Discouragement is a tool of the adversary. It has no redeeming qualities. It serves only to perpetuate hopelessness and goes against everything rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We should be the happiest people in the world. We can be. I know we all still face challenges and hardship that are difficult to understand and even more perplexing to bear. But we have a silver bullet of sorts. If there has ever been a time someone had a silver bullet—which is the answer to all life’s problems—we have it.
She loves good music, the arts, and she’s very dainty. But during a football game, she becomes a rabid fan and instant cheerleader. There probably is no bigger BYU football fan on earth than my sweetheart. She loves the idea of sitting with 65,000 people in a packed stadium cheering on the team at the top of her lungs. Never mind that it’s barely over zero degrees Fahrenheit and deep white snow or rain is engulfing us.
For her, watching the game on television or listening to it on the radio when we could be at the stadium are alternatives slightly better than a toothache. Her football antics are passionate, but it is interesting how things change when we watch a rebroadcast. When we know the outcome and turn on the rerun, we view it with ease and unruffled composure. Under normal circumstances during the sporting event, when a fumble or a blocked kick happens or the competitor runs up the score at the beginning of the game, it’s easy to get discouraged and lose hope in our team.
However, it all changes when the sporting event we are watching is a rebroadcast on television. If we already know the outcome of the game, like in the case of a game that is repeated on air, we needn’t fear or get nervous, because we know the ending. And the principle in that analogy is directly applicable to life as well. When we know the outcome, our fears can be put to rest. We know the end! Christ is already victorious. And as members of his team, we too will be triumphant as long as we unite ourselves with him.
Every hardship, every vice, every challenge or addiction or failure is temporary and will be overcome as we align ourselves with the Savior Jesus Christ as part of this perfect plan. As our confidence grows, our worries are eliminated, and our fear turns to faith, because we know that He will not forsake us, and as long as we are on His team, our victory is assured. That’s the hope we have through Jesus Christ.
We know the outcome. “How can you be so sure?” one might ask. My faith in Jesus Christ and demonstrated evidence over a period of many years during my life has built my confidence. Hundreds of combined experiences over a lifetime and that of my family and others have shown me that the proof is in the pudding, as my mother used to say. And “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7:20
So now for the silver bullet…the Great Plan of Happiness made possible by the atonement of Jesus Christ and his life, example, and love is our panacea. Our Advocate is the God of Heaven and Earth, whose works cannot be frustrated. We cannot over estimate the value of having his support, care, and hope in our lives. Once we understand that, the challenges and setbacks we face in life can be taken in stride as we recognize them for what they really are—temporary obstacles that will prepare us for God’s greatest gift, Eternal Life.
I know a woman who found the love of her life and was happily married to him for time and all eternity. They built a home together and started a family. They took long walks together and discussed their future family and the many ambitions they had planned. Their lives together were filled with dreams and ambitions of what they would unitedly accomplish. However, one month after the birth of their son, the husband was killed in a terrible car accident. Later, more tragedy struck when her home and all their belongings and her keepsakes of him where burned up in a fire. At this moment of despair in her life, when so many obstacles stood in her way, she sought for peace. She wrote these remarkable words:
“I felt a huge sense of loss when I lost all in the fire. I felt that it was hard enough to lose my husband, but to then lose everything that I had of his and all that we had accumulated together felt overwhelming at the time. However, following another family member’s serious trial, my perspective changed immediately and dramatically. I didn’t care so much about what I had lost in the way of possessions. That really didn’t matter anymore. Working with the family in dealing with their trials caused me to put my own burdens out of my mind. It did cause me to focus outward (and upward, again) and that made all the difference.” Moroni 7:16
The Savior taught Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone. Things you do for others remain as your legacy. Christ set the example. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
It’s easier to face life’s obstacles with the understanding that Christ’s atonement will sustain us and following him will give us strength and peace amid conflict and the trials of life. And that is just the beginning; our lives change when we begin to realize our limitless potential and serve others around us. We can flourish, because our efforts are not alone. And that creates good, which is contagious. Communities and families are reinforced and improve our quality of life now and in the future, including the hereafter. “Your faith in Jesus Christ gives life enduring meaning,” said Elder Richard G Scott.
Sadness and disappointment are temporary. Happiness is eternal because of Jesus Christ. He lives. He loves you. He will help you get through all your trials.
In 1989, Walter Penning formed a consultancy based in Salt Lake City and empowered his clients by streamlining processes and building a loyal, lifetime customer base with great customer service. His true passion is found in his family. He says the best decision he ever made was to marry his sweetheart and have children. The wonderful family she has given him and her constant love, support, and patience amid life's challenges is his panacea.