3 Nephi 27:28-31 & 3 Nephi 28:10-11 – LeGrand Baker – ‘The Fulness of Joy’

3 Nephi 27:28-31 & 3 Nephi 28:10-11 

28 And now I go unto the Father. And verily I say unto you, whatsoever things ye shall ask the Father in my name shall be given unto you.
29 Therefore, ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; for he that asketh, receiveth; and unto him that knocketh, it shall be opened.
30 And now, behold, my joy is great, even unto fulness, because of you, and also this generation; yea, and even the Father rejoiceth, and also all the holy angels, because of you and this generation; for none of them are lost.
31 Behold, I would that ye should understand; for I mean them who are now alive of this generation; and none of them are lost; and in them I have fulness of joy (3 Nephi 27:28-31).

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10 And for this cause ye shall have fulness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fulness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are one;
11 And the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and the Father giveth the Holy Ghost unto the children of men, because of me (3 Nephi 28:10-11).

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18 And it came to pass that when Jesus had made an end of praying unto the Father, he arose; but so great was the joy of the multitude that they were overcome.
19 And it came to pass that Jesus spake unto them, and bade them arise.
20 And they arose from the earth, and he said unto them: Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full.
21 And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them (3 Nephi 17:18-21).

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The term “fulness of joy” expresses several facets of the same condition. The condition is a truth/light/love/joy continuum, just as our existence is a progression, beginning in our premortal world and continuing in this life until we finding fulfillment in the presence of God.

In every stage the relationship expressed by the Hebrew word hesed (unfailing love based on a prior covenant) is an essential part of that joy. The continuum leads through fraternal love (Philadelphia, translated as “brotherly kindness”) and charity (in 2 Peter 1:7); to redemption (which in the Book of Mormon usually means to come into the presence of the Savior), to celestial glory which is being with both the Father and the Son, and also with all the other people we love.

From these scriptures it is reasonable to conclude that the “fulness of joy” is a product of eternal, loving relationship with the Savior. However, the scriptural uses of that and similar phrases teaches us that there is more to it than that. And the “more” has to do with qualifying to be a participant in such a relationship. The Savior explained that qualification (singular) while teaching his Apostles:

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.
12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you (John 15:9-12).

That, of course, is the major theme that runs through all of the scriptures, just as every commandment is a subset of that great commandment. Both the love and the joy spoken of here are gifts of the Holy Ghost (Moroni 8:25-26, Acts 13:52), and, like any other gift, must be cultivated until perfected. James calls it the “royal law,” but warns that even a selective prejudice erodes our ability to love. He wrote:

8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors (James 2:8-9).

As God is no respecter of persons, so we have no right to be. There is no legitimate place in the human soul that can house prejudice or intolerance. They, like a cancer, grow to discolor and distort one’s sense of Self because they cripple our ability to see the worth of the people around us. They cause us to divide God’s children into the categories of “us” and “others.” Thereby, they inhibit our ability to love and diminish our capacity to experience joy.

While love and joy may be different at first, they grow in a near-parallel continuum until they meet and become only different expressions of the same thing.

40 For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things (D&C 88:40).

This principle is made graphic in the Savior’s intercessory prayer in John 17. The initial focus of the prayer is his desire to perpetuate the relationships he has with the Apostles, that thereby “they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” (V. 13). The relationship is emphised by the words “my joy fulfilled in themselves.”Then he expands that prayer and concludes with:

20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them (John 17:20-26).

The Savior’s prayer among the Nephites echoes the same promise:

29 Father, I pray not for the world, but for those whom thou hast given me out of the world, because of their faith, that they may be purified in me, that I may be in them as thou, Father, art in me, that we may be one, that I may be glorified in them. (3 Nephi 19:29).

As do these words to Moses:

39 For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man (Moses 1:39).

The ancient psalms also testify that for man, the “fulness of joy” is being where God is.

11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Psalms 16:11).

As love and joy are the final product of eternal salvation, so also are they the products of the intermediate steps that bring us to exaltation. The scriptures frequently speak of the fulness of joy in the same contexts as they speak of brotherly love and charity. Once again, a proper analysis of these principles would require a book length discussion, so the best I can do here is to suggest some scriptures that provide the keys. I have broken the subject of the “fulness of joy” into the following parts and quoted some relevant scriptures under each heading. They are:

1. Premortal love and joy
2. Remission of sins
3. Knowledge of Truth
4. Family and Friends
5. Redeem (to come into the presence of God)
6. Endure to the end
7. Resurrection
8. The destiny of celestial persons
9. Conclusion

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PREMORTAL LOVE AND JOY

5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.
6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it (2 John 1:5-6).

