Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Joy in the Journey Part 3

So I just had one of THE most fun get-togethers with three of my high school friends.  We are talking and stuff and it comes up that a mutual friend has posted one of his talks on FB.  And that is apparently VERY uncouth.  And I'm sitting here thinking, um, I've just broken my talk up into several different posts and put in on my blog.  Man.  That's tacky.

Then I think, hey, this blog thing is really for me, right?  And I want a copy of my own talk.  So avert your eyes if you think it's tacky.  I brag about my kids and I know that's tacky, too.  But, I don't really care.  For the record, no one is *making* you read this.  And who knows?  Maybe someone who stumbles on this needs it.  

Another obstacle that we face in experiencing joy is our perception of the trials we experience—note that I say the perception of our trials and not the trials themselves.  Words of prophets, both modern day and in the scriptures are replete with examples of those who experience joy during trials and testimony that we can do the same.

One of my favorite examples is in Helamen chapter 3. 

This was a time of great prosperity in the church.  In fact, in the previous couple of years there were tens of thousands of new converts to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  But as always happens in times of prosperity, pride began to enter in and some of the people began to persecute other members of the church. 

In verses 34 and 35 we read, “And they were lifted up in pride even to the persecution of many of their brethren.  Now this was a great evil, which did cause the more humble part of the people to suffer great persecutions, and to wade through much affliction.  Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.”

I love that it says they grew stronger and stronger in their humility.  When do we ever think of being strong in humility?  But the thing I love the most is that these humble people received joy and consolation WHILE wading through affliction.  That is potent imagery.  When I think of wading, I think of slogging through water up to my knees at least.  Perhaps the water is up to my waist, where it’s difficult to take a step forward and everything requires so much effort.  And it was at this time, not after the trial was over, but while wading through affliction that these people in Helamen received joy and consolation because they yielded their hearts to God.  They trusted Him.  And because they rested their problems and struggles in God’s hands they had joy.

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