A `sure way to happiness'

Focus on priorities that matter most

Know disobedience will result in unhappiness- Learn from Book of Mormon

Regardless of one's age or stage in life, daily obedience to gospel principles is the only sure way to eternal happiness, said Elder Donald L. Staheli Sunday afternoon.

Elder Staheli of the Seventy said making the transition this past year from the corporate world of business to that of a full-time servant of his Father in Heaven has been a tender experience. "It has made me more sensitive to the responsibility, the blessings and opportunities that the gospel affords each of us, if we will be but obedient to its principles."

Quoting President Boyd K. Packer, Elder Staheli said, "We all have the right to inspiration and direction by the Spirit of the Holy Ghost. . . . We all live far below our privileges."

Elder Staheli said as he has pondered this statement, it has become clear that many Church members are missing some spiritual opportunities and blessings by letting "the things that should matter most in life be at the mercy of the things really that matter least."

He explained that when asked what is most important in life, most Church members would quickly respond families and the opportunities the gospel affords those families to become celestial families.

"Yet, the pressures of everyday living frequently and subtly move us away from that pursuit which we so proudly proclaim. And in the process, the priorities that should really matter most to us become captive to those things that, while seemingly important at the moment, have little or no relevance to our long term goal."

Elder Staheli said one of his most memorable lessons on obedience was taught to him as a young boy by his mother.

He recalled, as an 8-year-old, teaching his dog Spot tricks. "[The dog] learned well, except he could not conquer the overwhelming desire to chase and bark at cars as they came down the dusty street by our home in our small southern Utah town. As hard as I tried, I could not break Spot of his bad habit."

Then one day the dog was hit by a car. "It soon became apparent that Spot's disobedient act had dealt him a fatal blow. As the burial of Spot was completed and the tears dried, my mother then taught me one of the great lessons of life, as she explained the principle of obedience and its application in my life.

"She made clear that seemingly small acts of disobedience can result in longer term consequences of unhappiness, regrets and even fatal results."

Elder Staheli told the congregation that as they grow in the gospel, they will learn of the value of obedience to principles which consistently align them with the teachings of their Savior and prophets.

He added that the Book of Mormon is a continual saga of the various people whose obedience ebbed and flowed with the times. "The result of their disobedience is clear," he said. "The wake-up calls they received are just as applicable to each one of us today.

". . . To the Savior's call Come follow me' or His admonitionIf you love me, keep my commandments' our response should be clear and unequivocal."

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