I can't remember a time when I was so excited to celebrate Easter. I had this great idea. Normally, I would spend my two-hour round trip commute to the office engrossed in the Book of Mormon on an Ipod running through the car stereo. For this Good Friday, however, I was prepared with a selection of inspiring General Conference talks in Korean, my mission language.
I was on the road about 15 minutes Good Friday morning before it dawned on me that in the rush and excitement of preparing to enjoy the rest of the day, the Ipod had been forgotten at home and I could not be late for work. I would be spending the rest of my solitary ride at the mercy of AM talk radio oppressed by traffic reports and breaking news about broken promises to save a broke nation. With one eye on the road and the other eye in my mind, I saw the Ipod lying helplessly on the short table in the hallway, taunting me with the real prospect of missed Easter memories. This was not a Good Friday.
In deep desperation I frantically scanned the jumbled horizons of surfaces inside the cab of my tiny little commuter car – what was I looking for? My eyes stopped at the edge of a shiny light brown disc buried in an impressively crumpled collection of discarded food wrappers belonging to stay-awake treats I had consumed over the years and conveniently crammed underneath the front passenger seat. It was a forgotten CD from an old audio Book of Mormon collection of CDs that had been replaced years ago with the advent of portable MP3 players! What was it doing down there? How and why had it survived?
Without even looking at the content label I slid it hopefully into the rarely-used CD player. It was Alma's Easter message to me, cleverly disguised as the transcript of personal priesthood interviews with his missionary sons. Alma taught me that
“And now, the plan of mercy could not be brought about except an atonement should be made; therefore God himself atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy, to appease the demands of justice, that God might be a perfect, just God, and a merciful God also. (Alma 42:15)”
“But God ceaseth not to be God, and mercy claimeth the penitent, and mercy cometh because of the atonement; and the atonement bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead; and the resurrection of the dead bringeth back men into the presence of God; and thus they are restored into his presence, to be judged according to their works, according to the law and justice. (Alma 42:15)”
Humbled by Alma's Easter message to me, I drove gently into my parking spot and rested for a holy moment in the comforting shadow of a looming office building. After a brief prayer of thanks for my fortunate morning, I grabbed my briefcase and skipped into work with the gift of Easter hope in my heart.