This year my focus has been on finding JOY in the journey of life. This roller coaster ride has been full of ups and downs, joy and sadness, hope and fear... As I reflected on all that I've learned about finding JOY, I re-read an article in the April 2012 Ensign by Elder David A. Bednar. I realized that the most important thing I've learned this year is that the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ is what makes it possible to find JOY in life even through the difficult times. It is the Atonement that brings peace and gives us the hope to hang on. It's that hope that helps us to faithfully, and cheerfully, endure to the end, even on those days when we feel like we just can't do it any more.
Elder Bednar reminds us: "The Savior has suffered not just for our iniquities but also for the inequality, the unfairness, the pain, the anguish, and the emotional distresses that so frequently beset us. There is no physical pain, no anguish of soul, no suffering of spirit, no infirmity or weakness that you or I ever experience during our mortal journey that the Savior did not experience first. You and I in a moment of weakness may cry out, 'No one understands. No one knows.' No human being, perhaps, knows. But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He felt and bore our burdens before we ever did. And because He paid the ultimate price and bore that burden, He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy in so many phases of our life. He can reach out, touch, succor—literally run to us—and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do through relying upon only our own power."
The Savior has promised us peace as we "come unto him." He literally gives us the strength to bear more than we think possible. And when we are about to give into darkness and despair, if we will turn towards His light, we will find that peace and yes, even JOY in this journey of life.