Sunday, March 6, 2016

2016-03-07 President's Message

Dear Sisters and Elders,

We are approaching the sacred Easter season. We will celebrate Easter on March 27th. This is the time that we remember and celebrate the Atonement of Christ and His resurrection from the dead. This is the time that our Savior, Jesus Christ, accomplished the most important act in the history of the world. Without Him, and without what He did for us, we would be forever lost. We would have no hope. We would die and never live again.

I invite you to take the time in your personal study to read these accounts in the New Testament of the last week in the life of Christ, his suffering, death and resurrection. I invite you to pray before you read that you will come to know Christ better and love Him more.

Matthew 26-28

Mark 14-16

Luke 22-24

John 12-21

Sister Ostler and I have also made arrangements with the composer of "The Lamb of God", a musical oratorio about the last week of Jesus' life, for each of you to receive a copy of this inspiring music. It will be distributed through your zone leaders and sister training leaders.

As you read these scriptures, listen to this music and ponder the life of our Savior, you will receive extra peace and assurance and strength in your testimony. As you draw closer to the Lord, He will draw closer to you.

On Easter Sunday, 2015, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland shared these thoughts:

"My beloved brothers and sisters, today is Easter Sunday. Although we should always remember (we promise in our weekly sacramental prayers that we will), nevertheless this is the most sacred day of the year for special remembrance of brotherly hands and determined arms that reached into the abyss of death to save us from our fallings and our failings, from our sorrows and our we celebrate the gift of victory over every fall we have ever experienced, every sorrow we have ever known, every discouragement we have ever had, every fear we have ever faced--to say nothing of our resurrection from death and forgiveness for our sins. That victory is available to us because of the events that transpired on a weekend precisely like this nearly two millenia ago in Jerusalem.

Beginning in the spiritual anguish of the Garden of Gethsemane, moving to the Crucifixion on a cross at Calvary, and concluding on a beautify Sunday morning inside a donated tomb, a sinless, pure and holy man, the very Son of God Himself, did what no other deceased person had ever done nor ever could do. Under His own power, He rose from death never to have His body separated from His spirit again. Of His own volition, He shed the burial linen with which He had been bound, carefully putting the burial napkin that had been placed over His face...

That first Easter sequence of Atonement and Resurrection constitutes the most consequential moment, the most generous gift, the most excruciating pain, and the most majestic manifestation of pure love ever to be demonstrated in the history of the world. " (General Conference, April 2015)

Elders and Sisters, the better you understand what happened during that Easter week 2,000 years ago, the better you will understand your purpose on earth and the extraordinary value of your missionary service. The people you teach need to know what you know. They need to feel what you feel. They need to make the covenants with God that you have made.

I add my witness to Elder Holland's, that our Savior suffered and died and was resurrected in the greatest act of love the world has ever known. I testify that He offers us forgiveness, healing, strength and exaltation.

Mahal ko po kayo,

President Creg Ostler