Life should run smoothly for the most part, right? There are always those bumps in the road or the occasional boulder, but we always manage to climb over it and make it to the smooth path once again. However, as much as we wish and dream it to be a lifelong experience of laughter and warm fuzzies, many times we find ourselves in the opposite of such things. Life isn’t supposed to be miserable. We were sent here on earth to “have joy” (2 Nephi 2:25) weren’t we?! And let us remember that “[God] doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.” (2 Nephi 26:24)
But how can we be joyful and full of love when there is so much hatred, and opposition, and war, and rumors, and distress, and sorrow and so much more of these horrors in the world? How can we “be okay” when we’re struggling financially and trying to support a family, or lost a loved one and now feel totally alone? How are we, in situations such as these, able to be comforted and hopeful and find a way out?
There are a few things I have learned and studied this week, and I would like to share a few of the solutions I have found to be true in my life and the lives of others:
1. We must truly LIVE His gospel in order to find peace and relief.
In 1 John 2:5 we are taught, “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected…”. So the more we “keep his word”, the more the love of God is in us. We feel comfort, relief, and we feel a sense of importance and purpose.
Jesus Christ’s gospel is having Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Repenting frequently and sincerely, Being baptized by immersion by someone who has the authority of God, Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the end.
We may have a strong faith in Christ and repent frequently for our mistakes and sins. We may have been baptized by a priesthood holder and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. But how are we enduring to the end?
Something I’ve been more aware of lately is the quality of my loyalty to Christ and His gospel. How well am I living this gospel? We can be doing the basics; going to church, reading our scriptures, and praying. We can be doing that just because we’re “going through the motions” or because we genuinely enjoy it. We can be doing all of those things and then going to the temple as well every once in a while, and serving others daily. Doing all of that is great and strengthens our relationship with God! But how sincerely are we doing it? Are we obedient out of fear or obligation? Or are we obedient out of our love for God?
There are good things, great things, and excellent things. I have been noticing that it is easy to do good things and even great things, but when we start to realize what we can do even better and we improve those “great” things, we can move onto excellent things.
How often do we think about the message we convey to God through the music we listen to, or movies we watch, or way we talk to or about others? We can always have some sort of spiritual goal in our every day lives to help us strengthen our relationship with our Heavenly and loving Father.
As we do these things, we increase our faith and our desire to endure to the end as well because we feel the love and presence of God even stronger in our lives.
As we go through trials and sorrows, if we strive to live this gospel as best as we can, God will bless us.
Recently I started working at a company where I have to memorize a lot of dialog and medical terms. I was STRESSED. I know NOTHING about medical stuff–Or calling hospitals for that matter!! I was seriously struggling. I started to analyze where I’m at with my loyalty to God. I was reading my scriptures, going to church, and praying frequently. What else could I do better?! I started to put goals like reading my scriptures both in the morning and at night, and going through the temple once a week. I have seen an awe-striking difference in my ability to memorize and retain information. And i KNOW that it is only thanks to God and that I decided to dedicate more time and energy to strengthening my relationship with God and helping others. God helps and blesses us if we do as He commands because He only commands us to do what will fill our souls with peace and comfort.
Along with obedience to God and His commandments, comes promised blessings for the eternities.
2. One way of finding more joy in life is through true, sincere, and humble repentance.
We may love what we do, or feel angry with God if He does not agree with our choice of lifestyle, however we must be humble and submit our will to His. This means, that we must do as He asks us to if we ever want His help and if we ever want to feel at peace with ourselves and God.
Repentance is a beautiful way for us to be freed from addictions or vices we may have. It is a beautiful way to accept Christ into our lives and feel the true, atoning power that comes with repenting and begging for forgiveness from God and those we have possibly hurt in the process.
Repentance brings relief, freedom, and exquisite joy.
Repentance is possible thanks to Jesus Christ, our true Saviour. He suffered a lot of His life in order to give us a perfect example of receiving persecution and rejection, but still moving forward obediently and righteously through it all. He suffered in the garden of Gethsemane and took every single one of our pains, sorrows, afflictions, and sins upon Himself– meaning that He paid the consequences and suffering FOR US. IN PLACE OF US. He then died on the cross, sealing His testimony of truth and love with His very own life.
Now, this doesn’t mean that since He suffered for us so that we can live life as we want to because “if we sin, it doesn’t matter since Jesus already suffered for us.” We must repent in order for His sacrifice to even APPLY to us. It is “through the Atonement of Christ [that] all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.” (Articles of Faith 1:3) He did His part, now we must do ours.
And as we do our part, we will be freed and Christ will uplift and strengthen us through our hardships so that life runs smoother for us.
3. Be the good you want to see in the world!!
Visit the sick and afflicted! Visit those who need to be uplifted and just need someone to hear them out and support them! Learn about Jesus Christ’s life and strive to emulate His characteristics and love! Treat others as you want to be treated (the golden rule)! Point out the positives! Avoid gossip or talking negatively! Avoid putting others down! Do things that bring you closer to God! Do random acts of kindness! Be the good, down to earth person you always look for in the world. Be the person you wish would help YOU out! Love others and see them with the potential God sees them with! Find activities that bring you clean joy and do them!
In a time where moral values and virtue are so confused and twisted, be the GOOD the world needs. Be that person that uplifts others and raises the bar with their righteousness and uplifting words and deeds. Inspire others to do good!
The more we serve and the more we do GOOD, the stronger and happier we become as well.
These are the three things that have stood out to me in the past few weeks. This is what I’ve learned from my own experiences that has helped me overcome those hardships in life. I have come to realize that God always has some sort of lesson we’re supposed to understand or learn in life. As we pay attention to details, patterns, and “coincidences”, we will recognize the Hand of God in our lives more and more.
I testify that He loves you. He will never judge you unrighteously. He loves you dearly and eternally and nothing you can ever do will cause Him to abandon or mistreat you. He does not punish us. He only guides us to go back to Him and find pure love and joy. As we reach out to Him and Christ, they reach out even more to us.
I have been reminded of Their love in these past two weeks and I know that they live and are much more aware of us and present in our lives than what we may think. They know you perfectly. Reach out to them and rely on their love and advice to get you over those bumps and boulders.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
I CHALLENGE YOU TO GO TO THE TEMPLE THIS WEEK! YOU WILL FEEL REFRESHED!