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What is Joy?
I recently discovered these words that my Grandmother Ella Gladys Anderson had written near the end of her life.
"Man is that he might have joy." (2 Ne 2:25-26)
While living on the Barker farm, joy to me as a little girl was helping my mother pack a lunch in a basket to be carried by her, my two brothers and I across the fields to where my father was irrigating, so he wouldn’t have to walk so far.
In the evening, when the chores were done, joy was having our father sing to us and our mother read to us and the honey candy and popcorn.
Joy as a young girl was sitting on Aunt Sarah’s front porch with my two dear old Grandfathers, my mother’s father and my father’s grandfather and listening to them talk about their boyhood days in Nauvoo.
When I was 12 years old. I read a story. The hero was named Hugh. I had never heard that name before. Very seriously I told my mother someday I would marry a man named Hugh. Joy was when 8 1/2 years later I did meet a man named Hugh and we were married a year later and sealed in the temple.
Joy was being called to sing in the ward choir at 15 and to teach the 9 and 10 year olds when I was 17.
Joy was when my older brother was married to a beautiful brown eye girl, my first sister and I loved her.
Joy was when our first baby boy was born. Now we were a family, added joy was when each of our next four children were added to our family and then great joy in watching the children grow and develop in many ways.
Joy was walking to church with our children one beautiful Sunday morning. We paused to listen to dozens of song sparrows singing in a pine tree and wanting to join their chorus with, “Oh, How Lovely Was the Morning.”
Joy was visiting with my little 96-year-old neighbor who was very alert and interested in everything.
Joy was when our four sons and their sister would gather around the piano and while she played the piano, they would sing quartets from the hymn book. It was fun when one of the boys usually said lets draw cuts to see which part to sing.
Joy was having a picnic with my family on the bank of a stream in a cedar wood and watching a huge brilliantly colored moth, which had just emerged from its cocoon, all wet and trembling. We marveled about the beauties of the creation.
One time when I had been ill, I told my young teenage son, I wasn’t worth much - they had better trade me for a new model. Shyly he replied, “I’ve heard the new models aren’t as good as the old ones - what joy that gave to me.
Great joy was getting together with my brothers, their wives and families for a picnic at the “Mike Ridge” farm with our father and mother.
Joy was when our children were married and we then began having grandchildren.
Joy is when a little child puts his arms around your neck and says” I love you, Grandma.”
Joy was walking into a shop in Salt Lake and meeting a group of black teenagers. When one of them looked directly at me I smiled at her. For a moment there was surprise on her face, then I was rewarded with a lovely smile.
Joy was walking up Highland Drive with my daughter in law, Ruth, as we were nearing Cottonwood Mall. We met two young men, one on crutches, the other one so badly crippled he lay on a platform on wheels with a steering gear. As we greeted them with “Well, Hi there!” Their eyes shining and with big smiles, they replied, “Well, Hi to you!” What a wonderful example of courage and cheerfulness for those of us more fortunate.
A very special joy was working in the temple with my husband as officiators, and finally great joy from the knowledge we have that we are children of God, and if we keep His commandments, we will be blessed.
Joy to me in my golden years is the love and encouragement I receive from my children and grandchildren, brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors.
What is joy to you?
Please feel free to share with us what brings you joy.
© 2014 Elayne