Sunday, April 8, 2012
Easter has become less and less about a person in a creepy bunny suit and more and more about my Savior as I have gotten older. This weekend has been rather hectic, but I was so grateful for the chance I had to sing with the Institute Singers (a choir group I am in at the LDS Institute) at our family concert Friday night. All of the music had some sort of tie to Easter and what the Savior has done for us. I have never felt the Spirit as strongly in a choir concert as I did that night. I am not one to cry very often, but I had goosebumps and chills up and down my spine the entire night.
The two songs we sang arrangements of that have been on my mind ever since that night are How Firm a Foundation and Come Unto Jesus.
How Firm a Foundation has always been one of my favorite hymns, but lately as I have been trying to be strong and face the world with different eyes, the lyrics have really stood out to me:
1. How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
Who unto the Savior, who unto the Savior,
Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?
2. In ev’ry condition—in sickness, in health,
In poverty’s vale or abounding in wealth,
At home or abroad, on the land or the sea—
As thy days may demand, as thy days may demand,
As thy days may demand, so thy succor shall be.
3. Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
4. When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o’erflow,
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee, and sanctify to thee,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
5. When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, thy dross to consume,
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.
6. E’en down to old age, all my people shall prove
My sov’reign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And then, when gray hair shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs shall they still, like lambs shall they still,
Like lambs shall they still in my bosom be borne.
7. The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, I’ll never, no never,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!
I know that is really long, and you probably just scrolled down and didn't read them all, but I hate that we never sing all of the verses in church. They are so powerful, especially the last line of the last verse: "I'll never, no never, no never forsake!"
Come Unto Jesus has been playing through my head all day today as I have reflected on Easter and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. What more can we do to show our appreciation for His sacrifice then to come unto Him and give Him our whole hearts?
1. Come unto Jesus, ye heavy laden,
Careworn and fainting, by sin oppressed.
He’ll safely guide you unto that haven
Where all who trust him may rest.
2. Come unto Jesus; He’ll ever heed you,
Though in the darkness you’ve gone astray.
His love will find you and gently lead you
From darkest night into day.
3. Come unto Jesus; He’ll surely hear you,
If you in meekness plead for his love.
Oh, know you not that angels are near you
From brightest mansions above?
4. Come unto Jesus from ev’ry nation,
From ev’ry land and isle of the sea.
Unto the high and lowly in station,
Ever he calls, “Come to me.”
As we celebrate his life, Atonement, death and Resurrection this Easter, I want to add my testimony to others that have been shared:
I know that He lives and that He died for me and for you. I know that he is calling to us to come to Him and take part in the gift of the Atonement. It is free for us to choose to use or not to use. I know He will come again and that if we prepare and try our hardest to become the best that we can be, we will be able to live with Him again. I am so thankful for His sacrifice for me, I don't know where I would be without the knowledge that I have of Him and His plan for me. There is so much to be thankful for and so much hope to hold onto. When you are feeling alone, lost or afraid, have the strength and the courage to call upon him and he will carry your burdens and make you whole. It may take time, and sometimes the road may seem long, but He knows the way and He will guide you through with His timing in mind. I know the Savior loves me and that because of Him, I will be able to be with my family forever and continue to live in peace and joy.