When I was little, Easter meant spending half a Saturday afternoon squatting over the little brown cups filled with dye on the sidewalk. It meant fighting over the bonnet you got to wear to church the next day. It meant a really long scripture time on Sunday afternoon that was kind of boring and maybe you could sneak off while Mom and Dad weren't looking. It meant a fun Easter egg hunt in the yard outside, including contests to see who could find Dad's best hiding places. It meant switching candy and having a lot of gross jellybeans, peanuts, and Mike and Ikes. It meant having a contest to see who could say "He is risen!" first in the morning. It often meant a long, boring Sacrament Meeting with lots of old ladies letting the whole ward hear how warbly of a voice they had. Sometimes, if Dad was ambitious that year, it meant an early morning Easter sunrise service. (One time we even hiked the Y and had the lesson up there. That was cool. Actually, all I remember about that sunrise service was that it was really cold.)
A lot has changed since those good ol' days. I thought about getting up early this morning for my own personal sunrise service, but unfortunately I didn't have quite enough self-discipline. But that's okay. Instead, I had a lovely Sacrament Meeting, heard some great talks, and went to the family's and played Easter music. That's quite a different Easter than I would have wanted when I was little. I guess as I've gotten older, the silly traditions have made way for what Easter is really supposed to be about--the sacrifice of the Savior and his triumph over death. As President Hinckley said, "There would be no Christmas if there were no Easter." (Ensign, May 2007) Leave it to President Hinckley to put things in perspective for us.
I love this time of year. And even though there aren't really any spring flowers out yet because it's the earliest Easter in 93 years, I am so grateful for the spring season and its symbol of rebirth and of the Savior's love for us.
Here are some of my favorite pictures of the Resurrection. Happy Easter and I hope we all have renewed determination to do what's right and utilize the Atonement in our lives, because I know I do.