Pursuing Happiness

Photo by Ben White

Happiness comes when you live the way that happy people live.

Everyone wants to be happy, but in today’s world it seems that happiness is becoming an impossible pursuit. Still, there’s something that resonates with truth and hopefulness in Joseph Smith’s words: “Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it.”

In the devotional address “Living After the Manner of Happiness,” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland shares insight to help us find this path to happiness. “Happiness,” he says, “is almost always a by-product of some other endeavor.” If happiness comes from pursuing other endeavors, what are the things we should pursue? Elder Holland shares five ideas:

  1. The gospel of Jesus Christ. Our Savior is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Following his gospel is the way to happiness.
  2. Positive thoughts. We should use our minds to proactively foster happiness from the inside out. Doing so is a battle, but it’s a battle worth fighting.
  3. Kindness. Happiness can’t be achieved by belittling others or by harboring negative, cynical, or angry feelings.
  4. Industriousness. Whatever our responsibilities are right now, we can diligently apply ourselves to being successful. Whether it’s a job, school, or marriage, Elder Holland says happiness will come as we “do the right thing at the right time” (emphasis added).
  5. Repentance: Alma taught his son Corianton that sin is “a state contrary to the nature of happiness” (Alma 41:11). Repenting moves us out of that state and toward happiness.

We can pursue happiness by pursuing righteous endeavors. While we can’t force ourselves to feel happy, we can choose to live in ways that invite happiness into our lives. For more ideas about finding happiness, read Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s full address: Living After the Manner of Happiness.”

Source: Brigham Young University–Idaho Devotional

 —Carlee Reber, Mormon Insights contributor

feature image by larm rmah

Find more insights

Checkout the “Happiness” article on LDS.org.

Read “Choose Happiness,” by Elder Larry R. Lawrence, to learn about more practices that lead to happiness.

Watch “Happiness, Your Heritage,” by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, to hear his thoughts on happiness.

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