“My Joy is Full and when He Had Said These Words He Wept”

Bryan Richards

According to the scriptures, the Lord weeps for two reasons only. He weeps with joy for the faithful, or he weeps with sorrow for the faithless. Examples of these tears of sorrow are found in the New Testament. In fulfillment of his prophetic parable (Lu 16:19-31), Jesus went to Bethany to raise Lazarus. This was to be a public miracle, to be done in front of some of the unbelieving Jews. The record simply states that Jesus wept (Jn 11:35), but it doesn't state why. Some supposed that he mourned the death of his friend, but it was their faithlessness which was the cause of his tears. Much like his mournful groaning among the Nephites (v. 14), Jesus proceeded to the grave, again groaning in himself (Jn 11:38). Enoch was told, should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer? (Moses 7:37) Tears of sorrow were also shed for the rebellious city of Jerusalem, when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it (Lu 19:41). Farrar wrote:

"He had dropped silent tears at the grave of Lazarus; here He wept aloud…All the shame of His mockery, all the anguish of His torture, was powerless, five days afterwards, to extort from Him a single groan, or to wet His eyelids with one trickling tear; but here, all the pity that was within Him overmastered His human spirit, and He not only wept, but broke into a passion of lamentation, in which the choked voice seemed to struggle for its utterance. A strange Messianic triumph! A strange interruption of the festal cries! The Deliverer weeps over the city which it is now too late to save; the King prophesies the total ruin of the nation which He came to rule!" (Church News, 05/06/95)

For one who knew such depth of pain for the faithless, we can only imagine, but never really comprehend, how deep was his joy for of the faithful Nephites.

Bruce C. Hafen

"He wept—he who had descended below all things, the Man of Sorrows, he who bore all our griefs. The height of his infinite capacity for joy is the inverse, mirror image of the depth of his capacity to bear our burdens. So it is with the enlarged caverns of feeling within our own hearts: as the sorrows of our lives carve and stretch those caverns, they expand our soul's capacity for joy. Then, when the Man of Sorrows turns our bitter tastes to sweet, our joy—and his—will fill the widened chambers of our hearts with what the scriptures call 'fulness.' That is when we have accepted his Atonement and love with such completeness that his purpose for us is fully satisfied. Then will we know that we were made for this. Then will we know where, and why, and to whom, we belong. 'For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.' (Psalm 107:9.)" (The Belonging Heart, p. 315)