“Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness.
And now, my son, all men that are in … the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; they are without God in the world, and they have gone contrary to the nature of God; therefore, they are in a state contrary to the nature of happiness.”(Alma 41:10-11)
I really love this verse. I often find myself thinking, when tempted by something I probably ought not to be, “wickedness never was happiness.” The world, or all those influences that are so common day by day all around us, would have us believe that if it feels good than it is good. But if you’ve ever succumbed to some temptation you might have an idea of what I’m talking about. Sometimes something looks attractive and appealing, only to cost us more than we were ever benefited by it. Often our momentary pleasure costs us in misery, disappointment, even self-loathing.
When wrong actions continuously lead us to unhappiness and frustration, it’s time to reconsider our approach to things and try a different course.
Elder Marcus B. Nash, a leader in the Mormon church, wrote in his article “The Great Plan of Happiness,” (Liahona, Nov 2006, 49–50):
“In order to have joy, you need to understand that, as a child of your Heavenly Father, you inherited divine traits and spiritual needs … you need the gospel and the companionship of the Holy Ghost to be truly, deeply happy. Because you are the offspring of God (see Acts 17:28), it is incompatible with your eternal nature to do wrong and feel right. It cannot be done. It is part of your spiritual DNA, as it were, that peace, joy, and happiness will be yours only to the degree you live the gospel.”
Living the gospel, in this context meaning the gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by the Mormons in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, can be done even if you’re not a Mormon yourself. You can know God’s will for you by reading the scriptures, the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and by being obedient to the commandments and in striving to do good every day.
It’s not as hard as it sounds, it’s just a matter of choosing the good over the bad time each time you’re faced with a choice. While it does take effort, the reward is well worth it. If you decide to take the easy way, the common way, by doing that which seems convenient, you’ll only be cheating yourself of all the joy and happiness for which you were designed by your loving Father in Heaven.
The wonderful news is that as you make these hard choices you will discover happiness and will begin to build the foundation of your life upon “the rock of our Redeemer,” and when Satan tries to tempt you he will have “no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall” (Hel 5:12.)
I testify to you that wickedness truly does not bring happiness. And wickedness does not have to be the worse thing you imagine, I know the way can seem hard, but the rewards are many and you were built to receive them ~ it’s in your DNA!