I just want to share to you my talk earlier this year. I know that this is the first time that you would read something like this from me. I just realized that if there’s any place I would want my own talks to be published, it is going to be in this blog first. I hope some of you will find comfort and inspiration with these words.
Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.
These are the words of Ammon after their very successful missionary work with the Lamanites. Now I would like to ask you the same thing. Have we not reason to rejoice?
I would like to share to you some of the things that would give us reason to rejoice.
We rejoice because of Jesus Christ. We rejoice because the Savior laid down his life to atone for our sins. For me personally I would never be able to survive a day of not having my son around. I get easily affected when he suffers or gets hurt. With this in mind, I can never comprehend how painful it had been for Heavenly Father to offer his own son as a sacrifice to redeem us so that the plan would be fulfilled. We rejoice because we know that through the atonement of Jesus Christ we, with our family, will have the chance to be with our Heavenly Father again someday.
Another reason we rejoice is having the Book of Mormon. I love the Book of Mormon. It is my source of strength. We all know how much our Prophet Joseph Smith suffered and even offered his own life just to be able to bring to us the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ which is contained in the Book of Mormon, not to mention all the work that was done by the old prophets to keep these records which now serves as our guide in these days.
Third, we rejoice because we know the plan of salvation.
“The source of the kind of joy which causes us to rejoice is an understanding of the plan of salvation…. That having been said, the Resurrection and Atonement wrought by the Savior and the promise of eternal life with our loved ones are of such overwhelming significance that to not rejoice would demonstrate a lack of understanding of the Savior’s gift. Joy comes when we have the Spirit in our lives (see Alma 22:15). When we have the Spirit, we rejoice in what the Savior has done for us.”
Elder Quentin L. Cook
“And thou shalt arejoice in every good thing which the Lord thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the bstranger that is among you.”
We might be struggling now because of finances, we might be having a hard time making ends meet, but we rejoice because we know that if we pay an honest tithing the Lord will not suffer that we will go hungry, or naked, or homeless. We know that if we are faithful with our tithing and learn self reliance, the Lord will always provide.
We might be suffering now because of sickness or diseases that we don’t have control of, but we rejoice because we are still alive and we know that through the resurrection we will someday be made whole and will be restored back to health.
We might sometimes feel sad because of some family members who are not with us today. We might be mourning over a loss of a family member or a friend, but we rejoice because we know that there is still hope and that if we continue to work hard in doing the Lord’s work, we will be families together forever.
We might sometimes feel empty or lonely because of failed relationships, but we rejoice because we know that life doesn’t end there and that the plan will move forward and that if we will endure faithfully, we will receive all the blessings that God has in store for us.
It’s funny and so ironic that I cry whenever I rejoice. Whenever a thought or a message touched my heart deeply and tears started to fall from my eyes, my son would always ask me why I was crying. And then his confusion would start when I answered “Because I am happy.”
I want you to know that I do really rejoice because I can feel the love of our Heavenly Father. I rejoice because of my family. I rejoice because of my son. I might not have the material things in the world, I might not have the iPad, the iPhone, the iMac, and all the other “i’s” but I rejoice because I know that I already have all the things in the world that I need to be able to grow spiritually.
I pray that you would also find rejoicing in your hearts the same way I do. There’s so much love in the world and it is my prayer that we rejoice in every good thing that we have.