As I read in John 16 I felt amazement and great joy just as Jesus Christ explained to His disciples what they would feel. He says as speaking about His coming suffering for our sins and crucifixion,
“Verily, Verily, I say unto you, that ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned to joy. (Like) A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now have sorrow: but I will see you gain, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. “(vs. 20, 21, 22)
What an undeniable prophesy come true that the whole world would rejoice at this event.
How true that even us as His disciples - in this day – would also have hearts that shall rejoice and no man can take this joy away from us.
As I consider the twelve and few followers that Jesus had as He spoke these words, and as I consider this Holy week celebrated by Christians around the world ( especially in Latin American Countries ) I hear stories of the parades and reenactments of these sacred events in celebration of Jesus Christ along the streets - I see how no man could have spoken such a prophesy, and not just any man could have given the world this gift that could never be taken away - He was not just a man – He was the Son of God, and because of Him I will forever rejoice.
I was discussing with a friend a few days ago, and she made the comment that, “We can’t worry or try to be perfect because that will stress us out.” While I understand this thought process, I wanted to share with her exactly why no man will ever be able to take the joy that the Savior gives us.
My response to her was, " I want you to know that you are already perfect because of what Jesus Christ has done for you. (Assuming that you have repented in prayer throughout the week for the things you may need to repent of.)
Jesus Christ would not ask us to do anything that we cannot do, (1 Nephi 3:7) and He has not only asked us to be perfect but He commands it. (Matt. 5: 1)
Because Jesus Christ took our sins upon Himself - each time that we recognize we have sinned, we can pray for forgiveness, and ask for help to change - given that we do our best to change – we are perfected through Him.
I explained that we do not need to be stressed out about the command to be perfect because – We do not even have to wait until Sunday to partake of the Sacrament in order to know that we have become perfect again through Jesus Christ as we repent–
The Holy Ghost whom is promised as our constant companion as members of His church is a cleansing agent in our lives.
John 16, as Christ is about to suffer He explains that it is expedient that He should leave in order for us to receive this Holy Ghost or comforter (vs.7)
Obtaining the Gift of The Holy Ghost is also a significant gift that He left us that Holy Week.
For the Holy Ghost is with us cleansing us from our sins each time that we repent.
2 Nephi 31:17 – For the Gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and the Holy Ghost.
Alma 5:54 – They have been brought into this church, having been sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
Alma 13:12 – Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Spirit the Holy Ghost, having their garments made white, being pure and spotless before God, could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence.
3 Nephi 27:20 – Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.
Romans 15:16 – That the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
1 Corinthians 6:11 – But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Moroni 6:4 – and after they had been received unto baptism and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ.
I personally testify that because of this gift that our Father in Heaven gave us of His Son, to take upon us our sins , resurrect and leave us with the ability to have the Holy Ghost with us through the Priesthood - we can be full of joy each and every day.
I am very full of joy and I live in deep thankfulness that because of Him I could be made new into a new creature. (2 Corinthians 5:1) and I know that I am being made perfect each day through Him.
I hope that we can all pause and consider the great gift of the Atonement not just today, but every single day. My heart aches at the price that God My Father paid in Giving Us His Son, but I cannot linger there long enough to rejoice as I must at the gift that He has given us of perfection through Christ.
President Eyring stated: “If you have felt the influence of the Holy Ghost during this day, or even this evening, you make take it as evidence that the Atonement is working in our life. “ (CES FIRESIDE SEPT.06 BYU)
“Reception of the Holy Ghost is the cleansing agent as the atonement purifies you, and when He is your companion, you can have confidence that the Atonement is working in your life.” (Come unto Christ, BYU Fireside, Oct. 1989)
Or as I also take this - if you have felt the Holy Ghost in your lives today my loved ones, you can know that you are being perfected. What great reason we can rejoice? In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.