I am going to start off with this thought I had during my personal study last Tuesday morning.
"We receive joy in this life as our minds are reminded of the JOY we felt in His presence in the pre-life and as we look forward with faith to the JOY we will have in His presence in the next life."
Based on the scripture: Psalms 16:11
The only way to experience a "fullness of joy" here on earth is by consistently experiencing what Sister Hayes explains as "Caught a Glimpse of Heaven" moments. Moments that are undeniably from God and confirm the reality of His existence. I think it is safe to say that EVERYONE has experienced homesickness at least once in their life. That feeling of just wanting to be HOME. Because home is safe. Home is where you can be yourself. Home is where your loved ones are. Home is rest. That feeling of just wanting to be home is the longing of all of our hearts. That's what makes these "Glimpse of Heaven" moments so necessary for our spiritual sanity and earthly happiness. It is in these moments that we experience a "fullness of joy" because these moments are essentially a flashback to when we lived with God or flash forward to when we are going to be with God again. It is in these moments that we literally have a "glimpse" or taste of just how happy we were/just how happy we will be back in our real home, in the presence of our Eternal Father. This reminds me of President Uchtdorf's talk this last conference "A Summer With Great Aunt Rose". He writes about a little 11 year old girl named Ava talking with her Great Aunt Rose about how Great Aunt Rose is so happy. Ava asks: "Are you saying that being happy means just looking forward to happiness in the future? Is all our happiness in eternity? Can't some of it happen now?" To which Aunt Rose replies "Oh, of course it can! Dear child, now is part of eternity. It doesn't only begin after we die! Faith and hope will open your eyes to the happiness that is placed before you." To which I add: Because faith and hope are the necessary prerequisites to having "Glimpse of Heaven" moments. Without faith and without hope, we are unable to see the Lords merciful hand in our lives. And if we are unable to see and appreciate the Lords hand in our lives, we will be stuck in a eternal state of questioning. Questioning why we can't seem to turn our temporary happiness that the world offers us into a lastingly happiness of contentment and peace. We will be constantly disappointed and unsatisfied with worldly happiness because worldly happiness wasn't made to be eternal. Just like Psalms 16:11 explains. "...In thy presence is fullness of joy..." It is ONLY in God's presence we will receive that fullness of joy which makes catching a glimpse of heaven so much more desirable.
This last week I experience a glimpse of heaven when Sister วรรณ, our investigator, got baptized. I was filled with so much happiness and love for her. You can't put feelings like that into words. But if someone could it would be the man in this Mormon Message "The Hope of God's Light". Ironically, we watched this at the stake fireside last night.
No matter how many times I watch it, I am amazed at the simplicity and the truthfulness of this mans testimony. He truly has found what brings true happiness. And that is the Love of God that is found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Come and See.