In order that my joy be your joy

In order that my joy be your joy
I will always remember the day I was baptized. It was at the beach and it was very early in the morning. In those days there was no meetinghouse in my town. Just a few people were there—my mother, one of my sisters, and three missionaries. There was no one there to congratulate us like happens now. We were confirmed right there. We sat down on a branch on the shore and were confirmed members of the Church.
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I don’t remember all of my feelings. I was eleven years old and very happy to join the Church. I had so much going through my head. Still today, and forever, I can and will remember the joy and happiness I felt—a very distinct feeling that fills the soul of the person who knows they have entered the kingdom of God and are now a member of His Church. It is the feeling of knowing you have been born again.

Alma taught us that the moment of his conversion was also the cause of unique joy for him. He tells us, “…yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!”1

He described this happiness that comes from living the gospel as a feeling of wanting “to sing the song of redeeming love.”2 It invites us to make sure to always keep the feeling to sing as a sign that we remember the covenant we made when we were converted.

We were given the gospel of our Lord, Jesus Christ, in order to help us have peace, joy, and great happiness in our lives. Through His Atonement, we accept Him as our Redeemer, and by living close to His teachings and humbly obeying His commandments, we distance ourselves from the bad feelings, sadness, regret, and pain associated with wickedness. Sadly, these things often also affect our families.

Sharing the gospel is more than just sharing our beliefs. It involves sharing this joy and happiness that comes from living the teachings of Jesus Christ and having accepted His invitation to follow Him.3 We should want to share more than just the doctrine, but also, the happiness in this life that will lead us to “…dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness.”4

For us as Latter-day Saints, sharing what we feel and know is a responsibility that comes with our own conversion. We aren’t set apart as missionaries or sustained in a sacrament meeting, nor do we have a special interview with our leaders for this responsibility. We made a promise to share His gospel when we made the decision to follow Him. Alma told those who were desirous to join the Church that they should do so if they were willing to “…stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in.”5

The big secret of sharing the gospel is that in reality we only do a part of the work. It’s not just me standing there when I decide to share with someone how special a meeting was in our Church yesterday, or how I try and raise my children, or why I’m not seen participating in Sunday activities. In these moments, we are accompanied by the Holy Ghost. That is what the Lord tells us in Doctrine and Covenants 100:5-8:

5. Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall not be confounded before men;

 6.  For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say.

 7. But a commandment I give unto you, that ye shall declare whatsoever thing ye declare in my name, in solemnity of heart, in the spirit of meekness, in all things.

 8. And I give unto you this promise, that inasmuch as ye do this the Holy Ghost shall be shed forth in bearing record unto all things whatsoever ye shall say.

What an amazing promise from the Lord. When I learned this, I realized that it wasn’t about what I had to say or what I could prepare or practice in advance, or even work on for several weeks. It’s only a matter of keeping my life in harmony with the Spirit, and then He will be in charge of helping others know the truthfulness of the feelings I share and the experiences I’ve had in the Church.

This is a marvelous model, which by the way can also help us when we want to share things with brothers and sisters who’ve distanced themselves from the Church. The Spirit will testify to them again.

I wanted to tell you about my baptism because it’s one of my favorite experiences to share when I talk about the Church. For each one of you, there will surely be a moment in your life in the gospel that you have wanted, or will want to share. In fact, I hope there are many moments.

Now brothers and sisters, think about one of these moments, and ponder a little about the person or persons you want to share that moment with, and then do it. “How great will be your joy [if you bring] save it be one soul unto me.”6

The Vision of the Caribbean Area, which should be in all your homes, brings with it an invitation that we, the members, will share the gospel, and that with the help of the missionaries we can help others receive the joy and blessing of the gospel and the Atonement of our Lord, Jesus Christ, in their lives. I invite you to make this your invitation; don’t leave it to anyone else. A marvelous experience awaits you.

May you rejoice in this chance to see others also receive this joy in their lives, just as we have received it. I testify that these things are true and that the Holy Ghost will be there with you as you testify of Jesus Christ, our Savior, and His gospel.

1 Alma 36:20

2 Alma 5:26

3 Matthew 16:24

4 Mosiah 2:41

5 Mosiah 18:9

6 D&C 18:13