Why do we celebrate Easter?
President Ezra Taft Benson
"The Meaning of Easter"
"I cannot recall a time that I did not believe in Jesus Christ. It seems that the reality of His life, death, and resurrection has always been a part of me. I was reared in a home by faithful parents who earnestly believed in and testified of Christ, for which I am most grateful.
The greatest events of history are those that affect the greatest number of people for the longest periods. By this standard, no event could be more important to individuals or nations than the resurrection of the Master.
The literal resurrection of every soul who has lived and died on earth is a certainty, and surely one should make careful preparation for this event. A glorious resurrection should be the goal of every man and woman, for resurrection will be a reality.
Nothing is more absolutely universal than the resurrection. Every living being will be resurrected. “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:22.)
The scriptural record tells us that on the third day following Jesus’ crucifixion, there was a great earthquake. The stone was rolled back from the door of the tomb. Some of the women, among the most devoted of His followers, came to the place with spices “and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.”
Angels appeared and said simply, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen.” (Luke 24:3–6.) Nothing in history equals that dramatic announcement: “He is not here, but is risen.”
The fact of our Lord’s resurrection is based on the testimonies of many credible witnesses. The risen Lord appeared to several women, to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, to Peter, to the Apostles; and “after that,” as Paul reported, “he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once. … And last of all he was seen of [Paul] also.” (1 Cor. 15:6, 8.)
Throughout the forty days subsequent to His resurrection, the Lord manifested Himself at intervals and gave instructions pertaining to the kingdom of God. Much that He said and did is not written, but such things as are of record, John assures us, “are written, that [we] might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing [we] might have life through his name.” (John 20:31; italics added.)
The Savior told His followers that He must soon ascend to His Father in heaven. As the time of His ascension drew near, the Lord, in that last solemn interview, gave His parting instructions to His disciples.
When Christ and the disciples had gone “as far as to Bethany,” where Mary, Martha, and Lazarus lived, He “lifted up his hands, and blessed them.” (Luke 24:50.) When He had spoken, He was taken up until a cloud received Him out of their sight. As the Apostles stood gazing toward heaven, two personages clothed in white apparel appeared. They spoke to those assembled, saying, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:9–11.)
Worshipfully and with great joy, the Apostles returned to Jerusalem. The Lord’s ascension was accomplished. Now the disciples began to comprehend more fully some of His last words: “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33.) Because of Christ, the grave had no permanent victory. Death was overcome!
Following His ascension, He appeared to the inhabitants of America as chronicled in the Book of Mormon. Then in modern times the Prophet Joseph Smith testified of the appearance of the Redeemer of the world in these words:
“And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him.” (D&C 76:22–23.)
As one of His latter-day witnesses, I testify that He lives today. He is a resurrected Being. He is our Savior, our Lord, the very Son of God. I testify that He will come again as our glorified, resurrected Lord. That day is not far distant. To all who accept Him as Savior and Lord, His literal resurrection means that life does not end at death, for He promised: “Because I live, ye shall live also.” (John 14:19.)"
President Benson here in his testimony declared that He is a resurrected Being. The Atonement of Jesus Christ or His suffering and death on the cross is the most important act of love that has ever happened on this earth.
In the Book of Mormon in 3 Nephi chapter 11-28 it talks about the resurrected Lord coming and ministering to the people here in the Ancient Americas. In Chapter 11 Jesus Christ descends from Heaven to teach our Heavenly Fathers children. He came here because he loves all. In that day they could not just get on the phone and call around the world. They could not just get on a plane and fly wherever they would like and tell everyone. It would takes months to get news from one side of the world to the other. In the Book of Mormon they prophesied of the Lord Jesus Christ. They had Faith that He would come. And He did so come and teach them. He set forth His Gospel so there was no disputations among men. He set forth His baptism so there was only one way. He set His was in all things. How blessed we are to have the Bible and The Book of Mormon to teach us about our Savior. We are so fortunate because the people in the Ancient Americas could not go on the internet and look up any talk that they wanted. Joseph Smith the Prophet of the Restoration could not do this. They acted in Faith and followed the scriptural teachings. This is why we are so blessed and need to use all of these resources and study upon our Savior. Study His life, His death, His resurrection, His example. Study it all. Your relationship with Him will be strengthened and you will feel a difference in your life. I know that to be true. I make that promise and I tell all to experiment upon it and see if it does not draw you closer to Him. If you prayerfully and sincerely do it your joy and excitement will be beyond measure because of your relationship with our Master Jesus Christ.
I know that we will be able to stand with Him one day and feel the prints in His hands and His feet. How Glorious this will be. Jesus truly is the Christ. He has broke the bands of death for all that all may become as He is. Having a perfect, glorified and immortal body. He has a body of flesh and bones just as His Father has also. This will be so incredible. All will be Risen!