Recently, I asked my husband if I could have him be a Guest Blogger. I suggested that he share with you a talk he recently gave in the adult session of Stake Conference. The title of his message was; "How I Have Rejoiced in the Gospel in My Life.
" Prior to his death, Lehi blessed his posterity. Speaking to his sons concerning the agency of man, he said: " Adam fell that men might be, and men are, that they might have joy".
To Rejoice is to feel joy or great delight..
(From Alma 26) paraphrasing
Ammon, Aaron, Omner and Himni, (the sons of Mosiah) and their brethren, did rejoice exceedingly, for the success which they had, had among the Lamanites, see that the Lord had granted unto them according to their prayers, and that he had also verified his word unto them in every particular.
Ammon addressed them saying: "My brothers and my brethren, behold I say unto you , how great reason have we to rejoice; for could we have supposed when we started from the land of Zarahemla that God would have granted unto us such great blessings".
His brother Aaron rebuked him, saying: Ammon, I fear that thy Joy doth carry thee away unto boasting." But Ammon said unto him: "I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God. Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full;....behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.
These four sons of Mosiah, and Alma the Younger were then reunited following 14 years of missionary service. On that occasion, Alma rejoiced upon seeing that his friends "were still his brethren in the Lord" and that "They had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth".
There are at least three causes of Joy and Rejoicing described in those verses in Alma:
~Joy in serving your fellow man.
~Joy in witnessing the salvation of others.
~Joy in being reunited with loved ones and witnessing their righteousness.
I have learned that all occasions for rejoicing within the Gospel have at least three things in common. With each experience: I feel the presence of the Holy Ghost within me, an increased Love for the Savior, and a spirit of Charity.
I have experienced joy in giving Priesthood Blessings -blessings to aid in comfort, healing, peace, understanding, counsel and guidance.
I have experienced great joy in teaching the gospel; whether in the class room, the living room, a child's room, during worship services and a funeral service, in an investigator's home, on an airplane, or in a crowded cafe.These are the joys intended for all of God's children, "Men are that they might have Joy".
Sister Williams and I have the blessing and opportunity to experience joy and rejoicing on regular basis as we serve on our Inner City Mission.~ We rejoice when a member attends church for the first time in years, perhaps even decades.
~ We rejoice then someone we are assisting rises and walks to the pulpit to bare a testimony for the very first time ever or for the first time in years.
~ We rejoice knowing obedient saints pay tithes and offerings and share what little they have with someone who has even less.
~We rejoice when someone receiving assistance - considers the needs of a neighbor above his or her own.
~ We rejoice when faithful saints walk blocks - even miles at times and in difficult weather to attend meetings and fulfill assignments.
~ We rejoice in the opportunity to teach principles of self-reliance to individuals and couples who listen and follow the Bishop's counsel.
~ We rejoice with every small step taken by someone in need, who trusts in the Lord and demonstrates faith in keeping a difficult commandment.
~ We rejoice in knowing that the Lord is patient with us, and therefore has like expectations for us to be patient with all those we serve.
~ We rejoice in the knowledge that there are faithful and loving leaders in the Ward and the Stake we serve in who have a testimony of this inspired role of the Church - to care for the poor and the needy.
As with Ammon, I too declare..."I cannot say the smallest part which I feel".
May we all have cause to rejoice and feel the Savior's love as we strive to perform the Savior's work.