“He Was Also Over powered with Joy”

Bryan Richards

Hugh Nibley

"Of course, the hardest thing to contain is joy. Anybody can contain all sorts of pain. It's amazing what you can put up with when you have to put up with pain. How astonishing it is-there's just no limit. But joy is a thing that scares the daylights out of you. You can't contain it and don't know what to do with it. In the Moscow Art Theatre they say, 'Suffer, suffer, suffer; that's the way you become an artist.' Well, we love to suffer; there's no limit to how much we can suffer. But joy is so much harder to take. You don't know what to do with it, do you? And yet that's the purpose of our existence-we 'are that we might have joy.' So we are learning to control joy and control ourselves when we have it. We can't contain it, you see. It's a hard thing to contain. What do you do? Do you shout and holler and run around? Do you make a fool of yourself, etc.? How can you contain that in yourself? Well, they are all sinking down here and passing out, and that's the best thing. After all, when pain becomes too great you black out automatically. So that takes care of that. It's the same thing with joy if you can't contain it. When you don't know how to handle a problem psychologically, what do you do? You black out. This is your defense." (Teachings of the Book of Mormon, Lecture 52, pp. 386-7)