Colored eggs, Easter baskets and stuffed rabbits are all fun, but I have long wanted a different way to celebrate Easter, this most significant of holidays. Nothing means more to me than the atonement and the resurrection, yet year after year Easter slips by looking mostly like a celebration of spring. I have to confess that this has bothered me—like I was missing a significant opportunity.
I long to infiltrate my whole mind and soul—and my home—with the real meaning of Easter. My home so I can teach my children and grandchildren when they gather what really matters to me. I look for opportunities to share my testimony of Christ.
I have learned that traditions I repeat become a part of the hearts of the children. I want my testimony to be right there in their souls as something that is part of this holiday we celebrate together.
So I was so happy to meet with some dear friends, Laura and Craig Mortensen, who had been also feeling that same void—and came up with a most unique solution.
You know how at Christmas we have nativity scenes to remind us of the Savior’s birth? They wondered—why don’t we do the same thing at Easter? Why don’t we bring a scene of the empty garden tomb, the risen Christ, Mary and the angel right into our homes? What if you could add pieces each year to your set like Roman guards and the apostles running to the tomb to witness for themselves the best of all possible news?
We display nativity scenes to celebrate his birth. Why not display the garden tomb to celebrate his rebirth—and have it the very center of your family’s Easter celebration?
To see the Easter Creche and/or purchase one for your home or for family members, CLICK HERE.
The Mortensen’s created this beautiful “Easter crèche” featuring the tomb, the stone that was rolled back, the risen Christ, Mary who mistook him for a gardener and angel.
Each piece is a work of art, created by Chris Smith, but each piece is unbreakable and durable enough for a child to touch and to hold. When we put a set up in our home, our grandson immediately wanted to put Christ in the tomb and roll the stone across so Christ could emerge again. It was just what we wanted to happen.
To obtain an Easter Creche for your extended family or for your home, CLICK HERE.
The Genesis of an Idea
I asked the Mortensens where they came up with this idea that could change a holiday into a holy day.
In April of 2010, Elder Richard G. Scott gave a talk where he encouraged members to come up with a personal study plan to understand the atonement better. Laura said “The Spirit touched my heart and said ‘This is for you.’” From that point on she made it a point to study the atonement every day as part of her scripture reading. She had a calling where she had to speak often, and every talk and every lesson focused on the atonement.
Laura said “I mentioned that I was doing this to someone, who asked ‘Doesn’t that get boring?’” She answered, “No, it’s inexhaustible.”
As Laura studied the atonement she came across a quote from President Gordon B. Hinckley saying, “There would be no Christmas if there had not been Easter. The babe Jesus of Bethlehem would be but another baby without the redeeming Christ of Gethsemane and Calvary, and the triumphant fact of the Resurrection.”
To bring the Spirit of Easter into your Grandchildren’s homes through this Easter Creche, CLICK HERE.
Preparing for a Meaningful Easter
How to make this sacred reality a part of your family’s life?
Laura thought everything is so much more significant if you prepare for it, but Easter just creeps up on us and slides on by. She began searching for an Easter scene that was similar to a nativity set but could find it nowhere. Google didn’t deliver—and neither did any other source. They were astonished to see that nothing like this had been created. They decided that if they wanted it for their home, they would have to create something so others could have it too.
Craig said, “We wanted to create art because that has the power to touch us on so many levels. Art teaching true doctrine is very powerful.”
A former LDS missionary to Denmark, for example, noticed that churches that featured the beautiful Carl Bloch paintings also had priests and congregants who believed in the literal resurrection of Christ.
They also wanted children to be able to delight in and touch and move the figures so that parents or grandparents could walk the children through each day of the Holy Week and give it meaning.
I will admit that I have been slow to put up Easter decorations in the past because bunnies and eggs don’t relate to my most sacred feelings about this day. I’ve wanted something more and now we have it. I’d like to get this Easter crèche for each of our grown children who are raising our grandchildren in such a difficult, secular world.
We asked the Mortensens if we could share this with our readers on Meridian and they agreed. They said they have limited quantities, but would love to provide the opportunity for those who want to create a new family tradition around Easter.
You can look at their site, www.eastercreche.com, to learn more about this significant idea and buy a set for your family.