Elder Rasband’s Easter Week Study Guide

by | Apr 7, 2023

Elder Rasband’s Incredible Footnotes


Elder Rasband’s footnotes for his latest general conference talk “Hosanna to the Most High God” are a treasure so I pulled them into a blog post. Included is a printable file.

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This set of footnotes might make a great individual, family, or group study set for Easter. Or even a Relief Society, Elder’s Quorum, FHE, or 5th Sunday lesson down the road. Tips for how to do that are at the end of this article.

Footnotes and Comments by Elder Rasband

  1. All four of the Gospels—Matthew 21–28; Mark 11–16; Luke 19–24; and John 12–21—describe the last days of Jesus Christ’s ministry in mortality, which was divinely designed to make the blessings of salvation and exaltation available to all of God’s children. At times the authors differ in what they include but not in the Savior’s teachings and actions.
  2. See Matthew 21:10–11.
    • 10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?
      11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee. (Matthew 21:10–11)
  3. John 12:13.
    • Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. (John 12:13)
  4. Per Membership and Statistical Records, there are 102,592 members in Ghana.
  5. John 15:12.
    • This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. (John 15:12)
  6. Every time I spoke with members, they would say to me, “Elder Rasband, our dear Apostle, I love you.” These people are so filled with the Spirit and the love of God that they share that love easily. [Takoradi, Ghana].
  7. Matthew 21:9
    • And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. (Matthew 21:9)
  8. See Russell M. Nelson, “The Peace and Hope of Easter” (video 5 mins), Apr. 2021, ChurchofJesusChrist.org/media;
    • Isaiah 49:16. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me. 
  9. Doctrine and Covenants 122:8. In December 1838 the Prophet Joseph and a handful of other Church leaders were unjustly imprisoned in Liberty Jail. The conditions were dreadful. After months in wretched circumstances, he wrote to the members in March of 1839, including prayers where he had petitioned the Lord to have compassion on his situation and the “suffering saints.” He also shared the Lord’s response to those prayers as recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 121–23.
    • The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he? (D&C 122:8)
  10. Doctrine and Covenants 122:9. The Lord’s encouragement to Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail brought him comfort and spiritual understanding that adversity and trials can strengthen us, teach patience, and foster self-mastery. The Lord called for him to “hold on thy way,” which was the way of the Lord, enduring unjust treatment as had “the Son of [God, who] hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?” (Doctrine and Covenants 122:8).
    • Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever. (D&C 122:9)
    • See footnote #9a above.
  11. Doctrine and Covenants 122:9. The pledge that God “shall be with you” is a sure promise for those who hold fast to their faith and trust in the Lord.
  12. See Zechariah 9:9.
    • Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. (Zechariah 9:9)
  13. Matthew 20:18–19. James E. Talmage writes in Jesus the Christ: “It is … an astounding fact that the Twelve failed to comprehend His meaning. … To them there was some dreadful incongruity, some dire inconsistency or inexplicable contradiction in the sayings of their beloved Master. They knew Him to be the Christ, the Son of the living God; and how could such a One be brought into subjection and be slain?” ([1916], 502–3).
    • 18 Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death,
      19 And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again. (Matt 20:18-19)
  14. Joseph Smith made this declaration to the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, April 28, 1842, as quoted in “History of Joseph Smith,” Deseret News, Sept. 19, 1855, 218. Referring to the twelfth chapter of 1 Corinthians, he clarified the third verse, “No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost,” revising it to say, “No man can know that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” (See The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter-day Saint Women’s History [2016], 2.2, churchhistorianspress.org.)
  15. Jesus shared the Last Supper with His disciples (see Mark 14:12–18). The Twelve included Peter, Andrew, James, John, Matthew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, James (son of Alphaeus), Judas Iscariot, Judas (brother of James), and Simon (see Luke 6:13–16).
    • 12 ¶ And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?
      13 And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him.
      14 And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guest chamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?
      15 And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us.
      16 And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.
      17 And in the evening he cometh with the twelve.
      18 And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me. (Mark 14:12-18)
    • 13 ¶ And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;
      14 Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,
      15 Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphæus, and Simon called Zelotes,
      16 And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor. (Luke 6:13-16)
  16. Jesus instituted the sacrament with His disciples at the Last Supper (see Matthew 26:26–29; Mark 14:22–25; Luke 22:19–20).
    • 26 ¶ And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
      27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
      28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
      29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom. (Matt 26:26-29)
    • 22 ¶ And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.
      23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.
      24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.
      25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God. (Mark 14:22-25)
