There are so many great scriptures in the Book of Mormon about joy, but today I liked this one especially:
“And now, behold, my joy is great, even unto fulness, because of you, and also this generation; yea, and even the Father rejoiceth, and also all the holy angels, because of you and this generation; for none of them are lost.
Behold, I would that ye should understand; for I mean them who are now alive of this generation; and none of them are lost; and in them I have fulness of joy.
But behold, it sorroweth me because of the fourth generation from this generation, for they are led away captive by him even as was the son of perdition; for they will sell me for silver and for gold, and for that which moth doth corrupt and which thieves can break through and steal. And in that day will I visit them, even in turning their works upon their own heads.” – 3 Nephi 27:30-32
In this scripture, Christ, himself, tells the Nephites that his joy is full because they are all redeemed – on account of their faith in Christ, repentance, and covenant.
He says, “and none of them are lost; and in them I have a fulness of joy.”
Lost – I can resonate with this because I’m a parent. I have children that I love deeply, and that I work, hope, pray, and sacrifice for on a daily basis. I haven’t lost a child. Not even for a moment. I know that I’m fortunate.
I have seen the profound impact a lost child has on a parent, though. I remember my sister got lost a few times – here and there – at amusement parks or other inconvenient places. Mostly, I remember my parents scolding us to stay with them – so we don’t get lost!
Several years ago, I had another sibling lost in addiction and turmoil. There came a point when this sibling left – and we didn’t hear at all from him for years. Those were very difficult years for my parents, even though my brother was an adult. We don’t stop loving our children. We don’t stop rooting for them, supporting them, and praying for their own success and joy.
When they are lost – it is devastating.
For three-ish years my brother was lost, then miraculously he was found. It was joyous – that he was “not lost.”
The point is – this concept resonates with me. God’s joy is our joy.
And His sorrow comes when we stray from Him, when we do not succeed and grow in this life, but instead choose to become captive to sin.
Understanding this helps us to desire righteousness. The commandments aren’t rules given by an abstract and arbitrary God. The commandments are safety nets and hedges that will bring us joy and success – given to us by a loving Father in Heaven. When we learn to trust in Him, then we will experience joy. And, our Joy will bring Him Joy.