“Try Some New Easter Traditions,” New Era, April 2019
Christmas usually gets the most attention when it comes to holidays. Yet without the long-ago events we celebrate each Easter, Christmas wouldn’t exist.
President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) once taught, “There would be no Christmas if there had not been Easter. The babe Jesus of Bethlehem would be but another baby without the redeeming Christ of Gethsemane and Calvary, and the triumphant fact of the Resurrection.”1
Here are a few traditions you might consider adding to your yearly celebrations.
Setting aside the whimsical versions about reindeer and elves, Christmas carols are all about Jesus Christ. Easter is the perfect time for music about the Savior, and yes, even when sung at the front doors of your neighbors.
If you’re stuck for ideas, check out the “topics” section of the hymnbook under “Easter” and “Atonement” for songs. Any song celebrating Jesus Christ is a match for Easter caroling.
How often have you been grateful for the gift of repentance? Easter offers a chance to put more thought into how we extend that same spirit of forgiveness to others.
Jesus taught: “Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another. …
“I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men” (Doctrine and Covenants 64:9–10).
Ask yourself: Whom are you harboring bad feelings toward? Pray for strength to forgive this person, and let the Savior help those painful feelings disappear.
You can arrange an Easter performance. A simple example might be a scriptural reading for family home evening or a community singalong concert.
Did you know that the materials for the musical Savior of the World are available on ChurchofJesusChrist.org?2 You can download the script, the music, and even accompaniment tracks. The second act is ideal for Easter. You might even simply perform a single scene from the production.
Because of Jesus Christ, death has lost its sting (see 1 Corinthians 15:55). Spend time visiting the graves of loved ones to ponder this great news.
You might even read out loud some favorite scriptures that deal with the Resurrection as you visit these graves. A few (of the many) scriptures to consider for this are 1 Corinthians 15:20–22; Alma 11:42–44; and Doctrine and Covenants 88:14–16.
Easter honors the events of Gethsemane, what transpired on the cross, the Savior rising from the dead on the third day, and then His ministering for 40 days before ascending to heaven.
Additionally, not long after ascending to heaven, Jesus Christ appeared to the Nephites and ministered to them (see 3 Nephi 11–28). That’s a lot to celebrate!
Why not expand your Easter season? Let your soul delight longer in the miracles of Easter. Make a conscious effort to be more Christlike during the 40 days after Easter. For inspiration, consider the following invitation from President Russell M. Nelson: “Consecrate a portion of your time each week to studying everything Jesus said and did as recorded in the Old Testament, for He is the Jehovah of the Old Testament. Study His laws as recorded in the New Testament, for He is its Christ. Study His doctrine as recorded in the Book of Mormon, for there is no book of scripture in which His mission and His ministry are more clearly revealed. And study His words as recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants, for He continues to teach His people in this dispensation.”3
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has taught, “To find the most important day in history, we must go back to that evening almost 2,000 years ago in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus Christ knelt in intense prayer and offered Himself as a ransom for our sins.”4
The most important events in history are worth taking time to ponder each year. Traditions help us do that, whether the ones from this list or any of your own choosing.
What will you add this year?