Alma is remembering the joy he felt as he did what the Savior asked of him. He remembers the love and merciful hand that was extended towards him in his time of need. The only person that can lead us to true happiness is the Lord. We must keep an eternal perspective in order to receive that long-lasting joy.
Sunday, July 14, 2013
In 2 Nephi 2:25 we have all heard the verse that says:
Joy is felt by everyone; the sheer truimph over adversity. Joy in this context is
not the temporary joy, but the eternal joy.
What’s the difference?
The scripture I chose for my mission describes the joy I hope to share with others while on the Lord’s errand.
I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.
And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me.
Purpose of life: find your happily ever after.
Your Happily ever after by Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Isn’t that what we all desire: to be the heroes and heroines of our own stories; to triumph over adversity; to experience life in all its beauty; and, in the end, to live happily ever after?
He goes on…
Isn’t it remarkable to know that our eternal Heavenly Father knows you, hears you, watches over you, and loves you with an infinite love? In fact, His love for you is so great that He has granted you this earthly life as a precious gift of “once upon a time,” complete with your own true story of adventure, trial and opportunities for greatness, nobility courage and love. And, most glorious of all, He offers you a gift beyond price and comprehension. Heavenly Father offers to you the greatest gift of all—eternal life—and the opportunity and infinite blessing of your own “happily ever after”. But such a blessing does not come without a price. It is not given simply because you desire it. It comes only through understanding who you are and what you must become in order to be worthy of such a gift.
There is a happily ever after for each one of us but we must first be baptized, obey the commandments, attend the temple and endure to the end. These are all things we have been taught from the very beginning.
Elder L. Tom Perry gave 4 basic guidelines to living a balanced and righteous life to the youth of this generation. He expects they will:
1. Keep their wonderful physical bodies pure and holy as temples of God.
2. Place preeminence on spiritual learning and knowledge from God.
3. Be a trusted generation and use the foundation of eternal gospel truths to establish standards and values.
4. Seek learning from the eternal truths contained in the holy scriptures.
President Kimball reminded us of the importance of consistent scripture reading when he said:
I find that when I get casual in my relationships with divinity and when it seems that not divine voice is speaking that I am far, far away. If I immerse myself in the scriptures that distance narrows and the spirituality returns.
To the youth, Perry gave his last piece of advice:
Mortality is the time to learn first of God and the gospel and to perform the ordinances. With that noble quality of trust comes the reputation of one who is honest and possesses integrity. These are character traits at will ensure a long and successful career. Personal, sincere involvement in the scriptures produces faith, hope, and solutions to our daily challenges.
In Alma 34:32
For behold, this is the time for men to to meet God; yea, behold the day of life is the day for men to perform their .
The young womanhood manual reminds us of what our true purpose is here on earth.
During this life we obtain physical bodies and are tested to see if we will obey God’s commandments. We came to earth to prepare to have an eternal family, bless God’s children, and build His kingdom. Our experiences during mortality are meant to help us become more like our Heavenly Father.
Through sincere effort and sacrificing of our time to the Lord, we can be embraced in the arms of the Lord and have our happily ever after. But just as President Uchtdorf said, obtaining a happily ever after is not always easy. We will have trials just like Cinderella and all the other princesses I idolized as a child.
I used to think… why me?
One of my favorite scriptures Helaman 12:3 says:
And thus we see that except the Lord doth his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not him.
The scriptures tell us there must be opposition in all things, for without it we could not discern the sweet from the bitter.
Just recently, I ran the Utah Valley Marathon. Training was manageable and so I wasn't expecting too much of a struggle when race day came. But during mile 21, my legs felt so stiff that I could barely run. Most people could speed walk past my slow pace. Almost in tears because of confusion, I decided that I wouldn't be able to enjoy reaching the finish line unless I had pushed through.
How you react to adversity and temptation is a critical factor in whether or not you arrive at your own happily ever after. And in times of change and hardship, it can be hard to endure to the end.
President Hugh B. Brown reminds us that it is faith that can get us through. When he was serving in WW1, he visited an elderly friend in the hospital. This friend was an 80 year old millionaire on his death bed. Neither of his children nor divorced wives came to see him. President Brown asked his friend what he would change in his life if he could. He said, “As I think back over life the most important and valuable asset with I might have had but which I lost in the process of accumulation my millions was the simple faith my mother had in God and in the immortality of the soul.”
He described his emotions in a poem entitled “I’m an Alien”
I’m an alien, to the faith my mother taught me.
I’m a stranger to the God that heard my mother when she cried.
I’m an alien to the comfort that “now I lay me,” brought me.
To the everlasting arms that held my father when he died.
When the great world came and called me, I deserted all to follow.
Never noting in my blindness I had slipped my hand from His.
Never dreaming in my dazedness that the bubble fame is hollow.
That the wealth of gold is tinsel, as I since have learned it is.
I have spent a lifetime seeking things I spurned when I found them,
I have fought and been rewarded in many a winning cause,
But I’d give it all, fame and fortune and the pleasures that surround them,
If I only had the faith that made my mother what she was.
My mother and all the women in my family are such great examples to me. I would be nothing without the faith of my mother.
The exercise of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is always a subject to the order of heaven, to the goodness and will and wisdom and timing of the Lord. That is why we cannot have true faith in the Lord without also having complete trust in the Lord’s will and in the Lord’s timing. When we have that kind of faith and trust in the Lord, we have true security in our lives.
For none can be saved according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name.
“Everywhere you look today, you will find promises of happiness. Ads in magazines promise total bliss if you will only buy a certain outfit, shampoo, or makeup. Certain media productions glamorize those who embrace evil or give in to base instincts. Often these same people are portrayed as models of success and accomplishment,” Uchtdorf said.
I thought true happiness was in a successful career. Now, more and more I am beginning to understand that true success and happiness is having an eternal family and posterity that are converted into the fold of Christ.
The Proclamation to world speaks of the responsibility of family:
THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.
Heavenly Father has a plan for us to achieve eternal life… we just have to follow the map he has left for us.
Richard G. Scott spoke of daily trials:
You understood that there would be challenges for you would live in an environment of both righteous and evil influences. Yet surely you resolved that no matter what the cost, no matter what the effort, suffering, and testing, you would return victorious.
Dare to be different. Act as a future king or queen of God’s kingdom would. Live up to the standards we are taught in the gospel, and I know that if you trust in the lord you can finish the last pages of your life story with “and they lived happily ever after”. Amen.