Matthew 28

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Matthew 28:6 he is risen

Gordon B. Hinckley

"Of all the victories in human history, none is so great, none so universal in its effect, none so everlasting in its consequences as the victory of the crucified Lord, who came forth in the resurrection that first Easter morning. ("The Son of God," Ensign, December 1992, p. 2.)

Gordon B. Hinckley

"Here was the greatest miracle of human history. Earlier he had told them, 'I am the resurrection and the life.' (John 11:25.) But they had not understood. Now they knew. He had died in misery and pain and loneliness. Now, on the third day, he arose in power and beauty and life, 'the firstfruits of them that slept,' the assurance for men of all ages that 'as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.' (1 Corinthians 15:20, 22.)

"On Calvary he was the dying Jesus. From the tomb he emerged the living Christ. The cross had been the bitter fruit of Judas's betrayal, the summary of Peter's denial. The empty tomb now became the testimony of His divinity, the assurance of eternal life, the answer to Job's unanswered question: 'If a man die, shall he live again?' (Job 14:14.)" (Be Thou an Example [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1981], 88.)

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 gifts should drown out any sorrow, assuage any grief, conquer any mood, dissolve any despair, and tame any tragedy. Those who now see life as pointless will one day point with adoration to the performance of the Man of Galilee in those crowded moments of time known as Gethsemane and Calvary. Those who presently say life is meaningless will yet applaud the Atonement which saves us from meaninglessness. Christ's victory over death ended the human predicament. Now there are only personal predicaments, and from these too we may be rescued by following the teachings of him who rescued us from general extinction." (The Neal A. Maxwell Quote Book [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1997], 287.)

Matthew 28:9 as Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them

The first mortal to see the risen Lord was Mary Magdalene. In an encounter which Matthew omits, Mary was alone by the tomb and briefly mistook the Master for a gardener (see Jn. 20:11-18). She was instructed, 'Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father.' But Mary would see him just a short time later as she returned with a group of women to tell the brethren. The record of Luke states that these two Marys were accompanied by Joanna and 'other women that were with them' (Lu. 24:10)-making it a fairly large group. Interestingly, on this second encounter, the Lord allows the women to touch him, as 'they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.'

What can we learn from these appearances to the women? The closet feminist is upset with the patriarchal tone of the scriptures. She is upset with the patriarchal hierarchy of the priesthood. She is upset that women don't spend more time sitting on the stand. Yet, truly great women are upset by none of these things. Mary and her companions were the first to seek the Lord on Easter morning. Hence, they were the first to see the resurrected Christ. Had they been seeking for station, they would have been with the brethren arguing about what should be done next. But this was none of their concern. They were not so interested in prestige and power as they were with service and humility. Accordingly, they were blessed with a personal visitation from the risen Lord-a privilege enjoyed by so few. They seemed to understand that 'whosoever shall exalt herself shall be abased; and she that shall humble herself shall be exalted' (Matt 23:12)

In a manner unparalleled in scripture, this incident shows that the Lord will indeed reward the sisters-often before the brethren-for all their moments of silent service. Those who have sought approval of the Master instead of the approval of the masses will be rewarded with the very presence of God.

Bruce R. McConkie

"For reasons of his own, the Risen Lord singled out Mary Magdalene to be the first witness, in point of time, of his resurrection. She was the first mortal of all mortals ever to see a resurrected person. She saw his face and heard his voice, and she was commanded to tell the Twelve of the appearance and of the coming ascension when he would report to Him whose he was. Then, still in his own infinite wisdom, Jesus chose to appear to and be handled by a group of other women-all before he came even to Peter and the rest of the Twelve... We know that women in general are more spiritual than men, and certainly their instincts and desires to render compassionate service exceed those of their male counterparts. And these sisters came 'bringing the spices which they had prepared' to anoint the body of their Lord." (The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979-1981], 4: 265.)

