Joy is elusive for those of us stuck in mortality. Our thoughts and actions make us enemies to God, growth, goodness, and happiness. This life encourages despair.
Yet the gospel of Jesus Christ points us toward happiness--not just as a distant destination but also as a faithful traveling companion.
Family life may seem like an especially unlike place to find joy. It is clearly the place where we are stretched. In family life, our patience runs thin and our irritation is ritualized. But maybe family life is God's laboratory for making gospel truths real. Family experiences puts flesh on the gospel skeleton. It is the place where we learn and practice way of happy eternal relationships.
But this doesn't come readily. Family joy does not yield to casual effort. In fact, it is often true that the harder we work, the more miserable we become. This happens because we are usually trying to use human currency to attain heavenly goods. We cannot buy heaven's cherished gifts of love, joy, and peace with paltry earthly assets. We must use heavenly principles to access heavenly goods.
That's what this book is about: heaven's processes that can help us find personal joy, marital joy, parenting joy, family joy, and to create a culture that teaches joy to every member. It turns out that atonement of Jesus Christ is the key to our happiness in this life and out joy in the eternities. And the family is God's favored classroom.