Alma 7:4-5 — LeGrand Baker — the reality of Joy.

Alma 7:4-5 — LeGrand Baker — the reality of Joy.

A friend Lincoln called me this week to tell me he is being baptized. He said to me that I “had a big part in that.” After our brief telephone conversation my soul overflowed with joy, and I just sat here and treasured the feeling. That was a new kind of experience for me. The feeling of joy is not new, but just sitting quietly and consciously appraising and appreciating that feeling was something I had never done before. I truly love that young man. The love was not weakened by the reality that we were separated by many miles just then. My love and his came together in a moment, and, for me, it expressed itself as the overflowing joy I experienced.

There is a strange phrase, repeated twice in Alma 7:5. The words are “joy over you.” Taken out of context that phrase might mean that one rejoices in another’s subservience, but in context it means something very different from that: Alma said to the people of Gideon:

4   But blessed be the name of God, that he hath given me to know, yea, hath given unto me the exceedingly great joy of knowing that they [the people at Zarahemla] are established again in the way of his righteousness.
5   And I trust, according to the Spirit of God which is in me, that I shall also have joy over you; nevertheless I do not desire that my joy over you should come by the cause of so much afflictions and sorrow which I have had for the brethren at Zarahemla, for behold, my joy cometh over them after wading through much affliction and sorrow. (Alma 7:4-5)

The same idea is found in the New Testament where the Saviour said:

7  I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. …
10  Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. (Luke 15:7,10.)

In one of his commentaries, Mormon introduces his story of the Nephite missionaries by describing their joy.

8  And this is the account of Ammon and his brethren, their journeyings in the land of Nephi, their sufferings in the land, their sorrows, and their afflictions, and their incomprehensible joy , and the reception and safety of the brethren in the land of Jershon. And now may the Lord, the Redeemer of all men, bless their souls forever. (Alma 28:8)

It sees that was the kind of joy Alma was talking about. A little further on in his sermon to the people of Gideon, Alma says to them,

17  And now my beloved brethren, do you believe these things? Behold, I say unto you, yea, I know that ye believe them; and the way that I know that ye believe them is by the manifestation of the Spirit which is in me. And now because your faith is strong concerning that, yea, concerning the things which I have spoken, great is my joy. (Alma 7:17)

So I have been reflecting on the nature of joy, and would like to tell you some of my thoughts.

The two most dominant characteristics of human life in the world that is now our home are: (1) that each of us is alone; and (2) that each of us is burdened with the need to eat, to find physical and mental rest, and to experience pleasure and avoid pain. How much money one has may change the focus of those needs, but ultimately, our experiences here are about the same. We will all die, and when we do the pain will pass, but the experiences — and the way we responded to them — will remain part of us. I have an aunt who was quite wealthy, who felt that her social position required that she not admit to her friends that she was a member of the Church. Her life was a relentless quest to demonstrate that she had purpose and worth. Her tragedy was that she sought to establish her eternal value on ephemeral successes that people only briefly cared about. Like her, for many of the people who live on this earth, the phrase “a lonely, dreary world” is the best way to describe our existence. I suspect that most of the sin that happens in this world comes from an uninformed or unscrupulous attempt to overcome the loneliness and dreariness of this life. That is unfortunate, but is also a testimony of the need for missionary work among the dead.

In reality — whether this world’s reality or the next — the loneliness can only be overcome by love, and the dreariness must be vanquished by hope, which is the assurance of eternal love. In many places in the scriptures love is called joy. That is reasonable to me, because, as far as I can tell, they are the same thing. Love describes what one gives to others. Joy describes what remains behind for one’s Self.

Neither love nor joy can be described that simply. For example, Alma’s discussion of Joy is quite complex.

It seems that Alma is doing what we all so often do. That is, he is using the same word to represent two different concepts. “Joy” is the word he uses to describe his feeling “after wading through much affliction and sorrow.” But “joy” is also the word that he uses to represent his feelings toward the righteous people of Gideon who caused no such sorrow. I suspect the difference is this: In the first instance, joy seems to be a description of an event that followed his sorrow. In the second, joy is not an event, rather it is a quality of life. I have observed that the scriptures frequently use that word both ways.

