Towards the end of President Nelson's conference talk “Joy and Spiritual Survival” he states, “If we look to the world and follow its formulas for happiness, we will never know joy. The unrighteous may experience any number of emotions and sensations, but they will never experience joy! Joy is a gift for the faithful. It is the gift that comes from intentionally trying to live a righteous life, as taught by Jesus Christ.”
This strong statement caused me to reflect on my life and to think about the times when I think I have felt joy. For me what I think of as joy is usually closely tied to gratitude. And then I feel more gratitude for the feeling of joy. I often receive this blessing when I'm thinking about those I serve and love when I see them make good decisions.
Not long after these contemplations while reading in the Book of Mormon, I read, (3 Ne 27:30 – 31)
“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.”
Now just as I cannot comprehend the suffering that the Savior experienced when he suffered for my sins I also believe I cannot now comprehend the fulness of joy that the Savior was experiencing when he made this statement.
Interestingly some will suffer as the Savior suffered, (D&C 19: 16-17) “For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent: But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;”
Likewise some will experience a fulness of joy, (3 Ne 28:10)“And for this cause ye shall have fulness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fulness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are one;”
When we talk about eternal blessings we talk of being “...heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.”(Romans 8:17) I believe that among the choicest blessing of being a joint-heir with Christ will be to receive a fullness of joy. Or as we learn from Lehi, “And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.” (1 Ne 8:12)