Good morning brothers and sisters, today Im going to talk about happiness and what it means to me. Heavenly Father wants us to find happiness, and his Plan of Salvation is often referred to as the Plan of Happiness. But why would Heavenly Father want us to be happy? Well, being happy helps carry out the plan, that we may return in his presence someday and that we may convert others to experience the same joy. Thats also where missionary work comes into play. Doing the work to convert others not only blesses your own life, but it blesses the lives of many more, possibly for generations. This can make happiness in your own life and the lives of many more.
Some people try to find happiness in areas contrary to the Lord's commandments. Ignoring God's plan of true happiness, they reject the real source of joy. Similar to this, some people seek to have only fun in life. Temporary pleasures distract those from lasting happiness. They rob themselves of spiritual growth, service, and hard work. Although its good to have fun, we should limit what temporary pleasures we have and make sure we center our lives on Christ. As we seek happiness of our own, we need to remember that the true way to find it is through the Gospel. I struggle with this because I believed that being happy meant doing fun things to escape the modern problems. But, Ive found that its much more than that.
Recently, being happy has been a struggle for me. The temptations of social media leaves me wanting to stay home while my friends go to mutual and other fun activities. For some reason, scrolling through Instagram seems like a better idea than going to mutual. Its so easy for me to look at one funny video online, and then another, and another, and the cycle lasts for sometimes hours. But some church activities have the ability to break this cycle. For example, when I go to seminary in the morning, I am truly happy. When I get up at five thirty in the morning, my phone doesn't distract me. Rather, Im more focused on learning the Gospel and seeing what I can learn to influence my life and future decisions. Every morning, my seminary teacher, Brother Baltzer, puts a picture of Christ on the blackboard and asks how we can put Him at the center of our lives. At the beginning of the year I thought of the basic primary answers, like going to church, reading scriptures, and saying our prayers. But it's much more than that. Although those things are good and work, Its developing a stronger relationship with Him and our Heavenly Father through faithful acts of service. When I do service for other people, I feel good and happy. I feel my connection with Christ grow and my blessings increase. At this point in my life, I want that feeling to last forever. It reminds me why Jesus Christ wants us to be happy. The whole idea is to be closer to Him.
To me, happiness means being with our families and learning about Jesus Christ and the scriptures. It means going to seminary every week and being with our friends, to put Christ in the center of our lives. It means doing service and teaching others about blessings that they can receive in Heaven. Although the temptations of the modern world can be overwhelming and at times chaotic, I've found that being closer to Heavenly Father can mute some of our distractions. We can become better people if we follow the teachings of Christ and we can be more happy.
Seminary has played such an important role in my life, and its hard to believe that so many people at school, and in life don't have that pleasure. So many people are missing out on the happiness of seminary. It makes me want to teach those not of our faith and invite them to seminary. However, the ignorance and hurtful things people say make me revoke these wants. I often wonder what going on a mission will be like, because when I bring up Gospel topics to my friends not of my faith, I get easily mocked and made fun of by them. It makes me have less desire to teach and change their lives.
To conclude, Id like to bare my testimony, that I know this church is true and that we can find happiness by putting Jesus Christ in the center of our lives, and I say these things in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.