As the world begins to return to normal after COVID-19 pandemic, I am finding that my personal world also seems a bit more hectic and sometimes challenging. I recently read a talk by one of our church leaders Russell M. Nelson that spoke about finding peace in all times.
President Nelson said, “Life is filled with detours and dead ends, trials and challenges of every kind. Each of us has likely had times when distress, anguish, and despair almost consumed us. Yet we are here to have joy? Yes! The answer is a resounding yes! But how is that possible? and what must we do to claim the joy that Heavenly Father has in store for us?…. (we) can be happy under every circumstance. We can feel joy even while having a bad day, a bad week, or even a bad year!”
Jesus Christ Is a source of joy. At Christmas we sing “Joy to the world, the Lord is come.” We can feel joy year-round. Hebrew 12:2 says “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Christ offers a joy of cleansing, healing and strengthening, a joy of repentance and a joy of family and love.
Can we take our weaknesses and make them our strengths? Can we take those detours and dead ends and trial and challenges and navigate them with joy and strength? We can look to Jesus Christ, or the higher power we acknowledge, for that strength.
Every day that we try to improve and see beyond our challenges is a day to come closer to joy. Take each opportunity you can to be a catalyst for good and joy for others. Listen to him, listen to the voice within us, that will guide us in the direction of peace and joy, through crisis and challenge.
• Donna Leigh is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “Living & Growing” is a weekly column written by different authors and submitted by local clergy and spiritual leaders. It appears every Friday on the Juneau Empire’s Faith page.