Our Joy Gives Our Father Joy (3 Nephi 27:30)

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.

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The Joy of Christ’s Visit to the Americas (3 Nephi 19:25)

I honestly can’t imagine what it would have been like to be in the ancient Americas when Christ visited. I can imagine their lives right before Christ’s visit (when there was rampant corruption in the government and other problems), but the joy and peace that existed when Christ visited the Americas is incredible.

“And it came to pass that Jesus blessed them as they did pray unto him; and his countenance did smile upon them, and the light of his countenance did shine upon them, and behold they were as white as the countenance and also the garments of Jesus; and behold the whiteness thereof did exceed all the whiteness, yea, even there could be nothing upon earth so white as the whiteness thereof.” – 3 Nephi 19:25

The Savior blessed the people as they prayed to him.

His countenance smiled on them. (Can you imagine that?)

And His light shone upon them – to the point where they were purified and somewhat changed.

There isn’t really much for me to say. I guess I don’t know why I’m even sharing this. Other than this is a hope I have. This is the purpose to life. To progress, to have joy, and to one day be like Christ. I know that I can’t do it in and of myself.

The people didn’t shine through their own virtue. Their faith and prayers accessed Christ’s power in their own lives. And then through Christ, and through their willingness and faith, they were made pure.

It just sounds pretty amazing. It sounds absolutely joyful.

Healing the Sick (3 Nephi 17:7-10)

In the Book of Mormon, when Christ visits the people in the Americas, we read:

“Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.

For I perceive that ye desire that I should show unto you what I have done unto your brethren at Jerusalem, for I see that your faith is sufficient that I should heal you.

And it came to pass that when he had thus spoken, all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him.

And they did all, both they who had been healed and they who were whole, bow down at his feet, and did worship him; and as many as could come for the multitude did kiss his feet, insomuch that they did bathe his feet with their tears.” – 3 Nephi 17:7-10

Christ heals the people. In my mind, this would result in unspeakable joy. Any person who is sick or otherwise afflicted grows weary of illness. I haven’t had to experience too much in life, but I’ve been sick.

While I was pregnant, and for a year or so after, I experienced chronic pelvic pain. I have had kidney stones. I have had severe eczema causing rashes all over my body. I have had the flu. I’ve had a cold. I’ve had the chicken pox. I’ve had endometriosis. I’ve had my tonsils removed.

And I’ve had it really, really easy.

But in those times of suffering, the idea of healing…well…that was joy. That was music to my ears. When I passed a kidney stone (after days of torturous pain and hospitalization), I jumped for joy! I called out to my husband! “Look! My kidney stone! I passed it.”

Sounds silly. But anyone who has experienced this kind of pain understands.

We have all suffered illness. Physical, mental, spiritual, emotional. We all need healing.

There are so many people in this world who suffer so much more than I do. And that’s what Christ heals us from: suffering in all forms.

What Joy.

When we turn to Christ, He will ease our suffering. He will teach us. He will strengthen us. And eventually, He will deliver us.