I have been thinking a lot about happiness, as I always do. It truly seems to be the object and the goal of every person. To seek joy and receive it in abundance. But for several days I have been having a slight paradigm shift. Perhaps there’s something more to life than seeking for happiness.
The words of Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin are thought-provoking:
“Those who make happiness the chief objective of life are bound to fail, for happiness is a by-product rather than an end in itself.”
A strong statement like that makes me realize that this lifetime quest should be to find the things that will bring happiness if they are done well. What are some of these things? I’m sure there are many. And for the next several days, I will explore the things I have found that bring real and lasting happiness, practical things that any of us can do. For today, here is one.
1. Maybe we should make the quest of our lifetime, the quest to receive the Spirit of the Holy Ghost. There is a quote I love by Parley P. Pratt that sums it all up:
“The gift of the Holy Ghost … quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections; and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings, and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness, and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation, and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens, and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being” (Key to the Science of Theology, 9th ed. , 101).
Did you catch that? “It (meaning the Spirit of the Lord) is joy to the heart.” For the past week I have been attempting to make the quest of each day the quest to obtain and keep the Spirit in my heart. As I have done so, happiness has been my lot. How can one not be happy when the Spirit covers one wit a sense of sublime peace? Even if daily circumstances do not seem conducive to happiness, if we will do something, anything to obtain a greater portion of the Holy Ghost, inward happiness, the kind that really counts, will flow to us like manna from heaven. And this is why I love this thought so much. This seeking and gaining the Spirit is a sure guarantee for happiness…true happiness that doesn’t go away or dissolve or fade.
In closing, ponder on the words of Elder Keith K. Hilbig today. They are beautiful:
“In the Pearl of Great Price, Moses recorded that Adam, having been baptized and having received the Holy Ghost, ‘became quickened in the inner man.’
“When we invite the Holy Ghost to fill our minds with light and knowledge, He ‘quickens’ us, that is to say, enlightens and enlivens the inner man or woman. As a result we notice a measurable difference in our soul. We feel strengthened, filled with peace and joy. We possess spiritual energy and enthusiasm, both of which enhance our natural abilities. We can accomplish more than we otherwise could do on our own. We yearn to become a holier person.”
Today, and every day, seek the Spirit of the Holy Ghost. When you are feeling down, stop and do something that invites the Holy Ghost into your heart–sing a hymn, read a scripture, serve a child, smile, pray. Then stand back and watch your happiness meter grow.