Happiness consists not of having, but of being – not of possessing, but of enjoying. . . . For what a man has he may be dependent upon others; what he is rests with him alone. What he obtains in life is but acquisition; what he attains is true growth. (Joseph Smith) — President David O. McKay, The Improvement Era, December 1955, p. 911
Don’t be so heavenly minded that you are of no earthly good. Sometimes we work overtime making the gospel of Jesus Christ miserable to live. Let your life be your trumpet. — Rand Packer, BYU Education Week, August 1992
Happiness is the object and design of our existence and will be the end, thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is: virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness and keeping all the commandments of God. — Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 255-56
It is an illusion to think that more comfort means more happiness. Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed. — Anonymous
Peace and happiness comes not from the absence of conflict in life but from the ability to cope with it. — Anonymous
Happy is the man who has found the 3 W’s of life: Work, Worship, and Wife – and loves all 3! — President Ezra Taft Benson
The Lord said: “Wherefore, lift up thy heart and rejoice, and cleave unto the covenants which thou hast made.” (D&C 25:13) I believe he is saying to each of us, be happy. The gospel is a thing of joy. It provides us with a reason for gladness. Of course there are times of sorrow. Of course there are hours of concern and anxiety. We all worry. But the Lord has told us to lift our hearts and rejoice. I see so many people, including many women, who seem never to see the sunshine, but who constantly walk with storms under cloudy skies. Cultivate an attitude of happiness. Cultivate a spirit of optimism. Walk with faith, rejoicing in the beauties of nature, in the goodness of those you love, in the testimony which you carry in your heart concerning things divine. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, “If Thou Art Faithful,” General Women’s Meeting, October 1984; see Ensign, November 1984, pp. 91-92
Ten Rules for Happiness
1. Develop yourself by self-discipline.
2. Joy comes through creation – sorrow through destruction. Every living thing can grow: Use the world wisely to realize soul growth.
3. Do things which are hard to do.
4. Entertain upbuilding thoughts. What you think about when you do not have to think shows what you really are.
5. Do your best this hour, and you will do better the next.
6. Be true to those who trust you.
7. Pray for wisdom, courage, and a kind heart
8. Give heed to God’s messages through inspiration. If self-indulgence, jealousy, avarice, or worry have deadened your response, pray the Lord to wipe out these impediments.
9. True friends enrich life. If you would have friends, be one.
10. Faith is the foundation of all things – including happiness.
— President David O. McKay, Quoted in Richard L. Evans, “Portrait of a President,” The Improvement Era, June 1951, p. 401
Difficulties are a part of life. There are ups and downs. That fact reminds me of a story shared by Elder Marion D. Hanks, an emeritus member of the First Quorum of Seventy:
“A father [is] aboard an airplane on a short business trip. He has with him his 5-year-old son and is almost wishing his son were not there because it is a very rough trip. There are downdrafts and updrafts and head winds alternating with tailwinds, and some passengers are feeling a bit queasy. Apprehensively, the father glances at his son and finds him grinning from ear to ear. ‘Dad,’ he says, ‘do they do this just to make it fun for the kids?’” (Changing Channels,” Ensign, November 1990, 38)
How many times in the scriptures does the Lord command us to “be of good cheer” or “lift up your heart and rejoice” and “be exceedingly glad”? We should remember that happiness is a commandment and not merely a suggestion (see D&C 78:17-19; 31:3; 127:3). — Elder Joe J. Christensen, “A Reason to Smile,” Ensign, February 2002, p. 58
You ask, “What is the price of happiness?” First you must live the gospel of Jesus Christ in its purity and simplicity – not a half-hearted compliance, but hewing to the line. And this means an all-out devoted consecration to the great program of salvation and exaltation. An orthodox manner. The second, you must forget yourself and love your companion more than yourself. As you do these things, happiness can be yours in great and never-ending abundance. — President Spencer W. Kimball
Those who “live without God in the world” anxiously glean their few and fleeting satisfactions, but they are unable to find real happiness. . . . Ignorant of the plan of salvation, many simply do not know what the journey of life is all about. Therefore, modern selfishness and skepticism brush aside the significance of the Savior. . . .” — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, March 1998, p. 9
Let the Savior be your “lead” in life. He has said, “I am . . . the Rock of Heaven . . . ; whoso cometh in at the gate and climbeth up by me shall never fall” (Moses 7:53). The Redeemer will safely lead you over the most difficult obstacles of life. His laws are absolutely secure anchors of protection that dispel fear and assure success in an otherwise dangerous world. Such a life will certainly provide you peace and happiness. — Elder Richard G. Scott, “The Atonement Can Secure Your Peace and Happiness,” Ensign, November 2006, pp. 40-41
In the game of life a second effort is often required. The happy life is not ushered in at any age to the sound of drums and trumpets. It grows upon us year by year, little by little, until at last we realize that we have it. It is achieved in individuals not by flights to the moon or Mars, but by a body of work done so well that we can lift our heads with assurance and look the world in the eye. Of this be sure: You do not find the happy life . . . you make it. — Elder Thomas S. Monson,“Faces and Attitudes,” New Era, September 1977
