That They Might Have Joy

Hello to my family & friends, both old and new. My heart is pounding with joy and gratitude right this very second for a few reasons: 1) I have officially launched my blog, , which has been an act of courage and has required months of long, hard hours of learning 2) My Father in Heaven has provided me with His strength to pursue my writing dreams 3) You are taking a moment out of your day to hear about mine. I express my love to you for supporting me. Thank you.

Happiness has been on my mind lately. This is one of those moments in life when, well, I am extremely happy. Lucky me. A scripture in the Book of Mormon says, “Men are that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:25) and as I grew up, I thought that scripture was teaching us that the purpose of this mortal life is to be happy, and therefore, if you are not generally happy then you’re surely doing something wrong. However, the more I have learned about our Savior and about the blessing of mortality, I realize that to achieve joy in the long-term, sometimes we must sacrifice happiness in the short-term. Such a sacrifice can also require transition.

Let’s take Joseph & Emma Smith, for example. They and many of the early saints in church history led lives that were difficult, and as the wonderful faithful people they were, it’s hard to imagine they looked back on those times of trial and persecution as times of happiness. Leaving their faith and the Gospel of Jesus Christ would have been easier and an incredible relief from their emotional and physical pain, BUT THEY DIDN’T. Instead, they endured. They lead 70,000 Mormon pioneers approximately 1,300 miles from Nauvoo, Illinois, to the Great Salt Lake Valley. They transitioned their entire lives and sacrificed for joy, the kind of joy that comes after we endure our trials well. Joy is an emotion of the spirit and the result if we faithfully endure our pain. What joy isn’t is pretending everything is perfect all the time.

If life were perfect, why would we have the Savior and His atonement? He chose to endure excruciating pain while on the cross and He endured His pain faithfully because He knew He could have eternal joy — a joy that comes from allowing His brothers and sisters to repent and return to Him. Because of this, we can also choose to have eternal joy. Sometimes we must choose to change our circumstances, other times we must choose to change ourselves. Either way, if we choose to change with the Lord, He has promised us everlasting joy and we have the ability to obtain it as long as we endure those circumstances with all the faith we have collected throughout our lives. Change is good, and even though it can be scary and overwhelming, it allows us to make the natural progressions in life for us to meet and become like God.

On a less spiritual note, I finished reading Amy Poehler’s book (don’t you just adore her?!) “Yes Please.” Ugh, I’m so in love with it. She discusses change and transition in the last few chapters and I admire what she said: “Change is the only constant in life. Your ability to navigate and tolerate change directly correlates to your happiness and your general well-being.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I swear she has had a heart-to-heart with God about this one. Or at least turned to the scriptures to express such a profound statement. This last year of my life has been jam-packed of transitions but I’m grateful to my loving husband and my Father in Heaven for having the ability to calm my nervous heart. They are both pretty remarkable like that. But (this is a big but) the Lord has blessed me with an everlasting joy that I have never felt and He has allowed me to obtain it because I have endured a few choice trials well. I chose to rely on Him rather than turn away and I do my best to choose Him everyday. Thank goodness for the blessing to rely upon the Lord for his peace and for His comfort at any given moment. I know He will bless you with the same joy if you choose to follow Him. And remember: you can always be like Dory (she’s my favorite little fish). When the glass feels half empty, say to yourself, “Hmmm. I’d say it’s half full!”

There are many moments throughout my days where I feel Him near and as it’s been said, life changes but He never will. Enjoy life’s little moments, my sweet friends. Even the ones that feel aren’t worth being loved.

All my love,

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