Because all normal humans experience mood swings, we usually think of joy as representing the times when our moods are high. Thus, for people who live in a lonely dreary world, joy is an event to be sought after and remembered.

But for Latter-day Saints, as one learns more and more how to live by the Spirit, the opposite becomes true. Joy as the quality of life that admits to, but is independent from, those normal human mood swings. When joy is the norm, sorrow becomes only an event. For such people, when joy is described as a special event. It is often called “exceedingly great joy.”

I would like to examine the scriptural meaning of Joy as a quality of life.

Optimistic personalities tend to slide over difficulties more easily than people who are more pessimistic. But optimism is not the sort of thing I am discussing here. What I am talking about is the kind of joy that displaces loneliness and sorrow, notwithstanding one’s propensity to be either optimistic or pessimistic. That kind of joy was the power that sustained the Saviour, Abinadi, the Prophet Joseph, and the “ordinary” people who died — and those who nearly froze to death — in the pioneer handcart companies. It is the kind of joy that comes from the Holy Ghost — that gives meaning to his name, the Comforter.

Lehi pointed out that there must be opposition in all things. He also said “man is that he might have joy.” Those are both eternal truths, though I don’t suppose anyone enjoys experiencing the negative side of that equation. We often quote different parts of what Lehi said as though they were independent thoughts, but notice how he welds them together into a single coherent unit:

For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility. …. And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon. …. But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things. Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy. And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given. Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself. (2 Nephi 2)

I take it that “captivity and death” is something like a never-satisfied need to overcome loneliness and dreariness by seeking in one’s self to validate and display one’s purpose and worth — a tragic kind of ever learning, but never coming to the knowledge of the truth.

I take it that absolute freedom is knowing the Saviour so that one can define one’s Self in terms of the Saviour’s love, and loving others with that same kind of love — knowing one’s Self, the Saviour and others in truth — in sacred time — as we are, as we were, and as we are to be. Only knowing in truth empowers one to experience — to be a personification of — liberty and eternal life.

And I take it that the ultimate consequence of exercising such freedom is to have joy in this life and to be able to say, with Lehi, “the Lord hath redeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love.”

Mostly from my reading D&C 88 and 93, I concluded some time ago that we are made of the light that emanates from the Saviour’s person, and are sustained by the love that also emanates from the Saviour. His truth, light, and love fill the imensity of space. So they either occupy the same space at the same time, or his truth, light and his love are simply different words that describe the same thing. So if light is tangible, love must be also. I wrote about that not long ago, and included a quote from President McKay that talks about the goodness that radiates from each person. My understanding of what President McKay wrote is that the light/love that one radiates envelops one’s person and defines one’s Self. It is that light-love-extension of one’s Self that communicates with others. If that is so, then love/light is a tangible thing. Even though it is more refined than most eyes can see, it is something we can feel when we are in the presence of others. When one feels it within one’s Self, we call it joy.

If what I have written it true, then truth, light, love, and joy are simply different words that describe the same thing. As a single unit, they are called peace, and one who exudes those qualities is called a peacemaker in the Beatitudes, and peaceable in Moroni 7. That describes the essence of what such people really are, and is therefore the dominant quality of their lives.

When one walks alone in this lonely, dreary world, one’s path winds through the valley of the shadow of death. For such people, sorrow, uncertainty, and aloneness are the conditions of life. Then happiness and joy are the treasured events that break the monotony of the toil.

But when one has the hope of a testimony of the Saviour, then joy, love, and peace are the condition of one’s life. For such a one, sorrow is only an intruding event. Thus Alma reports that he experienced sorrow because the people of Zarhamla did not keep the Lord’s commandments. That event for Alma was followed by one of great joy when the people repented. But the normal continuity of the quality of Alma’s life was the joy exemplified in his relationship with the people of Gideon.

