Isaiah associated singing with joy. For example:
- “Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter to the end of the earth; say ye: The Lord hath redeemed his servant Jacob” (Isaiah 48:20, 1 Nephi 20:20).
- “Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth;…and break forth into singing, O mountains;… for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted” (Isaiah 49:13, 1 Nephi 21:13).
- “Therefore, the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy and holiness shall be upon their heads; and they shall obtain gladness and joy; sorrow and mourning shall flee away” (Isaiah 51:11, 2 Nephi 8:11).
That last quote is referenced multiple times in modern revelation. I particularly like the version in a revelation received November 3, 1831. After speaking of people coming to Zion on a raised highway, their enemies too weak to harm them, with pools of water quenching their thirst and the hills trembling at their appearance, the Lord says simply:
And they shall be filled with songs of everlasting joy.Doctrine and Covenants 133:33
I don’t know what everlasting joy feels like. Like so many things in life, emotions seem very temporary, replaced as quickly as circumstances change or simply fading over time as the associated experiences become distant memories. But I can easily imagine everlasting joy generating a desire to sing. The songs referenced in this passage are in our hearts before they become audible. A desire to express our happiness comes naturally as we draw closer to the Savior.
Today, I will be grateful for the joy of the gospel. I will strive to follow Isaiah’s admonition to declare the gospel with a voice of singing and to come to Zion with songs of everlasting joy in my heart.
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