17 August 2011

Is This Joy?

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Joy is more than happiness. Joy is the ultimate sensation of well-being. It comes from being complete and in harmony with our Creator and his eternal laws.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks


We all know the scripture that says: "Men are, that they might have joy." (2 Nephi 2:25)

Did you notice that the word 'might' is used? Not 'may', not 'should', but 'might.' We use may when something is likely to happen. Might is used when the outcome of an event is uncertain or unlikely. So, is that how the scripture was meant? Can we find joy in this life for certain? Is joy attainable?

In his Ensign Nov 1991 article Joy and Mercy, elder Dallin H. Oaks has said:
"When I think of happiness or joy in this life, I begin with some experiences that are simple and basic. I see the expression on the face of a one-year-old taking those first steps. I remember a two-year-old immersed in a soft ice cream cone. I think of a child loving a puppy or a kitten.
"Another source of happiness and mortal joy is the accomplishment of worthy goals, simple things like physical exercise or more complex goals like the completion of an arduous task.
"Other goals have eternal significance. Their completion produces joy in this life and the promise of eternal joy in the world to come. A few weeks ago Elder Rex D. Pinegar and I saw an example of this as we visited the beautifully renovated temple in Cardston, Alberta. In the brides’ room stood a lovely young woman in her wedding dress. She was there because she had made righteous choices. The look in her eyes and the expression on her face were a perfect embodiment of joy.
"But despite all we can do, we cannot have a fullness of joy in this world or through our own efforts. (See D&C 101:36.) Only in Christ can our joy be full."
Whether it's parents getting remarried, achieving a worthy goal, having a son going on a mission, welcoming a most desired baby into the family, I believe that we can find joy in this life.

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