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Mormons mark Easter through art, sermons, quiet traditions

Published March 26, 2013 1:24 pm

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This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

While other Christians wave palm leaves or carry giant crosses through the streets to mark the days before Jesus' crucifixion, many Mormons will spend the time talking and teaching about the man they also believe is the Savior of the world.

They may listen to sermons, stroll through Easter-related art exhibits, thrill to the triumphant music of the Resurrection or engage in family traditions to hallow the time known to most Christians as Holy Week.

Diane L. Mangum offers LDS families tips in the March issue of the Utah-based church's Ensign magazine on how to create personalized, Christ-centered traditions to celebrate the season.

She points to a night set aside for grandparents to share with the grandkids their faith in Jesus. She says some families visit the graves of loved ones or read Bible narratives about Jesus' last days.

Many LDS traditions revolve around eggs, she says, which "represent the Savior's breaking the bands of death through his Resurrection."

These traditions need not "involve a large group," Mangum writes. "A personal tradition of an Easter celebration within a single home or heart is just as meaningful."

Families could explore various artists' depictions of Jesus currently on display at the LDS Church History Museum in downtown Salt Lake City.

The show includes a number of interpretive pieces that "invite patrons to consider the broader effect of Easter events in their personal lives," according to a news release. "Ron Richmond's painting of a table spread with a white tablecloth reveals nearly hidden images of a goblet and plate from the Last Supper and evokes questions about what that event means to the world."

"The artworks go beyond just depicting the Savior on the cross," says exhibit coordinator Ray Halls in the release. "They include scenes of Christ before Pilate, the Savior in the Garden of Gethsemane, and several images of the Last Supper."

For the past decade, Brigham Young University has hosted an Easter Conference on Good Friday, featuring a keynote speaker — usually an emeritus LDS general authority — along with other addresses by educators, historians, scholars or writers. All speakers typically talk about Christ, his life, his mission, his Atonement and his influence on the lives of believers.

This year's keynoter is John M. Madsen, a recently retired general authority. BYU professors and former LDS mission presidents Brent L. Top and Brad Wilcox will also address the group.

These are some of the ways many Latter-day Saints choose to remember the season and what they believe happened 2,000 years ago.

pstack@sltrib.com

Easter Exhibit

A display of artwork depicting the final week of Christ's mortal ministry.

Where • LDS Church History Museum, 45 N. West Temple, Salt Lake City

When • Through June 17

More information • https://history.lds.org/place/church-history-museum?lang=eng