The psalmist acknowledged this dichotomy when he wrote,

But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy,
because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous;
with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield. (Psalms 5:11-12.)

The commandment is: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” (Luke 10:27)

When that love is a shared reality, each person rests within the light and beneath the canopy of the other’s love. Then Alma’s words are not a metaphor but a reality when he expressed his joy over the people of Gideon.

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I do not know that is what Alma meant when he spoke those words, but that is what his words caused me to think about. In order to confirm and refine my thoughts, I did a scriptural word search on joy, and found dozens of references. I disregarded the ones that said things like “we had great joy when we won the battle,” and kept only the ones that seemed to talk about the two kinds of joy Alma was expressing.

Then I discovered there were three, and divided them into these categories: Joy as a condition of life and exceedingly great joy. The third category associates joy with the temple — which is credited in the scriptures as being the root of true joy. The scriptures in that last group usually do not actually contain the word temple, but they do contain temple code words, like mountain, path, way, prosper, garments, and so forth. Rather than burden you in this little essay by quoting bunches of those scriptures, but still wanting to share them with you, I have included them as an attachment. If you have the time to consider them, I think you will find it worth your while. I have also added President McKay’s statement on the back of this letter.

(For a further discussion see: Helaman 12:24 — LeGrand Baker — grace for grace.

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Radiation of the Individual”

by President David O. McKay

The Instructor, October, 1964, p. 373-374.

     “Every man and every person who lives in this world wields an influence, whether for good or for evil. It is not what he says alone; it is not alone what he does. It is what he is. Every man, every person radiates what he or she really is. Every person is a recipient of radiation. The Saviour was conscious of that. Whenever He came into the pres­ence of an individual, He sensed that radiation — whether it was the woman of Samaria with her past life: whether it was the woman who was to be stoned, or the men who were to stone her; whether it was the statesman, Nicodemus, or one of the lepers. He was conscious of the radiation from the individual. And to a degree so are you. and so am I. It is what we are and what we radiate that affects the people around us.
     “As individuals, we must think nobler thoughts. We must not encourage vile thoughts or low aspirations. ­We shall radiate them if we do. If we think noble thoughts; if we encourage and cherish noble aspirations, there will be that radiation when we meet people, especially when we associate with them.
     “As it is true of the individual. so it is true of the home. Our homes radiate what we are, and that radiation comes from what we say and how we act in the home. No member of this Church — husband, father — has the right to utter an oath in his home, or ever to express a cross word to his wife or to his children. You cannot do it as a man who holds the priesthood and be true to the spirit within you by your ordination and your responsibility. You should contribute to an ideal home by your character, con­trolling your passion, your temper, guarding your speech, because those things will make your home what it is and what it will radiate to the neighbor­hood.

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In these scriptures, “joy” is greater than the feeling of joy that is the norm of one’s life:

1 Nephi 16:4-6, Isaiah 66:5, Matthew 28:5-9, Luke 6:20-23, Luke 24:33-41, 1 Nephi 8:11-12, 1 Nephi 19:11, Enos 1:1-4, Mosiah 4:3-4, Mosiah 4:11, Mosiah 4:20-21, Mosiah 5:2-5, Alma 13:21-22, Alma 16:15-17, Alma 17:1-2, Alma 26:10-13, Alma 26:30-31, Alma 26:35-37, Alma 27:17-20, Alma 27:25-26, Alma 28:14, Alma 29:1-17, Alma 30:34-35, Alma 32:6-7, Alma 56:1-57, Alma 57:25, Alma 57:35-36, Alma 62:1, Helaman 5:43-49, Helaman 6:3-4, Helaman 7:1, Alma 19:1-7, Alma 19:13-14, Helaman 16:13-14, 3 Nephi 4:31-33, 3 Nephi 10:10-11,

These scriptures suggest that joy is not an ephemeral thing that comes on occasion and then pass away, but a permanent condition of the soul:

Alma 33:1-13, Alma 22:15, Alma 48:11-13, Helaman 3:32-35, Alma 4:11-14, Psalms 30:2-12, Job 38:1-7, 2 Nephi 9:17-20, [Nephi’s words echo the sentiments of the 16th Psalm Neither insist on delaying that joy until after this life, but rather suggest that joy is a condition of this life as well] Psalms 16:9-11,

These scriptures identify joy with the temple, but most do not mention the temple. Rather joy is associated with temple code words.

