Do Mormons Celebrate Easter?

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Mormons Easter
A scene from the Mesa Arizona Temple Easter Pageant

For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes called "Mormons," because of the collection of scripture called the Book of Mormon, the atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ is the most important and central event in the history of the earth.

Church doctrine holds that Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem, was baptized by immersion by John the Baptist, ministered in the Holy Land to the Jews, established his Church, gave power and authority to his apostles to continue his work, suffered in Gethsemane, was crucified, and rose again the third day — the "firstfruits of the resurrection." His resurrection guaranteed that all of us, both the righteous and the wicked, will be resurrected, to live on eternally with perfect bodies, no longer subject to injury, sickness, or death. Thus, by his resurrection, Christ has overcome physical death, and the grave has no power over us except to separate us for a time from loved ones who have passed on before us.

Christ's atonement has also overcome what members of the Church call the "second death," defined as our separation from God. His atonement offers us salvation from our sins, and purification through his grace, that we might stand before the Father and on condition of our faith and repentance, and our willingness to follow him, to live with him forever. This is called "exaltation" or "eternal life."

How Members of the Church of Jesus Christ Celebrate Easter

Members of the Church celebrate Easter mostly according to the traditions of the cultures in which they live. In every area of the world, however, members of the Church hold a special Sacrament Meeting to honor the resurrection of Christ. Choirs prepare musical pieces and special hymns honoring the day and the event, and narratives are based on the biblical account. Members of the Church do not follow the traditions of Lent, Ash Wednesday, or Good Friday. Nor do they participate in passion rites, such as mock crucifixions. It should be noted that the annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is always held the first weekend of April, Easter season, and this also makes the season very special, as Latter-day Saints worldwide are able to listen to messages presented by prophets and apostles and other General Authorities and general officers of the Church, and to listen to beautiful seasonal music presented by the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square and other choirs made up of members of the Church of Jesus Christ. Other special events are sponsored near temples. Especially notable is the Easter pageant presented on the grounds of the Mesa Arizona Temple. This is the largest Easter pageant in the world.

First Presidency Easter Message

With Easter and the Sunday sessions of the Church’s April 2018 general conference coinciding, each of the three members of the First Presidency shared important Easter messages at the conference’s Sunday morning gathering.

President Russell M. Nelson

“Without our Redeemer’s infinite Atonement, not one of us would have hope of ever returning to our Heavenly Father. Without His resurrection, death would be the end. Our Savior’s Atonement made eternal life a possibility and immortality a reality for all.” See President Nelson’s full address here.

President Dallin H. Oaks

“Today we join other Christians in celebrating the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ is a pillar of our faith. Because we believe the accounts in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon about the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ, we also believe the numerous scriptural teachings that a similar resurrection will come to all mortals who have ever lived upon this earth. That resurrection gives us what the apostle Peter called “a lively hope” (1 Peter 1:3). That lively hope is our conviction that death is not the conclusion of our identity but merely a necessary step in our Heavenly Father’s merciful plan for the salvation of His children. That plan calls for a transition from mortality to immortality. Central to that transition is the sunset of death and the glorious morning made possible by the resurrection of our Lord and Savior that we celebrate on this Easter Sunday.” See President Oaks’s full address here.

President Henry B. Eyring

“I thank our Heavenly Father for the gift of His Beloved Son, who came voluntarily to earth to be our Redeemer. I am grateful to know that He atoned for our sins and rose in the Resurrection. Every day I am blessed to know that, because of His Atonement, I may someday be resurrected to live forever in a loving family.” See President Eyring’s full address here.

The Mesa Arizona Temple Easter Pageant

Mormons Easter

The Easter pageant staged at the Mesa Arizona Temple has been performed for more than seventy years. The pageant has been drawing about 15,000 people each evening to watch the performance. [1] Attendance at the yearly pageant is free of charge and tickets are not required. Cast members are not all members of the Church of Jesus Christ, and people of many faiths attend the pageants. The pageant depicts the story of Jesus Christ's birth, ministry, death and Resurrection through music, dance and drama. The pageant is performed in Spanish on some evenings. [2] As of 2018, the pageant will continue under area leadership in 2021 following the renovation of the Mesa Arizona Temple.

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