Wednesday, October 13
Years ago, when I struggled with depression, I wondered if I would ever be happy. If I would ever feel content or at peace with my decisions and choices in life. I’ve always had everything the world could ever want – influence, intelligence, talent, money, honor, and fun – and yet none of those, when weighed in the balance, were worth anything at all.
And then I realized that I was looking in the wrong place.
In 2 Nephi 5:27, Nephi summarizes ten years of life, including wars with his brothers, thus:
“And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness.”
In Alma 50:23, in the midst of more wars between Nephites and Lamanites, there is a similar statement:
“But behold there never was a happier time among the people of Nephi, since the days of Nephi, than in the days of Moroni.”
And finally, in 4 Nephi 1:16, after the people lost everything they had ever known:
“…surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.”
The people in these scriptures had nothing. Some had lost their families, others their friends; most lived in abject poverty. They had seen gruesome wars that changed their lives forever. And yet, somehow, they had unlocked the greatest treasure of eternity. They had found true happiness.
When I was struggling to see the good things in life, I often listed the good things that God had done for me. I counted my blessings, outlined the talents and gifts He had given me, and named the people who loved me and supported me. I tried to see difficult things in life with an optimistic spin.
But, as time has progressed, I’ve realized that true happiness in life doesn’t come from blessings, talents, gifts, or even people. I could have all those things and feel awful. True happiness is linked to my knowledge of God and my actions in life.
“And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it” (Mosiah 2:41).
Today, my life is amazing. I’ve learned the truth about happiness – that it’s based on making good decisions in life. Today I’m truly, sincerely, and completely happy.
My life is not amazing due to the things I am given by circumstance or others. Life is amazing because of what I do with what I get. Because of how I think and see the world. Because of the changes I have made. Because of who I am.