Wednesday, April 13, 2011


     "I have concluded that since we don't always desire that which is good, having all our desires granted to us would not bring us happiness. Happiness is not given to us in a package that we can just open up and consume. Nobody is ever happy 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Rather than thinking in terms of a day, we perhaps need to snatch happiness in little pieces, learning to recognize the elements of happiness and then treasuring them while they last. Pleasure, unlike happiness, is that which pleases us or gives us gratification usually it endures only for a short time. As Elder David O. McKay once said, 'You may get that transitory pleasure, yes, but you cannot find joy, you cannot find happiness. Happiness is found only along that well beaten track, narrow as it is, though straight, which leads to life eternal.'
     "We are not content with what we have and think that happiness comes from having more or acquiring more or being more. We look for happiness but go in the wrong direction to find it.
     "How many times do we look for our happiness at a distance in space or time rather than right now, in our own homes, without our own family and friends?
     "Jesus said 'My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid.' (John 14:27)
     "A few years ago I interviewed a relatively young man who was being called as a mission president. He had had a very successful career as an investment counselor. Because he had a very successful young family, I was concerned about how he would take care of them when he was not interested in making large sums of money. He explained that he had worked for the very wealthy to him they did not seem happy or fulfilled, and they seemed preoccupied with acquiring more.
     "Now there is my secret, a very simple secret. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. The odyssey to happiness lies in the dimension of the heart. Such a journey is made on stepping-stones of selflessness, wisdom, contentment, and faith. The enemies of progress and fulfillment are such things as self doubt, a poor self image, self pity, bitterness, and despair. By substituting simple faith and humility for these enemies, we can move rapidly in our search for happiness.
     "Happiness has a price, as President Spencer W. Kimball said, 'What is the price of happiness?' One might be surprised at the simplicity of the answer. The treasure house of happiness is unlocked to those who live the gospel of Jesus Christ in its purity and simplicity. Like a mariner without stars, like a traveler without a compass, is the person who moves along through life without a plan. The assurance of supreme happiness, the certainty of a successful life here and of exaltation and eternal life here after, come to those who plan to live their lives in complete harmony with the gospel of Jesus Christ--and then consistently follow the course they have set.
     "Many speak these days about the rights of consumers to enjoy products that are 'free, perfect, and now'--that is, at low cost, with no defects, and immediate service. The problem is that too many of us try to consume happiness rather than generate it. Shakespeare expressed a philosophy in As You Like It that seems commendable: 'I am a true labourer: I earn that I eat, get that I wear; owe no man hate; envy no man's happiness; glad of other man's good.' Earning what we eat will make us self sufficient, but giving back a little by helping our neighbor will bring us something more. For example, if you deliver to an atomic energy breeder reactor the energy of three truckload of fuel, it will return the energy of four or maybe five truckloads of fuel. Happiness, like the breeder reactor, adds and multiplies as we divide it with others."
-President Gordon B. Hinckley

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