Happiness is at the root of very purpose of life

"Our wise and loving Father in Heaven is concerned for the welfare of His children," said Elder Jack H Goaslind of the Seventy in his April 1986 general conference address. "He desires to see us happy. The very purpose of our lives can be defined in terms of happiness. . . .

"Our yearnings for happiness were implanted in our hearts by Deity. They represent a kind of homesickness, for we have a residual memory of our premortal existence. They are also a foretaste of the fulness of joy that is promised to the faithful. We can expect with perfect faith that our Father will fulfill our innermost longings for joy. In fact, the plan He has given to guide us is called the plan of happiness.' (Alma 42:16.) In the meridian of time, it was heralded by angelic messengers asgood tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.' (Luke 2:10.)"The Book of Mormon makes it clear that happiness is our destiny. It speaks of dwelling with God in a state of never-ending happiness.' (Mosiah 2:41.) It is also made clear thatall things shall be restored to their proper order, every thing to its natural frame, . . . raised to endless happiness to inherit the kingdom of God, or to endless misery to inherit the kingdom of the devil.' (Alma 41:4.) We also learn that we are `raised to happiness according to [our] desires of happiness.' " (Vs. 5.)

Elder Goaslind said that words reap, restored, and desire imply that happiness is a consequence, not a reward. "We are restored to a state of happiness when we have chosen to live according to the plan of happiness," he observed. "Our joy in God's kingdom will be a natural extension of the happiness we cultivate in this life. . . .

"The Book of Mormon speaks of men that are in a carnal state . . . and in the bonds of iniquity; they are without God in the world, and they have gone contrary to the nature of God; therefore, they are in a state contrary to the nature of happiness.' (Alma 41:11.) . . . The doctrine is concisely summarized by Alma:Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness.' (Alma 41:10.) If we are not pure, we would be miserable in the presence of God and Christ, who are by their very nature happy and joyful and cannot look upon sin with any allowance.

"The suffering that results from sin is most tragic because through our own choices we can choose to avoid it. We have that power. We also have the capacity to repent of our sins and to experience the sweet joy of forgiveness. If we are unhappy, let us examine ourselves to see where we need to repent. If we have questions about what we need to do, or not do, we need only listen to our conscience and follow the promptings of the Spirit."

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