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4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:1-7)

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1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full (1 John 1:1-7).

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REMISSION OF SINS

3 And it came to pass that after they had spoken these words the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience, because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ who should come, according to the words which king Benjamin had spoken unto them (Mosiah 4:3).

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11 And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel (Mosiah 4:11).

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20 And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy (Mosiah 4:20).

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13 Now this was a great cause for lamentations among the people, while others were abasing themselves, succoring those who stood in need of their succor, such as imparting their substance to the poor and the needy, feeding the hungry, and suffering all manner of afflictions, for Christ’s sake, who should come according to the spirit of prophecy;
14 Looking forward to that day, thus retaining a remission of their sins; being filled with great joy because of the resurrection of the dead, according to the will and power and deliverance of Jesus Christ from the bands of death (Alma 4:13-14).

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KNOWLEDGE of TRUTH

There are three components of joy. The first is love—relationships with the Gods, as well as with family and friends. The second is light—the pure light of Christ that fills the immensity of space and gives life to all things (D&C 88 & 93). The third is truth which is the source of both the light and the love. “It appears that love, light, and truth are equivalents—they come from God and are expressions of his glory…. Joy is the product of truth/light/love.” (Who Shall Ascend into the Hill of the Lord, first edition, p. 565; second edition, p. 802-3. The second edition is on this website.)

26 The Spirit of truth is of God. I am the Spirit of truth, and John bore record of me, saying: He received a fulness of truth, yea, even of all truth;
27 And no man receiveth a fulness unless he keepeth his commandments.
28 He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things (D&C 93:26-28).

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12 And now, verily, verily, I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good—yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit.
13 Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;
14 And then shall ye know, or by this shall you know, all things whatsoever you desire of me, which are pertaining unto things of righteousness, in faith believing in me that you shall receive (D&C 11:12-14).

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61 If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal (D&C 42:61).

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FAMILY and FRIENDS

34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another (John 13:34-35).

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30 And even if they do unto you even as they have done unto me, blessed are ye, for you shall dwell with me in glory.
31 But if they reject not my words, which shall be established by the testimony which shall be given, blessed are they, and then shall ye have joy in the fruit of your labors.
32 Verily, verily, I say unto you, as I said unto my disciples, where two or three are gathered together in my name, as touching one thing, behold, there will I be in the midst of them—even so am I in the midst of you (D&C 6:30-32).

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REDEEM (to come into the presence of God)

See “A Meaning of ‘Redeem’— to ‘Come Unto Christ’,” in Who Shall Ascend into the Hill of the Lord, first edition, p. 510-20; second edition, p. 725-39.

51 Behold, I will liken these kingdoms unto a man having a field, and he sent forth his servants into the field to dig in the field.
52 And he said unto the first: Go ye and labor in the field, and in the first hour I will come unto you, and ye shall behold the joy of my countenance.
53 And he said unto the second: Go ye also into the field, and in the second hour I will visit you with the joy of my countenance.
54 And also unto the third, saying: I will visit you;
55 And unto the fourth, and so on unto the twelfth.
56 And the lord of the field went unto the first in the first hour, and tarried with him all that hour, and he was made glad with the light of the countenance of his lord (D&C 88:51-56).

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10 And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God.
11 And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.
12 And Adam and Eve blessed the name of God, and they made all things known unto their sons and their daughters (Moses 5:10-12).

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67 And the Lord showed Enoch all things, even unto the end of the world; and he saw the day of the righteous, the hour of their redemption, and received a fulness of joy;
68 And all the days of Zion, in the days of Enoch, were three hundred and sixty-five years.
69 And Enoch and all his people walked with God, and he dwelt in the midst of Zion; and it came to pass that Zion was not, for God received it up into his own bosom; and from thence went forth the saying, ZION IS FLED (Moses 7:67-69).

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6 Now, this was what Ammon desired, for he knew that king Lamoni was under the power of God; he knew that the dark veil of unbelief was being cast away from his mind, and the light which did light up his mind, which was the light of the glory of God, which was a marvelous light of his goodness—yea, this light had infused such joy into his soul, the cloud of darkness having been dispelled, and that the light of everlasting life was lit up in his soul, yea, he knew that this had overcome his natural frame, and he was carried away in God—
7 Therefore, what the queen desired of him was his only desire. Therefore, he went in to see the king according as the queen had desired him; and he saw the king, and he knew that he was not dead (Alma 19:6-7).

