Easter is a pivotal day for all of Christianity. After all, it’s the day Christ broke the chains of death. What other day would be more appropriate to celebrate than the day everyone who ever lived was saved? But just how do Mormons celebrate Easter?
1. We go to church
Since Easter always falls on a Sunday, you can be sure the LDS Meetinghouses will be full of folks singing “He is Risen” and bearing their testimonies about the Atonement of Christ. However, our Easter worship services don’t tend to be much different than any other Sunday’s. Perhaps it’s more likely for there to be a special musical number or candy in Relief Society, but the usual organization of the meetings remains the same.
2. …Unless we don’t
However, on years like this one, 2018, the LDS General Conference happens to fall on Easter Sunday. These days, many Mormons opt to watch Conference from the comfort of their own home. This means they won’t attend church on Easter, unlike much of the rest of the Christian world.
But that doesn’t mean we aren’t worshiping! General Conference weekend is like church to the max. Instead of our usual three hours of church, we watch four or five sessions of broadcasts that are two hours long. This means Mormons will be spending around ten hours of their Easter weekend focused on the words of modern-day prophets.
3. We might dye eggs, hunt for Easter baskets, and eat too much candy than is really healthy for us
Just because we take Easter seriously doesn’t mean we can’t have some serious fun too! Each family has their own Easter traditions, but mine always tends to follow whatever traditions will give us the most cavities and allow us to eat the most Peeps and Jelly beans. Regardless of what each individual family does, however, the origins behind secular Easter traditions are rich and complex.
4. We might enjoy a delicious meal
My mother always made rich, cheesy potatoes, ham, and green beans for Easter. She generally made as much food as she did for Thanksgiving. Different Mormon families might include other classic Mormon dishes in their Easter feast. Or perhaps they make these other traditional dishes from around the world.
5. We sing and listen to amazing Easter music
Some of my favorite hymns in the hymnbook are the ones about the Atonement. They’re usually one of the thirty or so sacrament hymns, which means we get to sing them more often, for which I am glad. Yet we only seem to sing “That Easter Morn” and a couple other hymns on Easter. I always cherish these songs because they have powerful messages. “That Easter Morn,” for example, stresses how we can conquer pain, death, and fear through Christ’s Atonement.
Additionally, we might listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. This year they performed Handel’s Messiah.
6. We enjoy Easter-related media
While listening to the dulcet tones of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, you might feel the need to view beautiful pictures of Christ. Or maybe what you really want is a video or two (or eight) that remind you that Christ is the Prince of Peace. The Church always puts out amazing new media such as this during Easter, and I always find myself spending a lot of time watching the videos or looking at the art. It’s time well-spent, though, because it focuses my thoughts on the Savior.
7. Most importantly, we learn about Christ
Whether we hear the story of the Atonement, Crucifixion, and Resurrection of Christ in church, in General Conference, in a Mormon Message, or at home, most Mormons end up hearing it at some point each Easter. Or multiple times.
We also read about Christ’s visitation to the Americas where He taught them about baptism, the beatitudes, and many of the same things He taught the people in Jerusalem.
We learn about Christ’s ministry to the Spirit World during His three days in the tomb, in which He called the righteous dead to labor in bringing others unto Him.
Honestly, hearing about Christ’s infinite atonement and God’s love for His children never gets old. Hearing those same, beautiful words about how the stone had been rolled away is probably my personal favorite Easter tradition.
But I don’t speak for every Mormon out there. I’m sure many members have very different traditions for this time of year. Write how you like to celebrate Easter in the comments below!