November 13, 2016
This week was a little crazy! I am training and in a threesome so we are all over the place all the time and it has just been a little bit unorganized. But we are figuring it out so that is good. This week we spent a lot of time teaching lessons, which of course is the best and that is when I am the most happy. Plus, my back which has been bothering me a good amount has gotten a lot better so that is something else to be grateful for!
Today I actually had a great opportunity to finish the Book of Mormon. I have read it several times on my mission and each time when I read it, I try and focus on something that is important to me at the time. This past reading, I focused on happiness and finding joy in the journey. If I am to summarize what I learned, it would be this: keep God's commandments always, be grateful in all circumstances, and cling to faith, hope, and charity. I wanted to talk about the last one for a little bit.
Some people who are reading this not might know the story of the Book of Mormon perfectly or at all, but anyways it is about a family who follows the Lord’s commandments to come to a promised land. There they build up a society and worship Christ for almost 1000 years. Then, eventually they become very wicked and were eventually destroyed. But anyway the point of this short explanation is so that I can share what one of the last prophets thought about their situation.
“For so exceedingly do they anger that it seemeth me that they have no fear of death; and they have lost their love, one towards another; and they thirst after blood and revenge continually.”
When I read this section this morning I thought a lot about the world today. How many problems would we really have if we just loved each other? Of course, everyone says that but do we ever actually try to do it? Would you ever get divorced while loving and serving your wife or husband every day? Would countries ever go to war if they sat down and respected one another and each other’s cultures? I know that if we just loved each other we would have a much better world. Yea, it’s true that we probably cannot influence the whole world and fix the problems that we have, but we can fix our families, our friend group, and those around us. I like this verse from the scriptures as well.
“And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people. And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God. There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God. And how blessed were they!”
I have people ask me everyday questions like what do I have to do to be happy? How can I be saved? Why am I not happy in my life? I will give some practical counsel. If you have a family love them with all of your heart and with all of your mind and with all of your strength. Serve someone every single day. Never speak ill of anyone, backbite, or speak in anger towards anyone else. If you will try to do this, which I will try to do this week and in the coming months and years as well, you will be blessed with happiness whether or not you believe in a God or in Christ. By giving up yourself and trying to love others, your heart will expand and it will be filled. I also know that if we seek to love others and pray every day for that love, we will be given the strength to love the people that are not easy to love.
I love you all, even though of course our love is never perfect,