Today, I read a really hopeful and comforting scripture.
“For the Lord shall comfort Zion, he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.” – 2 Nephi 8:3
I’m reading the Book of Mormon with an emphasis on joy. And so often we are told that joy and happiness comes with keeping the commandments, covenanting with God, etc.
Yet, we still experience sadness, misery, and pain. No one, not even the righteous, are exempt from illness, injustices, betrayal, and other unfortunate experiences.
It can be tempting to get into “instant-gratification mode” and think that we should have comfortable easy lives if we are keeping the covenants we have made with God.
The truth is, Zion – those who are righteous covenant keepers – will go through difficulty and pain. However, the Lord will comfort her.
We will experience our own waste places, deserts, and rough patches in life.
And though the Lord may not transform these difficult experiences immediately, He will make them like Eden.
I like thinking about this very literally, too. I lived in Arizona. The Desert. Then I moved to Hawai’i. Paradise. What a stark difference!
If we remain faithful, the Lord promises to consecrate our afflictions. We will find joy. Thanksgiving. We will sing a song of praise.
And while we still must live through a vail of tears and difficulty, we can let this hope comfort us now. We can rejoice and give thanks now. We can live with a happy song in our hearts now – because we have the hope of Christ.