It is my distinct pleasure to come here to LDSblogs.com most days to write about happiness. Very often my song has the same words, just maybe set to a different tune. At first this concerned me. My readers will get bored! I worried. I figured you wouldn’t want to read the same thing, over and over again. Because, after all, the road to happiness is the straight and narrow road that leads to eternal life. There can be no other way to obtain happiness, so there’s no point in me trying to sugar coat it.
if you, like me, are human, sometimes stubborn, often tempted, somewhat discouraged by the hurdles life throws in your path—you never tire of reading how happiness can be obtained. Oftentimes for me, it is the very act of studying for this blog that sets my day straight. I have to be here, writing about this, learning about happiness, you choose to be here and as a result I am sure you are doubly blessed.
I love to read the words of Marion G. Romney. He was a General Authority in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (or Mormons,) from 1951 to 1972. Like all prophets though, his words are timeless and count as much today as they did back then.
In an article published in the New Era, President Romney said, “Happiness depends upon possession of the moral virtues possessed and taught by Jesus. It cannot be conferred upon a person by another. It cannot be bought, purchased, or stolen. It can be won only by righteous living” (“Happiness,” New Era, Oct 1979, 5.)
Often, I have quoted the Prophet Joseph Smith when writing about happiness because in my opinion no truer words have been written on the subject before or since. He wrote:
“Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 255–56.)
President Romney and President Smith are in agreement: It is through righteous living and keeping all the commandments of God that one can obtain true happiness in this life. Though many temptations are alluring, we must acknowledge and accept the fact that, “wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10.)
Our beloved Jesus told us exactly how happiness may be found:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:28–30.)
President Romney also said, “As I have thought about the relationship of the teachings of Jesus to happiness, I have concluded that one’s conformance or nonconformance to them affects one’s happiness whether he accepts, rejects, or acts in ignorance of them.”
If you deny the teachings of Christ, whether you do so because you are ignorant of them, or you willfully refuse to adhere to them, your opportunity for true happiness will be decreased. However, if you make it your priority to study the teachings of Jesus and to act according to them, you will be blessed in ways uncounted—including an increase of happiness.
It is your responsibility to know and conform with the teachings of Jesus. Do that, and you will be happy.
In conclusion, a fun poem confirms all we have learned today. I hope you’ll come back and read with me again—the lessons of happiness bear repeating.
To Be Happy
You’ve got to be straight to be happy,
You’ve got to be square as a die.
Through wrong may come infinite pleasures,
But they fade, and they fly.
You’ve got to take life at its noblest
If you want to have gladness that counts,
Want the verve and the zeal of the spirit
That lifts you along as it mounts.
And, Oh! how it pays out of goodness
To draw for each day as we strive
Some measures of clean, healthy gladness,
In our work, and for being alive!
You’ve got to be true to be happy,
Be true to yourself over all,
And be blind to the lure of evil,
And deaf to its powerful call.
To set up high standards and keep them,
With the records so straight and so true,
For nothing can ever condemn them,
If that is your creed, it will do.
You’ve got to be clean to be happy,
You’ve got to be steadfast and pure
If you want what fife gives that is earnest,
That will help, and will hold, and endure.