And then, I reached up to Heaven. I prayed. And I opened the scriptures and began to read. And kept crying. As I read and prayed and pondered, one particular verse came with great power into my heart. I read in Mosiah chapter 5, verse 4: “And it is the faith which we have had on the things which our king has spoken unto us that has brought us to this great knowledge, whereby we do rejoice with such exceedingly great joy.” The words resonated in my soul, and the Holy Ghost brought exceedingly great joy to MY heart. I looked again at all the family pictures lining the walls and felt grateful for such beautiful memories and such wonderful people in my life, and the Spirit communicated to my heart with absolute certainty that families really can be together forever. I felt, through the words of that verse and through the power of the Holy Ghost, that the gospel principles I had learned throughout my life were true and powerful and important and vital to my success in navigating through what lay ahead in my life. And my faith, on the things which my Great King had spoken to me through the scriptures and all the prophets, brought me to a great knowledge, that allowed me to rejoice with exceedingly great joy. And so at midnight on that quiet, solitudinous New Year’s Eve— after praying, and journaling, and reading, and crying, I was able to have hope for a happy new year—knowing that my Great King was aware of me, that I was not alone, and that my faith on His words would be connected to exceedingly great joy for the rest of my life. That experience was truly a gift. It didn't take away the sadness, or the struggle, or the buckets of tears that I would cry in the days to come over losing my sister, but it helped me understand that even in the darkest, loneliest, saddest of times, there is joy. And that the Prince of Peace has never left us comfortless and that He can wrap us in "peace that passeth understanding" if we turn to Him.
***Also, check out Emily's website about finding joy HERE and listen to her beautiful original song about finding joy below.