Friday, July 14, 2017

President Russell M. Nelson on finding true joy in our lives

President Russell M. Nelson (b. Sept 9, 1924) was an internationally-renowned heart surgeon when he was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1984. He was set apart as president of the Quorum of Twelve on July 15, 2015.
"As we diligently focus on the Savior and then follow His pattern of focusing on joy, we need to avoid those things that can interrupt our joy. Remember Korihor, the anti-Christ? Spewing falsehoods about the Savior, Korihor went from place to place until he was brought before a high priest who asked him: 'Why do ye go about perverting the ways of the Lord? Why do ye teach this people that there shall be no Christ, to interrupt their rejoicings?' (Alma 30:22.)
"Anything that opposes Christ or His doctrine will interrupt our joy. That includes the philosophies of men, so abundant online and in the blogosphere, which do exactly what Korihor did.
"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.
"He taught us how to have joy. When we choose Heavenly Father to be our God and when we can feel the Savior’s Atonement working in our lives, we will be filled with joy. Every time we nurture our spouse and guide our children, every time we forgive someone or ask for forgiveness, we can feel joy.
"Every day that you and I choose to live celestial laws, every day that we keep our covenants and help others to do the same, joy will be ours."
- Russell M. Nelson, "Joy and Spiritual Survival," General Conference, October 2016
Click here to read or hear the complete talk

As we seek to increase the amount of joy in our life, it seems to be a great key to know what things can "interrupt our joy." President Nelson suggests some areas we should be cautious about, particularly involving the world and its philosophies that can be critical, demeaning, and destructive to faith in Jesus Christ. The explosion of online discussions gives such a forum for people to share thoughts in ways that can demean and distract.

The key, then, is to remember that we don't find real joy through the "formulas for happiness" so often suggested by the world, because  "joy is a gift for the faithful" given by God to those who are "intentionally trying to live a righteous life" by following the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We don't stumble upon joy; we find it by seeking it in that one and true path. So then, every time we make a choice to follow a commandment, nurture or bless those around us, keep a covenant, forgive another, or live celestial laws—every time, we can be assured that our joy will increase. What a marvelous witness to an eternal principle.

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

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