My Soul Delighteth in the Things of the Lord

Susan W. Tanner

Recently Released Young Women General President


Delight in the things of the Lord … will “lift” our hearts and give us cause to “rejoice.”

In the Book of Mormon, Nephi speaks often of delight. He delights “in the things of the Lord,” “in the scriptures,” and “in the great and eternal plan” of our Father in Heaven (see 2 Nephi 4:15–16; 11:2–8). Notably, Nephi often remembers his sources of delight in the midst of affliction, serving to lift and focus his spirit on eternal blessings.

We too should delight in the things of the Lord for it will “lift” our hearts and give us cause to “rejoice” (2 Nephi 11:8). Let me mention a few of the things I delight in.

I delight in our Savior, Jesus Christ. Like Nephi, “I glory in my Jesus” (2 Nephi 33:6), in His ministering and saving roles upon the earth. He provides light and hope and has given us the Holy Ghost for further guidance and comfort along the pathway we should go. It is only through Him that we can return to our Father. “Salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ” (Mosiah 3:17).

I delight in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets with whom I have had the blessed opportunity to serve. I testify that President Thomas S. Monson is the Lord’s prophet on the earth today. I delight that he is truly a Christlike minister to the one, reaching out in warmth and love to each individual.

I delight in priesthood keys and temples that dot the earth, making available to each of us eternal ordinances and covenants. Some of my most celestial days recently have been my own children’s temple marriages, with my father performing that holy ordinance.

I delight in the strength of youth as I see them throng the temples to do baptisms for the dead. I love their worthy adherence to the standards leading to the temple and their preparation to be faithful missionaries and righteous mothers and fathers.

I delight that I am a daughter of Heavenly Father, who loves me. I learned of my divine identity in my earliest years at my mother’s side. Just recently I saw my then three-year-old granddaughter learning her identity from her mother. Eliza had gone to bed distraught. She could be comforted only as her mother again told Eliza’s favorite true story about the special night when Heavenly Father distinctly and clearly whispered to her mommy’s heart that Eliza was a special spirit with a noble mission ahead.

I take great delight in my role as a nurturer, which allows me to express my deepest identity as a woman. I never fail to be struck by the way that women, young women, and even little girls seem to have an instinctive interest and ability in nurturing. It is not only a mother’s primary responsibility but also part of our “individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Liahona, Oct. 2004, 49; Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102). To nurture is to teach, to foster development, to promote growth, to feed, and to nourish. Who would not shout for joy at being given such a blessed role?

The scriptures use the word nurture only twice and in both cases speak of the responsibility of parents to raise their children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4; Enos 1:1).

President Hinckley also admonished both men and women to be nurturers. He said, “How much more beautiful would be the … society in which we live if every father … and … mother regarded [their] children … as gifts from the God of heaven … and brought them up with true affection in the wisdom and admonition of the Lord” (“These, Our Little Ones,” Liahona, Dec. 2007, 7; Ensign, Dec. 2007, 9).

I delight in families. Recently I delighted in the birth of a new grandchild into a family that understands that parents have the solemn responsibility to rear their children in love and righteousness. The older siblings had a natural curiosity about their little sister’s entrance into this world. Their first lessons about this holy subject were taught by loving parents in a sacred family setting, in the celestial climate that accompanies a new soul’s birth into mortality, and in the context of our Father’s great eternal plan. By contrast, the next day upon returning home from kindergarten, our granddaughter reported that she had learned that day in class “a big new term called sexual abuse.” I felt concerned that at this early age children already have to be aware, for safety reasons, of the negative facets of the subject they had so beautifully talked of the night before. I delighted as never before in a nurturing family founded upon the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Jacob taught that the Lord delights “in the chastity of women” (Jacob 2:28). I delight in the chastity and purity of all women and men. How it must grieve the Lord to see virtue violated and modesty mocked on every side in this wicked world. The Lord has provided for His children great joy through intimate, loving relationships, as my grandchildren were learning. I delight in the clarity of the proclamation to the world on the family, which warns that “individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God.”

I delight in the examples of those in the scriptures who walk by faith on their earthly journey. Each time I walk with Abraham and Isaac on the road to Mount Moriah, I weep, knowing that Abraham does not know that there will be an angel and a ram in the thicket at the end of the journey. We are each in the middle of our earthly path, and we don’t know the rest of our own stories. But we, as Abraham, are blessed with miracles.

I delight in the Lord’s mercies and miracles (see “Bless Our Fast, We Pray,” Hymns, no. 138). I know that His tender mercies and His miracles, large and small, are real. They come in His way and on His timetable. Sometimes it is not until we have reached our extremity. Jesus’s disciples on the Sea of Galilee had to toil in rowing against a contrary wind all through the night before Jesus finally came to their aid. He did not come until the “fourth watch,” meaning near dawn. Yet He did come. (See Mark 6:45–51.) My testimony is that miracles do come, though sometimes not until the fourth watch.

Right now I am exerting my faith and prayers and watching for miracles in behalf of loved ones who are physically sick, emotionally bereft, and spiritually astray. I delight in the Lord’s love for each of His children and in His wisdom to allow us individually tailored earthly experiences.

Finally, I delight in, more than I can express, the eternal love and constant help of my husband and the prayers and support of my children and parents during these years of my service as Young Women general president.

“My soul delighteth in the things of the Lord” (2 Nephi 4:16)—His law, His life, His love. To delight in Him is to acknowledge His hand in our lives. Our gospel duty is to do what is right and to love and delight in what is right. When we delight to serve Him, our Father in Heaven delights to bless us. “I, the Lord, … delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end” (D&C 76:5). I want to be worthy always of His delight. “I love the Lord, in Him my soul delights” (“I Love the Lord,” Jackman Music Corporation). In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.