Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Joy Always Comes After Opposition

I'm so very grateful there is opposition in all things. Happiness is on my mind a lot, I would dare to assume it's on everyone's mind a lot. We all desire happiness, in fact Joseph Smith taught "Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof..."

Elder Faust taught, "Happiness is not given to us in a package that we can just open up and consume. Nobody is ever happy 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Rather than thinking in terms of a day, we perhaps need to snatch happiness in little pieces, learning to recognize the elements of happiness and then treasuring them while they last."

I just love how he puts it, we have to treasure it while it lasts. I know in my life the times I am my absolute happiest is after coming out of a big storm or trial that life seems to pour over me, because then my mind is familiar with the pain and opposition found in life and it's so much easier to appreciate the smallest and simplest things in the day to day life. 

We were designed to have joy, it says so in 2 Nephi 2:25 "Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy." I just love that! Of course we have to have opposition, of course life has to be hard at times, of course we have to know sadness to know happiness. Without it we would never grow and we would never appreciate the beauty this world is SO full of! 

This actually leads to the truth that trials are often our greatest blessings. The opposition and adversity in life teaches us more than any other experience can, in addition to leading us to a humility we may know no other way as we are able to find gratitude and happiness in the beautiful journey we call life once we know life without those things we so deeply treasure. Those who know extreme sadness, loss, hurt, betrayal, loneliness, and pain have the opportunity to know the greatest happiness. While in these moments of pain and agony it can be one of the hardest things to face and you have no idea how you will ever come out of it and know happiness again, the sun always rises and some sunrises are prettier than others. 

There is a simple but beautiful scripture found in Psalms 118:24 "This is the day which the Lord hath made, rejoice and be glad in it."

Talk about POWERFUL! What a beautiful blessing it is to be alive, to have this day, to experience this journey that Heavenly Father gave us because He had our best interest at heart. The Lord gave us this day and every single day before this one and after this one. He knew adversity and trials would come our way, but he is still asking us to REJOICE! Isn't that so beautiful???!!! Seriously though, I would scream this on top of a mountain if I was on one right now! He has made it possible for us to find joy in the journey every single day of our lives if we would but just try. 

Rejoice means to be thankful and happy, the word rejoice is found in Alma 26 seven times, and the word joy is found in this chapter seven times as well. I know we wouldn't be asked to rejoice if it was something impossible for us to do. I've found it's harder to practice gratitude when I get out of habit with gratitude. I have a small "tender mercy" journal I write in every night before bed of the three ways I saw the Lord blessing me or allowing me to experience happiness in my life that day. This has really helped me to see that Heavenly Father sends me happiness every single day, even if it is a really hard day and I'm facing a huge trial, there is always something to write.

"Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord?" (Alma 26:16) - I just love this!! Happiness comes from God! God WANTS us to be happy and happiness is possible through Him and our loving Savior Jesus Christ. We have the opportunity to be thankful whether or not we are loving every single thing about our life. We have the opportunity to glory (aka honor and praise) the Lord every single day because He gave us this great gift to just be here!

Opposition has a way of making us appreciate the small things in life and shows us they are the ones that matter. I know in my life after experiencing extreme bouts of anxiety and depression, moments where I was mentally and physically paralyzed by fear and emotions feeling as if chains had tied me up and I was in a dark room with no hope to ever been seen again, it did get better. Oh did it ever get better and it sure made me appreciate the ability to see the sun, to feel the wind on my hand, to have a moment of motivation of a dream placed in my heart once again. It made me appreciate deeper the hand holding, the hugging, the cooking and chores, the moments where I could be with friends, and the moments where their wasn't tears streaming down my face.

You deserve to be happy! God wants you to be happy! I promise you that, because even President Uchtdorf has said  "God didn't design us to be sad. He created us to have joy." You are in control of your happiness, even when there will be sadness along the's about rejoicing and being thankful even through the toughest moments. 

Yes, let yourself feel! Let yourself be okay that every single moment won't be perfect! Let yourself learn patience through the trial, let yourself cry it out and get out the emotions, but then get up and rejoice! Rejoice to the Lord in all the days of your life and you will be so familiar with happiness when the Savior comes again. 

I'll leave you with a beautiful quote from President Monson:
"This is our one and only chance at mortal life—here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now." President Thomas S. Monson, Nov. 2008

Looking for more ways to be happy? Go here

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