he is risen.

This is one of my favorite paintings of Christ. It's an image of him with the woman at the well, as depicted in John 4. I love this story for so many reasons. First, I found out this week that the conversation between him and this woman is the longest recorded conversation between the Savior and anyone in the New Testament. Isn't that incredible? What makes it more special is that this woman was a Samaritan, Jesus was a Jew. And Jews "had no dealings with Samaritans." Also, this woman had past sins, which back then meant that she most likely spent her life as a social outcast. But the Savior took the time to speak with her and teach her about "living water."

I love this story because it's such an example to me of personal relationships with the Savior. I'm planning a Relief Society lesson for two weeks from now about just that, and I want to focus on relationships people, specifically women, had with Jesus Christ in the Scriptures. In doing my research, I've found that not only are there so many women mentioned in the New Testament, but this research has helped me develop my relationship with him.

I wanted to make this Easter special, rather than just about bunnies and Reeses Peanut Butter eggs. As I've really tried to focus on the Savior and what he's done for me through the atonement, crucifixion and resurrection, this holiday has been incredible. I've felt my relationship with him grow so much stronger.

This morning I watched a Bible video created by the LDS church about the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, and at first I just felt sad. Recounting the pain he went through, the humiliation, and his complete willingness to do it brought me to tears. But once I got to Sacrament meeting, we sang "He is Risen" and I realized that, while it is important to recognize the pain and suffering, it is so much more important to recognize that "he has burst his three days' prison, let the whole wide earth rejoice!"

I guess I just want to share my testimony on this little blog that I KNOW that our Savior loves us. Our relationships with him are all so deep and personal, but so very, very real. I promise, he loves you more than you know.

I'll finish with a quote that my friend shared with us at church today by Neal A. Maxwell:
"The gift of immortality to all mankind through the reality of the resurrection is so powerful a promise that our rejoicing in these great and generous gift should drown out any sorrows, destroy any grief, conquer any mood, dissolve any despair, and tame any tragedy. Christ's victory over death ended the human predicament... 
We say humbly but firmly that it is the garden tomb—not life—that is empty."

Happy Easter, friends.

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