A favorite scripture among Mormons (a nickname for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) is found in 2 Nephi 25:26 in the Book of Mormon.
“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.”
This scripture is normally used to demonstrate that the mission of the Church is to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to show that Mormons do not believe they can save themselves (because they don’t believe that). However, there is a phrase in the verse that demonstrates a central belief in everyday Mormonism.
“We rejoice in Christ.”
What does that mean to a Mormon? Mormonism contains a lot of teachings about joy and rejoicing. While there are very serious aspects of faith and those have to be addressed, most sermons end on a message of hope and rejoicing. After all, look at everything a Christian has to rejoice in, particularly if that Christian is a Mormon. Following are just three of the reasons Mormons rejoice in Christ.
We rejoice in Christ’s atonement.
This, of course, is the most important thing Mormons—and all other Christians—have to rejoice in. It makes everything meaningful, fair, and hopeful. This is emphasized in a verse we discussed in a previous article on the atonement of Jesus Christ:
Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth. Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.
Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise. (See 2 Nephi 2:5-8.)
Mormons know that they could not be saved without the atonement of Jesus Christ and they also know the atonement was a voluntary gift of love by both the Savior and by God, who allowed His son to suffer for us. Knowing we are so loved is a great cause of rejoicing among Mormons.
We rejoice in eternal families.
When a family member dies, people often comfort themselves by saying, “Mom and Dad are together again,” or “I’ll be with my child again when I die.” God put into our hearts the knowledge that families are meant to be forever, even though some people, in less sad times, choose to reject that knowledge. God made it possible for us to love our families in a powerful way and commanded us to love them and to give them priority in our lives. He rejects divorce in a perfect world, and Heaven is a perfect world. Since we are promised we can be happier there than we can possibly imagine, we know we will be able to bring our families with us as one of God’s greatest rewards to the faithful. How can we be happy forever without those we love the most? Eternal families are a cause of Mormon rejoicing and they are made possible through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
We rejoice in the opportunity to serve others.
Jesus spent much of His ministry serving others. It made no difference whether those people were believers or non-believers, whether they were socially acceptable or social outcasts, whether they were old or young. If He met a need, He filled it.
Mormons believe that true followers of Christ will always serve others when the opportunity arises. They are given many opportunities to do just that, both in church and in the world. A recent study out of the University of Pennsylvania showed that Mormons performed more service than any other segment of America. Even when service to other church members was factored out, they served as much as others—and then still found time to serve God in Church.
Mormons serve because they want to be like the Savior and being like the Savior—or as close as we can get—is a cause of Mormon rejoicing in Christ. A Christ-like life brings the greatest happiness.
Terrie Lynn Bittner
The late Terrie Lynn Bittner—beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend—was the author of two homeschooling books and numerous articles, including several that appeared in Latter-day Saint magazines. She became a member of the Church at the age of 17 and began sharing her faith online in 1992.