The Joy in Becoming Holy
This past year we learned together different aspects of joy. Through our journey we discovered that the purpose of life is to have joy. That joy is made manifest as we rely on the Holy Ghost to guide us and help us experience the joy that is meant to be ours. As we make covenants and commitments, we discover that obedience to the commandments brings us greater joy as we align our lives with God’s will and learn that His is the most perfect plan. The experience of living life allows us to discover who we are and what our talents are. We learn that we can change for the better, become who God wants us to become, and that we can develop any talent or quality we desire. We need His help in all things. The journey of self-discovery brings us joy as we create many things, and as we create our futures.
Life is not always smooth. Through our trials we develop strength and we figure out that we can’t do it alone. Our Savior is there every step of the way. Our joy in trials grows as we see the sweet with the bitter, the power of the Atonement, and the grander view of eternity. Trials humble us. Everything we’ve ever felt helps us reach out to those in similar situations. Through interactions with other of God’s children, we learn that service is the greatest form of love. As we serve our fellow men, we are sharing the light of Christ. We soon learn that the greatest form of service comes as we share the gospel, the good news of Christ, and His goodness with those around us. Truly our joy grows as we see others’ lives change as they become new creatures in Christ.
Life truly is beautiful and joyful. The greatest lesson in all of this is that we will one day become like Christ through the cleansing power of His Atonement. Life is a journey of change, and that change takes time as well as trial and error. The closer we grow to the Savior and our Father, the holier we become. It is possible to become holy. Achieving holiness is also a process, and it is a goal worthy of us pursuing. Our hearts and minds can become pure and perfect. Those who have clean hands and a pure heart are worthy to be and live in the presence of God.
3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?
4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
This post is dedicated to the joy we will feel in a future day, once we have overcome all trials, once we have overcome death, once we are judged and clothed in white raiment, once it is declared “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:21). I want you to picture yourself in God’s presence. Can you feel the light emanating from Him? Can you feel His love? Maybe some of us at this time are ashamed of the direction our life is taking, the insecurities we have, the mistakes that we make, etc. It is true that if we were to be called home right now, we would not be ready, and we would not be able to stand in the presence of our God. But...don’t you want to be pure and holy so that you can do so in that future day?
What will it take to change your life? What sacrifices of earthly value can you make to lay up for yourself eternal treasures? What kind of life do you want to live to achieve eternal life? Do you want to be one of those individuals worthy to stand in God’s presence? Do you want to worship Him eternally by His throne? It is hard to imagine the exquisite joy we will experience in that future day. I feel like it will exceed everything that has made us happy and joyful during our entire earthly life. It is incomprehensible. Eternal joy. Doesn’t that sound beautiful and inviting?
I invite you to set goals for the coming year, baby steps in the grand scheme of things. As you do and achieve them, you can set greater goals. Some of those goals could take years to achieve. A lifetime of change. A lifetime of daily repentance accumulated into one great whole...your becoming holy through the blood of Christ. Make 2020 your year of change. Give your life to Christ. Become a true disciple. Become joyful. Become the holier version of you.
That They Might Have Joy Series