw close to Him.
The Lord has reminded us, “Neither are your ways my ways.”20 He offers, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”21—rest from worry, disappointment, fear, disobedience, concern for loved ones, for lost or broken dreams. Peace amidst confusion or sorrow is a miracle. Remember the Lord’s words: “Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?”22 The miracle is that Jesus Christ, the Great Jehovah, the Son of the Highest, is responding with peace.
Just as He appeared to Mary in the garden, calling her by name, He calls to us to exercise our faith. Mary was looking to serve Him and care for Him. His Resurrection was not what she expected, but it was according to the great plan of happiness.
“Come down from the cross,”23 the crowd of nonbelievers jeered at Him on Calvary. He could have performed such a miracle. But He knew the end from the beginning, and He intended to be faithful to His Father’s plan. That example should not be lost on us.
To us in times of trial He has said, “Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven.”24 That, brothers and sisters, is the miracle promised to us all.
On this Easter Sunday, as we celebrate the miracle of our Lord’s Resurrection, as an Apostle of Jesus Christ I humbly pray that you will feel the power of the Redeemer in your life, that your appeals to our Heavenly Father will be answered with the love and commitment Jesus Christ demonstrated throughout His ministry. I pray that you may stand steadfast and faithful in all that is to come. And I bless you that miracles will attend you as we experienced in Goshen—if it be the Lord’s will. Look for these heaven-sent blessings in your life as you “seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever.”25 In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.