Elder Gerrit W. Gong: ‘Hosanna and Hallelujah — The Living Christ: The Heart of Restoration and Easter’

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Notable quotes:

“In hosanna and hallelujah we recognize the living Jesus Christ as the heart of Easter and latter-day Restoration.”
“In celebrating the ongoing Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we also prepare for Easter. In both, we rejoice in the return of Jesus Christ.”
“Today we celebrate Restoration and resurrection. With you, I rejoice in the ongoing Restoration of the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Summary points: 

  • The sacred events between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday are the story of hosanna — a plea for God to save — and hallelujah — praise to the Lord for the hope of salvation and exaltation.
  • Following the Savior’s Easter Sunday appearance when the Kirtland Temple was dedicated, Moses, Elias and Elijah came to restore priesthood keys and authority.
  • The Book of Mormon describes the power and Resurrection of Christ in terms of physical restoration and spiritual restoration.

Talk summary:

Anniversaries, such as the bicentennial of the First Vision and Easter, highlight patterns of restoration. “In both, we rejoice in the return of Jesus Christ. He lives — not only then, but now; not just for some, but for all.”

The sacred events between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday are the story of hosanna — a plea for God to save — and hallelujah — praise to the Lord for the hope of salvation and exaltation. “In hosanna and hallelujah we recognize the living Jesus Christ as the heart of Easter and latter-day Restoration.”

"Christ's Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem," by Harry Anderson
“Christ’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem,” by Harry Anderson Credit: Harry Anderson/Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

On Easter Sunday, April 3, 1836, the Savior appeared when the Kirtland Temple was dedicated. Following His appearance, Moses, Elias and Elijah also came to restore priesthood keys and authority. Not by coincidence, when Elijah appeared to bring sealing authority to bind families on earth and in heaven, it coincided with the Jewish Passover season, “which tradition reverently anticipates Elijah’s return.”

Passover signifies the power and resurrection of Christ through a remembrance of the deliverance of the Children of Israel when they marked their houses with the symbolic blood of the lamb and the angel of death passed over them.

The Book of Mormon also describes the power of Christ through two restorations: a physical restoration, or a resurrection, and a spiritual restoration through the Lord’s Atonement.

“Because ‘God himself atoneth for the sins of the world’ (Alma 42:15), the Lord’s Atonement can make whole not only what was, but what can be.”

As begun 200 years ago, light and revelation continue to come forth through the Lord’s living prophet, His Church called in His name, personal revelation and inspiration from the Holy Ghost.

“Today we celebrate Restoration and resurrection. With you, I rejoice in the ongoing Restoration of the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

In the news:

  • In February, with the release of the new Gospel Living app, Elder Gerrit W. Gong shared his thoughts about how the app can help users disconnect from the world and connect with the Savior. 
  • Elder Gong celebrated his 66th birthday in December 2019. Here’s a look at some of the highlights from his ministry over the last year. 
  • In November 2019, Elder Gong joined other Church leaders in explaining more details about the new Children and Youth program prior to its implementation at the beginning of 2020. 
  • In a special video released by the Church in June 2019, Elder Gong shared his personal and apostolic testimony of Jesus Christ. 
  • At the G20 Interfaith Forum in Japan in June 2019, Elder Gong spoke on matters of faith, hope and goodwill. 

About the speaker:

  • Elder Gong was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on March 31, 2018. He had been serving as a General Authority Seventy since April 2010. 
  • During his professional travels, Elder Gong has visited all seven continents.
  • His mother met the missionaries when she was a teenager in Honolulu, Hawaii. His father joined the Church after attending Stanford University, where his parents met and dated.
  • The first time Elder Gong met his wife, Susan Lindsay, was at an evening devotional he volunteered to give at the Provo Missionary Training Center to help the missionaries learn more about Taiwan. They briefly met, but Elder Gong said in that moment, he “had a feeling this was somebody I’d always know.”

Recently on Social:

  • Sharing a hopeful message at a time of uncertainty, Elder Gong posted on Facebook on March 20 about the certainty of God. “Each of us is invited to seek personal revelation more intently in our lives,” he wrote, encouraging individuals to seek guidance from the Lord. 

In light of our world’s current events, I wish to offer some thoughts about turning our hearts and minds to a higher…

Posted by Gerrit W. Gong on Friday, March 20, 2020
  • In a Jan. 25 Facebook post, Elder Gong wished a Happy New year to those who celebrate the new year on that date. “As we celebrate together, I invite you to remember that it is true that the Fatherhood of God makes possible the brotherhood and sisterhood of men and women,” he wrote. 

To all our friends around the world who celebrate January 25 as a new year, we wish you health, happiness, peace, and…

Posted by Gerrit W. Gong on Saturday, January 25, 2020
  • On Nov. 15, 2019, Elder Gong posted on Twitter after representing the Church at a Deepavali celebration. “I enjoyed learning more about this Hindu festival that celebrates how light overcomes darkness,” he wrote.
  • Following his address at the October 2019 general conference, Elder Gong posted on Instagram about his gratitude for the opportunity to speak. He wrote that “Heavenly Father wants us to receive God’s greatest gift — His joy, His eternal life.”