Easter Music & Thoughts 2024


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In addition to a somewhat religious Easter message, I'm going to re-run a column I did a bit back explaining the concept of "Easter Eggs" in media (that is, hidden items in entertainment media that are meant to amuse the audience). 

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23 hours ago, Ironhold said:

I write for a family of local-level newspapers here in Texas. 

So your newspapers

I was asking to verify whether you meant that or that you were going to post your columns here.

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Posted (edited)

One who reads through the books of Matthew and John finds in them not only the account of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ and the story of the establishment of his kingdom on earth, but the evidences that he fulfilled the prophecies concerning the promised Messiah. These two apostles seemed to have been concerned with the fact that the Lord fulfilled the prophecies, as well as doing wonderful and awe-inspiring works before people.
...
We can take comfort that the great events of the future have been prophesied in considerable detail, and that when they are fulfilled, the events of that fulfillment will occur as naturally and as surely as have those of the distant past.
- S. Dilworth Young

But if ye keep the commandments of God, and do with these things which are sacred according to that which the Lord doth command you, (for you must appeal unto the Lord for all things whatsoever ye must do with them) behold, no power of earth or hell can take them from you, for God is powerful to the fulfilling of all his words. For he will fulfil all his promises which he shall make unto you, for he has fulfilled his promises which he has made unto our fathers.
Alma 37:16-17

Edited by SilentOne
removing footnote superscript letters
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21 hours ago, SilentOne said:

So your newspapers

I was asking to verify whether you meant that or that you were going to post your columns here.

Editorial has made it clear that my material is subscriber-only because they're using it to drive readers. 

My flagship paper is the Cove Leader-Press from Copperas Cove, Texas. They publish weekly, with new editions on Fridays, and they do digital subscriptions as well as physical. 

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All he did was for others—his was a life of service. There was not one selfish act.

Approaching the finish of his mission here, he prayed to the Father: “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

“And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.”

He took upon himself the sins of all who shall repent, and gave his life that all might live. He brought about the resurrection for all. Do you realize that the creation of this earth, and all the work of Jesus and the prophets since the very beginning, was for you—that you might have immortality and eternal life—just as much as for anyone else?
- Eldred G. Smith

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
- John 15:13
 

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Got to thinking earlier. 

I'm allowed to do one column a quarter that talks about religious issues. 

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2010/10/the-divine-gift-of-gratitude?lang=eng

Thinking about using this conference talk from President Monson as the core of my annual Thanksgiving message this year, and possibly even making it my regular annual column going forward. 

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We acknowledge that your path will at times be difficult. But I give you this promise in the name of the Lord: rise up and follow in the footsteps of our Redeemer and Savior, and one day you will look back and be filled with eternal gratitude that you chose to trust the Atonement and its power to lift you up and give you strength.
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
- Isaiah 12:2

And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.
- Psalm 9:10

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Posted (edited)

God promises His children that if they follow the precepts of His plan and the example of His Beloved Son, keep the commandments, and endure in faith to the end, then by virtue of the Savior’s Redemption, they “shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.” Eternal life is the ultimate exceeding great and precious promise.
- David A. Bednar

And this is the gospel, the glad tidings, which the voice out of the heavens bore record unto us— That he came into the world, even Jesus, to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness; That through him all might be saved whom the Father had put into his power and made by him;
- Doctrine & Covenants 76:40-42

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Brothers and sisters, today on this Palm Sunday, let us as disciples of Jesus Christ also praise our holy God and rejoice in His goodness to us. “What do we hear in the gospel which we have received?” Truly “a voice of gladness!”
- Kevin R. Duncan

And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
- Luke 19:37-40

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When I listened to this version of All Glory, Laud, and Honor, I recognized the tune as usually belonging to a different hymn in my experience. After looking through the hymn book for a bit, I tentatively identified Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise as being the associated text.

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And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.
- Matthew 21:14

...as we come unto Jesus Christ by exercising faith in Him, repenting, and making and keeping covenants, our brokenness—whatever its cause—can be healed. This process, which invites the Savior’s healing power into our lives, does not just restore us to what we were before but makes us better than we ever were. I know that through our Savior, Jesus Christ, we can all be mended, made whole, and fulfill our purpose.
- Cristina B. Franco

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Many profess to be Christians and yet do not believe that Jesus Christ is the literal Son of God, indeed, the eldest son of God the Father. Men are willing to follow some of his teachings but do not recognize the divine, eternal purpose and the significance of his life to all mankind. “What think ye of Christ?” and “Whom say ye that I am?” These were questions asked by Jesus to make men think, so that he might teach them who he was, that they might use their own free agency, come to their own conclusions and commitments, follow him, and gain a testimony that he is the Son of God, our Redeemer.

