Woman with blue shirt flapping in the wind

Living Happy, Living Now

I was working toward worthy goals. But a gentle reminder of the blessings that I currently had showed me that I didn’t have to wait for joy.

flowers with writing "Forget not to be happy now" on top

Photo by Aaron Burden

I needed to finish two papers, study for a math test, call some of the girls in my Young Women class, and figure out our 4-H club agenda for our upcoming meeting. I was a little put out that my mom made my sisters and me dress up to watch the General Relief Society Meeting at the church with the other sisters in our stake. Couldn’t conference wait?

Things will be so nice once I finish this stuff, I thought. I lost myself in my worries about my tasks and my plans for the immediate future, at least until President Dieter F. Uchtdorf started giving his talk “Forget Me Not.”

President Uchtdorf spoke of five truths we shouldn’t forget; there was one for each petal of the forget-me-not flower. He taught that we shouldn’t forget to be patient with ourselves, to remember the difference between good and foolish sacrifices, to be happy now, to remember the why of the gospel, and to remember that the Lord loves us. These were all things that I needed to hear. But what pulled me out of my daydream was a story about golden tickets, worthy goals that could sometimes distract us from daily blessings if we let ourselves become impatient.

I had two choices: my first option was to complete my to-do list, and my other was to really be at this conference. My test and papers would still be there when it was over, and I would still work hard. But in that moment, I could enjoy my sisters and the words of the Lord. I decided to put my worries away, at least during conference.

That night in the chapel, I learned that God wants us to have a fulness of joy, and he wants us to have as much of it as we can right now. He doesn’t want us to wait to be happy until we’ve completed a checklist or until we’ve overcome all our problems. We’re all going to have challenges, and we shouldn’t ignore them, but we shouldn’t forget the blessings either. A little piece of that eternal joy is always in our reach if we simply choose to be happy in the present.

Other golden tickets came up for me in the following years: finding a job, getting into college, receiving scholarships, getting a mission call, teaching investigators, deciding on a major. When happiness felt far away, I would remember President Uchtdorf’s talk. I have never regretted taking a moment to bask in those pieces of joy.

Read more about being happy now in President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk “Forget Me Not.”

Source: LDS General Conference

—Shelby Gardner, Mormon Insights 

feature image by jean gerber

Find More Insights

Hear more about joyfully living the gospel in President Russell M. Nelson’s talk “Joy and Spiritual Survival.”

Read about finding joy daily in President Thomas S. Monson‘s talk “Finding Joy in the Journey.”

Read Leah Emal’s Mormon Insights article “Finding Joy in the Process” to discover how to lean on Christ during trials.

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3 Comments

  1. Mormon Insights

    Thank you for this reminder Shelby. In the church it seems that we all pursue progress and sometimes forget to emphasize that mortality isn’t just about enduring to the end. Men are that they might have JOY! I love that this is an emphasis in general conference lately, because I think it’s so easy to get down on ourselves or become distracted by other things–even if they are worthy goals.

  2. This is an article I definitely needed to read. I always seem to either tell myself that someday I’ll be happy and content, or I simply continuously stress about the future. I hope to truly recognize the love and happiness in my life RIGHT NOW! I’m glad doing that has brought you more happiness and I hope the same thing will happen in my life.

  3. I love this. I do the same thing all the time–I focus so much on what I need to do in order to accomplish something great that I forget all of the great things happening to me in the process. We can be happy in accomplishing our goals, not just when they have been accomplished.

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