Another great advantage of joy, contrasted with pleasure, is that joy overrides routine, which, otherwise, could make us bored. We don’t know, for instance, how many times Heavenly Father has been through the plan of salvation before with other of His children elsewhere before our particular sequence on this planet. God even hints at the repetitiveness of His redemption when He says, “[My] course is one eternal round” (see 1 Nephi 10:19; Alma 7:20; D&C 3:2). Yet God is never bored by what might seem mere routine. Why? Because of His perfect love for His children! What He calls “my work and my glory” brings abundant and pure joy! (see Moses 1:39). — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “Brim with Joy” (Alma 26:11), BYU Devotional, January 23, 1996
Another thing about joy: Joy not only helps us do our gospel duties but it increases our individuality. It is sinners who reflect such a stale sameness. Righteousness lends itself to individuality. Think, in contrast, of poor Lemuel, who “hearkened unto the words of Laman” (1 Nephi 3:28). He was Laman’s satellite. One wonders if poor Lemuel ever had any thoughts of his own. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “Brim with Joy” (Alma 26:11), BYU Devotional, January 23, 1996
Make up your mind to be happy – even when you don’t have money, even when you don’t have a clear complexion, even when you don’t have the Nobel Prize. Some of the happiest people I know have none of these things the world insists are necessary for satisfaction and joy. Why are they happy? I suppose it is because they don’t listen very well. Or they listen too well – to the things their hearts tell them. They glory in the beauty of the earth. They glory in the rivers and the canyons and the call of the meadowlark. They glory in the love of their families, the stumbling steps of a toddler, the wise and tender smile of the elderly. They glory in honest labor. They glory in the scriptures. They glory in the presence of the Holy Ghost. One thing I know for certain: the time we have here goes by far too quickly. Don’t waste any more time sitting on the bench watching life pass you by. — Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Lessons Learned in the Journey of Life,” Ensign, May 2001, p. 35
The great religious leaders of the world such as Mohammed, Confucius, and the Reformers, as well as philosophers including Socrates, Plato, and others, received a portion of God’s light. Moral truths were given to them by God to enlighten whole nations and to bring a higher level of understanding to individuals.
The Hebrew prophets prepared the way for the coming of Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah, who should provide salvation for all mankind who believe in the gospel.
Consistent with these truths, we believe that God has given and will give to all peoples sufficient knowledge to help them on their way to eternal salvation, either in this life or in the life to come.
We also declare that the gospel of Jesus Christ, restored to His Church in our day, provides the only way to a mortal life of happiness and a fulness of joy forever. For those who have not received this gospel, the opportunity will come to them in the life hereafter if not in this life.
Our message therefore is one of special love and concern for the eternal welfare of all men and women, regardless of religious belief, race, or nationality, knowing that we are truly brothers and sisters because we are sons and daughters of the same Eternal Father. — The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, February 15, 1978
To find real happiness, we must seek for it in a focus outside ourselves. No one has learned the meaning of living until he has surrendered his ego to the service of his fellowmen. Service to others is akin to duty, the fulfillment of which brings true joy. — President Thomas S. Monson, “The Lord’s Way,” Ensign, May 1990, p. 92
There are dangers all around. Some of you may say, “If things get really tough, we will move here, or we will move back there, and then we will be safe; everything will be all right there.” If you do not fix it so that you are safe and in good company when you are alone, or when you are with your own husband or your own wife and your own children, you will not be safe or find happiness anywhere. There is no such thing as geographical security. — Elder Boyd K. Packer, Box Elder High School graduation address, May 23, 1974
Brothers and sisters, these are our days. This is our time on earth! . . . And in these days, being of good cheer is part of being valiant in the testimony of Jesus. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, General Conference, October 1982
Happiness is not a reward – it is a consequence. — Robert Green Ingersoll
In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer. — Albert Camus
Oh, there can be transitory euphoria from power, influence, or material wealth, but true, lasting happiness, the kind that is felt in the early hours of the morning when you are truly honest with yourself, can be garnered only by obedience to the teachings of God. You must have honesty, integrity, chastity, virtue, and a willingness to forego something attractive, even apparently desirable for the moment, for greater good in the future. I speak of the willingness when circumstance demands to lay everything on the altar to defend true principles. — Elder Richard G. Scott, “Living Right,” April 22, 2004
Anchor your life in Jesus Christ, your Redeemer. Make your Eternal Father and his Beloved Son the most important priority in your life – more important than life itself, more important than a beloved companion or children or anyone on earth. Make their will your central desire. Then all that you need for happiness will come to you. — Elder Richard G. Scott, Ensign, May 1993, pp. 32-4
Salvation is an eternal goal we gain by a process of constant upward change. Doubt is spiritual poison that stunts eternal growth. We must first feel our way before we can see it with any clarity. We prove ourselves by making numerous correct decisions without being absolutely sure; then comes a greater knowledge and assurance, not before. Happiness is created. Love is its center. Its principal ingredients are sincere faith, true repentance, full obedience, and selfless service. — Elder Richard G. Scott, “Happiness Now and Forever,” Ensign, November 1979, p. 70