Using the sacred scriptures we can know Jesus Christ. He is more than a great teacher; he is the Messiah. He was willing to lay down his life for us; he is the only one who could.
- Robert D. Hales

While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.
- Matthew 22:41-46

 

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We testify to all the world, as did the Apostles of old, that this same Jesus taken up into heaven as men watched, will return—will return in power and great glory, attended by the hosts of heaven. At that day “the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.” But prior to that day, as foretold by the prophets, there must be a restoration of all things in the last days, the fulness of the gospel with all its saving powers to be returned to earth.

We proclaim with knowledge and power as witnesses of heavenly events that the final great restoration has taken place, that angelic ministers have been sent from heaven, that God’s voice has been heard declaring its truth, that the gift of the Holy Ghost and the priesthood powers with blessings and promises have again been given to man.
- David B. Haight

For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
- Matthew 24:27-31

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First, consider the Savior’s introduction of the sacrament. The Savior knew what was about to befall Him. His sacred, atoning mission, beginning with the War in Heaven in the premortal existence, was about to unfold that evening and the next day. Yet with the trials by His adversaries imminently before Him, there is not the slightest evidence He was preparing a defense against the untrue accusations. The Savior instead introduced the sacred ordinance of the sacrament to His disciples. As I contemplate that solemn occasion, my feelings are deeply touched. Sacrament meeting is the most sacred and holy of all the meetings in the Church. After His Resurrection, the Savior instituted the sacrament among the Nephites. If we are to be His disciples and to be committed members of His Church, we must remember and reverence the sacrament. It allows each of us to express with broken hearts and contrite spirits our willingness to follow the Savior, to repent, and to become a Saint through the Atonement of Christ. The sacrament allows us to witness to God that we will remember His Son and keep His commandments as we renew our baptismal covenant. This increases our love and appreciation for both the Father and the Son.
- Quentin L. Cook

And as they did eat, Jesus took bread and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them, and said, Take it, and eat. Behold, this is for you to do in remembrance of my body; for as oft as ye do this ye will remember this hour that I was with you. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them; and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is in remembrance of my blood which is shed for many, and the new testament which I give unto you; for of me ye shall bear record unto all the world. And as oft as ye do this ordinance, ye will remember me in this hour that I was with you and drank with you of this cup, even the last time in my ministry.
- Mark 14:22-24 JST

 

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Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.
- John 19:4-7

The Son of God stood in the flesh before the people of Jerusalem.

They could see Jesus, but they did not truly behold Him.

They did not have eyes to see.

In a figurative sense, we too are invited to “behold the man.” Opinions about Him vary in the world. Ancient and modern prophets testify that He is the Son of God. I do this too. It is significant and important that we each come to know for ourselves. So, when you ponder the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, what do you see?

Those who find a way to truly behold the Man find the doorway to life’s greatest joys and the balm to life’s most demanding despairs.

So, when you are encompassed by sorrows and grief, behold the Man.

When you feel lost or forgotten, behold the Man.

When you are despairing, deserted, doubting, damaged, or defeated, behold the Man.

He will comfort you.

He will heal you and give meaning to your journey. He will pour out His Spirit and fill your heart with exceeding joy.
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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On earth there was great sorrow, and those beholding the Crucifixion smote their breasts. However, in heaven a multitude awaited the advent of the Son of God into the spirit world to declare their redemption from the bands of death. Their sleeping dust was to be restored unto its perfect frame. The spirit and the body were to be united, never again to be divided, that they might receive a fulness of joy. While the vast multitude waited and commenced rejoicing in the hour of their deliverance from the chains of death, the Son of God appeared. He preached to them the everlasting gospel, the doctrine of the resurrection and redemption of mankind from the Fall and from individual sins on conditions of repentance.

The lesson we can learn is that when a loved one has died and sorrow and despair have taken over our hearts, we can have solace knowing the joy that will come when our loved ones are reunited and continue their eternal progression because of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
- Robert D. Hales

I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
- John 14:18-20

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Our Savior lived again. The most glorious, comforting, and reassuring of all events of human history had taken place—the victory over death. The pain and agony of Gethsemane and Calvary had been wiped away. The salvation of mankind had been secured. The Fall of Adam had been reclaimed.

The empty tomb that first Easter morning was the answer to Job’s question, “If a man die, shall he live again?” To all within the sound of my voice, I declare, If a man die, he shall live again. We know, for we have the light of revealed truth.

“For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
- Thomas S. Monson

And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher, and two angels standing by it in shining garments. And they entered into the sepulcher, and not finding the body of the Lord Jesus, they were much perplexed thereabout; And were affrighted, and bowed down their faces to the earth.
But behold the angels said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
- Luke 24:2-7 (with JST)

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