“My Joy Is Full Yea, My Heart Is Brim with Joy, and I Will Rejoice in My God”

George Reynolds, Janne M. Sjodahl

In the fervor of his righteous zeal, Ammon praised God, the Great Giver of the many blessings he and his companions in the mission field had received. His joy was immeasurable, his praise of God knew no bounds. He left no stone untouched or unturned that he might add to the fabric he was building to God's honor and glory. In fact, Ammon's effulgent spirit transported him to realms beyond which only angels from God's presence can attain. "The LORD liveth. Exalted be the God of my Salvation," was the sum and the substance of Ammon's song of praise. Pour out your heart, we imagine he said, and it, too, shall rejoice, for we trust in God at all times. In Ammon's rejoicing we can well understand the words of King David: "Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart." (Psalm 97:11)

The joy that filled Ammon's breast, and made his great heart leap like the hart at the waterbrook, caused his brothers to seek his repression. Aaron feared that Ammon's enthusiasm and ardor were more than Ammon's physical strength could endure. Aaron therefore "rebuked" Ammon for his ecstasy which seemed to carry him beyond the limits of propriety. Aaron saw in Ammon's words what he thought was a departure from the path of humility in which they both had trodden together for, lo, the many years of their mission. Aaron thought, also, that Ammon boasted in his own might and wisdom. Boasting is generally associated with pride, and it usually imputes exaggeration, ostentatiousness, or vaingloriousness, to the one who vents his pride. (Merriam-Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary)

Ammon's answer to Aaron's reproof was full and forthright. In the words of the Psalmist, we conceive him saying: "I will bless the LORD at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD...." (Psalm 34:1-2)

I do not boast in my own strength. When compared with God's, Ammon knew that his utmost strength was absolute weakness, and his wisdom foolishness. He did not boast in them, but, however, the light of God's countenance illumined his soul, and what had been dark within him was now made bright. Like a lamp in the gloomy wastes of darkness, his joy spread its rays of gladness all about him, and beckoned his brethren: "Behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God." He reasoned thus: "Are not all the mighty men as naught before the LORD, and those of great renown as though they had never been; the wisest as if without knowledge, and men of understanding as if without discernment?" (Jewish Union Prayer Book) And, no doubt, in addition to that, he remembered having read from the Plates of Laban which were in the possession of his father, King Mosiah: "Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and obtaineth understanding." (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

Ammon had been tested and chastened by the Lord in the many afflictions that had come upon him, but, however, he accepted them all as marks of God's refining love which purified and strengthened him. They fulfilled in him, David's prayer: "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10)

Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 3