I love to crochet beautiful little baby things. Not long ago I couldn’t even make a decent looking chain of stitches but I was determined to learn, so I practiced a lot. Time and again I crocheted a square, only to discard it or pull it out. I was trying to make something without a pattern but every attempt I made, failed.
Finally, I got a pattern book that included the instructions for basic crochet stitches. I chose a simple pattern to start with and carefully began again. I still needed to pull out the stitches a few times before I started to get the hang of it. Eventually the tiny baby dress began to take shape and I was encouraged. As I saw my efforts beginning to bear fruit, my desire to become better grew. I practiced harder and marveled at the wondrous things my hands made.
My success in learning to crochet was not because I have some innate gift that made me unique or special. My success came from finding a good pattern to follow, acquiring the right tools for the job and then working hard at accomplishing my goal.
The same basic principles can be applied to life and our quest for happiness. I’m sure you, like me, have tried many different ways to find happiness. Satan’s ways are readily available and tied up with fancy bows and packaging so as to appear the most desirable. However, rarely do his ways provide any lasting happiness, and most often we are left with frustration and even despair as our best efforts are torn down and we are left to start all over again.
What a happy discovery, though, to find that the Lord has prepared a pattern that if we follow it carefully, we can achieve true happiness. He says, “I will give unto you a pattern in all things, that ye may not be deceived; for Satan is abroad in the land, and he goeth forth deceiving (D&C 52:14.)
“The gospel of Jesus Christ is God’s pattern for righteous living and eternal life. It makes possible goal-setting and lofty priorities. Satan and his advocates will constantly try to deceive and entice us into following their patterns. If we are to achieve daily safety, exaltation, and eternal happiness, we need to live by the light and truth of our Savior’s plan. All salvation revolves around our Savior” (“A Pattern in All Things,” Ensign, Nov 1990, 20.)
Once we have the pattern for happiness, we find it’s simplicity belies it’s beautiful outcome. Not all patterns need be difficult for us to accomplish something we can be proud of. We have a pattern for prayer, as taught in the Book of Mormon, and directions for living by the word of God which can also be found in the scriptures. Daily following this simple pattern of prayer and scripture study can lead us to repent, to live worthy of the Comforter, to have faith in Jesus Christ to choose the right and with practice, to have joy in Christ.
The old adage that anything worth doing is worth doing well, is true. “And behold, it must be done according to the pattern which I have given unto you” (D&C 94:2.) His is the pattern for success and the finished product is one you can be proud of – a truly happy you.