Saturday, October 31, 2009

There's a Right Way to Live and be Happy

While I was home visiting my family, my little brother was writing an essay for an English course. The prompt for the essay was to write about one of the most important lessons he'd learned in his life. I heard him call out into the kitchen, "Hey Mom, what's the most important lesson I've ever learned?"

We laughed, and gave various silly suggestions such as "Wash your hands after going to the bathroom". Then my mom called back, "How about, there's a right way to live and be happy?"

My brother and I recognized those words as the first line to a children's song we learned at church, and chimed in together:

There's a right way to live and be happy,
it is choosing the right every day.
I am learning the teachings of Jesus
they will help me and show me the way

My mom smiled, but said, "I think that's the most important lesson Dad and I have ever taught you. There is a right way to live and be happy".

Everyone is searching for happiness. It is what even the most empty, cruel people on earth secretly want, but have forgotten what it's like, or even how to search. I believe there is not only one way to be happy that is right for everyone, but that knowing that right way is not enough.

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I can personally testify that church is directed by God himself. It is his true church, and through it we all may have spiritual direction and guidance towards everything that is wonderful and happy. The gospel knowledge of that faith is beautiful, and true. I invite anyone who wants to know the right way to live and to find real happiness, to read The Book of Mormon, and decide for yourself through prayer if it is true. If you are seeking the truth with faith, you will love what you have found.

However knowing the truth about how to live will not be enough. With that truth comes living it everyday. I draw focus to this thought, because it is something that has been on my mind recently. I have seen people I love and care about, who share the same gospel truth I do, make bad decisions that fill their lives with trials and sorrow. They and others wonder, was there something different that could have been done? Could those roads taken been avoided? I think they can.
"it is choosing the right everyday . . . "
Try choosing to read the scriptures for 15 minutes instead of catching the last 15 minutes of a television show, and then making that choice again the next day, and then the next. If you're a new parent, may I suggest raising your children so they don't have a memory of a night they didn't sit as a family, and read the word of God, or pray together. If your children are older, start now, and be consistent. Not sometimes, not occasionally, not when you get around to it. Occasionally will easily turn to infrequent, which will turn to never. A once spiritually dedicated family, will turn to one that is confused, weak, and failing. The family will begin to feel comfortable in a mediocre dedication to the gospel, which results in a casual attitude towards obedience. However a family that is consistent in it's daily gospel habits, is one that is consistently happy, and constantly knows what is right. Choose who you will serve every single day, not once in your life. It isn't just one way to be happy. It is the way. It sounds so basic and simple, almost ludicrous. Can 15 minutes a day of scripture study save a family? Is one little prayer everyday before school or work really going to make a difference? Try it for yourself. You wont be disappointed, and neither will your family. You will never look back on that time with regret.


  1. Thanks so much. You are awesome and a great inspiration to me.

  2. We have often felt as the people in The Book of Mormon that we live "after the manner of happiness". And as was pointed out in the most recent General Conference, that happiness principally comes from the day to day stuff, living consistently the little things that block by block build a very happy life. What's more, you are happy while you are building it, and the happiness gets greater as you go along.

    Great post.

  3. I' ve been thinking a lot about this lately too. Thanks for sharing your testimony.

  4. well said, Liz, very well said. Thanks for your thoughts.