Joy and the Gospel

Happiness and the Gospel

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“My wife, Nancy, is also a convert to the Church. She has mentioned to me many times over the years the joy she has felt in her life since finding, accepting, and living the gospel of Jesus Christ. What follows is a reflection from Sister Maynes on her experience:
 
“ ‘As a young adult in my early 20s, I was at a point in my life when I knew I needed to change something in order to be a happier person. I felt like I was adrift with no real purpose and direction, and I didn’t know where to go to find it. I had always known that Heavenly Father existed and occasionally throughout my life had said prayers, feeling that He listened.
 
“ ‘As I began my search, I attended several different churches but would always fall back into the same feelings and discouragement. I feel very blessed because my prayer for direction and purpose in life was ultimately answered, and the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ was brought into my life. For the first time I felt like I had a purpose, and the plan of happiness brought real joy into my life.’ ”
 
Richard J. Maynes, Presidency of the Seventy
The Joy of Living a Christ-Centered Life,” October 2015 General Conference

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“You carry a circle of influence with you wherever you go. It is felt by the people around you—from your family to the contacts in your cell phone and from your friends on social media to those seated next to you tonight. I agree with Sister Harriet Uchtdorf, who wrote, ‘You … are vibrant and enthusiastic beacons in an ever-darkening world as you show, through the way you live your lives, that the gospel is a joyful message.’ “

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“I know that Eve faced sorrows and disappointments, but I also know that she found joy in the knowledge that she and her family could return to live with God. I know that many of you who are here face sorrows and disappointments. I leave you my blessing that, like Eve, you may feel the same joy that she felt as you journey back home.”
 
Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor, First Presidency
Daughters in the Covenant,” April 2014 General Conference

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“What about our children? Do they hear exclamations of joy and hope in the gospel? After a Primary lesson about Joseph Smith’s First Vision, the class was asked to draw pictures to take home and share with their families. The children had been taught about the darkness Joseph experienced before the appearance of the Father and the Son. A six-year-old girl picked up a black crayon and started to draw. She colored the bottom and up one side of the page as dark as she could. When her teacher asked her about the picture, she said she was drawing Joseph Smith in the darkness.

“Her teacher inquired: ‘Do you know that when Heavenly Father and Jesus appeared, all the darkness had to leave? Heavenly Father and Jesus are always more powerful than Satan, and They will protect you.’ The child turned back to her paper. In the top corner, she drew an outline of two figures; and then, trading her black crayon for a bright yellow one, she filled the rest of the page with light.

“It is this light, the light of the restored gospel—a ‘voice of gladness’—that parents can help their children come to know. The adversary is real, but children can feel the peace and the joy that come as they exercise faith in Jesus Christ. Our children will not experience this light unless we teach them the gospel.”

Coleen K. Menlove, Primary General President
A Voice of Gladness for Our Children,” October 2002 General Conference

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“I like exclamation marks! I use them often when writing notes to myself and to others. It is a way to show enthusiasm and commitment. One of my favorite scriptures is punctuated with an exclamation mark:

‘Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? A voice of gladness!’ There are 14 more exclamation marks in the rest of the verse and the next four verses that follow. They read in part:

‘A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth … a voice of … glad tidings of great joy. …

‘… Glorious is the voice we hear from heaven, proclaiming in our ears, glory, and salvation … !’—with an exclamation mark.”

Coleen K. Menlove, Primary General President
Living Happily Ever After,” April 2000 General Conference

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“As we come to understand the great plan of happiness, we will radiate, for all the world to see, a glad heart and a cheerful countenance. We will show that we know the gospel of Jesus Christ is a simple, ever-present source of true happiness today and ever after in eternity. It is living the gospel of Jesus Christ that is our guarantee of living ‘happily ever after.’”

Coleen K. Menlove, Primary General President
Living Happily Ever After,” April 2000 General Conference

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“Happiness is knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ. One child said, ‘Happiness looks peaceful like Jesus and Heavenly Father.’

