Sunday, April 19, 2015

From Darkness Into the Light

This past week the weather treated us to an amazing experience. On Tuesday morning the temperatures were 65 degrees, later that day the clouds rolled in and the temperature dropped. At first the rains came and then the snow began. It snowed all night and all the next day. By the time it was over we had almost 6 inches of snow on our deck. The weather the week before was warm and sunny and our fruit trees were in blossom. Then the snow came and the trees were covered in a blanket of snow. Many tender branches could not bear the weight of the snow and broke.

April Snow in Cache Valley, Utah
Some trees were stronger and they did not give into the cold and heavy snow. The night after the snow stopped, the clouds broke and the temperatures dropped. We were afraid that the blossoms would not survive and the trees would not bear fruit, but the blanket of snow on the trees kept the blossoms from freezing. The next day the sun came out and the blossoms on the trees were still there and as beautiful as ever.

Cherry Tree Blossoms

Two weeks ago was Easter Sunday, when we paused to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. We also remember what he went through in the Garden of Gethsemane, his arrest, trial, flogging and eventually the cross on Calvary as he went through the atonement for each of us.

Our winter storm this week, is similar to the last week that Jesus Christ spent in mortality. He entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and the people hailed him as the Messiah; these are like the warm sunny days that we experienced here in Cache Valley this week. Then the temperatures in Jerusalem changed as the Jewish Priests conspired against him, Judas betrayed him and Jesus was left alone to be judged and crucified by the men that the night before he had suffered for and bled for.

Early in the week here in Cache Valley, Utah the weather was warm, the grass was green and the trees were coming back to life after the death that winter brings. Things can change quickly here in the spring. In one day we can have warm spring weather and then have the cold snow of winter again. Our lives are similar; one day we can feel the warmth of the Spirit in our lives and then because of a wrong choice or something we did not have control over, the spirit is gone and we are left alone and are covered with a blanket of cold darkness.

If we apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives that cold darkness can be changed to the warmth of forgiveness of the Son of God and we can blossom again. Some people break under the weight of sin, others bend to the breaking point but manage to spring back as the atonement brings warmth and forgiveness to our souls.

I liken the Savior’s death and burial in the tomb for three days to the blanket of snow that covered our trees. The blossoms were there but unseen, shrouded in the cold snow. After the crucifixion, Jesus’s body was placed in the cold dark tomb where his body remained for three days. On Easter morning the sun rose and just as the snow melted from the trees, our Savior’s spirit reunited with his body and he was resurrected with a perfect glorified body. He first showed himself to Mary, then the Apostles and then to hundreds of others in Jerusalem. He also visited thousands of people living here in the Americas. They also became witnesses of his resurrection.

Because of his resurrection, we too will be resurrected after we die. We too will have the experience of the cold dark snow melting away and we will be reborn with the warmth of the resurrection. Two weeks prior to his death, Bruce R. McConkie bore his testimony of the reality of the atonement and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. He said:

“And now, as pertaining to this perfect atonement, wrought by the shedding of the blood of God—I testify that it took place in Gethsemane and at Golgotha, and as pertaining to Jesus Christ, I testify that he is the Son of the Living God and was crucified for the sins of the world. He is our Lord, our God, and our King. This I know of myself independent of any other person.

“I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears.

“But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God’s Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way.” (“The Purifying Power of the Atonement”, Bruce R. McConkie, General Conference, April 1985)

As surly as our trees were temporarily covered by the cold of a winter’s snow and the next day the sun came out and melted away the blanket of snow and revealed the blossoms on our fruit trees; so too will we have the blanket of mortality and the darkness of the grave melt away and we will be raised up with glorious immortal bodies and become perfect through the atonement of Jesus Christ. We will be brought out of the darkness into the light from the cold of winter into the warmth of the newborn spring.

Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Your comments and questions are welcome.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments will be reviewed prior to them being posted. I invite questions and comments, but will not post offensive or argumentative comments. Comments that are appropriate will be posted as soon as possible.