“March 29–April 4. Easter: ‘I Am He Who Liveth, I Am He Who Was Slain,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 (2020)
“March 29–April 4. Easter,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2021
Record Your Impressions
April 3, 1836, was Easter Sunday. After helping administer the sacrament to Saints gathered in the newly dedicated Kirtland Temple, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery found a quiet place behind a veil in the temple and bowed in silent prayer. Then, on this sacred day when Christians everywhere were commemorating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the risen Savior Himself appeared in His temple, declaring, “I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain” (Doctrine and Covenants 110:4).
What does it mean to say that Jesus Christ is “he who liveth”? It doesn’t just mean that He rose from the tomb on the third day and appeared to His Galilean disciples. It means that He lives today. He speaks through prophets today. He leads His Church today. He heals wounded souls and broken hearts today. So we can echo the words of Joseph Smith’s powerful testimony: “After the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony … which we give of him: That he lives!” (Doctrine and Covenants 76:22). We can hear His voice in these revelations. We can witness His hand in our lives. And we can each feel “the joy this sentence gives: ‘I know that my Redeemer lives!’” (Hymns, no. 136).
The Prophet Joseph Smith saw the risen Savior several times, and two of these experiences are recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants. As you read sections 76:11–14, 20–24; 110:1–10, what impresses you about Joseph Smith’s testimony? Why is his testimony valuable to you?
Throughout the Doctrine and Covenants, the Savior bore witness of His own mission and divinity. What do you learn about the living Christ from His words in Doctrine and Covenants 29:5; 38:7; 62:1? You might consider recording declarations like these that you find as you study the Doctrine and Covenants.
See also Joseph Smith—History 1:17.
Joseph Smith knew how it feels to mourn the death of loved ones. Two of his brothers, Alvin and Don Carlos, died as young men. Joseph and Emma buried six children, each younger than two years old. But from the revelations he received, Joseph gained an eternal perspective on death and God’s eternal plan. Consider the truths revealed in Doctrine and Covenants 29:26–27; 42:45–46; 63:49; 88:14–17, 27–31; 93:33–34. How do these revelations affect the way you view death? How can they affect the way you live?
One way to focus on the Savior at Easter time is to study revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants that teach about His atoning sacrifice. Some of these can be found in Doctrine and Covenants 18:10–13; 19:16–19; 45:3–5; 76:69–70. Perhaps you could make a list of truths about the Savior’s Atonement that you find in these verses. To deepen your study, you could add to your list by searching scripture references listed in “Atone, Atonement” (Guide to the Scriptures, scriptures.ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
Here are some questions that could guide your study:
Why did Jesus Christ choose to suffer?
What must I do to receive the blessings of His sacrifice?
How can I tell if His Atonement is having an effect in my life?
Because general conference coincides with Easter Sunday this year, you might consider how the conference messages (including the music) can deepen your family’s testimony of Jesus Christ. For example, young children could draw a picture of the Savior, or hold up a picture of Him, when they hear a message or song about Jesus Christ. Other family members could make a list of truths they hear about the Savior. Afterward, family members could share their drawings or lists and their own testimonies of Jesus Christ.
Doctrine and Covenants 88:14–17; 138:17, 50.
Your family might enjoy thinking of an analogy or object lesson to explain what it means to die and be resurrected—one that illustrates the body and spirit being separated and then reunited, such as a hand and a glove. How do these verses deepen our appreciation for what the Savior did for us?
“The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles.”
To encourage discussion about modern prophets’ testimonies of the Savior, you could assign each family member to read a portion of “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles” (Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, inside front cover) and share what they learned about Jesus Christ. You could also show the video “Apostle Testimony Montage” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org). What truths do we find that inspire us?
“I Know That My Redeemer Lives.”
To help your family consider the many ways the risen Savior blesses us today, you could sing together “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” (Hymns, no. 136) and connect truths taught in this song with those taught in the following scriptures: Doctrine and Covenants 6:34; 45:3–5; 84:77; 98:18; 138:23. Your family might also enjoy writing additional verses for the hymn that express how they know that their Redeemer lives.
For an Easter video and other resources, see Easter.ComeUntoChrist.org.
The Easter #StartingToday study plan provides a daily devotional, including activities for children, to help you follow in Jesus Christ’s footsteps this Easter season.
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “Jesus Has Risen,” Children’s Songbook, 70.