“Recently I attended a Primary and was holding a 14-month-old child on my lap when she looked up and saw a picture of the Savior on the wall. Her little face beamed as she said with her newly acquired language skills, ‘Jesus.’ Perhaps this little one understands the joy of knowing the Savior.”

Coleen K. Menlove, Primary General President
Living Happily Ever After,” April 2000 General Conference

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“But, you may be thinking, even within the Church there are people who aren’t happy or people who are usually happy but who experience intermittent times of stress, worry, challenge, and discouragement. That, too, is part of the great plan of happiness. Mortality is a time of testing and trial, which means that there must be times when we feel pain and emotional discomfort. However, by patiently trusting in the eternal plan, we can experience daily happiness and have hope for ‘ever-after happiness.’ ”

Coleen K. Menlove, Primary General President
Living Happily Ever After,” April 2000 General Conference

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“The Prophet Joseph Smith taught, ‘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’.

“A young friend named Emily discovered this for herself. Emily did not yet have a testimony of the gospel and was contemplating whether to remain active in the Church or try to find happiness elsewhere. As she searched for answers, she began to notice that the people and families around her who were the happiest were the ones who were active in the Church. After that discovery, she determined that even if she didn’t yet have a complete testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel, she wanted to be part of something that helped people to be so happy. The word gospel means ‘good news,’ and, as Emily discovered, the good news is that the gospel can make us very happy.”

Coleen K. Menlove, Primary General President
Living Happily Ever After,” April 2000 General Conference

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“We gather together as sisters of a worldwide church with rejoicing in the blessings that the gospel brings. It is truly a day to lift up our hearts! First and foremost, we rejoice in our knowledge that our Heavenly Father loves each of us. We rejoice in our testimonies of Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice. We rejoice in the restoration of the gospel and the mighty work accomplished by the Prophet Joseph Smith. We rejoice that we live in a day when a living prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley, boldly moves forward the mighty work of the Lord. We rejoice in the number of temples being built, the breakthrough in computer science to research our ancestors, and the excitement for service. We rejoice in the number of missionaries being sent into all the lands of the earth to gather the honest in heart. We rejoice in our individual lives and the opportunity given to each of us to be part of God’s great plan of happiness. We rejoice in the organization of the Relief Society, and we know that women throughout the world will be drawn to the Church as we perfect our lives and live essential truths to light the way for others to follow.”

Mary Ellen Smoot, Relief Society General President
Rejoice, Daughters of Zion,” October 1999 General Conference

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“This is a marvelous time to live on the earth. Ours is a day seen in vision by many of the prophets down through the ages of time. It was to be called the dispensation of the fulness of times because the gospel was to be fully restored that the lives of those who live in this day might be blessed. All who will hear the glad tidings may have the privilege of full access to the saving and exalting ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the peace and the happiness they bring to individuals and families.”

Virginia U. Jensen, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Creating Places of Security,” October 1997 General Conference

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“Our joy in the gospel of Jesus Christ and our place in His plan will draw people to us and change lives. We will lift and inspire a world so desperately in need of goodness.”

Elaine L. Jack, Relief Society General President
A Small Stone,” April 1997 General Conference

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“The purpose of the Relief Society organization of the Church, stated in our handbook, is to help women and their families come unto Christ. This means bringing the influence of Jesus Christ into our homes. It means we focus on his gospel and we find joy in living his commandments. It means we reexamine our time commitments, and give emphasis to becoming a family that is united and at peace.”

Elaine L. Jack, Relief Society General President
Relief Society: A Balm in Gilead,” October 1995 General Conference

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“Wherever you are, whatever you are wearing, whatever language you are hearing, you are part of a powerful force of joy, peace, and goodness. We are here to rejoice together ‘in every good thing.’ (Deut. 26:11)”

Chieko N. Okazaki, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Rejoice in Every Good Thing,” October 1991 General Conference

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“I delight in our diversity as Relief Society women and the joy we find in righteous living.”

Elaine L. Jack, Relief Society General President
These Things Are Manifested unto Us Plainly,” October 1990 General Conference

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“This is a joyous gospel!”

Elaine L. Jack, Relief Society General President
I Will Go and Do,” April 1990 General Conference

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