Monday, May 10, 2010

Shabbat at the Garden Tomb

The Shabbat here in Jerusalem is officially my favorite day of the week! It is amazing to experience the Sabbath in an entirely different way and to be so spiritually uplifted every week. Sacrament meeting this week was so good. A member of the seventy, Elder Pipier, was visiting with his wife and they spoke to us. After the block I was set apart in my new calling-Relief Society Birthday Chair-which I am actually really excited about! We then went down as a group to the garden tomb, which is the best way to celebrate the Sabbath I can think of. We went on a tour of the tomb of Golgatha and the tour guide, a Scottish man with an amazing accent, told us all about what had occurred there and the evidence that this is the actual tomb. Whether or not this is in fact the actual tomb was Christ was resurrected, the spirit there was incredibly strong and many leaders of the Church have said that they believe this was the place because of the special spirit there. My favorite thing the tour guide said though as we were leaving the tomb was that when people write prayers and stick them in the tomb they remove them because you don't need to be on holy ground for God to hear our prayers. They also remove the flowers that visitors place there because the tomb is not a shrine or a grave since Christ is no longer there-he lives!

After our tour we gathered in the pavilion and sang hymns for about a half hour. Singing hymns like I Stand All Amazed, I Know that My Redeemer Lives, and He is Risen in the garden was incredible and the hymns have never been so powerful for me. We didn't want to stop singing and there wasn't many dry eyes left by the time we finished. After singing, President Brown and Elder Pipier spoke to us about how the words "He is not here, for he is risen" spoken by the angel to Mary are the most important words which have ever been uttered in history. On our way home we all were talking about how grateful we are to be here and how amazing it is to walk where Christ walked. It was truly one of the most spiritually uplifting Sabbaths I have ever had, Shabbat Shalom everyone!

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