Are you feeling worn down by all the negative influences that surround? Is it hard to keep your chin up when everyone seems intent on bringing you down? Is it getting harder and harder for you to see the good in the world around you?
Then read on.
Today is the day that can choose where tomorrow will take you. Will you continue on your path of sadness and despair? Or will you have your eyes opened to the wonderful possibilities that surround you?
Elder Richard G. Scott, in his talk “How to Live Well Amid Increasing Evil,” (Liahona, May 2004, 100–102) taught us how:
“God has provided a way to live in this world and not be contaminated by the degrading pressures evil agents spread throughout it. You can live a virtuous, productive, righteous life by following the plan of protection created by your Father in Heaven: His plan of happiness. It is contained in the scriptures and in the inspired declarations of His prophets. He clothed your intelligence with spirit and made it possible for you to enjoy the wonder of a physical body. When you use that body in the way He has decreed, you will grow in strength and capacity, avoid transgression, and be abundantly blessed.”
These scriptures from both the Bible and the Book of Mormon confirm what Elder Scott has taught:
“All things must come to pass in their time. [God knew the challenges we would face when He gave this counsel.]
“Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.
“Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days.” (D&C 64:32-34)
That is a priceless promise. As you continue to center your mind and you.
Paul wisely taught, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Rom. 12:21)
We should emulate Joshua: “Choose [ye] this day whom ye will serve; … as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (D&C 24:8)
Finally this pattern of success: “Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, … deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, … that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ.” (D&C 75:16)
These scriptures encapsulate the Lords plan of happiness and I testify to you that it can bless you anytime, anywhere. It does, however, require action and faith on your part. To receive the blessings, to receive the protection of this plan, you must first act. You must first Come unto Christ.
How does one ‘come unto Christ‘? By learning of him through personal prayer and scripture study. As you sincerely talk with your Savior daily, He will make Himself known unto you. Likewise, as you read the scriptures, His Spirit will attend you and you will have a greater understanding of your Savior and a greater desire to be like Him.
Once you come unto Christ, you can’t quit. You must strive daily. The definition of strive is to “exert much effort or energy”. It is a constant effort, one applied regularly and with determination, you can never let up. Through such constant effort, you must deny yourself of all ungodliness. What does that mean? It means to live as you imagine Christ lived: without evil, without succumbing to the pressures of society, without those substances that would dull your senses and rob you of your conscience. Keep your mind and body clean so that you can freely receive the Holy Ghost to further guide and counsel you.
And you must love God with all your might, mind and strength. Like striving to be like Christ, this is a daily and constant effort. You cannot love God a little bit, or sometimes, but rather with all your heart, all the time. If you give yourself to Him to completely, He will bless you. You will be perfected in Him.
The best part of this plan is that it is quite forgiving: It is not “if you do all these things then you will be happy”. Rather, it is if you do these things you will be happy.” Elder Scott confirms: “Obedience will yield happiness”.
I encourage you to come unto Christ and find joy in Him. He loves you and desires to bless you, you only need to choose Him.