So I gave a talk in church this past Sunday on our divine roles and happiness. My experience with this was very amazing to me, as I was inspired to write this talk.
If you need a little ray of sunshine for your day, if you aren’t feeling of worth, if you struggle with your happiness, if you question your purpose on earth, then please read this talk. I promise that you will get something out of it that you will appreciate or something you find to get you thinking.
Prepare yourselves. I was asked to give an hour long talk. So here we go.
Let me ask you: where do we come from? why are we here? and where are we going? Well the short version is, we come from Heaven, to fulfill our divine destiny and purpose, and we are going back to live with our Heavenly Father for eternal life and happiness.
Throughout our lives, we are constantly seeking to find ourselves. And not just to find ourselves and who we are, but our purpose, role, and how to be happy. It seems that we often focus a little too much on what that purpose is, instead of how to achieve it and live it.
Randall L. Ridd gave an amazing talk recently on living with purpose. “Because of the gospel, we can focus on fulfilling our purpose, rather than spending our entire life trying to discover our purpose.” We know that we are meant to live with Him again and to be like him.
Ultimately our divine destiny is to be like God and Christ.
President Boyd K. Packer told of coming home one day and helping his children gather new chicks in the barn. As his little four-year-old daughter held a baby chick in her hands, he said something like, “Won’t that be a beautiful dog when it grows up?”
His daughter looked at him in surprise.
And then he said something like, “Or perhaps it will be a cat or even a cow.”
His little daughter wrinkled her nose, as if to say, “Daddy, don’t you know anything? It will grow up exactly like its parents.”
Then he observed how this little four-year-old girl knew, almost instinctively, that the chick would grow up to follow the pattern of its parentage.23
The Gospel of Philip, an apocryphal book, makes this simple statement of logic: “A horse sires a horse, a man begets man, a god brings forth a god.”24 The difference between man and God is significant—but it is one of degree, not kind. It is the difference between an acorn and an oak tree, a rosebud and a rose, a son and a father. In truth, every man is a potential god in embryo, in fulfillment of that eternal law that like begets like.
- Tad R. Callister
God created man in HIS image so it only makes sense that we are to be like him. And He is perfect. THIS is our purpose.
In Moroni 10:32 it reads “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ”.
What a wonderful promise! Just by simply coming unto Christ, and doing our best to keep ourselves unspotted from the world, we are promised that through His grace, we can be like him. If you are here in this church today, you are just where you need to be. You’re taking a step in the right direction.
“The compounding effect of daily disciplines, with purpose and real intent, can make a big difference in all areas of your life,” Elder Ridd said. “It can mean the difference between struggling through an ordinary life or being immensely successful and filling the measure of your creation.” Achieving our goal to be like him isn’t one huge event. It’s by a series of actions that we fulfill our divine roles and purpose here on earth. These daily disciplines he speaks of are interpreted as doing simple things like our daily scripture study, going to church, taking the sacrament, and praying always.
And he didn’t just say doing these things. We can physically choose whether we will go through life unsatisfied and anxious, or if we want to do our best to have a positive outlook on life. One of the things people look for in their quest for purpose on this earth is happiness.
Think of someone you know that is the embodiment of pure happiness. Now with that person in mind, do they seem unkind, unpleasant, and uncomfortable to be around? High chances are, that’s not the case. So what’s their secret? Well let me tell you.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland stated “You can never, worlds without end, build your happiness on someone else’s unhappiness. Sometimes, maybe especially when we are young and insecure and trying to make our way up in the world, we think if we can tear someone else down a little, it will somehow miraculously lift us up.” Speaking from personal experience, people who think this way are sorely mistaken. The key to happiness is to build others up and by serving them. Through this, we can find our own happiness. Of course it can sound easier than it is sometimes. It may seem backwards, serving others, because when times get rough you’re the one that needs the comfort and assistance. However, what’s another word that describes service? Charity! The pure love of Christ. This attribute is a positive one that is bound to make us happy. Another characteristic that brings us closer to Him.
It’s definitely a challenging thing, happiness. For one we are surrounded by and focused on all the darkness in the world, that we don’t always appreciate what light is there. Gordon B. Hinckley said, ““Stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight.” We need to actively be pursuing our happiness instead of expecting it to just manifest itself. It’s kind of like the saying that a watched pot never boils. If we just live after the manner of happy people, eventually that happiness will find us. Yes we need to be working towards it but sometimes it comes when we least expect it.
Let me just put a quick disclaimer out there. It is impossible to be truly happy all of the time. Which isn’t a bad thing. President Boyd K. Packer said: “it helps a great deal if we realize that there is a certain healthy element in getting the blues occasionally. IT is quite in order to schedule a good, discouraging, depressing day every now and again just for contrast.” Which is totally true. The not so good times that we have keep the good happy ones in perspective.
I asked a lady that I work with a few days ago what she does to keep herself happy. She immediately replied “I pray all the time.” This is coming from someone who, before this, I had never discussed religion with. So as you can imagine it opened up missionary opportunity. Prayer is one of the most things that we are commanded to do. D&C 10:5-6 say 5 Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work.
6 Behold, they have sought to destroy you; yea, even the man in whom you have trusted has sought to destroy you. Satan is always out there to tear down our happiness and make us miserable like he is. He will tempt us to do wrong and tell us false things to make it seem like he has the way to happiness. But!
Alma 4:10 plainly states that “wickedness never was happiness.” So to put it simply, sinning and not living the gospel? You will not find happiness there. However, helping others and following God’s commandments? You will most definitely find joy and happiness there. We must realize that what the world offers us for “happiness”, is temporary and fake. But Heavenly Father has constructed for everyone the Plan of Salvation. The literal PLAN OF HAPPINESS. And we all know what’s included in it. In the beginning, Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy. This whole plan was constructed around the end In the end, we receive eternal life and eternal happiness with our forever families, ultimately becoming like God and Christ.
I testify that this church is true and this is the restored gospel on earth. And our purpose and happiness go hand in hand. If we but follow his commandments and do what little he asks of us, we will be have eternal happiness. God has a plan for us. We may not see the bigger picture but we need to have enough faith to put our lives in His hands and trust that he knows what he’s doing. He loves each one of us and wants us to be happy and fulfill our divine destinies.