Latter-day Saint Life

The easy once-a-week activity designed to fill your summer days with joy

Woman in hammock feeling relaxed
The Summer of Joy is here!
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The Summer of Joy is here!

Now, what is the summer of joy? Well, this summer, the Sunday on Monday podcast is going to Count It All Joy … ALL Summer Long. Their inspiration comes from James 1:2 which encourages all of us to “count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.” In other words, be happy when life is really hard. Oh, we know, easier said than done, right? But here is the deal: everyone is dealing with various trials and hardships so we decided to prove the scripture and see if we truly can find joy.

For example, when I asked my friends on the podcast what it means to count it all joy, here’s what a few of them had to say.

Church history scholar, cancer survivor, and all-around boss-babe Jenny Reeder shared:

I keep thinking of what President Camille Johnson has taught us about how we find relief when we provide relief. I think it's such a beautiful reciprocal thing. In my moments of greatest trial and tribulation I have drawn on the people around me. And it’s given me the strength to want to help others in their times of trial and tribulation. And to just say, “It‘s better on the other side,” meaning, “Once you get through this, I promise it's better. There's light and hope.

Singer-songwriter Cherie Call Anderson talked about how feeling empathy and listening to others has brought her the most joy during difficult times:

I love having the chance to listen to other people and to be a friend. Whether it’s my children, my family members, or dear friends, I love being able to share how life has refined us. It just brings me a lot of joy to look back and just once again to see the evidence of the ways that Heavenly Father has helped me.

And my friend Holly Rawlings found parallels between the Summer of Joy idea and poetry:

Like Khalil Gibran writes in The Prophet, “The sorrow that you feel now is digging out a well, that will be filled with joy.” And so we can only have these wells of joy if we have the sorrow, so, summer of joy, I embrace you.

Here’s what we are going to do to Count It Joy with you:

  • The Sunday on Monday podcast will be accessible to everyone for free, all summer long. (This isn't usually the case!) Find your people and tell them to download the Deseret Bookshelf app to listen to the Sunday on Monday summer episodes (June–August). In each episode, we will discuss new insights on how to find joy during trials and what that looks like in real people's lives. By listening with friends, you can discuss what you learn.
  • Mark your calendars: Saturday, August 24 at 7:00 PM we are going to have a Count it All Joy LIVE event where we will do a live recording with some of your favorite Sunday on Monday guests like Sharon, Tamu, and Tyler just to name a few. This will take place at the Deseret Book downtown Salt Lake City store. So, grab your people and come celebrate with us. ROAD TRIP!!! Oh—and there will be cheese at the event. Is there anything that could bring us more joy?
  • For our Bookshelf Plus members, you will have exclusive access to the Deseret Bookshelf library, including books we will be referencing in our discussions as well as some Sunday on Monday bonus content
  • Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for daily Summer of Joy thoughts, stories, announcements, and upcoming information on how to get your free tickets to our live event.

It’s going to be such a joyful summer! And CHEESE! Did I mention there will be cheese? It really is God’s way of saying “Hey, everything is going to be OK!”

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