James E. Talmage

"...the world's greatest champion of woman and womanhood is Jesus the Christ." (Jesus the Christ, p. 475)

M. Russell Ballard

"Does the Lord respect women? Do women matter to the Lord? The answer is yes-a resounding yes!...Of this you may be certain: The Lord especially loves righteous women-women who are not only faithful but filled with faith, women who are optimistic and cheerful because they know who they are and where they are going, women who are striving to live and serve as women of God." ("Women of Righteousness", Ensign, Apr. 2002, 66)

Matthew 28:9 And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him

James E. Talmage

"One may wonder why Jesus had forbidden Mary Magdalene to touch Him, and then, so soon after, had permitted other women to hold Him by the feet as they bowed in reverence. We may assume that Mary's emotional approach had been prompted more by a feeling of personal yet holy affection than by an impulse of devotional worship such as the other women evinced. Though the resurrected Christ manifested the same friendly and intimate regard as He had shown in the mortal state toward those with whom He had been closely associated, He was no longer one of them in the literal sense. There was about Him a divine dignity that forbade close personal familiarity. To Mary Magdalene Christ had said: 'Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father.' If the second clause was spoken in explanation of the first, we have to infer that no human hand was to be permitted to touch the Lord's resurrected and immortalized body until after He had presented Himself to the Father. It appears reasonable and probable that between Mary's impulsive attempt to touch the Lord, and the action of the other women who held Him by the feet as they bowed in worshipful reverence, Christ did ascend to the Father, and that later He returned to earth to continue His ministry in the resurrected state." (Jesus the Christ, p. 682.)

Matthew 28:11 some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done

Did the Roman soldiers really tell them everything that happened? Did they declare with soberness that there was a great earthquake? Did they tell them about two angels whose brightness defied description? Did they tell them that they were powerless to seal the tomb when angels were rolling the stone away? Did they tell them that they were overcome with fear and passed out as dead men?

What is amazing about this interchange is the wickedness of the chief priests. How many signs do they need before they will believe? In this case, these Gentile soldiers were unbiased witnesses. Their story was irrefutable, and the chief priests don't accuse them of making up stories-they believed their report. They knew of Christ's miracles and had been humiliated by him at the temple (Matt. 21). They knew that Lazarus had been brought back from the dead, but still they would not believe. They even planned on killing Lazarus because others began to believe in his testimony (Jn. 12:10). How accurately did the Savior speak of them when he said, 'neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead' (Lu 16:31). We can accurately say "neither will they be persuaded, though the earth shakes, though angels appear, though the tomb is opened by the power of God." The only response they were capable of was a wicked one. And so, they bribe the men to lie. Such wickedness is inconceivable to the moral mind!

Matthew 28:16 the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them

Not long after Christ had appeared to the women, he also appeared to the disciples in Jerusalem and on the road to Emmaus. But the Masters' first message to the brethren (v. 10) was not about a brief meeting in Jerusalem but something more important which would take place in Galilee. A careful reading indicates that this Galilean meeting was truly something special. It took place on a 'mountain where Jesus had appointed them'. The group was large for this is thought to be the occasion when over 500 of the brethren saw him at one time.

Matthew records the word of the Lord at this important meeting. Yet, he records only three verses. Did the Lord gather all these people together just to give them three verses? Certainly, the location on a mountain and the scarcity of the record implies that this was a temple experience.

Bruce R. McConkie

"The import, glory, and grandeur of this Galilean meeting could not have been impressed more strongly upon them. Nor can we doubt that the word went out-repetitiously-to all who were invited and that elaborate preparations were made. This was to be no small and insignificant thing; many of them had already seen the Risen Lord, but all that had gone before was but a shadow and a foretaste of what was to be." (The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979-1981], 4: 294.)

Bruce R. McConkie

"Of all the recorded appearances of the risen Christ to his disciples in Palestine, this one is paramount; and yet of it the present Bible preserves only a most fragmentary account. This was an appearance by appointment, by pre-arrangement, to which probably a great multitude of disciples was invited. It is likely the occasion of which, as Paul wrote later, 'he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once.' (1 Cor. 15:6.) If so, the seventies and leading brethren of the Church would have been present, as also perhaps the faithful women who are inheritors of like rewards with obedient priesthood holders.

"We may suppose that great preparation preceded this meeting; that it dealt with many things, perhaps being similar to his resurrected ministry to multitudes of Nephites; and that from it, by the months of many witnesses, the sure testimony of his divine Sonship went forth to the world." (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 1: 866.)