    • 19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
      20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. (Luke 22:19-20)
  17. The specific day/night in which Jesus instituted the sacrament in the “upper room” is actually disputed because of seeming discrepancies between Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Matthew, Mark, and Luke suggest that the Last Supper took place on “the first day of the feast of unleavened bread,” or the Passover meal (see Matthew 26:17; Mark 14:12; Luke 22:1, 7). John, however, suggests that Jesus was arrested before the Passover meal (see John 18:28), meaning that the Last Supper would have taken place one day earlier than the Passover meal. The Church’s curriculum materials and Latter-day Saint scholarship seem to agree that Jesus held the Last Supper with His disciples in the upper room on the evening before He was crucified. Christians who celebrate Holy Week recognize Thursday as the day of the Last Supper, Friday as the day of the Crucifixion, and Sunday as the day of Resurrection—according to the Gregorian calendar.
    • Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover? (Matt 26:17)
    • And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover? (Mark 14:12)
    • 1 Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.
      7 Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. (Luke 22:1, 7)
    • Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover. (John 18:28)
  18. John 14:18.
    • I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. (John 14:18)
  19. John 14:27.
    • Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)
  20. Doctrine and Covenants 20:77.
    • O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen. (D&C 20:77)
  21. Moroni 10:5.
    • And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. (Moroni 10:5)
  22. The Bible Dictionary explains, hosanna means “save now.” The word is taken from Psalm 118:25. “The chanting of this psalm was connected at the Feast of the Tabernacles with the waving of palm branches; hence the use of the word by the multitudes at our Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem” (Bible Dictionary, “Hosanna”). See Matthew 21:9, 15; Mark 11:9–10; John 12:13.
    • Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord: O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. (Psalm 118:25)
    • 9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.
      15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased, (Matt 21:9)
    • 9 And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord:
      10 Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest. (Mark 11:9-10)
    • Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. (John 12:13)
  23. Mark 15:14; Luke 23:21.
    • Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him. (Mark 15:14)
    • But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. (Luke 23:21)
  24. The centerpiece of our Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation was an infinite atonement that would ensure immortality for all His children and exaltation for those worthy to receive that blessing. When the Father said, “Whom shall I send?” Jesus Christ stepped forward: “Here am I, send me” (Abraham 3:27). President Russell M. Nelson has taught: “[Jesus Christ’s] mission was the Atonement. That mission was uniquely His. Born of a mortal mother and an immortal Father, He was the only one who could voluntarily lay down His life and take it up again (see John 10:14–18). The glorious consequences of His Atonement were infinite and eternal. He took the sting out of death and made temporary the grief of the grave (see 1 Corinthians 15:54–55). His responsibility for the Atonement was known even before the Creation and the Fall. Not only was it to provide for the resurrection and immortality of all humankind, but it was also to enable us to be forgiven of our sins—upon conditions established by Him. Thus His Atonement opened the way by which we could be united with Him and with our families eternally” (“The Mission and Ministry of Jesus Christ,” Ensign, Apr. 2013, 34; Liahona, Apr. 2013, 20).
    • And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first. (Abraham 3:27)
    • 14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
      15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
      16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
      17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
      18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (John 10:14-18)
    • 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
      55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (1 Cor 15:54-55)
  25. Resurrection consists of reuniting the body and the spirit in an immortal state, the body and spirit being inseparable and no longer bound to maladies of mortality or death (see Alma 11:45; 40:23).
    • Now, behold, I have spoken unto you concerning the death of the mortal body, and also concerning the resurrection of the mortal body. I say unto you that this mortal body is raised to an immortal body, that is from death, even from the first death unto life, that they can die no more; their spirits uniting with their bodies, never to be divided; thus the whole becoming spiritual and immortal, that they can no more see corruption. (Alma 11:45)
    • The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame. (Alma 40:23)
  26. Alma 5:26; see also Alma 5:14.
    • And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now? (Alma 5:26)
    • And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts? (Alma 5:14)
  27. The parable of the ten virgins is found in Matthew 25:1–12; Doctrine and Covenants 45:56–59. The surrounding chapters of Matthew 25 suggest that Jesus taught this parable during His last week, after entering Jerusalem in Matthew 21 and just before the Last Supper and His arrest in Matthew 26. In addition to the parable of the ten virgins given that last week, Jesus gave the parable of the fig tree (see Matthew 21:17–21; 24:32–33), parable of the two sons (see Matthew 21:28–32), and parable of the wicked husbandman (see Matthew 21:33–46).
    • 1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
      2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
