Happiness. That’s the universal quest, isn’t it? In just one internet search you can find books, seminars, dissertations, and entire religions aimed to find that one state of being: happiness. Happiness doesn’t even have a universal definition: it’s elusive and relative, indefinable yet so desirable. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often inadvertently referred to as the Mormon church) purports to have some answers to the search for happiness.
Happiness Is Part of God’s Plan
One of the greatest promises of The Church of Jesus Christ is happiness. In fact, one of the central doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ is what Mormons call The Plan of Happiness (this plan is also called the Plan of Salvation and the Plan of Redemption). The Plan of Happiness is the plan whereby God enables the salvation of each of His children. God’s son, Jesus Christ, volunteered to come to earth to live a perfect life so that He could suffer for our sins and make it possible for us to repent and return to Heavenly Father. For Mormons happiness is found in repentance and in the grace of Jesus Christ.
One of the things I most love about God’s plan for us is that its whole purpose is to make us happy. If anyone knows what true happiness is, God does, and He has set forth a plan whereby we can find that happiness that He desires for us. Our happiness is so important to our Father in Heaven, and I find great comfort and peace in that.
Only One Way to True Happiness
The world will tell us that happiness is relative and that we can find happiness in whatever we feel is right. This wishy-washy approach to happiness is a lie from Satan. Sure, all of us may find superficial happiness in certain things, but the only way to pure and everlasting happiness is through Jesus Christ.
The reason Jesus Christ is our only way to eternal happiness is that He is the one who redeemed us from sin and death. In the Book of Mormon (a book of scripture complementary to the Bible and key to The Church of Jesus Christ), the prophet Alma teaches that “wickedness never was happiness” (41:10). No matter how we spin it, we will never be happy when we disobey God’s commandments. God doesn’t issue commandments to be in control or tyrannical; rather, He gives us commandments to keep us safe and because He knows the best way to happiness.
Happiness Is Found in Family Relationships
One of the most important emphases in the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ is the family. The family is central to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and second to redemption through the Savior, is the most important purpose of God’s Plan of Happiness. God designed His plan so that through sacred ordinances we can be with our families for eternity. This is a great and marvelous gift. Marriage and family are key to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and happiness is a crucial purpose of family life.
Because families are so important in the doctrine of Christ, Mormons put special effort and time into building their families. Certainly family life isn’t happy or easy 100 percent of the time, but happiness can surely be found in family life here as well as in the life to come. Mormons place great importance on building family relationships and strengthening their marriages, because for Mormons married in the temple, marriage is for eternity.
Happiness Can Be Found in Trials
For Mormons, happiness certainly doesn’t mean pain-free. In fact, your potential for happiness is increased when you experience adversity in life. Another Book of Mormon prophet Lehi taught that “there is an opposition in all things” (2 Nephi 2:11). You can’t know or find true happiness if you haven’t experienced unhappy times.
Regardless of our faith or creed, we will all experience adversity and trials; there is no way to live this mortal life without experiencing pain and heartache. Hardship is part of the package. Even in spite of this truth, we can still find happiness even when things in our lives are hard and difficult. This is where true happiness can prevail. When you root your happiness in Jesus Christ, you can find peace no matter where you go or what happens. The peace offered by the Savior can penetrate any circumstance and affect every person.
Sometimes happiness is hard to find, even with the gospel of Jesus Christ. In these cases, the grace of the Savior can still offer peace, comfort, and the promise of happiness. That’s what The Church of Jesus Christ has to offer: the truth about Jesus Christ and His everlasting and perfect atonement. For Mormons, happiness is peace, truth, family, and endurance–happiness is Jesus Christ.