In this chapter (which covers Isaiah 51-52), the Lord talks about how He will comfort those who have followed Him.
“He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.” 2 Nephi 8:3
These are great promises. Life can feel like a wilderness, but God promises that He will make our lives Eden-like if we trust Him. And give us Joy!
But we have to endure the wilderness first. Wilderness experiences (trials, afflictions, hardships, pain) stretch us and help prove our mettle. It tests our faith in Jesus Christ.
Will we turn to Him when we are in the dark agony? Or will we turn to ourselves and become bitter?
Righteousness brings an attitude of gratitude.
Doing God’s will brings us closer to Him and takes the blinders from our eyes, so that we can see with heavenly vision to see all that He has blessed us with—and will bless us with.
God sets forth how His salvation shall be established forever. Even after the earth passes away and all things on it, His righteousness continues. God tells His people to “fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.” (7)
If we truly trust the Lord, we will not be swayed by the ridicule or taunting of the world. If we begin to give heed unto those mocking words and change our behavior and standards to be more accepted by those in the great and spacious building, we have let go of the rod and are on forbidden paths.
Repentance can bring us back to God. He never leaves us. He stated before that His salvation is established forever. It is man who leaves God and chooses misery.
In verse 11 it tells us the ultimate ending of those who are “redeemed of the Lord.” They “shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy and holiness shall be upon their heads; and they shall obtain gladness and joy; sorrow and mourning shall flee away.”
The purpose of this life is to gain joy. And joy comes from choosing God.
When we hand our will over and take His will upon us—His name—everlasting joy and holiness are upon our heads. It almost sounds like a priesthood blessing, bestowing those positive traits/states of mind upon us. Think of how awesome a promise that is. Gladness and joy. Who doesn’t want that?