Wednesday, April 9, 2014

We Lived After the Manner of Happiness

As many of you know I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This past week I got to hear and attend a worldwide meeting called General Conference where our Prophet, apostles, and other leaders of the church speak. It is a perfect weekend where we can re-evaluate ourselves and make goals to improve. It's a time to hear what the Lord would have us hear. It's truly a remarkable opportunity.

You may also know that I'm big on happiness. During my senior year of high school I became more and more interested with the idea of choosing happiness. I thought it was just a little phase but almost 4 years later I think it's become more of a life mantra. I have come to know that you are the only person who can determine your own happiness.

 I have such strong faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ because it leads to true and lasting happiness. 

I wanted to count how many times the words happiness and joy are found in the scriptures, talks, and other church resources. But that was too lofty of a goal because it is mentioned far too many times. The very plan that Heavenly Father has created for us is called the Plan of Happiness.

I believe in Christ and in His gospel simply because it makes me happy. I have found in my own life that as I am doing what the Lord has asked me to I find true and lasting happiness. Too often we are searching for instant gratification and so we turn to things that are easy and quick options for what we think is happiness. But I would dare to suggest that those things, whatever they may be, do not provide happiness. They provide a terrible substitute of true happiness that is short-lived satisfaction. How quickly after one episode on Netflix do we click to watch the next one? How soon after one piece of chocolate do we wish we had a second? How easily does a quick 20 minute nap turn into a 2 hour slumber? I'll tell you from experience that it is far too quickly.

I have come to rely on the gospel of Jesus Christ when all those other impostures fail me for peace and lasting happiness. When I return to the Savior by studying the scriptures, saying my prayers, looking for opportunities to serve, and so on, the stress and struggles of life are more easily carried. I find true healing and strength through my Savior.

So why do I still turn to Prison Break to try to relax me after tough day? Or why do I get a Diet Coke when I am in search for some happy? Well, because I am not perfect. (And honestly Diet Coke brings me happiness, but that's beside the point.) The point is that we are imperfect beings who make mistakes, but through Christ we can be made whole again and return to live with our Father in Heaven and our families. Christ takes our best efforts and says, "It's ok, I'll spot you the rest." The Atonement is what gives me hope for the future and joy along the way.

I invite you to do something that will bring you true and lasting JOY. There are many things that can do that- scriptures, prayer, reading a talk from a prophet, visiting, going to the temple, or even more simply- watching this video.


"I know that [Christ] has created a better plan for me and when I follow His plan I am much happier, I am at peace."