Not far outside the walls of the old city of Jerusalem lies a beautiful garden quietly secluded from the noisy world surrounding it. There is a sense of sacredness within its walls. Upon entering the garden, one’s eyes are drawn toward a tomb—an empty tomb. People come to the garden because of this tomb. Its emptiness stands as a testimony of the completeness of a greater plan.
While living and studying in Jerusalem, I went to this garden often, and on one particular day, after wandering through the quiet walkways, I found my favorite bench and sat down. Shaded by large trees, and nestled behind some flowering bushes, I felt alone. I listened to the birds and thought about the events that took place in the area long ago.
As I opened my scriptures, and my eyes focused on the printed page, the world around me faded. Reading the words was almost unnecessary, for during the months I had spent studying in Israel, they had become imprinted in my mind: “Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulcher, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus. …” (John 19:40–42.)
As I read, images filled my mind. These images came to life and moved before me.
Hastily entering the garden before the sun lowered in the sky, Joseph and Nicodemus carried Christ’s limp body to the tomb where it would be embalmed. Tearful women, devoted to the Savior’s teachings, followed and watched from a distance as the men wrapped the body of their Lord in clean linen with spices, and then laid it on the stone bench in the newly-hewn sepulchre. The sky darkened. The men finished their work and struggled to roll the large stone in place, sealing the tomb. …
Without my thinking about it, my eyes left the page, but they remained focused on the images. … Time passed. The tomb was empty now; the stone rolled away.
Slowly the images in my mind began to fade. The stone bench felt hard beneath me; I heard the birds in the trees above me. As the last image faded completely away, my eyes focused on a bush directly in front of me. It was a flowering daisy bush.
I stared at that bush, fascinated by each individual flower. Pure white petals encircled velvety orange-yellow centers. The face of each flower seemed so innocent, supportive, and cheerful. I felt captivated by their beauty and their message. A scripture came to mind: “And behold, all things have their likeness, and all things are created and made to bear record of me, …” (Moses 6:63.)
I realized that all things are a living testimony of the divinity of Jesus Christ! Each daisy bore testimony that he lives! Their orange-yellow eyes looked upward, single to his glory. His beloved and beautiful creations possess no capacity to doubt his light and truth, for all things were created by him and bear record of him. What love and support Christ must have felt when looking into a bush of daisies, each flower praising him! When the crowds scorned and mocked him; as all the world seemed to turn on him, rejecting him, even hating him, how he must have received comfort from his simple creations and their unwavering testimonies of him.
While living in the land of Israel, I often thought about the great events recorded in scripture. Great things have happened in places surrounded by beautiful creations—high on mountain tops, in sacred groves—and in gardens.
The daisy’s example taught me a simple, but important lesson. I often contemplate the mission I have as one of God’s creations. Would Christ feel love and support if he were to look into my eyes? Are they single to his glory? Does my countenance reflect his love? Do my actions bear a strong and sure testimony that he lives?
I wrote this article for The New Era magazine. It was published in March 1989.