Sunday, April 4, 2021

He Is Risen!

Happy Easter to all who celebrate! (And yes, Mormons celebrate Easter! A few people actually asked me...) Did anyone else feel that the message of the Resurrected Christ just hit a little different this year, over a year into an unprecedented pandemic? In a time of so much pain and suffering around the world, I've felt more hungry for messages of hope and peace. I've looked forward to this weekend immensely, and I really needed it. It helped that springtime in Seoul is already so beautiful: I've been watching cherry blossoms and magnolias, pansies and flowering shrubs, and plenty of plants with names and shapes I don't even recognize bloom.

I talked with my family and a number of friends via video chat and then M and I went to our neighbors' house for an Easter lunch. We had a wonderful afternoon filled with great food and plenty of laughter. I also even bought some gorgeous, huge Belgian chocolate Easter eggs from a friend down the street (yes, that is one milk chocolate, one dark chocolate, and one ruby chocolate). After that, we joined other members of the Embassy Seoul community for a socially distanced vigil and solidarity walk in memory of the victims of the Atlanta-area shootings. It was a very healing experience for me, and I was heartened by the show of support from the community in the face of anti-Asian racism.

Then, we came home and watched a local church broadcast. Because of COVID-19, we still couldn't go to in-person worship services today. Thanks to modern technology, though, I was able to tune into special talks and musical performances live on YouTube (including in a mix of Korean and English). I was struck by the story of Arland D. Williams, Jr., which I hadn't heard before. He was one of many passengers in a horrific plane crash into the freezing Potomac River in 1982. When a rescue helicopter came, he kept handing the line to other passengers, saving many lives. By the time the helicopter came back for him, he had drowned beneath the waves. You can read more about his story here. The speaker mentioned how many might see this man's death as a waste, but "greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).

This year, Easter happened to coincide with General Conference, a weekend of gathering and spiritual messages from the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to members everywhere. Unfortunately, the time zone difference is so great that I couldn't watch the broadcast live as I usually do. I'll have to watch the videos later, but I'm so excited to have those to look forward to when I need a little uplifting.

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