Thursday, January 30, 2014

Beginning to Grin

“Why are you so happy?”

A question I’ve been asked several times throughout my life. A question whose answer I have always attributed to my religion.

When I was in junior high, and first gaining a real understanding of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the beginning foundation of my testimony was formed from the results I received by living it. As a teenager I could stand up before my peers and give my testimony that I love this church because it makes me happy!

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are taught to steer clear of those things leading to addictions—No alcohol or drugs for us! No pornography. No sexual intimacy before marriage. All those things that if tried may successfully ruin a teenagers life… Mormons are taught to stay away from. We are also taught to keep the laws of the land. These things have helped me to live an upright, clean life, and have made me happy.

My happiness may come from service. In our church we are taught to love and serve those around us; to contribute to our community; and we receive “callings” or assignments where we give volunteer service to our church. When I am busy serving others, I have less time to worry about myself and my happiness grows as I can help others.

My happiness may also stem from having a plan. It is in my nature to always want a planned schedule or routine. I thrive off list making and subsequently checking those things off my list. I make goals to achieve my planned purposes. Being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have been taught God’s plan. I know where I came from, what my purpose is on Earth, and where I am going. I have a plan—that gives me peace and contributes to my happiness.

We also are led by a living prophet.  Like the Biblical prophets of old, our prophet guides our church today and gives inspired teaching for how to successfully direct our lives in today’s world. I am not left in turmoil wondering what is right; I have been taught, I know God’s plan, and I am happy.

My happiness comes from knowing I am a daughter of God. As a teenager, each Sunday, I recited the Young Woman theme: “[I am a daughter] of my Heavenly Father, who loves [me], and [I] love Him…”1 I know I am of worth. I have been taught of God’s love for me; of my Savior’s complete love which prompted him to die for me (and each individual who ever lived). I am amazed, and my love and gratitude toward my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is overflowing.

This is not to say that “Mormons” are free from disappointment, difficulties, or hard times. We may still encounter disease, financial difficulty, divorce, depression, or death. But it is through the teachings of the gospel that we have hope. Our knowledge of God’s plan can aid our healing. It is through living the gospel that we are blessed, made stronger, and enabled to bear the burdens placed upon us. We have hope for a better future.

The testimony I gained as a teenager, that living this gospel of Jesus Christ makes me happy, is still my testimony today. I love God, my Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ. I am eternally indebted to Him and will be forever grateful of the sacrifice he made for me! “Oh it is wonderful that He would care for me, enough to die for me!”2 In my humble gratitude for his sacrifice I try to do what is right.  I am still learning, ever more amazed, always grateful. I love this gospel, and I am so happy for my membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

2. Hymn 193 “I Stand All Amazed”

Published by: McKell


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