B2 High-Intermediate US 14 Folder Collection
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00:00:00,000 --> 00:00:06,880 The Book of Mormon prophet Enos, Lehi's grandson,
wrote of a singular experience that
happened earlier in his life.
While hunting alone in the forest,
Enos began pondering on the teachings of his father, Jacob.
He related, "The words which I had often heard my father
speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints,
sunk deep into my heart."
In the spiritual hunger of his soul,
Enos knelt in prayer, a remarkable prayer that
lasted through the day and into the night, a prayer that
brought him crucial revelations, assurances, and promises.
There is much to be learned from Enos's experience,
but today what stands out in my mind
is Enos's memory of his father speaking often
of "the joy of the saints."
In this conference three years ago, President Russell M.
Nelson spoke of joy.
Among other things, he said:
"The joy we feel has little to do
with the circumstances of our lives and everything
to do with the focus of our lives.
"When the focus of our lives is on God's plan of salvation ...
and Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy regardless
of what is happening--or not happening--in our lives.
Joy comes from and because of Him. ...
For Latter-day Saints, Jesus Christ is joy!"
00:01:43,210 --> 00:01:46,300 Saints are those who have entered into the gospel
covenant through baptism and are striving to follow
Christ as His disciples.
Thus, "the joy of the saints" denotes
the joy of becoming Christlike.
I would like to speak of the joy that
comes from keeping His commandments,
the joy that arises from overcoming sorrow
and weakness through Him, and the joy inherent in serving
as He served.
The joy of keeping Christ's commandments.
We live in a hedonistic age, when many
question the importance of the Lord's commandments
or simply ignore them.
Not infrequently, people who flout
divine directives such as the law of chastity,
the standard of honesty, the holiness of the Sabbath
seem to prosper and enjoy the good things of life, at times
even more so than those who are striving to be obedient.
Some begin to wonder if the effort and sacrifices are
worth it.
The ancient people of Israel once complained:
"It is vain to serve God: and what profit
is it that we have kept his ordinance,
and that we have walked mournfully
before the Lord of hosts?
"And now we call the proud happy;
yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they
that tempt God are even delivered."
Just wait, said the Lord, until "that day
when I make up my jewels."
"Then shall ye ... discern between the righteous
and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that
serveth him not."
The wicked may "have joy in their works for a season,"
but it is always temporary.
The joy of the Saints is enduring.
God sees things in their true perspective,
and He shares that perspective with us
through His commandments, effectively guiding us
around the pitfalls and potholes of mortality
toward eternal joy.
The Prophet Joseph Smith explained:
"When His commandments teach us it is in view of eternity;
for we are looked upon by God as though we were in eternity.
God dwells in eternity and does not view things as we do."
I haven't met anyone who found the gospel later in life
that didn't wish it could have been earlier.
"Oh, the poor choices, the mistakes I could have avoided,"
they will say.
The Lord's commandments are our guide
to better choices and happier outcomes.
How we ought to rejoice and thank Him
for showing us this more excellent way.
As a teenager, Sister Kalombo Rosette Kamwanya
from the DR Congo, now serving in the Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan
West Mission, fasted and prayed for three days
to find the direction God wanted her to take.
In a remarkable night vision, she
was shown two buildings, a chapel
and what she now realizes was a temple.
She began to search and soon found the chapel
she had seen in her dream.
The sign said, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Sister Kamwanya was baptized and then her mother and her six
Sister Kamwanya said, "When I received the gospel,
I felt like a captured bird that had been liberated.
My heart was filled with joy. ...
I had the assurance that God loves me."
Keeping the Lord's commandments enables us
more fully and more easily to feel His love.
The strait and narrow path of the commandments
leads directly to the tree of life.
And the tree and its fruit, the sweetest and "most desirable
above all things," are a representation
of the love of God and fill the soul
"with exceedingly great joy."
00:05:43,080 --> 00:05:45,979 SAID THE SAVIOR: "If ye keep my commandments,
ye shall abide in my love; even as I
have kept my Father's commandments,
and abide in his love.
"These things have I spoken unto you,
that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy
might be full."
Second, the joy of overcoming through Christ.
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."
It is in turning to Him, obeying Him, binding ourselves to Him
that trial and sorrow are turned to joy.
I mention one example.
In 1989, Jack Rushton was serving
as president of the Irvine California Stake,
in the United States.
During a family vacation on the California coast,
Jack was bodysurfing when a wave swept him
into a submerged rock, breaking his neck
and severely injuring his spinal cord.
Jack said later, "The instant I hit, I knew I was paralyzed."