(1 Nephi 2:19-24.)

[In both the Psalms and the BofM, “prosper” is a code word, whose opposite is to be cut off from the presence of the Lord.]

19 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me, saying: Blessed art thou, Nephi, because of thy faith, for thou hast sought me diligently, with lowliness of heart.

20 And inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper, and shall be led to a land of promise; yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is choice above all other lands.[the land of promise is also code]

21 And inasmuch as thy brethren shall rebel against thee, they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord.

22 And inasmuch as thou shalt keep my commandments, thou shalt be made a ruler [king] and a teacher [priest] over thy brethren.

(2 Nephi 1:20-21.)

20 And he hath said that: Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land; but inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from my presence.

21 And now that my soul might have joy in you, and that my heart might leave this world with gladness because of you, that I might not be brought down with grief and sorrow to the grave, arise from the dust, my sons, and be men, and be determined in one mind and in one heart, united in all things, that ye may not come down into captivity;

(Alma 38:1-3.)

1 My son, give ear to my words, for I say unto you, even as I said unto Helaman, that inasmuch as ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall prosper in the land; and inasmuch as ye will not keep the commandments of God ye shall be cut off from his presence.

2 And now, my son, I trust that I shall have great joy in you, because of your steadiness and your faithfulness unto God; for as you have commenced in your youth to look to the Lord your God, even so I hope that you will continue in keeping his commandments; for blessed is he that endureth to the end.

3 I say unto you, my son, that I have had great joy in thee already, because of thy faithfulness and thy diligence, and thy patience and thy long-suffering among the people of the Zoramites.

(Isaiah 61:1-3.)

[from the context of D&C 138:42, we learn that Isaiah 61 is about vicarious temple work for the dead. This is the only place in the Old Testament where the ancient Israelite coronation ceremony is described. It is significant to me that in that description, Isaiah uses the same kind of contrasting ideas as Lehi when he writes that there must be opposition in all things.]

1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

[To comfort is to bring about an end of sorrow. Here Isaiah writes that comfort is given through empowerment, and the empowerment is the coronation ceremony used in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Israel, and modern England. As is shown in v. 3, the ceremony consisted of a washing, anointing, clothing, and receiving a new name. The Saviour paraphrased this promise of coronation in the Beatitudes when he said “Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted.]

3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes [Ashes signify sorrow or repentance. The removal of the ceremonial ashes required a ceremonial washing], the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

[verse 10 is a marriage hymn sung by the dead.]

10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

(Isaiah 55:8-13.)

[there is always a new name associated with a new covenant, such as when we are baptized we take upon us the name of the Saviour. That is what happens in v. 13]

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:

11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

(Matthew 25:20-23.)

20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.

21 His Lord said unto him, 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.

22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.

23 His Lord said unto him, Well done, 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.

(John 15:1-11.)

1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

(John 17:9-15.)

[to “come unto Christ” is a temple experience, abiding in his presence is a perpetuation of that.]

9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.

11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.

14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

(1 Nephi 13:37)

37 And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be.

(2 Nephi 8:1-3.)

[This sounds like Abraham 1:2, where Abraham says, “finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness,”]

1 Hearken unto me, ye that follow after righteousness. Look unto the rock from whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit from whence ye are digged.

2 Look unto Abraham, your father, and unto Sarah, she that bare you; for I called him alone, and blessed him.

3 For the Lord shall comfort Zion, he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.

(Isaiah 51:1-3.)

1 Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.

