- Joy is more than happiness. Joy is the ultimate sensation of well-being. It comes from being complete and in harmony with our Creator and his eternal laws.
- The opposite of joy is misery. Misery is more than unhappiness, sorrow, or suffering. Misery is the ultimate state of disharmony with God and his laws.
He speaks about the eternal nature of joy and misery. He says that there are few situations that we will be able to experience true joy or true misery in mortality.
- Joy and misery are eternal emotions whose ultimate extent we are not likely to experience in mortality. In this life we have some mortal simulations, which we call happiness or pleasure and unhappiness or pain. In the midst of these emotions is suffering. Some suffering comes from our own sins or those of others, but much suffering is simply an inevitable part of the mortal condition, like an accidental injury.
In order to find joy in this life, it must be found through the Savior. Joy is an eternal emotion and can only be found through the things of eternity.
- Despite all we can do, we cannot have a fulness of joy in this world or through our own efforts. Only in Christ can our joy be full.
- We are able to have a fulness of joy only when spirit and body are inseparably connected in the glorious resurrection to celestial glory. That joy, of course, comes only through the mercy of the Holy Messiah, whose resurrection broke the bands of death and whose atonement unlocks the reservoir of mercy by which we can be cleansed of our sins and come into the presence of God to receive the fulness of the Father.
- God’s mercy is the only source of the ultimate and eternal joy, which restores every loss, dries every tear, and erases every pain. Eternal joy transcends all suffering. In this life and in the life to come, that joy comes about through the Resurrection and the remission of sins.
President Oaks encourages us to turn away from sin, seek the Savior, and pursue eternal joy in this life. He tells us that we should not be seeking to find joy in the things of the world.
- I plead with each of you to remember that wickedness never was happiness and that sin leads to misery. Do not seek happiness in the glittering but shallow things of the world. We cannot achieve lasting happiness by pursuing the wrong things.
He provides several examples of things that the world looks to for joy but ultimately will lead us to unhappiness, empty fulfillment's, and spiritual death.
- Turn your eyes and your hearts away from the deceptive messages of the media. There is no happiness in alcohol or drugs, only enslavement. There is no happiness in violence, only pain and sorrow. There is no happiness in sexual relations and physical familiarities outside the bonds of marriage, only degradation and increased momentum along the way to spiritual death.
Finally, he shares that the effects of a righteous person can be found in generations after their life. The righteous raising of a family can bring joy to generations ahead who will find peace and love within the arms of the Savior.
- The effects of righteous examples are felt for generations to come. Good parenting produces youth who make good parents. Just as many of us have been strengthened by the noble examples of our pioneering ancestors in many lands, so the righteous choices and sacrifices of our day can bless our families and our friends and our nations for all the years to come.
I have always thought of joy and being eternal happiness. This has always been a simple explanation for me. But I think it is more than that after reading this talk. Joy, although eternal in nature, can only be granted to us through the Savior. I have experienced this eternal happiness at moments when people are granted a testimony of the gospel. I have seen it when people worthily married in the temple. I have seen it when families are united for time and all eternity when sealed in the temple. All these examples include the Savior and are given to us as steps towards eternal life. I am grateful to know that God gives us those glimpses of eternity in this life and cherish those moment of joy granted to me by a loving Savior.