He could no longer talk or even breathe on his own.
Family, friends, and stake members
rallied around Brother Rushton and his wife, Jo Anne,
and, among other things, remodeled
a section of their home to accommodate Jack's wheelchair.
Jo Anne became Jack's principal caregiver
for the next 23 years.
Referring to Book of Mormon accounts of how
the Lord visited his people in their afflictions
and made their burdens light, Jo Anne said,
"I am often amazed at the lightness of heart I
feel in caring for my husband."
An alteration to his respiration system
restored Jack's ability to speak, and within the year
Jack was called as Gospel Doctrine teacher and stake
When he would give a patriarchal blessing,
another priesthood holder placed Brother Rushton's hand
on the head of the person receiving the blessing
and supported his hand and arm during the blessing.
Jack passed away on Christmas Day 2012,
after 22 years of devoted service.
Once in an interview, Jack observed:
"Problems will come into all ... our lives;
it's [just] part of ... being here ... on this earth.
And some people think that religion or having faith in God
will protect you from bad things.
I don't think that's the point.
I think the point is that if our faith is strong,
that when bad things happen, which they will,
we'll be able to deal with them.
My faith never wavered, but that didn't mean
that I didn't have depressions.
I think for the first time in my life,
I was pushed to the limit, and literally
there was nowhere to turn, and so I turned to the Lord,
and to this day, I feel a spontaneity of joy."
This is a day of sometimes merciless attacks
in social media and in person against those
who seek to uphold the Lord's standard in dress,
entertainment, and sexual purity.
It is often the youth and young adults among the Saints,
as well as women and mothers, who
bear this cross of mocking and persecution.
It is not easy to rise above such abuse,
but remember the words of Peter: "If ye
be reproached for the name of Christ,
happy are ye; for the spirit of glory
and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil
spoken of, but on your part he is glorified."
In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve
were "in a state of innocence, having no joy,
for they knew no misery."
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";
the joy of feeling one's soul expand and grow through
the grace of Christ.
Finally, the joy of serving as Christ.
The Savior finds joy in bringing to pass our immortality
and eternal life.
In speaking of the Savior's Atonement,
President Russell M. Nelson said:
"As in all things, Jesus Christ is our ultimate exemplar,
'who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross.'
Think of that!
In order for Him to endure the most excruciating experience
ever endured on earth, our Savior focused on joy!
"And what was the joy that was set before Him?
Surely it included the joy of cleansing [and] healing ...
and strengthening us; the joy of paying for the sins of all who
would repent; the joy of making it possible for you and me
to return home--clean and worthy--to live with
our Heavenly Parents and families."
00:11:36,590 --> 00:11:38,990 Similarly, the joy "set before us"
is the joy of assisting the Savior
in His work of redemption.
As the seed and children of Abraham,
we participate in blessing all the families
of the earth "with the blessings of the Gospel, which
are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal."
00:11:59,490 --> 00:12:03,200 THE WORDS OF ALMA COME TO MIND: "This is my glory, that perhaps
I may be an instrument in the hands of God
to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.
"And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent,
and coming to the Lord their God,
then is my soul filled with joy. ...
"But I do not joy in my own success alone,
but my joy is more full because of the success of my brethren,
who have been up to the land of Nephi. ...
"Now, when I think of the success of these my brethren
my soul is carried away, even to the separation of it
from the body, as it were, so great is my joy."
The fruits of our service to one another in the Church
are part of the joy "set before us."
Even in times of discouragement or stress,
we can minister patiently if we are focused
on the joy of pleasing God and bringing light, relief,
and happiness to His children, our brothers and sisters.
When in Haiti last month for the dedication
of the Port-au-Prince temple, Elder David and Sister Susan
Bednar met with a young sister whose husband
had been killed a few days earlier in a tragic accident.
They wept together with her.
Yet on Sunday, this dear woman was
in her place as an usher at the dedication services
with a soft, welcoming smile for all who entered the temple.
00:13:38,270 --> 00:13:41,930 I believe that the ultimate "joy of the saints"
comes in knowing that the Savior pleads their cause,
"and no one can conceive of the joy which [will fill] our souls
[as] we [hear Jesus] pray for us unto the Father."
With President Russell M. Nelson,
I testify that joy is a gift for faithful Saints "who
have endured the crosses of the world"
and who are "intentionally trying
to live a righteous life, as taught by Jesus Christ."
May your joy be full, I pray, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
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The Joy of the Saints

14 Folder Collection
王杰 published on March 22, 2020
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