Finding Joy, Regardless of Circumstances

You can never get enough of what you don't need, because what you don't need won't satisfy you. - Dallin H. Oaks
You can never get enough of what you don’t need, because what you don’t need won’t satisfy you. – Dallin H. Oaks

(Read and Follow the Directions)

Reading Elder Nelson’s conference talk, “Joy and Spiritual Survival”, I discovered how much he has buried in the footnotes. It’s like a whole extra talk and a peek into his personal scripture notes at the same time.

I find this reassuring, because his notes sound so personal and, in some ways like the kind of notes I’ve been making lately. Not to compare myself with him, but it is nice to know I’m not bonkers to write my conversations with a book in the notes or margins. Can you imagine what it would be like to read the margin notes of someone like an apostle of Jesus Christ? Especially since on an electronic device the “margins” are so much bigger than they ever were before?

These verses in Hebrews were referenced in his talk, and resonated with me today.

Hebrews 12:1-2

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about (surrounded by) with so great a cloud of (so many) witnesses (people who testify), let us lay aside every weight (burden), and the sin which doth so easily beset us (knocks us down), and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author (creator) and finisher (perfecter) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him (he could see the joy that was to come after all his trials) endured the cross, despising (scorning) the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God (that’s exaltation!).

Sometimes I can’t always understand the KJV Bible until I insert my own words or definitions. Here’s the “Heather Translation”:

So, given all the witnesses to the truth of resurrection, and the testimony of martyrs, let us set aside the things that weigh us down, and the sin that cripples us, and let us run with patient endurance the race that is before us, and look to Jesus the creator and perfecter of our faith; who because of the joy he knew was to come, endured the cross, and scorned the mocking of the world, and is now exalted, sitting at the right hand of God’s throne.


  1. I love that talk! Christ drank the bitter cup, because He knew the joy ahead of Him. He knew of His resurrection, as well as ours. He knew that by drinking the bitter cup, all of His brothers and sisters would have the opportunity to return Home and have a fullness of joy. By following His example of knowing, or looking ahead, at the joy in front of Him, I can drink my own bitter cup, knowing of the joy ahead of me. Having that hope and that vision gives me strength to endure.
    The joys don’t have to be far distant. They can be the simple joys and tender mercies we receive every day.

    Liked by 1 person

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