When things get tough, you can still find happiness in moving forward with faith. In fact, faith can be the key you need to unlock the hope in your heart, the potential of every day to be a gift of goodness and happiness.
Richard G. Scott is a late member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He often taught on the principles of happiness. Mormon beliefs include the belief that God has created a plan of salvation for us and has provided us with the tools with need to reap happiness where we have sowed faith.
In 2004, Elder Scott gave a devotional at BYU where he said:
“God has given you the capacity to exercise faith so that you may find peace, joy, and purpose in life. However, to employ its power, faith must be rooted in something secure. There is no more solid foundation than faith in the love Heavenly Father has for you, faith in His plan of happiness, and faith in the willingness and power of Jesus Christ to fulfill all of His promises” (Richard G. Scott, “Living Right,” Brigham Young University, April 2004)
Elder Scott suggests some principles upon which our faith should be based. He says that we should trust in God and in His desire to provide help when we need it, no matter how difficult our circumstances may be. This means that though the way may seem dark, your situation hopeless, nothing is impossible for Him and He can and will bless you. “For with God nothing shall be impossible,” say the scriptures in Luke 1:37. The trick is, though that we must first trust. Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Conversely, show your Heavenly Father that He can trust you, by being obedient to His commands and living a life worthy of His trust. Mormons have a another testament of Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon. We believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that he restored the gospel of Jesus Christ by recovering the Book of Mormon from the dust and translating it with the help of the spirit of prophecy. We also believe that the Lord spoke through him, as He does today through our prophet and apostles. The Doctrine and Covenants is a collection of modern-day revelation, primarily those received by the Prophet Joseph. One such revelation reveals that “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise” (D&C 82:10).
Elder Scott also tells us that we must be sensitive to the quiet promptings of the Spirit and then follow through with courage. My husband and I desperately wanted children, but after several miscarriages and years of disappointment, we had pretty much given up hope. One day I received a call from a friend, telling me that a family member wanted to give her baby up for adoption and was willing to take her recommendation and give the baby to us if we wanted her.
For a brief moment, I felt elated at the thought of becoming a mother to a sweet baby girl. Yet shortly after, I heard a voice, as clear as day, tell me “This is not your blessing. It is for another.” I prayed and received confirmation that while I so desired to adopt this baby, she wasn’t meant for my family. I told a friend about the baby and she responded with tears and joy because this was an answer to her prayers too. She went on to adopt the little girl and they have been happy together ever since. However, for some time I felt so sad and sorry that I had made the choice I did. While my friend’s arms were full, mine were still empty. I knew I had done the right thing, yet I wondered where or when was my blessing. It seemed that such a blessing would never come.
Several years later, I was blessed in a way I could never have foreseen. I gave birth to twin boys, born whole and healthy. Now, had I not listened to the promptings of the Spirit when faced with the opportunity to adopt that little girl, and we had adopted her instead of my friend, not only would my friend have been denied the blessing of motherhood, but I would never have known the joy that is mine as mother to these two incredible little boys.
The Spirit whispered, and while it was hard, I listened and obeyed. With courage, I followed through with the course of action I felt inspired to follow and my family and others have been blessed because of those actions. It took time to get to the “happy,” but oh it was worth it!
Elder Scott reminds us that we must be patient and understanding when God lets us struggle to grow and answers come little by little over an extended period of time. I was not always so patient and understanding when I was struggling to become a mother, but I can testify that the answers did come over time and in the end I could see why it was that things had to be as they were.
At the conclusion of his article, Elder Scott affirms that doing what is right will open far greater and more meaningful opportunities for you. He says,
“I testify that you will never go wrong when you trust in the Lord and in His promises, no matter how severe the challenge.
May the Lord strengthen your resolve, your exercise of faith, and your use of growing character so that you may be every bit the instrument for good that He desires. I testify that He lives. As you worthily seek His help, He will guide you in your life.”
I would like add my testimony to Elder Scott’s. Our Heavenly Father has an active interest in our lives and desires to bless us. Happiness goes hand in hand with faithfulness.
This article was originally published in January 2008. Minor changes have been made.