Where do we find the peace and joy that we seek? I would guess this is an universal question. Perhaps it depends on what we choose each day to think about and do. Are we seeking positive news, positive goals and positive actions.
A very great man who was our Prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley often spoke about finding joy and happiness in our lives. I thought today my quest for more joy that I might share with you some of his priceless thoughts on happiness.
1. “In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.”
2. “Generally speaking, the most miserable people I know are those who are obsessed with themselves; the happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others...By and large, I have come to see that if we complain about life, it is because we are thinking only of ourselves.”
3. “Cultivate an attitude of happiness. Cultivate a spirit of optimism. Walk with faith, rejoicing in the beauties of nature, in the goodness of those you love, in the testimony which you carry in your heart concerning things divine.”
4. “Don’t be gloomy. Do not dwell on unkind things. Stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. Even if you are not happy, put a smile on your face. ‘Accentuate the positive.’ Look a little deeper for the good. Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, with great and strong purpose in your heart. Love life.”
5. “Be believing, be happy, don't get discouraged. Things will work out.”
6. “Let us be happy people. The Lord's plan is a plan of happiness. The way will be lighter, the worries will be fewer, the confrontations will be less difficult if we cultivate a spirit of happiness.”
7. “You can be smart and happy or stupid and miserable. . . it's your choice” I have to add that this is one of my favorite quotes from him. It is our choice.
8. "Happy is the man who can brush aside the offending remarks of another and go on his way.”
9. “God bless you, my beloved sisters, who stand as the queens in your home, that you may be happy with that happiness which comes of the knowledge that you are loved and honored and treasured.”
10. “We've got to have a little humor in our lives. You had better take seriously that which should be taken seriously but, at the same time, we can bring in a touch of humor now and again. If the time ever comes when we can’t smile at ourselves, it will be a sad time.”
11. “In my ninety-plus years, I have learned a secret. I have learned that when good men and good women face challenges with optimism, things will always work out! Truly, things always work out! Despite how difficult circumstances may look at the moment, those who have faith and move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.”
12. “Go forward in life with a smile on your face, a sparkle in your eyes, and with great and strong purpose in your heart. The best things in life are the people in your life, the moments we live, and memories we made along the way.”
13. “The way of the Lord is the way of happiness. ‘Wickedness never was happiness’. Transgression never was happiness. Sin never was happiness. Disobedience never was happiness. The way of happiness is following the way of the Lord. I believe this with all my heart.”
14. “The gospel is a thing of joy. It provides us with a reason for gladness. Of course there is sorrow. Of course there are hours of concern and anxiety. We all worry. But the Lord has told us to lift our hearts and rejoice.”
“What I am suggesting is that each of us turn from the negativism that permeates our society and look for the remarkable good among those with whom we associate, that we speak of one another’s virtues more than we speak of one another’s faults, that optimism replace pessimism, that our faith exceed our fears. When I was a young man and was prone to speak critically, my father would say: “Cynics do not contribute, skeptics do not create, doubters do not achieve.”
I am challenging myself and those of you that read this to look for joy everyday. Seek out the sunshine and leave the clouds behind. A favorite scripture of mine is found in the Book of Mormon; 2 Nephi 2:25: ".....men are, that they might have joy."