He yet lives

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the most thoroughly documented miracles in all of scripture. It is the cornerstone of Christianity and the focal point of all our hopes.

That mortal life must end is a part of our earthly understanding. Small wonder, then, that the message of the early Christians was so astonishing to the world. So they told the story in detail. Otherwise, who would believe them? Imagine the skepticism they met: A man, outwardly like any other, was crucified and died in full sight of throngs of people, was in his grave three days, and yet is alive.With those images burned in their memories they recorded the remarkable events they witnessed. The good news was that:

He appeared to Mary Magdalene, who was distraught over the disappearance of His body from the tomb. "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." (John 20:17.)

He appeared to other women who had been with Mary, including Joanna, and Mary the mother of James. (Luke 24:10.)

He appeared as a stranger to two disciples, one named Cleopas, as they traveled to Emmaus, talking about the empty tomb and the news from the women. The stranger instructed them, and as they sat down to eat together, "their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight." (Luke 24:31.)

He appeared separately to Peter (Luke 24:31) and then to 10 of the apostles at Jerusalem as they marveled at the message which the two disciples had hastened back from Emmaus to relate. "Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified, and afrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." (Luke 24:36-39.)

He appeared eight days later to the 11 apostles at Jerusalem as they ate, assuring Thomas, who had not been present earlier, that it was indeed He. "Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing." (John 20:27.)

He visited all the apostles at the Sea of Tiberias as they were fishing, and walked separately with Peter. (John 21.)

He came to the apostles on a mountain in Galilee, where they worshipped him "but some doubted. "(Matt. 28:18.)

He was seen by 500 brethren at once. (I Cor. 15:6.)

He was seen by the 11 apostles at the time of His ascension into heaven at the Mount of Olives near Bethany (Luke 24:50,51.)

All of this within a span of 40 days. But that was not all, as other scriptures testify:

He visited a "great multitude" of people gathered near the land Bountiful on the American continent, descending from heaven and teaching them. (3 Ne. 11-28.)

Centuries later, around 326 A.D., a young Nephite named Mormon, then only 15, saw Him and wrote, "I was visited of the Lord, and tasted and knew of the goodness of Jesus." (Morm. 1:15.)

Later, Mormon's son, Moroni, wrote "that I have seen Jesus, and that he hath talked with me face to face, and that he told me in plain humility, even as a man telleth another in mine own language, concerning these things. . . ." (Ether 12:39.)

Many centuries passed before His next recorded appearance to the young Joseph Smith in the woods near Palmyra, N.Y. "I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name, and said, pointing to the other - This is my Beloved Son. Hear Him!" (Joseph Smith History 1:17.)

He came to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon in Hiram, Ohio, in 1832, who said: "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.)

And He appeared four years later to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, April 3, 1836, in the Kirtland Temple, where they said, "We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us; and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber. . . ." (D&C 110:2.)

Scriptural testimonies witness that He yet lives. For all of us, the ancient words of Job are still our promise: "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God." (Job 19:25-26.)

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