Happiness is object of existence

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: "Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God.

"In obedience there is joy and peace . . . and as God has designed our happiness . . . , He never has — He never will . . . give a commandment to His people that is not calculated in its nature to promote that happiness which He has designed." (History of the Church, 5:134-135.)

"However, unless one follows without deviation the path laid out by the Lord, that happiness can become an illusion. In the October 1989 general conference, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve pointed out the differences between these paths. "Satan will try, at every step of the way, to lead you off course. His objective is to make you unhappy and miserable like he is. (See 2 Nephi 2:27.) Vast sums of money are spent each year to package and disguise sin and evil to make them appear enticing, attractive, even harmless.

"However, regardless of appearances, 'wickedness never was happiness' (Alma 41:10) and never will be. Never find yourselves in the position of the Nephites just a few years before the birth of the Savior. They 'sought . . . for that which [they] could not obtain, . . . for happiness in doing iniquity, which thing is contrary to the nature of that righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head.' (Helaman 13:38.) You cannot find happiness in sin and iniquity.

"The Lord has given you the gift of agency (see Moses 7:32) and instructed you sufficiently to know good from evil. (See 2 Nephi 2:5.) You are free to choose (see 2 Nephi 2:27) and are permitted to act (see 2 Nephi 10:23; Helaman 14:30), but you are not free to choose the consequences. With absolute certainty, choices of good and right lead to happiness and peace, while choices of sin and evil eventually lead to unhappiness, sorrow and misery."