Matthew 28:18 All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth

B. H. Roberts

"A clearer proclamation of his divinity could not be made than in the statement, 'all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth,' especially when it is followed by placing himself on equal footing with the Father and the Holy Ghost, which he does when he commands his disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Nothing can be added to this, except it be the words of God the Father directly addressed to Jesus, when he says, 'Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever' (Heb. 1:8)." (The Mormon Doctrine of Deity [Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1903], 191.)

Sterling W. Sill

"Jesus himself said: 'All power is given me in heaven and in earth.' (Matthew 28:18.) And we might try to imagine the extent of his present power. Through his power worlds come into existence and others pass away. At his decree nations rise or fall. The time is very near when he will come to the earth again with great power and glory, accompanied by his mighty angels in flaming fire. Jesus has power over life and death and every detail of our existence. He is the light of the sun and the power by which it was made. One of the primary purposes of his life is to give us power. And more than almost any other thing, that is what we are in greatest need of both here and hereafter. We have the power of repentance, the power of excellence, the power to be like God. Emerson said, 'Do the thing and you shall have the power.' That is, we learn to do by doing. Certainly our age of power is no place for incompetents, cowards, and weaklings. But the apostle John gives us a profitable direction for attaining power when he says of us and of Christ: 'But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God....' (John 1:12.) We need the power to build character, the power to overcome temptation, the power to destroy the weaknesses and sins in ourselves." (Principles, Promises, and Powers [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1973], 26.)

Matthew 28:19 go ye therefore, and teach all nations

David O. McKay

"On a momentous occasion two thousand years ago eleven men assembled near a mountain in Galilee-eleven humble, obscure men who had been chosen and ordained Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. According to appointment these men met the resurrected Christ who made what to them must have been a startling declaration. They had been with their Master not yet three years and had been expressly enjoined by him to go not in the way of the Gentiles, to enter no city of the Samaritans, but to go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (See Matt. 10:5-6.) At this meeting, however, as his final parting instructions, he opened their eyes to the universality of the gospel by giving them this divine commission:

'Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.' (Matt. 28:19-20.)

"In the restricted experience of these eleven disciples, the idea of preaching Christ and his saving doctrine to any but members of their own race germinated very slowly. Indeed, the Savior of men found it necessary to give another direct revelation to Peter, the chief Apostle, before even he fully realized that the Gentiles 'should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.'" (Gospel Ideals: Selections from the Discourses of David O. McKay [Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1953], 107.)

LeGrand Richards

"Jesus has never rescinded this instruction nor his promise. Therefore, whenever the church of Jesus Christ is upon the earth, with authority to officiate in his name, this promise will follow those who are sent to teach all nations. No one is better able to testify of the truth of this fact than the missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Books could be written of the wonderful manner in which the missionaries have been sustained in their ministry. The way has been opened up whereby they have been led to the honest seeker after truth in their efforts to gather scattered Israel, for truly they have been sent to 'fish' and 'hunt' them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks...Under this mighty promise the missionary work of his church is going forward in the earth, gaining momentum year after year. The number of missionaries is increasing and shall continue to increase until the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom of our God, and Christ shall come to claim his kingdom as the prophets have declared." (A Marvelous Work and a Wonder [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1950], 251.)

Ezra Taft Benson

"Preaching the saving principles of the gospel has ever been a great responsibility of first importance.

"It is true in this gospel dispensation. Following the glorious appearance of God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ to Joseph Smith, it appears that the first great responsibility placed upon the restored Church was to carry the gospel to the world-to all our Father's children.

"It has truly been a great drama of transcendent importance-a drama of sacrifice, joy, hardship, courage, and above all, love of fellowmen. Nowhere upon the face of the earth will you find a human drama to equal it. Yes, it has cost blood, sweat, and tears to carry forth this labor of love. And why have we done it? Because the God of heaven has commanded it; because he loves his children, and it is his will that the teeming millions of the earth shall have opportunity to hear and, of their own free will, accept and live the glorious saving and exalting principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

"...These are direct commands of the Lord Jesus Christ, whose second coming is near. In response to these commands and with a knowledge of the blessings of the gospel, we, as members of his church, will continue to respond.

