What Easter Means to Me

What Easter Means to Me

I grew up in a Christian family, as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; therefore Easter was always celebrated. There was a good mixture in our home of balancing the fun traditions of coloring eggs and getting surprises from the Easter Bunny, and always being mindful of the true meaning of Easter. I always had a new dress to wear to church on Easter Sunday, and we would gather as a family for a special meal. Just like Christmas, I grew up knowing it was all about Jesus. Still, as children we can’t help but get caught up in the fun of holiday traditions. Even as adults we still enjoy those things.

Merging into adulthood, I always knew the meaning of Easter, and I knew in my heart that it was true. Over time my belief that Jesus had actually died and then rose from the tomb on the third day gradually evolved into a knowledge that it was true. I can’t comprehend how He did it. I just know that He did. And I don’t have to understand it to know it’s true, just like I don’t have to know how a cell phone works in order to make a call. Truth is truth, even if we don’t fully understand it; that’s something I’ve learned with conviction over the years. And when we allow truth to come into our hearts, it’s a remarkably peaceful feeling. Traveling from belief to truth over the principle of the Resurrection was a slow journey for me, but it was a journey that brought me to a sure knowledge. And once that knowledge was firmly settled into my spirit, I never felt the need to question it.

Mary Magdalene at the tomb of Jesus  MormonAs a mother and grandmother, I’ve carried on the same balance of traditions. We do the fun things together as a family, but for me the most important part of Easter Sunday is my own mindfulness of considering what my Savior did for me and for those I love. I can express my devotion to my Savior by attending my church meetings on Sunday rather than choosing to be somewhere else. And my truest devotion is to strive to live a Christian life every day of the year. (more…)

Through Mormon Eyes: Coping With Suicide

Through Mormon Eyes: Coping With Suicide

It’s now been more than seven years since I lost my brother to suicide. Some memories have become much easier with the passing of time, partly because I have trained my mind to simply not think about certain things that can’t be changed, and therefore they have no purpose. Some memories will always be completely fresh when they come into my mind even against my strongest efforts to hold them back. But whatever my mind might hold onto, the peace I have come to feel over losing my brother so tragically has deepened with my ever-growing and certain knowledge that all is well with him, and therefore I can think of him and feel nothing but peace.

praying for answersI find it strange to note how I have very clear memories of things that happened for hours preceding my being made aware of his death—as if the trauma of getting the news created a reverse effect in holding onto the time that led up to it. It had been a day busy with mostly trivial things, and in the evening I sat down with my laptop to work on my current novel. My young daughter came in at one minute after seven to tell me that someone was at the door for me. I know the time because I saved the file at that very moment. Of course I was surprised to come down the stairs to face two police officers. I quickly tallied the whereabouts of my children and knew they were alright, so I couldn’t imagine what they might want. When they mentioned my brother’s name, I first wondered if he’d gotten into some trouble. When they told me his body had been found, that he’d apparently taken his own life, I wasn’t surprised at all. But shock made me weak and unable to fully take in what this meant. (more…)

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