An excerpt from the podcast, Resurrection Morning (podcast is linked below):
“Roughly – a little over 2,000 years ago – something happened that changed the course of history. Christ was resurrected. We have in one generation of people a series of testimonies about Christ and His life, death, and resurrection. The authors of those testimonies do not spare themselves from their embarrassing behavior. Christ was taken captive in the Garden and many of those who followed Him fled immediately. Peter took a little time to knock off a servant’s ear, which Christ healed, and rebuked Peter and told him to put away his sword.
By the time He gets to being tried there are only two who hung around for the trial, and on the cross the only ones who followed Him, who remained, were women, and they stood at the feet of the cross until He passed. Upon His death there is no mention of a disciple being involved in His burial. They were cowering. They were hiding. And these were they who spent their time with Him as His chosen disciples.
Everything changed on the first day of the week when something turned cowards into men who would be willing to die for the testimony that they had that He is risen! That testimony changed the world, it changed their lives. They no longer lived as though their master had been defeated in death. They lived as though their master had triumphed over death, because He had. Multiple witnesses telling the same story: Abject defeat, fear, and cowardice, followed by triumphant, confident, defiant belief in a risen Lord, many of whom would go to their own deaths rather than to deny their testimony that Christ lives.
You have every reason to have confidence in the fact of the resurrection of the Lord. The lives of those disciples are abundant testimony of the fact of His resurrection.”
An eyewitness account of the morning of the resurrection (from the podcast):
“Following Christ’s death He was buried and rose on the third day. I know He lives for I have seen Him. He showed me the morning of His resurrection. I testify as a witness that He rose from the dead and ascended to heaven, as the Gospels declare. Like those who wrote the New Testament, I am also a living witness the Lord rose from the dead: When I saw His resurrection, I was surprised to see it was still dark. I had always thought it occurred at sun up, as the return of daylight symbolized the return of life. But it was dark. The Gospel of John is the only one that mentions the darkness of that morning. Even so, it never registered with me that Christ rose in the darkness of that early morning. … He did rise from the dead. We rejoice because it is true. As so many others have done before, I can add my own witness that He rose from the dead. I was shown it. It happened. He who died on the cross rose from the dead and He lives still.’ . . .
John’s account records that Christ told Mary: ‘Touch me not.’ In the Joseph Smith Translation the words are changed to read: ‘Hold me not.’ (JST-John 20: 17.) Joseph’s change of the text was warranted. I tell you that when Mary realized it was Jesus, she embraced Him joyfully. She did not timidly reach out her hand, but she readily greeted Him with open arms, and He, in turn, embraced her.
It is difficult to describe what I saw of the incident, apart from saying the Lord was triumphant, exultant, overjoyed at His return from the grave! She shared His joy.
I was shown the scene and do not have words to adequately communicate how complete the feelings of joy and gratitude were which were felt by our Lord that morning. As dark and terrible as were the sufferings through which He passed, the magnitude of which is impossible for man to put into words, these feelings of triumph were, on the other hand, of equal magnitude in their joy and gratitude. He had attained to the resurrection of the dead! Just as He had seen His Father do, He likewise held the keys of death and hell! I do not think it possible for a mortal to feel a fullness of either. And, having felt some of what He shares with His witnesses, I know words are inadequate to capture His feelings on the morning of His resurrection.
He had the deep satisfaction of having accomplished the most difficult assignment to be given by the Father, knowing it was a benefit to all of His Father’s children, and it had been done perfectly.
Mary and Christ embraced. There was nothing timid about the warm encounter she had with Him. Then He said to her, ‘Hold me not’ because He had to ascend, return and report to His Father. Joseph Smith was correct when he revised this language.
I then saw Him ascend to heaven. I saw the golden heavenly light glowing down upon Mary as she watched His ascent. All this happened while it was yet dark on the morning He rose from the dead. He has shown this to me and I can testify to it as a witness.'”
“I would rather understate than overstate the case but let me end by telling you Christ lives. He died and He was resurrected. I know this to be true because, like Paul, I have seen Him. I don’t tell you that to make this seem sensational. I tell you that to give you cause to believe in Him. He is real.
Encountering Him as a resurrected being changed the course of history. It turned cowards into courageous, willing, and enthusiastic witnesses who faced down the Roman empire to their death. They died willingly. They died as evidence of the truth that they were testifying to. That kind of faith needs to return again to the earth. That kind of faith is possible again in our day. “
We can see from scripture, and from this podcast, that those who have actually seen the risen Lord testify plainly of that, and are willing to sacrifice mightily for their testimony.
It is approximately 18 minutes long and well worth listening to. The podcast itself is excerpts from longer talks. If you are interested in hearing or reading those, they can be found at these links: