Feeling Joy in Our Lives

by Courtney Hagberg

Growing up, I was raised in a home where my mother took us to church. My father was a member, but he was not active. He got baptized so that my mom would marry him. A year later they were sealed in the temple. He didn’t go back to the temple for 25 years.

Photo from LDS.org; used by permission
As a child, I didn’t realize what a sacrifice it was for my mother to take three kids to church by herself each week. She also worked and served as young women’s president several times. Now that I am a mother, my heart is beyond grateful that she stayed on the covenant path when it would have been so easy to not stay on the path.

As a teenager, I remember feeling sad and praying to my Heavenly Father and asking Him how to truly be happy. My prayer was answered in seminary. My seminary teacher asked the class, “Do you want to be truly happy and feel joy in your life?” Of course we all wanted that. He said the answer was to read our scriptures every day. I took that challenge and felt that joy.

There have been times in my life where I have felt this sadness again. And what pops into my mind is that I need to be reading my scriptures. Why the scriptures? The scriptures are where we get to know our Savior Jesus Christ. The scriptures are where we find answers to problems. The scriptures are where we can find peace.

Fast forward 25 years from when my father first went to the temple. On my wedding day, the greatest blessing was to have my dad there in the temple with me and my family. When we have the desire to be on the covenant path our hearts are softened and changed. The temple truly is a piece of Heaven on earth.

About a year and a half ago my dad passed away after an 11-year battle with cancer. As my family sat by him as he left this earthly life, he asked us to please stay close to our Savior Jesus Christ. In other words: Please stay on the covenant path.

When earthly trials come, and they will....we need the power that comes from keeping our covenants. I have a strong testimony of the power that comes from being a covenant-keeping daughter of God.

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