2 Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.

3 For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.

(2 Nephi 27:28-30.)

[Ipresume the “meek” and the “poor” mentioned here are the same as those referred to in the Beatitudes and in D&C 88: 17-18 “…it is decreed that the poor and the meek of the earth shall inherit it. Therefore, it {the earth} must needs be sanctified from all unrighteousness, that it may be prepared for the celestial glory”]

28 But behold, saith the Lord of Hosts: I will show unto the children of men that it is yet a very little while and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field; and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest.

29 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.

30 And the meek also shall increase, and their joy shall be in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.

(Isaiah 29:18-19.)

18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.

19 The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.

(Mosiah 3:1-4.)

1 And again my brethren, I would call your attention, for I have somewhat more to speak unto you; for behold, I have things to tell you concerning that which is to come.

2 And the things which I shall tell you are made known unto me by an angel from God. And he said unto me: Awake; and I awoke, and behold he stood before me.

3 And he said unto me: Awake, and hear the words which I shall tell thee; for behold, I am come to declare unto you the glad tidings of great joy.

4 For the Lord hath heard thy prayers, and hath judged of thy righteousness, and hath sent me to declare unto thee that thou mayest rejoice; and that thou mayest declare unto thy people, that they may also be filled with joy.

(Mosiah 3:13.)

13 And the Lord God hath sent his holy prophets among all the children of men, to declare these things to every kindred, nation, and tongue, that thereby whosoever should believe that Christ should come, the same might receive remission of their sins, and rejoice with exceedingly great joy, even as though he had already come among them.

(Isaiah 52:7-10.)

7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

8 Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.

9 Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.

10 The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

(Mosiah 12:21-23.)

21 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings; that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good; that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth;

22 Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye when the Lord shall bring again Zion;

23 Break forth into joy; sing together ye waste places of Jerusalem; for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem;

(Mosiah 15:29-31.)

29 Yea, Lord, thy watchmen shall lift up their voice; with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.

30 Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem; for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.

31 The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

(Alma 31:36-38.)

36 Now it came to pass that when Alma had said these words, that he clapped his hands upon all them who were with him. And behold, as he clapped his hands upon them, they were filled with the Holy Spirit.

37 And after that they did separate themselves one from another, taking no thought for themselves what they should eat, or what they should drink, or what they should put on.

38 And the Lord provided for them that they should hunger not, neither should they thirst; yea, and he also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ. Now this was according to the prayer of Alma; and this because he prayed in faith.

(3 Nephi 12:10-12.)

10 And blessed are all they who are persecuted for my name’s sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 And blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake;

12 For ye shall have great joy and be exceedingly glad, for great shall be your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you.

(Alma 36:17-26.)

17 And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.

18 Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.

19 And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.

20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!

21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.

22 Yea, methought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God; yea, and my soul did long to be there.

23 But behold, my limbs did receive their strength again, and I stood upon my feet, and did manifest unto the people that I had been born of God.

24 Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

25 Yea, and now behold, O my son, the Lord doth give me exceedingly great joy in the fruit of my labors;

26 For because of the word which he has imparted unto me, behold, many have been born of God, and have tasted as I have tasted, and have seen eye to eye as I have seen; therefore they do know of these things of which I have spoken, as I do know; and the knowledge which I have is of God.

(Psalms 43:4.)

4 Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.

(Psalms 5:11-12.)

11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joy ful in thee.

(Psalms 27:6.)

[This can be taken as nice poetry, or it can be taken as having a literal meaning. Notwithstanding the Law of Moses, the required sacrifice then was the same as it is now: a broken heart and a contrite spirit. (Ps 34:18, 51:19)]

6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.

(Psalms 21:1-2.)

[This psalm appears to be a prayer spoken before the veil. It begins:]

1 The king shall joy in thy strength, O Lord; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!

2 Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips.

[The person then comes into the presence of the Lord and receives a promise of personal invulnerability. As is often so in the Psalms, that promise in couched in military terms.]

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