BYU students told how to be happy, regardless of circumstances

PROVO, Utah — Through doing the “small things” and trusting in the Lord, a person is able to find love, joy, peace and happiness regardless of his or her circumstances, Brother Brian K. Ashton, second counselor in the Sunday School general presidency, told students at Brigham Young University during a campus devotional on Dec. 5.

Brother Ashton shared three lessons to help a person find greater joy in life — and ultimately obtain exaltation with Heavenly Father.

Lesson one: “True happiness comes from having the Spirit in our lives and cultivating an eternal perspective, and thus happiness is not dependent upon our circumstances.”

To feel love, joy and peace, a person must do the things that bring the Spirit into their life.

“Another way to say this is that having love, joy and peace in our lives, families and marriages does not come from a big house, nice cars, the latest clothing, career success or any of the other things that the world says bring happiness,” he said. “In fact, because feelings of love, joy and peace come from the Spirit, feeling them doesn’t have to be connected to our temporal circumstances at all. Thus, even in our most difficult circumstances it is possible to be happy.”

Lesson two: Satan offers counterfeit alternatives to all that God does in an attempt to confuse and deceive. Satan has been trying to deceive people for a long time, and is very good at it, Brother Ashton taught.

“When we lack the proper motivations in doing spiritual things we fail to experience the joy of the gospel,” he said. “As a result, keeping the commandments starts to feel like drudgery, and Satan knows that if he can get us to feel this way, we are likely to stop doing what we know we should. Now, it’s never OK to not keep the commandments. When we lack in proper motivation, we still keep the commandments, and pray with real intent to change our hearts.”

Lesson three: “It is usually small things that bring the Spirit into our lives, keep us from being deceived, and ultimately help us obtain the strength to keep the commandments and gain eternal life. ...

“Doing the small things consistently, like praying and studying the scriptures daily, brings the Spirit into our lives, keeps us from being deceived, and gives us the strength to obtain eternal life,” Brother Ashton said.

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