Songs of Everlasting Joy

Isaiah prophesied of a time when the children of Israel would be delivered from bondage and would gather to Zion. This would not only be a day of joy; it would be the beginning of an eternity of joy:

The ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Isaiah 35:10

He later repeated this promise using nearly the same words in the original Hebrew, although the King James translators rendered it somewhat differently:

The redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

Isaiah 51:11

Nephi’s brother Jacob quoted this passage in his first sermon. The only significant variation from the King James Version is the insertion of holiness along with joy: “everlasting joy and holiness shall be upon their heads” (2 Nephi 8:11).

Five times in the Doctrine and Covenants, and once in the Book of Moses, the Lord reiterates this promise. Those who are redeemed by the Lord in our day will come to Zion with “songs of everlasting joy” (Doctrine and Covenants 45:71, 66:11, 101:18, 109:39, 133:33, Moses 7:53).

How is this possible? Followers of Christ do experience trials, setbacks, and even tragedy. They do feel sorrow, fear, and worry. But underpinning all of those experiences and stabilizing all of those emotions is a deep and unshakeable joy born of hope, because of their confidence in the Savior

As President Russell M. Nelson explained:

When we choose Heavenly Father to be our God and when we can feel the Savior’s Atonement working in our lives, we will be filled with joy. Every time we nurture our spouse and guide our children, every time we forgive someone or ask for forgiveness, we can feel joy.

Every day that you and I choose to live celestial laws, every day that we keep our covenants and help others to do the same, joy will be ours.

Heed these words of the Psalmist: “I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. … In [His] presence is fulness of joy.” As this principle is embedded in our hearts, each and every day can be a day of joy and gladness.

Joy and Spiritual Survival,” General Conference, October 2016

Today, I will sing songs of everlasting joy. I will remember that I can feel joy every day as I live the gospel, regardless of the difficulties and challenges I may experience. I will look for the joy, celebrate it, and be grateful that it is available to me because of my Savior, Jesus Christ.

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