I was standing in the church hallway with my father-in-law, when Bro. Rodriguez approached me and handed me a paper. It was an invitation to give a talk about the resurrection the following Sunday (Easter Sunday). Although my schedule is a little full right now, I gratefully accepted. I thoroughly enjoy giving talks. I love learning and feeling gospel principles, and then communicating those feelings to an audience.
I prepared the best I knew how in only one week. Sunday through Wednesday, I searched out resurrection topics and talks. My goal in the first stage is to examine all the different angles and approaches to the resurrection. Also, since I have never been resurrected, I needed to think of personal stories that could be analogous, if not directly applicable. Looking at many different talks and scriptures helps bring experiences and topics to my mind.
I put the pen to paper on the Metro on Wednesday and Thursday. Remarkably, the talk did not undergo any serious revisions between the original and the final version. I added and deleted thoughts and sentences, but all the major elements stayed the same.
The talk that landed on the paper was not just about the time around the resurrection of Christ and the Second Coming, rather it took a broad view of the reasons for the resurrection in light of the whole plan of salvation. At one point, I second-guessed the broad-view talk, and tried to think how I could focus it more on the resurrection itself. I failed. I couldn't change the talk. I needed pre-mortal life to show that resurrection was a culminating step in a long (eternal) process.
I do not know why the title "A Blood-Soaked Christ" stuck with me. I was concerned that it was too theatrical and "shocking" to keep this most sacred subject sacred. But I have not been able to think of an adequate alternative. However, I did add the sub-title, paraphrasing Elder Neal Maxwell, to clarify why the blood-soaked Christ is key to the resurrection: "Mankind's Grip on Immortality."
Finally, since I only had a week to prepare, I had no scriptural references in the talk, other than the scriptures that are actually embedded in the text. I've spent the last few days adding footnotes, which GoogleDocs transformed into endnotes. Endnotes help to keep the flow of the text smooth, but I prefer chopping it up with tangential thoughts in footnotes.
With no further ado, for anyone interested, here is the talk:
A Blood-Soaked Christ: Mankind's Grip On Immortality
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