Latter-day Saint Life

6 simple ways to make Easter as magical as Christmas + an Easter-themed set you’ll love as much as your nativity

Easter Peg Doll Set with Tomb
Easter Peg Doll Set, available at Deseret Book

In April 2023, Elder Gary E. Stevenson spoke about the importance of celebrating the risen Christ at Easter, inviting us to consider this question:

“How do we model the teaching and celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Easter story, with the same balance, fulness, and rich religious tradition of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Christmas story?”

While I am intentional about reflecting on the Savior’s birth throughout the Christmas season, this talk made me realize I need to think about my Easter celebrations in a new light. As I’ve thought about how to make this holiday more Christ-centered, I’ve been inspired to learn about the many ways that other Latter-day Saints and Christians commemorate Easter.

Here are a few creative ideas to help you and your family focus on Christ this season.

Try Day-by-Day Devotionals

Studying the events of Holy Week can be an excellent way to prep for Easter. In his talk, Elder Stevenson commented:

“I observe a growing effort among Latter-day Saints toward a more Christ-centered Easter. This includes a greater and more thoughtful recognition of Palm Sunday and Good Friday as practiced by some of our Christian cousins. We might also adopt appropriate Christ-centered Easter traditions found in the cultures and practices of countries worldwide.”

When I was an undergraduate at Harvard, I appreciated the opportunities to speak with my friends from many different Christian denominations about their Easter traditions. For example, my Episcopalian friend taught me how she observes Holy Week, with dedicated services, prayers, and symbolic practices focused on the final week of Christ’s life. Her example has inspired me in my efforts to carve out more time for dedicated scripture study around Easter.

You can find a “Day-by-Day” devotional series on the Come unto Christ website. It includes scriptures, multimedia resources, and questions themed around Holy Week.

I’ve also appreciated the Church’s Easter text message series, which provides quick daily prompts to focus on the Savior. You can sign up for this year’s texts by sending “Easter” to 71234.

► You may also like: Free Holy Week guide: Learn Hebrew words and ancient traditions to make Easter more meaningful

Create a Sacred Space

Another way to focus on Christ this season is to incorporate sacred symbols in our homes. One writer for the Church’s YA Weekly publication shared that she enjoys having a peace lily plant in her apartment around Easter to remind herself of the peace that Christ offers. For families with young children, another fun idea is to create an Easter tree by writing truths about Jesus to place in plastic eggs and hang on a tree like ornaments.

You can also make or display an Easter creche. Like a nativity set, these decorations depict the scene of Christ’s Resurrection featuring the people in the New Testament Easter story. The figures provide nice teaching opportunities for families and serve as a visual reminder of the true reason for the season.

Easter Peg Doll Set with Tomb
This Easter peg doll set includes Peter, John, Mary Magdalene, Jesus, Mary the Mother of Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea, and angel and tomb pieces.
Christ-Centered Easter Creche
This wooden Easter creche depicts the people who were a part of the New Testament Easter story.

Enjoy “Easter Carols”

Just as we celebrate Christ’s birth with Christmas music, we can sing praises of His Resurrection at Easter. With your family or a group of friends, consider singing hymns together during Holy Week or for an Easter-themed family home evening.

The current hymnbook has 13 titles listed under the Easter topic, including well-known hymns like “All Creatures of Our God and King,” “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today,” and “He Is Risen!” There are many beautiful Easter-themed songs written for the Children’s Songbook and the Friend as well, including “Gethsemane,” “When He Comes Again,” and “Easter Hosanna.”

If you prefer to lend your ears rather than your voice when it comes to music, you could plan an evening to watch, listen to, or attend a local performance of Handel’s Messiah or Rob Gardner’s The Lamb of God, which both portray scenes from the Savior’s life through song. A few other beautiful Easter songs are “Forever” and “¿Con Qué Pagaremos?” by Nathan Pacheco and “Flesh and Bone” and “Light” by Emma Nissen.

Check out more song recommendations and the LDS Living 2024 Easter playlist here.

Visit a Cemetery

One way to remember the Savior’s Resurrection in a more personal way this Easter season is to visit loved ones’ graves at a cemetery. Knowing that we can be reunited with our families again one day provides hope and comfort as we manage earthly grief and loss.

Sister Becky L. Craven, who previously served in the Young Women General Presidency, shared in an Instagram post that a cemetery visit has become a family tradition for her daughter’s family, whose young daughter passed away. They enjoy taking the opportunity to focus on comforting others by bringing treats to share with nearby visitors at the cemetery.

Create Something New

In the spirit of new life, you might take some time to create an Easter recipe or craft with friends and family.

Many families like to create “resurrection rolls,” also known as “empty tomb rolls.” This treat involves rolling marshmallows in butter and cinnamon sugar, wrapping them in dough, and baking them until the dough is cooked and the marshmallow melted. The process represents the oil and spices used to prepare the Savior’s body for burial in the tomb and the story of Mary Magdalene discovering the empty tomb on Easter Sunday.

52-57_MF2-Holy Week_finalproof 2_approved.jpg
On Palm Sunday, you could reenact Christ's triumphal entry to Jerusalem.
Photograph courtesy of Alex Obering

You might also plan activities or crafts based on Holy Week. For example, you could read about and reenact the triumphal entry on Palm Sunday or do a special cleaning project on Monday to line up with Christ’s cleansing of the temple. Check out The Holy Week: Celebrating Easter as a Family for more creative ways to focus on the Savior throughout the week.

► You may also like: Holy Week traditions your kids will look forward to year after year

Read Easter Scriptures

One of the most meaningful ways to celebrate a Christ-centered Easter is to read the accounts and testimonies of the Savior’s Atonement and Resurrection. The Gospel Library app features an eight-day study plan beginning March 24 (Palm Sunday) with Easter scriptures from both the New Testament and the Book of Mormon. The Come, Follow Me readings for Holy Week also feature insightful prompts and ideas to help guide your study.

The Book of Mormon provides a powerful witness that Christ rose again and is the Savior of all the world. Just as Elder Stevenson encouraged us during general conference, we can make the chapters in 3 Nephi about His personal ministry among the Nephites “as much a part of our Easter tradition as Luke 2 is of our Christmas tradition.” He said:

“In reality, the Book of Mormon shares the greatest Easter story ever told. Let it not be the greatest Easter story never told. … [Christ’s] visit as a resurrected Savior, introduced by God the Father, is a most glorious and triumphant Easter message.”

Focus on the Sacrament

While we can sometimes lose sight of how important the sacrament is when we attend church weekly, Easter Sunday can be a helpful reminder of the sacredness of this ordinance. As Elder Jeffrey R. Holland has taught:

“Coming to participate in the sacrament, the Lord’s supper, is the most dramatic way weekly that we can show that we want to identify with Him and that, in fact, there will be a reciprocal gift and power that comes back from that.

“As we come to participate and be solidly with the Savior in that act, that solidity and that engagement comes back to us, and … we leave that meeting with a strength and a power and an understanding from Him that we didn’t have before.”

Plan to focus on the sacrament and make your worship on Easter Sunday feel special. Try laying out your clothes on Saturday night, arriving a few minutes early to church, bringing a journal to take notes, setting aside your phone during the meeting, or inviting a friend to join you.

With any Easter celebration, the most important motivation should be to come closer to Jesus Christ. Whether you find meaning this season by listening to sacred music, adding reminders of the Savior to your home, or learning about Holy Week, you can have a spiritually enriching Easter as you find ways to focus on Him and His role in your life—this season and always.

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