Now My Joy is Full. www.kevinhinckley.com. Before I leave…. 3 Nephi 17
3 Nephi 17
1 Behold, now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he looked round about again on the multitude, and he said unto them: Behold, my time is at hand (to show myself to the other tribes of Israel).
2 I perceive that ye are weak, that ye cannot understand all my words which I am commanded of the Father to speak unto you at this time.
3 Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again.
What (and how) does he want us to ponder?
…they brought their little children and set them down upon the ground round about him,
and Jesus stood in the midst…
And … he commanded the multitude that they should kneel down upon the ground.
…And when he had said these words, he himself also knelt upon the earth; and behold he prayed unto the Father…
And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about
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,
To what extent is His eternal joy dependent on us?
Conversely, to what extent is OUR eternal joy dependent on others?
Rendering comfort, relief, and healing knowledge belong to eternity. The whole host of heaven serves the cause of the healing and exaltation of God's children. Such simple virtues will continue into the eternities.
Whatever Christ models for us is designed to endure in us. Whatever he teaches us he himself practices. Jesus, even though master of all, is servant of all. (Matt. 20:27.)
Studies in Scripture, Vol. 8: Alma 30 to Moroni, 172- 181
He wept—he who had descended below all things, the Man of Sorrows, he who bore all our griefs. The height of his infinite capacity for joy is the inverse, mirror image of the depth of his capacity to bear our burdens.
So it is with the enlarged caverns of feeling within our own hearts: as the sorrows of our lives carve and stretch those caverns, they expand our soul's capacity for joy.
Then, when the Man of Sorrows turns our bitter tastes to sweet, our joy—and his—will fill the widened chambers of our hearts with what the scriptures call "fulness."
That is when we have accepted his Atonement and love with such completeness that his purpose for us is fully satisfied. Then will we know that we were made for this.
Then will we know where, and why, and to whom, we belong.
Belonging Heart: The Atonement and Relationships with God and Family, 315
At BYU one often hears some student who is chafing against the standards say, "Teach us the principles, and then let us govern ourselves,"
a misquoting of the Prophet that really means, "Put the rules in a pamphlet and stop enforcing them."
For such as these, rules are a blessing from God. Without all three prerequisites (correct understanding of the principles, the guidance of the Holy Ghost, and the desire to obey) principle-based living will fail.
The danger of teaching the law of love is that invariably some spiritually immature persons will pit love against obedience. That will not work. We can keep the commandments through principles, like the law of love, or keep them through individual rules—but we can't keep the command to love God by breaking his commandments
Stephen Robinson, Believing Christ Footnotes, Chapter Six
During the last month or so, my mind has turned to a colleague of many years ago at the University of Utah. Dr. Reed Merrill was a distinguished educational psychologist… he had been inactive in the Church and inattentive to spiritual things, though a good person.
Then, in the early 1980s he was stirred spiritually by the Lord. I could see it when he came to visit me twice. He wrote two powerful letters regarding the comparative emptiness of his secular discipline with the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. These observations meant a lot because they came from a man of unquestioned intellect and integrity. Other catalytic things were happening, unbeknownst to me, including his daughter's service on a mission, to say nothing of a wonderful wife.
Reed called me sometime before his daughter's sealing, asking if I would perform her sealing. I said, "I would be delighted." I think I had an intervening trip overseas, but asked, "Reed, will you be there?"
With his typical integrity, he said, "Neal, you know me well enough to know I won't be there unless I am fully worthy to be there." When the morning came for the sealing in the Salt Lake Temple, I waited with particular anticipation.
Then Reed came down the corridor of the temple. We embraced, and he said, "Neal, I made it!" He had come home! Subsequently, he taught in his high priests group and in various classes. It was a spiritual renaissance in his life, a marvelous thing to see. How wonderful it is when anybody comes home!
Yesterday, when I reviewed my handwritten notes used ten years ago at Reed's funeral, they included words of gratitude for what I called, even back then, "the intersections of our lives"--Reed's and mine. The most important thing to be said about Reed Merrill when he departed from this life was that he exited "in spiritual crescendo."
Such things bring joy! “Brim with Joy”, BYU Devotional, Jan 1996