We are that we might have joy.
But there is so much sorrow.
This life isn’t perfect.
I am not perfect.
How can I have joy?
Well, I try.
I try, and sometimes I fail.
But when I fail
And learning brings joy!
How great is the Plan of our God!
Because of Him
We can learn from our mistakes,
Without being condemned by them.1
God wants us to learn from our own experience
To know the bitter from the sweet
To choose for ourselves
To want to be good.
He wants this for us so badly
That he lets us mess up and hurt each other and hurt ourselves
All so that we can learn
Not just to do good,
But to be good.
1. 1. quote from Bruce C. Hafen
The Bible Dictionary teaches that the Greek work translated as repentance "denotes a change of mind, i.e., a fresh view about God, about oneself, and about the world." As a former stake president of mine said, "repentance is learning." Anytime I have a realization that changes my perspective and behavior, I consider that repenting.
And in the scriptures, repenting is associated with joy! What else brings us joy? How do we obtain joy? I thought about this years ago and came up with a list that all have something in common.
Gospel living brings joy. Relationships, including children bring joy. Repenting brings joy. Working hard brings joy. Learning and growing brings joy. Serving others brings joy. Being grateful brings joy.
What do all of these things have in common? I believe joy comes from making sacrifices to be closer to God.
As Elder Nelson said in his recent talk about Joy and Spiritual Survival, "the joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives."
We can have joy in any circumstance as we focus on Christ and his gospel.