The Gospel of Jesus Christ brings Joy. I can say this because I have experienced joy from living Christ’s doctrine and know it to be true. When I turn my will over to God and do His will—not mine—He blesses me with His spirit, which fruits are Joy.
In a talk given in 1991, Dallin H. Oaks defined joy as the ultimate sensation of well-being that comes from being complete and in harmony with our Creator and His eternal laws. It is not enough just to hear or read the Word provided through holy scriptures and prophetic counsel. One must act upon that knowledge, or they are no better off than the child who listens to his parents tell him not to touch the stove, but then does so anyway and gets burned.
Many Christian faiths argue the grace versus works doctrine, and try to say that members of the Church of Jesus Christ (Mormons) believe that our works save us. That is NOT true. I am a member and should know what I believe better than someone not of my faith. I unequivocally vouch that we believe the atonement of Christ and His grace is our ONLY salvation.
But whereas other faiths believe that only declaring that you believe in Christ is enough to save you and it doesn’t matter what you do after that, I will admit that my religion believes works are important too…not to save us, but because we believe that if one truly believes Christ is the Savior and loves Him, our works will prove that as His grace refines us. Apostle Dieter F. Uchtforf has said of grace:
Throughout our lives, God’s grace bestows temporal blessings and spiritual gifts that magnify our abilities and enrich our lives. His grace refines us. His grace helps us become our best selves.
After tasting of God’s redeeming love, His grace will enable me to become a better person. My works will manifest His grace in my life. If I love my Savior, I will not deceive my fellowmen; I will not curse at the other drivers on the road (or if I do, I will catch myself and repent quickly); I will not be unkind to others; I will not gossip or tear down anyone in any manner; I will not condone wickedness in my family, community, government, or world because of the love I hold for my Redeemer.
Good works will abound in my life when I truly love my Savior and accept His grace. I will serve everyone I can; I will reach out to others in kindness; I will be completely honest in ALL my dealings; I will want to share my happiness with others and pray that all may know the Joy that comes from knowing and loving Jesus Christ. I will want to do His will, not my own…even if that means I am ridiculed for my beliefs.
God’s grace will save us. That is a fact. And when our belief in Him is true and sincere, our works will match His will, not ours. His grace will enable us to be better than we are today and translate into many good works, not just occasional lip service.