It was early morning when Joey and his brother and sister stumbled into the living room for scripture study. His older sister, Candice, collapsed on the sofa with a moan. His baby brother, Keith, curled up in the middle of the floor and pulled his blanket over his face.
“Good morning!” Mother chirped, and Father joined in with a cheery “Rise and shine!”
A groan arose from the sofa; a soft snore from the living room floor.
“Hi,” Joey yawned. He opened his Book of Mormon to Second Nephi, where they had left off the day before. He tried to follow along as Father read something about Lehi, but his eyes kept closing. They opened wide, though, when he heard his own name.
“What?” he asked groggily. “Was Lehi talking about me?” He sat up and tried to look more alert. After all, if he was in the scriptures, he must be pretty important.
His mother smiled. “Not Joey, dear—Joy. ‘Men are, that they might have joy.’ It means that we’re all supposed to be happy.” [2 Ne. 2:25]
Joey frowned thoughtfully. His mother might be right, but he knew deep down inside that this was still his scripture. He was thinking about it later that morning when a new idea popped into his head. His eyes widened. If this is my scripture, maybe it’s my job to do something about it—to help people have joy.
The next morning he put his plan into action. “Candice is that she might have joy,” he whispered softly to himself as he gave his sister a big smile during scripture study.
“What’s your problem?” she growled, scooting away. “Nobody should be that happy this early in the morning.”
This set Joey’s plan back a bit, but he was determined to succeed. He smiled at Candice all during breakfast and gave her a good-bye hug as she left for school. She looked puzzled at him and said to a friend that she was glad to be going to school to get away from her funny little brother. But he thought he saw a smile on her face as she hurried out the door.
Half an hour later, he went to school himself. He smiled at Mother as he left. (Moms are that they might have joy, after all.)
At school, he smiled at his teacher and his friends. “What do you think you are, a jack-o’-lantern?” his best friend, Tony, asked.
“I’m just happy today, I guess,” Joey replied, grinning.
He smiled at the lunchroom ladies, the playground monitors, and the crosswalk guards. They all smiled back at him and then at the next person they met as well.
By lunchtime, his jaw ached from smiling so much. He had never realized how much work it was to follow the scriptures. Still, he stuck to his plan. He smiled when he opened his lunch and realized that he had a tuna fish sandwich. He didn’t like tuna fish.
He smiled during music, even though he didn’t get to use one of the tambourines. He smiled especially hard when Tracy Gilbreath pushed in front of him at the drinking fountain. She stared at him in amazement, then stepped to the back of the line, looking guilty.
By the end of school, Joey was exhausted. It was a relief to go home.
Mom is that she might have joy, he thought as he helped set the table for dinner.
Dad is that he might have joy, Joey thought as he carried his father’s briefcase into the house for him.
Baby brother is that he might have joy—and strained peas, Joey thought as he spooned green glop into Keith’s mouth at dinner.
That night Joey lay in bed, thinking about his day. Mom is that she might have joy. Dad is that he might have joy. Candice is that she might have joy. Keith is that he might have joy. Teachers, librarians, friends, crossing guards, and everyone in the whole world—all are that they might have joy. It was a big idea, and he thought about it a long time.
Joey was tired after a hard day of smiling. But, remembering all the smiles he had received in return, he couldn’t keep a new smile from growing on his face. He yawned and snuggled into bed.
He had one last thought before falling asleep: Joey is that he might have joy.