Members of the LDS church are often asked the question,¨Why are you so happy all the time?" A lot of things make me happy. For example,I love to cook, play soccer, play the piano, snowboard and hang out with my friends. These are all things I really enjoy and when I scoare a goal, learn a new trick, or master a new song, I am truly happy! Every one has things that they love to do and although these things bring happiness there is something more that brings eternal happiness and joy. That is faith and hope in God and in his plan for us. Putting our trust in God and believing that we are here on this Earth for a purpose brings confidence and true happiness. If we exercise faith and hope in Gods plan all of the temporal things dont matter. Because the temporal things that I love to do can also bring sadness, maybe I fall down on my snowboard, or choke in the middle of a piano piece or kick the goal wide. I can ejoy these things because they are good but we have to be carefull not to put all of our happiness and self esteem in these these things that are temporal. My mission president says ¨We are sad because we put our hapiness in things temporales but if we put our hapiness nd confidence in God we have no reason to be sad.¨I know this is true. I know that our happiness comes from our confidence in God. ¨Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea even a place at the right hand of god, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works being led to glorify God.¨Ether 12Ñ4 Our happiness should not depend on others, our hapiness should be found in God and His plan for us. I know that knowledge and hope in the plan of salvation is what distinguishes Mormons from religions. The book of Mormon talks about Gods plan of salvation. It also talks about our purpose where we came from and where we will go. You can search the entire bible and not find the word ¨Plan¨. The bible lost the precious plan of salvation. I am so thankful for the Book of Mormon and that it restored the knowledge of the plan of salvation. I have a firm faith and hope in this plan for me. I have faith in a better world after my life here. And this gives me faith hope and asurety.
Faith is to put our trust in things that we can not see. When we have faith in God we can have hope that even in difficult circumstances, everything will be okay. We have hope that we will be saved, that we will be delivered from our afflictions. In Isaiah 42 it says ¨Fear thou not, for I am with the be not dismayedñ for I am thy Godñ and I will strengthen thee yea I will help thee yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.¨ God is always here with us and he wants us to find joy in this life. In fact, the whole purpose of his plan is that we find Joy. "Adam fell that men might beñ and men are, THAT THEY MIGHT HAVE JOY." Ironically, in order to obtain this joy we need to be tested and to experience saddness as well. On my mission I have had the beautiful opportunity to bring the knowledge of this plan to so many people and I have witnessed how it changes their lives. It is a beautiful experience to be part of.
In short, there is a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is what we feel when we do the things that we love. Like snowboarding and playing soccer. But Joy is something much more profound. Joy is the happiness we find in the love of God.
Love you all!
See you next summer!