Elder Wirthlin talked about four ways that can help us find happiness in our lives. We can learn to laugh, seek for the eternal, understand the principle of compensation, and trust in the Father and the Son.
- Learn to Laugh
There are times in our lives where we just simply don't feel like laughing. We are sad or hurt, and by golly we are going to stay that way! How wrong. Attitude is a choice, and when we learn to have a good attitude about our circumstances, whether they be good or bad we will better be able to endure through and overcome our trials! This was demonstrated in my last two posts, (see Trial of my Life Part 1 and 2) as I was negative about my stutter and angry at the world, things got worse, not better. However, when I decided to change my attitude things improved and got easier! It was hard to laugh, but I was able to learn to make light of some negative situations in my life. When people would tease me, I would laugh with them, which often would catch them off guard, but it made it easier for me to handle it! After stuttering severely while reading out loud in class, I began to smile and chuckle rather than put my head down and beat myself up inside! This happiness helped me to make the change with more ease!
- Seek for the Eternal
Elder Paul V. Johnson said, "[Trials] are vitally important to the process of putting on the divine nature. If we handle these afflictions properly, they will be consecrated for our gain" (1) All of the trials and afflictions in our lives happen for a reason. There is something that we can learn from each of them that will prepare us to return to live with our Heavenly Father. Seeking for the eternal in the midst of our trials makes a large difference. Just as Joseph Smith, we must remember that, "thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high." (D&C 121:7-8) And, "that all these things shall give thee experience,and shall be for thy good. The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?"(D&C 122:7-8) Christ truly has descended below everything that we will ever go through, and is therefore qualified to help us on any and every trial we go through! Seeking for the eternal is a huge help in being happy, because we are able to see that there is purpose in life and there is a purpose for our trials! This principle helped pull me through, because I knew that there was more. I knew that I was more than just some kid who couldn't speak like everyone else. I knew that God knew who I was, that he loved me, and that he had a plan for me!!! As I sought for the eternal, I was able to see past the cloud of darkness and see the light of Christ's love shining on the path that I was supposed to travel on!
- Understand the Principle of Compensation
"The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way." (2) In the case of Job, "the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before." (Job 42:10) The Lord will compensate us for our loses and sacrifices, He will also do it in his own way. We will receive the things that really matter most, which are not always what we think we need or deserve in the moment! I was compensated for my trial! I did not receive flawless speech like I thought I needed and deserved, but I gained peace, humility, patience, love, and understanding through my trial. And since then I have received so much more, one of which is that my stutter is now manageable! The Lord does compensate us through our trials. The blessings may not come in the moment, but they will come!
- Trust in the Father and the Son
"I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day." (Alma 36:3) Trusting in God plays a big role in finding happiness through trials. We must trust that this trial will actually be for our good, and that we will actually be able to over come it and grow from it! Our heavenly Father Knows us and loves us and we must trust him that he will do with our lives what we need. He can see all things, many things that we cannot see at the time. I had no idea at the time of my trial in High School that I would be on a mission and find several people who I could immediately relate to because they also had a stutter. I had to trust that God knew what He was doing when he put this trial on me, and I had to trust that he would help me through it, which he did!!! "The Lord Jesus Christ is our partner, helper, and advocate. He wants us to be happy. He wants us to be successful. If we do our part, He will step in. He who descended below all things will come to our aid. He will comfort and uphold us. He will strengthen us in our weakness and fortify us in our distress. He will make weak things become strong." (2) I know without a doubt that we are loved! God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ loves each and every one of us. They love me, and they love you! Trust in them, and they will help you!!!
"I know why there must be opposition in all things. Adversity, if handled correctly, can be a blessing in our lives. We can learn to love it. As we look for humor, seek for the eternal perspective, understand the principle of compensation, and draw near to our Heavenly Father, we can endure hardship and trial. We can say, as did my mother, 'Come what may, and love it.'” (2)
I know that these things are true, and I know that these four principles can help us be happy and love life, no matter what happens! I know that applying these things can be hard at times, but I know that they help and that we can be happy in the midst of our trials. I saw it in my own life, and I know that it can happen in yours!
As we turn to Christ and his Gospel Happiness Can Be Found!