      3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
      4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
      5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
      6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
      7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
      8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
      9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
      10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
      11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
      12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. (Matt 21:33-46)
    • 56 And at that day, when I shall come in my glory, shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten virgins.
      57 For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day.
      58 And the earth shall be given unto them for an inheritance; and they shall multiply and wax strong, and their children shall grow up without sin unto salvation.
      59 For the Lord shall be in their midst, and his glory shall be upon them, and he will be their king and their lawgiver. (D&C 45:56-59)
    • 17 ¶ And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there.
      18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.
      19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
      20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!
      21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. (Matt 21:17-21)
    • 32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
      33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. (Matt 24:32-33)
    • 28 ¶ But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.
      29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.
      30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.
      31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.
      32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.
    • 33 ¶ Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:
      34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.
      35 And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.
      36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.
      37 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.
      38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.
      39 And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.
      40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?
      41 They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.
      42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
      43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
      44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
      45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.
      46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet. (Matthew 21:33–46)
  28. Matthew 25:1.
    • Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. (Matt 25:1)
  29. Matthew 25:6.
    • And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. (Matt 26:6)
  30. Doctrine and Covenants 45:57.
    • For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day. (D&C 45:57)
  31. Doctrine and Covenants 45:59.
    • For the Lord shall be in their midst, and his glory shall be upon them, and he will be their king and their lawgiver. (D&C 45:59)
  32. See footnote #31.
  33. Matthew 25:12. In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord refers to those who presume to have “done many wonderful works,” saying, as suggested in the account of the five foolish virgins, “I know you not” (see Matthew 7:22–23).
    • But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. (Matt 25:12)
    • 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
      23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matt 7:22-23)
  34. Just as water is critical to mortal life, Jesus Christ and His teachings (living water) are critical for eternal life (see Guide to the Scriptures, “Living Water,” scriptures.ChurchofJesusChrist.org; see also Isaiah 12:3; Jeremiah 2:13; John 4:6–15; 7:37; 1 Nephi 11:25; Doctrine and Covenants 10:66; 63:23).
    • Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. (Isaiah 12:3)
    • For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. (Jeremiah 2:13)
    • 6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.
      7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.
      8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)
      9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
      10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
      11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
      12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
      13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
      14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
      15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. (John 4: 6-15)
    • In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. (John &:37)
    • And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life; which waters are a representation of the love of God; and I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God. (1 Nephi 11:25)
    • Yea, if they will come, they may, and partake of the waters of life freely. (D&C 10:66)
    • But unto him that keepeth my commandments I will give the mysteries of my kingdom, and the same shall be in him a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life. (D&C 63:23)
  35. 3 Nephi 4:32.
    • Yea, they did cry: Hosanna to the Most High God. And they did cry: Blessed be the name of the Lord God Almighty, the Most High God. (3 Nephi 4:32)
  36. Revelation 7:9.
    • After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; (Revelation 7:9)

Hope you have a wonderful Easter day!


Lesson Ideas

  • How would I use this handout as a lesson? Let people skim and pick a footnote, read it out loud, and then make their comments. Allow additional comments as they naturally come up. Rinse and repeat.
  • For an even better footnote lesson and discussion, give the handout to people beforehand and ask them to pick ONE footnote to read and make a short comment about it. Ensure people are glad they volunteered to read or comment by validating, thanking, echoing, etc.

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