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51 Behold, I will liken these kingdoms unto a man having a field, and he sent forth his servants into the field to dig in the field.
52 And he said unto the first: Go ye and labor in the field, and in the first hour I will come unto you, and ye shall behold the joy of my countenance.
53 And he said unto the second: Go ye also into the field, and in the second hour I will visit you with the joy of my countenance.
54 And also unto the third, saying: I will visit you;
55 And unto the fourth, and so on unto the twelfth.
56 And the lord of the field went unto the first in the first hour, and tarried with him all that hour, and he was made glad with the light of the countenance of his lord (D&C 88:51-56).

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ENDURE TO THE END

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 (Alma 38:2).

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36 Wherefore, fear not even unto death; for in this world your joy is not full, but in me your joy is full.
37 Therefore, care not for the body, neither the life of the body; but care for the soul, and for the life of the soul.
38 And seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience ye may possess your souls, and ye shall have eternal life (D&C 101:36-38).

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RESURRECTION
The condition of the Celestial glory is truth/light/love/joy, and only those who are physically capable of enduring that glory will be able to be there. The Prophet Joseph explained:

1 The heavens were opened upon us, and I beheld the celestial kingdom of God, and the glory thereof, whether in the body or out I cannot tell.
2 I saw the transcendent beauty of the gate through which the heirs of that kingdom will enter, which was like unto circling flames of fire;
3 Also the blazing throne of God, whereon was seated the Father and the Son (D&C 137:1-3).

Therefore, a necessary prerequisite to the fulness of joy is to have a body that can be in the presence of that throne that is like “circling flames of fire.” If our resurrected bodies are not made of that same pure light, then in the presence of God we would sizzle.

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26 Wherefore, it [the earth] shall be sanctified; yea, notwithstanding it shall die, it shall be quickened again, and shall abide the power by which it is quickened, and the righteous shall inherit it.
27 For notwithstanding they die, they also shall rise again, a spiritual body.
28 They who are of a celestial spirit shall receive the same body which was a natural body; even ye shall receive your bodies, and your glory shall be that glory by which your bodies are quickened.
29 Ye who are quickened by a portion of the celestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness (D&C 88:26-29).

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33 For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy;
34 And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy (D&C 93:33-34).

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14 All these had departed the mortal life, firm in the hope of a glorious resurrection, through the grace of God the Father and his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
15 I beheld that they were filled with joy and gladness, and were rejoicing together because the day of their deliverance was at hand.
16 They were assembled awaiting the advent of the Son of God into the spirit world, to declare their redemption from the bands of death.
17 Their sleeping dust was to be restored unto its perfect frame, bone to his bone, and the sinews and the flesh upon them, the spirit and the body to be united never again to be divided, that they might receive a fulness of joy.
18 While this vast multitude waited and conversed, rejoicing in the hour of their deliverance from the chains of death, the Son of God appeared, declaring liberty to the captives who had been faithful;
19 And there he preached to them the everlasting gospel, the doctrine of the resurrection and the redemption of mankind from the fall, and from individual sins on conditions of repentance (D&C 138:14-19).

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DESTINY OF CELESTIAL PERSONS

1 When the Savior shall appear we shall see him as he is. We shall see that he is a man like ourselves.
2 And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy (D&C 130:1-2).

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6 The angels do not reside on a planet like this earth;
7 But they reside in the presence of God, on a globe like a sea of glass and fire, where all things for their glory are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord.
8 The place where God resides is a great Urim and Thummim.
9 This earth, in its sanctified and immortal state, will be made like unto crystal and will be a Urim and Thummim to the inhabitants who dwell thereon, whereby all things pertaining to an inferior kingdom, or all kingdoms of a lower order, will be manifest to those who dwell on it; and this earth will be Christ’s.
10 Then the white stone mentioned in Revelation 2:17, will become a Urim and Thummim to each individual who receives one, whereby things pertaining to a higher order of kingdoms will be made known;
11 And a white stone is given to each of those who come into the celestial kingdom, whereon is a new name written, which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it. The new name is the key word (D&C 130:6-11).

If the white stone mentioned here teaches persons in the Celestial world about “a higher order of kingdoms” then it must follow that such kingdoms are not only within the understanding but also within the reach of persons with celestial bodies. That presupposes that if one has a resurrected body that is capable of withstanding unlimited glory, then the eternities promise an amazing adventure !

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CONCLUSION

If there is a conclusion that sums up the relationship of love and joy, then Lehi’s words to his sons are probably as comprehensive as we will find:

24 But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.
25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
26 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 (2 Nephi 2:24-26).

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14 Awake! and arise from the dust, and hear the words of a trembling parent, whose limbs ye must soon lay down in the cold and silent grave, from whence no traveler can return; a few more days and I go the way of all the earth.
15 But behold, 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 (2 Nephi 1:14-15).

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