General Conference was winding down and Elder Neil A. Anderson got up and jokingly said, “I know, you are waiting for this last talk to be over so you can hear from President Nelson.”
He quoted President Nelson at one point and the statement made my husband and I cheer out loud, “Yay! Yesssss! “
President Nelson added to the above quote, “When the focus of our lives is on God’s plan of salvation, and Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening—or not happening—in our lives. Joy comes from and because of Him. He is the source of all joy… For Latter-day Saints, Jesus Christ is joy!”
The reason we cheered when we heard this quote is we that have been talking about focus a lot this past summer. It’s been a learning packet for us. We have both gotten triggered by something and we have realized in most cases, our focus is on the wrong thing. We can be in the best of circumstances and be fretful about the heat, or irritated about a family member and let that ruin our whole day. What a waste of a good day! What a waste of joy!
My husband and I have talked a lot of a dinner we had in Norway this summer. We had made reservations at a hotel that had been owned by 10 generations. Think of that. If you put three generations in 100 years, this place had been owned by the same family for over 300 years! We were being served 4 courses of local food, mostly fish that had been caught that day in the outside fjord. The candles were lit, the setting was quaint and charming, and we were so pleased with ourselves because we had planned this trip using our wits and research skills. Later my husband told me, “We were in this stunning locale, and during the first course, I noticed a fly in the far window. It kept distracting me, and I was getting irritated that such an elegant restaurant would have a fly buzzing around.” He kept fixating on it and finally was able to tell himself, “Stop!” and come back to our meal and immerse himself in the rich experience.
What is the focus of our lives? What is robbing us from our joy?
We were at the temple last night and it was crowded in the foyer as I waited to leave. The night was warm, and there were so many people coming and going, youth lining up for the baptistry and people recognizing acquaintances. I was struck by the buoyancy of the group– so animated, purposeful, and alive. I could literally feel the heart of the room! I was experiencing a room full of rejoicing Saints! It made me so delighted to be feeling this rich mix of everyone’s energy and focus on what was really important.
“And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” (2 Nephi 25:26)