Monday, July 31, 2017

President James E. Faust on the lasting joy of the Gospel

President James E. Faust (1920-2007) was called as a Seventy in 1976, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve in 1978. He served as a counselor to President Hinckley from 1995 until his death in 2007 at age 87.
"One might ask, then what are the fruits of the Spirit? Paul answered this by saying they are 'love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance' (Gal. 5:22-23). The joy we seek is not a temporary emotional high, but a habitual inner joy learned from long experience and trust in God. Lehi's teaching to his son Jacob declares, 'Men are, that they might have joy' (2 Ne 2:25). To achieve this great objective, we must 'give ear to the voice of the living God.'
"I wish to testify as a living witness that joy does come through listening to the Spirit, for I have experienced it. Those who live the gospel learn to live 'after the manner of happiness' (2 Ne. 5:27) as did the Nephites.... Abundant evidence verifies the promise of peace, hope, love, and joy as gifts of the Spirit. Our voices join in a united petition for all of God's children to partake of these gifts also."
- James E. Faust, "Voice of the Spirit," Ensign, June 2006, pp. 2-6
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The quest for joy in life needs to be understood in the proper terms. President Faust explains that there is a difference between "temporary emotional high" and "habitual inner joy." That's a distinction that is too often forgotten in the world. True joy, President Faust clarifies, is "learned from long experience and trust in God."

A loving Heavenly Father wants His children to find joy in this life. President Faust bears witness that it is possible for us; his experience in life demonstrated to him that joy comes when we listen to God's Spirit prompting and guiding us. The spiritual gifts of "peace, hope, love, and joy" come from God as we are ready to receive them!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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