Do you remember those strongman games at the fair/carnival/theme park? You know, the ones where you measure your strength by whacking a huge mallet on to a lever that shoots a lead weight upwards toward a bell. If you were strong enough and your mallet struck just right you could send that lead weight flying up the board where it would smack into a bell and drop back down to the lever. Every time a ding was heard in the park you knew someone was a real "strongman."
My brain thinks and relates best in metaphors or analogies. I see metaphors and analogies for life everywhere I look.
When I feel joy, I see and hear the bell ringing in the strongman game.
Here's a recent example:
The other night while reading from the Book of Mormon as a family we had the good fortune of having Jessica and her boys with us. We had just began reading from the book of 4th Nephi when Jessica stopped us. We all looked up at Jessica a bit startled because due to her more quiet nature she never speaks up to have us stop anything.
She cleared her throat and began to tell us how it was while reading in this exact location of 4th Nephi verse 4 and 5, as a 16 year old, she received a witness that the Book of Mormon was true. He voice began to crack as she retold her experience and bore testimony to the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.
Quite unique was this situation. Realizing what Jessica had just said, we all teared up and for a moment time stopped. Outside on our deck, in Hailey Idaho sitting in plastic chairs, the Spirit rested upon us all testifying of the truthfulness of Jessica's words.
What a beautiful moment as a parent. The spiritual "ding" of the strongman game sounded in my head. Weird analogy I know. Joy had been reached and I needed nothing more than "that" feeling. My soul had been quenched with the Joy that the Spirit provides.
Interesting and exciting to me is the testimony that Jessica had received of the Book of Mormon. It was a testimony that she sought and found on her own. It was something that her parents could not give to her. And while we could provide the tools and the mode by which a testimony is gained, the actual receiving, the revelation, could not be received until she asked herself, with a "sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ."
Jessica, independent of her parents, gained a witness that the Book of Mormon was true. The strongman bell sounded in my head as she retold us all the story.
Joy had been defined.