Jesus Christ Is Our Savior
April 2023

“Jesus Christ Is Our Savior,” Liahona, Apr. 2023.

The Miracles of Jesus

Jesus Christ Is Our Savior

I witness that through His Resurrection and the Restoration of His gospel, Jesus Christ opened to all the opportunity of passing through the veil into His Father’s presence.

the resurrected Christ and Mary

He Is Risen, by Greg K. Olsen, may not be copied

“Why weepest thou?” the resurrected Savior asked Mary Magdalene as she stood outside the empty tomb.

“Sir,” she replied, “if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.”

“Mary,” Jesus said.

“Rabboni,” she replied as she recognized the Master. (See John 20:15–16.)

From the Savior’s appearance to Mary to His appearances to His Apostles in the upper room (see Luke 24:36–43), 500 brethren at once (see 1 Corinthians 15:6), the multitude numbering 2,500 in the land Bountiful (see 3 Nephi 11:7–17), and Joseph Smith in our day,1 His Resurrection is one of the most carefully documented events in human history.

It is also the most important event in all of history.

During His earthly ministry, Jesus Christ raised from the dead a widow’s son (see Luke 7:11–15), the daughter of Jairus (see Mark 5:38–42), and His friend Lazarus (see John 11:39–44). Then, as His mortal ministry ended, and through power granted Him by God the Father, Jesus raised Himself.

“Destroy this temple,” he had said of His body, “and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19; emphasis added).

“Therefore doth my Father love me,” He had also declared, “because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

“No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father” (John 10:17–18; emphasis added).

The Savior’s Resurrection was the ultimate triumph, the ultimate miracle,2 wrought of foreordination, indescribable agony, and divine power from on high. Through that incomprehensible power—made operable through the love, omniscience, and omnipotence of His Father—Jesus Christ became “the firstfruits” (1 Corinthians 15:23) of the Resurrection.

What the Resurrection Means for Us

I am grateful I was home that Saturday in 2005. My first wife, Dantzel, and I had completed our household chores and decided to relax for a few minutes. We sat on the couch, held hands, and began watching a program on television.

Within a few moments, Dantzel suddenly and unexpectedly slipped peacefully into eternity. My efforts to revive her proved fruitless. Shock and sorrow overwhelmed me. My best friend of nearly 60 years was gone.

Ten years earlier, I had lost a daughter to cancer. Emily was only 37 years old. In 2019, I lost a second precious daughter to that dread disease. Wendy was only 67.

At those times of loss, how grateful I was for my testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. In His victory over the grave, we see the promise of our own resurrection.

the Savior’s hands

Come unto Me, by Eva Timothy

“All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18), the Savior declared following His Resurrection. That power includes the keys of the Resurrection. I know He will use those keys to raise Dantzel, Emily, and Wendy, just as He will use those keys to raise the rest of the human family.

For God’s children, resurrection means that aging, deterioration, and decay will be done away. “This mortal shall put on immortality” (Mosiah 16:10), and “the spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form” (Alma 11:43).

Resurrection also makes possible another reuniting—the reuniting of families. We live together in love, so we weep when a loved one dies (see Doctrine and Covenants 42:45). But like Mary Magdalene, we can have our tears of sorrow turn into tears of joy as we anticipate the future from the perspective of an eternal family.

Through the new and everlasting covenant of the gospel, we marry for time and eternity in the temple. As we honor the covenants we make there and contemplate the Lord’s promises to His covenant people, we lose our fear of death. Instead, we look forward in joyful anticipation to reentering God’s presence with our loved ones.

Celestial marriage is the covenant of exaltation. Those so married, the Lord promises, “shall come forth in the first resurrection … and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, … to their exaltation and glory in all things” (Doctrine and Covenants 132:19).

The purposes of the Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement converge in the temples. The world needs this comforting knowledge. That is why we gather Israel.

granddaughter with her grandpa

Prepare for Your Eternal Future

The departure of Dantzel and my daughters reminds me of an important truth: “This life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors” (Alma 34:32).

Throughout her life, Dantzel prepared to return to her heavenly home. She knew that her time on earth was precious. She lived each day as if it were her last.

Job asked, “If a man die, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14). Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the answer to Job’s question is an unequivocal yes! We will be resurrected. The question each of us must answer is this: “Will I be ready to live in the presence of God after my resurrection?”

Some of God’s children live as though they are not planning on dying. Others live as if they will face no accountability for their actions. Are we making decisions for eternity or for today only? We cannot set our priorities on the temporal things of this world and be prepared for the eternal things of the next world.

Some of us will live long lives; some of us will live short lives. Long or short, our days are numbered. Death is a necessary part of our eternal progression and the fulness of joy that awaits faithful Saints. When we understand our existence from an eternal perspective, we understand that death is a merciful part of the plan of salvation. It is the gateway back to God’s presence.

Death is premature only if we are unprepared to meet God. So, we must prepare.

We prepare by keeping our focus on the Savior and His gospel.

We prepare by exercising faith, applying “the atoning blood of Christ” (Mosiah 4:2) through repentance, being baptized, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.

We prepare by being endowed and sealed in the holy temple.

We prepare by placing reason over appetite, caring for our body so that we can “present it pure before God in the celestial kingdom.”3

We prepare by developing Christlike attributes and loving God and our neighbor (see Matthew 22:37–40).

We prepare by honoring our covenants, letting God prevail in our lives, gathering Israel on both sides of the veil, and enduring to the end of our days.

Jesus appearing to the five hundred

Jesus Appearing to the Five Hundred, by Grant Romney Clawson

An Apostolic Witness

At the death of the Savior, the earth quaked, the rocks rent, the graves opened, and the veil of the temple at Jerusalem “was rent in twain from the top to the bottom” (Matthew 27:51; see also Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45).

The veil separated the Holy of Holies, which symbolized God’s presence, from the rest of the temple. Only on the Day of Atonement could the presiding high priest pass through the veil and sprinkle the blood of a sin offering to atone for the sins of all Israel.

When Jesus Christ shed His blood, He performed the final, “infinite atonement” (2 Nephi 9:7) and fulfilled the law. The rending of the temple veil symbolized that the Great High Priest had passed through the veil of death, would soon enter the presence of His Father, and had opened to all the opportunity of likewise passing through the veil into God’s eternal presence.4

With my Brethren in the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, I witness the reality of that heavenly promise.

I witness that we can “have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of [our] faith in him according to the promise” (Moroni 7:41).

I witness that because of the miracle of the Savior’s Resurrection and Atonement, “every knee shall bend and every tongue shall speak in worship before Him. Each of us will stand to be judged of Him according to our works and the desires of our hearts.”5

May we prepare for that glorious day.