Sunday, October 16, 2016

Rejoice!

Think of the times you've felt the most joy. I don't mean feeling happy. I mean truly joyful. Chances are, there was probably a lot of things in your life that are disassociated from the joyful memories.

I remember back to my mission. I truly found great joy while I was out there serving the Lord with all my might. There was nowhere else I wanted to be. And most Returned Missionaries will tell you the same thing. The months of knocking a thousand doors with few opening, and even fewer staying open, all the hard work with nothing to show for your efforts, and so forth. All of that is going on, yet missionaries remember it as one of the most joyful times of their lives.

I think of a good friend who has had trials with cancer for years. He faces every day with optimism and finds true and lasting happiness serving in the Temple as often as he can, and just being a help to others around him.

I think of my struggles over the past few years, and while dealing with the major anxiety I've faced, I have had some truly happy moments, and would describe this time as a joyful experience.

Why?

Joy is not connected with mortal life. Joy is connected with the eternities. Sure, none of us are ever going to be perfect, and that may lead to lessened joy. But the gospel promises are not limited to the perfect. The Lord grants the gift of joy to "those who love me and keep all my commandments, and [those] that seeketh so to do" (Doctrine & Covenants 46:9).

Sure, wickedness can lead to times of rejoicing, but only seeking after righteousness will we truly ever find joy. Even in our darkest hours, joy can be found in and through and by and because of the blood of the Holy Messiah. If you want more joy, repent. If you suffer pains and afflictions, you can still experience joy. The Savior will provide you with such immense joy, you will not know why it comes, because it is disconnected from this world, and if you do what's right for the world to come, your spirit will always return to the purpose of your creation: to find joy.