"This is why hundreds of thousands of missionaries have gone forth to the nations of the earth at the expenditure of millions of dollars from their modest means. This is why the First Presidency of the Church even during the last world war declared, 'No act of ours or of the Church must ever interfere with this God-given mandate.'

"It is in very deed a mandate to his church. It will be carried out. No power on earth or in hell can stop this work or thwart the purposes of the Lord to have his soul-satisfying gospel message go to his children. It may take war, commotion, disasters in many forms to bring it about. But the purposes of God will be achieved. His children will hear the gospel of salvation in his own due time." (Conference Report, April 1970, Third Day-Morning Meeting 128.)

Matthew 28:20 lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.

Joseph Smith

"I say the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb, who are now upon the earth, who hold the keys of this last ministry, in foreign lands, standing together in a circle, much fatigued, with their clothes tattered and feet swollen, with their eyes cast downward, and Jesus standing in their midst, and they did not behold Him. The Savior looked upon them and wept." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 107)

LeGrand Richards

"I would like to bear my testimony to you tonight, that my experience has taught me that the Christ has never rescinded that promise. Wherever the missionaries go, bearing his holy Priesthood, bearing witness of the truth, the Lord goes with them. He goes with them and fills their hearts to overflowing.

"I have had many a letter from missionaries while president of a mission indicating that. I have an excerpt from a letter from a widow in the mission-field in which she said that five souls were about to be brought into the Church and the very thought of it filled her heart with such joy that she felt like it would burst, and then she added, 'such happiness I have never known in my life.'

"Is it because the Lord promised that he would be with them unto the end of the world, and we are approaching the end of the world, that a missionary can make a statement like one that I heard in Oregon a few weeks ago by a missionary who had just returned from his mission? He came down with his fist on the pulpit and said, 'Brothers and sisters, I would not take a check for a million dollars today, for the experience of my mission.'

"Is it because the Lord is keeping his promise, 'And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world,' that when we meet for hours and hours, six and eight hours at a time, in the mission field with a missionary group bearing their testimonies and reporting their work, that there is often not a dry eye there? Is it because the Savior has made good his promise that he is with them? After all, he creates the feelings of the human breast, and as I have often said, he is the best paymaster in all the world. His servants are better paid, without their salaries, than others who are paid large salaries for preaching." (Conference Report, October 1953, General Priesthood Meeting 79.)

Harold B. Lee

"[The Savior] left no doubt to his faithful disciples...when he said to them: '... and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.' (Matt. 28:20.)

"So in our day when his church was established anew, he gave the same comforting assurance.

"I have a session in the temple with the missionary groups as they go out, where they are permitted to ask intimate questions that wouldn't be proper to be discussed elsewhere. They sometimes ask, Could you tell us a certain place in the temple where the Savior has been seen? My answer is, 'Keep in mind that this is the house of the Lord; this is the place that we try to keep as pure and holy and sacred as any building we have. This is the most likely place he would come when he comes on earth. Don't ask for a certain place because he has walked these halls. How do you know but what he is here in your midst? Here you are, three hundred of you, going out to preach his gospel. Why wouldn't he want to be here to so impress you with the spirit?' May I say, where else would the Spirit of the Lord and his presence want to be more than right here today in this great conference, that you might feel his spirit and know the reality of his person, and can testify that you know his voice, and that you have heard his words as the brethren have spoken them? This is what he said: 'But behold, verily, verily, I say unto you that mine eyes are upon you. I am in your midst and ye cannot see me; Wherefore, gird up your loins and be prepared. Behold, the kingdom is yours, and the enemy shall not overcome.' And then he said to all of us, particularly to the holders of the priesthood (listen to this, you home teachers, you leaders of organizations who preside, you fathers in the home whose responsibility it is to lead and to take recognition of this power): 'Therefore, be ye strong from henceforth; fear not, for the kingdom is yours.' (D&C 38:7, 9, 15.)" (Harold B. Lee, "The Way to Eternal Life," Ensign, Nov. 1971, 9)