“Then dawned the first day of the week, the Sabbath of the Lord as we have come to know it. To those who came to the tomb, heavy with sorrow, the attending angel declared, ‘Why seek ye the living among the dead?’ (Luke 24:5).
“‘He is not here: … he is risen, as he said’ (Matt. 28:6).
“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 all who slept, the assurance for men of all ages that ‘as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive’ (1 Cor. 15:22).
“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). …
“And so, because our Savior lives, we do not use the symbol of His death as the symbol of our faith. But what shall we use? No sign, no work of art, no representation of form is adequate to express the glory and the wonder of the Living Christ. He told us what that symbol should be when He said, ‘If ye love me, keep my commandments’ (John 14:15).
“As His followers, we cannot do a mean or shoddy or ungracious thing without tarnishing His image. Nor can we do a good and gracious and generous act without burnishing more brightly the symbol of Him whose name we have taken upon ourselves. And so our lives must become a meaningful expression, the symbol of our declaration of our testimony of the Living Christ, the Eternal Son of the Living God.”
- Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Symbol of Our Faith,” Ensign, Apr. 2005 4–6
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In this message, President Hinckley shared the experience of being asked why the Church of Jesus Christ doesn't use the cross as a symbol like other Christian churches. He explained that while the Savior's voluntary giving up of His life is a crucial part of the Atonement in our theology, the other aspects of His sacrifice and particularly the Resurrection provide so much power and understanding. It was "the greatest miracle of human history."
President Hinckley's main point is that there is no symbol that can adequately represent the depth of our love and appreciation for what took place on the cross and in the tomb. Instead, the best representation is the lives of his followers. Their actions, deeds, and Christlike charity become the symbol of the Living Christ.