Two themes that run thru the scriptures are faith and by extension keeping the commandments, and having joy or being joyful as a the blessing for your efforts. These themes are also part of celebrating Christmas. All thru his ministry the Savior invited people to “Come follow him”, and keep His commandments, make covenants and be party to the blessings He has to offer us. These scriptures are just some of the many examples of Christ’s invitation to come follow Him and be joyful:
Matthew 4: 19-20, “And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father? And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
Mark 8: 34, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
Luke 9: 23, “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
2 Nephi 31: 10, “And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?
Matthew 11: 28, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Isaiah 55: 3, “Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.”
Moroni 10: 32, “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.”
Psalms 16: 11, “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
Psalms 35: 9, “And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord: it shall rejoice in his salvation.”
Isaiah 51: 11, “Therefore 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.”
Romans 14: 7, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”
Alma 36: 20, “And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!”
And further if you look in the Topical Guide under the heading of “Joy” one of the sub-headings is, “Man, Potential to Become like Heavenly Father”. That’s really the message of the songs I chose for today. That we can come to the Savior with our little seeds of faith, we can be blessed and strengthened by Him, and receive His Spirit and be joyful thru His Atonement.
Oh come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant!
Joyful, all ye nations, rise;
Join the triumph of the skies;
Born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Joy to the world, the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King!
Let ev’ry heart prepare him room,
Rejoice! Rejoice when Jesus reigns,
Rejoice! Rejoice in the Most High,
Oh Come All Ye Faithful
Adeste Fedeles (that’s Oh Come All Ye Faithful in Latin, just because we all should sing in Latin once in a while).
Hark the Herald Angles Sing
Joy to the World