Easter is the Christian holiday celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. After Christ died on the cross, His body was placed in a sepulchre, where it remained, separated from His spirit, until His Resurrection, when His spirit and His body were reunited. Latter-day Saints affirm and testify that Jesus Christ was resurrected and lives today with a glorified and perfected body of flesh and bone.
Following His Resurrection, Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene and then to other disciples. Some were not convinced of His Resurrection, believing that His appearances were those of an unembodied spirit. Jesus assured them, “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have” (Luke 24:39). He then ate fish and honey in their presence, further dispelling their doubt.
Easter is a celebration not only of the Resurrection of Christ but also of the universal Resurrection. Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all people will be resurrected. Their bodies and spirits will be reunited, never to be separated again. Latter-day Saints know the truth of Paul’s statement, “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. … For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:20, 22; see also Alma 11:42–45).
Latter-day Saints conduct Easter Sunday services but do not follow the religious observances of Ash Wednesday, Lent, or Holy Week. Latter-day Saint Easter services traditionally review New Testament and Book of Mormon accounts of Christ’s crucifixion, His Resurrection, and surrounding events. For these services, chapels are often decorated with white lilies and other symbols of life. Ward choirs frequently present Easter cantatas, and congregations sing Easter hymns. As at services on other Sundays, the emblems of the sacrament are passed to the congregation.
Some Latter-day Saint families include Easter bunnies and eggs in their family festivities for the delight of children. Such traditions are not officially discouraged, though they have no religious significance to Latter-day Saints. The focus of the holiday is religious. For Latter-day Saints, Easter is a celebration of the promise of eternal life through Christ. They share the conviction of Job: “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God” (Job 19:25–26).
Guide to the Scriptures, “Resurrection”
“Jesus Christ,” ComeUntoChrist.org
“Seven Days Till Easter,” Ensign or Liahona, April 2014
Laurie Walker, “My Brother and the Resurrection,” Friend, April 2009
“The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017
Robert J. Matthews, “Resurrection,” Ensign, April 1991
Ann Woodbury Moore, “Easter ABC Fill-in,” Friend, April 1996
“Atonement,” Lesson Helps for Teaching Children
“Easter,” Lesson Helps for Teaching Children