If we constantly focus only on the stones in our mortal path, we will almost surely miss the beautiful flower or cool stream provided by the loving Father who outlined our journey. Each day can bring more joy than sorrow when our mortal and spiritual eyes are open to God’s goodness. Joy in the gospel is not something that begins only in the next life. It is our privilege now, this very day. We must never allow our burdens to obscure our blessings. There will always be more blessings than burdens – even if some days it doesn’t seem so. Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Enjoy those blessings right now. They are yours and always will be. — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Cultivate an attitude of happiness. Cultivate a spirit of optimism. Walk with faith, rejoicing in the beauties of nature, in the goodness of those you love, in the testimony which you carry in your heart concerning things divine. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Words of the Prophet: The Spirit of Optimism,” New Era, July 2001, p. 4
Sadness, disappointment, and severe challenge are events in life, not life itself. I do not minimize how hard some of these events are. They can extend over a long period of time, but they should not be allowed to become the confining center of everything you do. The Lord inspired Lehi to declare the fundamental truth, “Men are, that they might have joy.” That is a conditional statement: “they might have joy.” It is not conditional for the Lord. His intent is that each of us finds joy. It will not be conditional for you as you obey the commandments, have faith in the Master, and do the things that are necessary to have joy here on earth. — Elder Richard G. Scott, “Finding Joy in Life,” Ensign, May 1996, p. 24
One of the sanest, surest, and most generous joys of life comes from being happy over the good fortune of others. — Archibald Rutledge
We are to learn how to enjoy the things of life – how to pass our mortal existence here. There is no enjoyment, no comfort, no pleasure, nothing that the human heart can imagine, with all the spirit of revelation we can get, that tends to beautify, happify, make comfortable and peaceful, and exalt the feelings of mortals, but what the Lord has in store for his people. . . . He never revealed any doctrine, that I have any knowledge of, but what in its nature is calculated to fill with peace and glory, and lift every sentiment and impulse of the heart above every low, sad, deathly, false and groveling feeling. — Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 237
This is a wonderful time to be living here on earth. Our opportunities are limitless. While there are some things wrong in the world today, there are many things right, such as teachers who teach, ministers who minister, marriages that make it, parents who sacrifice, and friends who help.
We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues. — President Thomas S. Monson, Ensign, February 2000, p. 2-7
The only person who can answer the question of whether or not you’re happy is you. And the only way you can answer that you’re happy is that you can say to yourself that I’m clean, I’ve taken care of my sins, I’ve changed. And thus, I know that I have taken advantage of the Atonement of Christ [and] that is the real purpose of why Christ came. — George D. Durrant, LDS Church Educational System BYU Devotional, June 1976
To make ourselves happy is incorporated in the great design of man’s existence. I have learned not to fret myself about that which I cannot help. If I can do good, I will do it; and if I cannot reach a thing, I will content myself to be without it. This makes me happy all the day long. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 2:95
You are greatly blessed of the Lord, all the day long, and should be happy; but we are apt to close our eyes against this fact . . . . Were we to look into our own hearts, and seek diligently to do all the good in our power . . . what is there to prevent us from being happy? — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 2:95
How do you feel, Saints, when you are filled with the power and love of God? You are just as happy as your bodies can bear. What would be your feelings, suppose you should be in prison, and filled with the power and love of God; would you be unhappy? No. I think prisons would palaces prove, if Jesus dwelt there. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 3:95
The ancients whom we love and read and quote so much – Adam and Abraham, Joshua and Joseph, Isaiah and Ezekiel and Ezra, Nephi and Alma, and Mormon and Moroni – all of these ancient prophets, priests, and kings focused their prophetic vision “with peculiar delight” on our day, on our time. It is this hour to which they have looked forward “with joyful anticipation,” and “fired with heavenly and joyful anticipation they have sung and written and prophesied of this our day.”
They saw us as “the favored people” upon whom God would shower his full and complete latter-day glory, and I testify that is our destiny. What a privilege! What an honor! What a responsibility! And what joy! We have every reason in time and eternity to rejoice and give thanks for the quality of our lives and the promises we have been given. That we may do so, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ. — President Howard W. Hunter, “An Anchor to the Souls of Men,” BYU Devotional, February 7, 1993
Happiness will depend on what each of us does with what each has, what we learn from what we do, and what we do thereafter. — Elder Boyd K. Packer, Liahona, June 1991
What principle object have human beings in view? Happiness. Give me glory, give me power, give me wealth, give me a good name, give me influence with my fellow-men, give me all these, and it does not follow that I am thereby made happy; that depends altogether upon what principle those acquisitions were gained. — Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 215