Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Finding Happiness

                Parents can strengthen their homes – and thus strengthen their communities and nations – by teaching their children the path to happiness.  We are all searching for happiness, but many of us do not know where to look for it.  The Declaration of Independence declares that “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are God-given rights.  So, how are we to find the path to happiness?

                Bishop Gerald Causse, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, discussed how to follow the path of happiness.  “Most people dislike the unknown.  The uncertainty of life can create a lack of confidence, a fear of the future.  Some hesitate to make commitments out of fear of failure, even when good opportunities present themselves….

                “Another philosophy that will limit us is illustrated by this maxim:  `Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die’ (Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ, 2 Nephi 28:7).  This philosophy favors indulging in immediate pleasure regardless of their future consequences.

                “There is a different path than the paths of fear or doubt or self-indulgence – a path that brings peace, confidence, and serenity in life.  You can’t control all the circumstances of your life, but you have control of your happiness.  You are the architect of it.

                “Your happiness is more the result of your spiritual vision and the principles upon which you base your life than of anything else.  These principles will bring you happiness regardless of unexpected challenges and surprises.  Let me review some of these essential principles.

                “1. Recognize your personal worth….  Knowing that God knows us and loves us personally is like a light that illuminates our life and gives it meaning.  Whoever I am, whether I have friends or not, whether I’m popular or not, and even if I feel rejected or persecuted by others, I have an absolute assurance that my Heavenly Father loves me.  He knows my needs; He understands my concerns; He is eager to bless me….

                “2. Become who you are….  One of the great adventures of life is finding out who we really are and where we came from and then consistently living in harmony with our true identity as children of God and with the purpose of our existence.

                “3. Trust in God’s promises….  [The promises given to Abraham] are tangible, and  if we do our part, God will do His….

                “You have dreams and goals?  That’s good!  Work with all your heart to accomplish them.  Then let the Lord do the rest.  He will make you  into what you cannot make of yourself.

                “At all times, accept His will.  Be ready to go where He asks you to go and to do what He asks you to do.  Become the men and women He is nurturing you to become” (“Follow the Path of Happiness,” Ensign, June 2014, pp. 14-18).  

                I know there is a God in heaven who wants us – His children – to be happy.  That means all of us, including you and me.  I know that we can follow the path to happiness if we will follow the counsel of Bishop Causse.  We can strengthen our families, communities, and nations by following the path to happiness.

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