Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cloud 9

Like many of the questions we have as people here on earth (like why are we here, where did we come from, where are we going, etc.) I ask you, how do we get to a "Cloud 9" state of happiness? This is every person's search in life. How do we get there? Well, that's what this blog is for. This blog teaches us how to be happy. Keeping our Whole Armor Of God on ourselves is a big part of how to be happy. Let me give you a few examples.

Towards the end of the time of Joseph Smith being in prison for six months in a pit, he was told "Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed" (D&C 123:17, italics added). This is extremely important because this emphasizes something that many of us do all the time. We worry about things we can't control. Think about it, many people here in America are really concerned about the economy crashing and gas prices, which is a legitimate concern, but we can't control what happens with it. As long as we can control what we can control, we will be happy. That's what needs to happen with all of us on a more personal level. Focus on the things you can control, not on the things you can't.

Another way to be happy is to keep the commandments. Many people, both inside and outside the LDS church, have complained and said that there are too many "rules" or "restrictions" that we have to follow in keeping God's commandments. The commandments that God has given for us to follow may seem like He is a power-hungry person, but in reality, the commandments keep us happy because by following them, we are both free and blessed. Let me give you an example. If you keep the commandment to not drink alcoholic substances, then you will be free from addictions of that, AND you'll receive blessings from God because he has asked you to keep this commandment. With every commandment you will receive blessings. Another example is with tithing. The Lord said, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it" (Malachi 3:10, italics added).

We have to remember that our physical desires for pleasure do not always give us gratification. Pleasure is often confused with happiness but is by no means synonymous with it. The poet Robert Burns wrote an excellent definition of pleasure in these lines:
But pleasures are like poppies spread:
You seize the flow’r, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snow falls in the river,
A moment white—then melts for ever;
Or like the borealis race,
That flit ere you can point their place;
Or like the rainbow’s lovely form
Evanishing amid the storm.
"Happiness is found only along that well beaten track, narrow as it is, though straight, which leads to life eternal” (David O. McKay, Conference Report, October 1919, 180). I can testify that by keeping the commandments and by cheerfully doing all things that lie in our power, we can obtain that "cloud 9" feeling because we're always going to be blessed while doing so. We can feel happiness every day in our lives through little things we do, and we are fully happy as we keep the commandments of a loving God. I promise you that this happiness is the lasting kind. It will not fade away, ever, because our loving Savior has said so, "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).

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