Thursday, November 19, 2020

Elder D. Todd Christofferson on finding joy even in trials

Elder D. Todd Christofferson (born January 24, 1945) was called to the Seventy in 1993, and as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2008.
"Even when we are found faithfully keeping the commandments, there are trials and tragedies that could interrupt our joy. But as we strive to overcome these challenges with the Savior’s help, it preserves both the joy we feel now and the joy we anticipate. Christ reassured His disciples, 'In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world' (John 16:33). It is in turning to Him, obeying Him, binding ourselves to Him that trial and sorrow are turned to joy....

"In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were 'in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery' (2 Ne 2:23). Now, as accountable beings, we find joy in overcoming misery in whatever form, whether it be sin, trial, weakness, or any other obstacle to happiness. This is the joy of sensing progress in the path of discipleship; the joy of 'having received a remission of … sins, and having peace of conscience' (Mosi 4:3); the joy of feeling one’s soul expand and grow through the grace of Christ."

- D. Todd Christofferson, "The Joy of the Saints," General Conference October 2019, Saturday morning

Many things in this life can, and do, interrupt our joy—including, Elder Christofferson observes, "trials and tragedies" that can befall even the most righteous and undeserving. Challenges are oversome "with the Savior's help" as we turn to Him.

Elder Christofferson mentions two kinds of joy—"the joy we feel now and the joy we anticipate." Both are important. At times we get caught up only in the "now" part of the picutre, and we want that immediate peace and happiness at any cost. Other times, we console ourselves in the hope for the eventual joy, the one that will come in the distant eternities. But both are important, and both are attainable. 
Elder Christofferson invites us to turn to Him, obey Him, and to bind ourselves to Him. And he reminds us that we will "find joy in overcoming misery in whatever form, whether it be sin, trial, weakness, or any other obstacle." Pure and lasting joy comes only in and through the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2020)

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