By Study and Also By Faith

An LDS (Mormon) blog representing a search for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Searching for Happiness

In the October 2000 Ensign President James E. Faust wrote a message entitled "Our Search for Happiness". It's a great article filled with quotes and examples and I hope you will read it.

President Faust begins by saying:
I wish to discuss our search for happiness. Having lived quite a few years now, I have concluded that since we don’t always desire that which is good, having all our desires granted to us would not bring us happiness (see Alma 41:3–7). In fact, instant and unrestrained gratification of all our desires would be the shortest and most direct route to unhappiness. The many hours I have spent listening to the tribulations of men and women have persuaded me that both happiness and unhappiness are much of our own making.
We do make a great deal of our own happiness or unhappiness by our choices. It is true that things beyond our control happen to us and around us, but if we do our best to make correct choices, we will have happiness and joy and serenity in the midst of life's ups and downs.

I have lately been learning to be humble and to rely completely on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It isn't always easy. I am used to not being humble and to not relying on the Lord, thinking that I must work things out on my own all the time--thinking that that is what is required before I can ask the Lord for help. Not true, but difficult for me to learn and incorporate into my life. We need the Lord's power and strength and guidance as we go through life, so we need to humbly rely on Him first.

There is a book available online at Meridian Magazine that is a great help to me. It is an LDS 12-step book based on the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon. It is not just for those struggling with addictions to alcohol, drugs, pornography, etc., although it will certainly help them, too. It is a book for those with such issues as overeating, overspending money, perfectionism, overemphasis on work or career, and other such everyday compulsive/addictive behaviors that many of us experience in our lives. It is also a book for simply seeking to be close to the Lord. It is called He Did Deliver Me from Bondage (I'm linking to the last part because it has links to all the other parts in the righthand sidebar.) and was written by Colleen G. Harrison. You can read it online and, if you like it enough, you can buy it from Deseret Book or LDS bookstores or other places referred to at Meridian Magazine where the book is online.

There are, of course, many sources of help, the chief ones being scriptures and prayer, and also the words of our prophets. The book, though, gathers a lot of help in one place. One lesson I learned from it (a lesson I didn't realize that I needed to learn) is that I cannot "mess up" more than the Lord can fix. Sometimes we get to thinking we are too unworthy to approach the Lord, but that is what Satan wants us to think. We need to go to the Lord always with everything.

Back to President Faust's article, he quotes the Prophet Joseph Smith as follows:
As the Prophet Joseph Smith told us, “Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 255–56).
I am sure that we would all like real peace and happiness and joy in our lives. It is attainable. I sometimes think we try so hard to be good that we forget to enjoy the peace and happiness and joy of the gospel. We can remedy that--with the Lord's help.

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Blogger T. F. Stern said...

A simple truth and so well stated, thanks for going back to this talk and reminding us.

Oh, I still want one of those ultra small helicopters to chase the cat around the house. If it strikes the wall I can always "repaint". That should at least rate one groan.

5:53 PM  
Blogger Mary A said...

You're welcome, T.F.

:D I'd rate "repaint" at 2 groans--but in a good way!! :D

4:47 PM  
Blogger s'mee said...

I loved this talk! Thanks Mary, great observations, as always!

6:28 PM  
Blogger Mary A said...

Thanks, s'mee!!

5:08 PM  

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