BYU (Brigham Young University) is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often mistakenly called the “Mormon Church.” BYU students take nearly a semester of spiritually uplifting, stimulating religion classes.
In this series (see below), students enrolled in scripture study classes have shared their thoughts, insights, and reflections on the Book of Mormon in the form of letters to someone they know. We invite you to take a look at their epiphanies and discoveries as they delve into the scriptures.
In publishing these, we fulfill their desire to speak to all of us of the relevance, power and beauty of the Book of Mormon, a second witness of Jesus Christ and complement to the Bible. The Book of Mormon includes the religious history of a group of Israelites who settled in ancient America. (The names they use are those of prophets who taught the Book of Mormon peoples to look forward to the coming of Christ—Nephi, Lehi, Alma, Helaman, and other unfamiliar names. We hope those names will become more familiar to you as you read their inspiring words and feel the relevance and divinity of their messages through these letters.)
Let us know if you’d like to receive your own digital copy of the Book of Mormon, and/or if these messages encourage and assist you spiritually as well.
Mormonism: Focusing Our Lives
As I have been contemplating what to share with you all this week, my mind was especially caught up in contemplating the principle of happiness. It seems to be something that each one of us tries for in life. We gain our happiness in a variety of ways, sharing time with family and friends, reading a good book, playing with our children, and countless other methods. I would honestly hope that everyone who reads this message has a desire to be happy in this life.
As I was pondering the meaning of happiness, I found myself in Alma 41 in the Book of Mormon. For those of you not super familiar with this part in the Book of Mormon, it is when Alma, the prophet at the time, is talking to his rebellious son Shiblon. Shiblon has done some really bad things in his life that, at first, appeared to give him the happiness that he sought, but he quickly learned when he was taught by his father about how true happiness is attained and I feel that it has application to our lives. Alma shares in verse 10 of chapter 41 that “wickedness never was happiness.” I want you guys to ponder on that for a moment. “Wickedness never was happiness.” How many times in life have we had choices to make that appeal to us as human beings? We are confronted every day with “methods of happiness” that the world would lead us to believe as the true ways to feel better about ourselves and to gain greater satisfaction in this life. Often those ideas lead us to focus on how we can get ourselves to feel better. It leads us to focus completely on what we want and what we need. We are then tempted to do things that initially bring us pleasure, but that ultimately cause the Spirit to leave. I testify that the only true way that we can receive lasting, deep happiness is by focusing our lives on the Savior Jesus Christ and living His Gospel.
I have not been exempt to the wicked ways of the world. There have been many times when I have thought of how I can gratify myself and gain what I thought was true happiness. I quickly learned, that these were merely empty feelings that quickly faded away unless I indulged constantly in them. I know that this is not the way.
I want each of you to know that I love you and that I truly want each of you to be happy. But I know that the only way that we can truly get that happiness is by following the Lord and doing all that He asks us to do through His living prophets. I know that we are guided by living prophets and that the Lord loves each of you so much!! He wants us all to be happy and to live together forever. My prayer is that each of us will look deep inside and try to see if what we are doing in our lives is truly giving us happiness and peace. If it’s not, let us make those changes so that we can feel the Spirit in our lives and be a forever family!!!
Love you all tons!!!