Sunday, September 27, 2015

Dallin H. Oaks on finding happiness in life

Elder Dallin H. Oaks (b. August 12, 1932) served as president of BYU from 1971-1980.  He was then appointed as a justice of the Utah Supreme Court, and resigned when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1984.
"Much of the misery encouraged by Satan comes from losses. Satan experienced that kind of misery when he lost his first estate. Now he tries to inflict similar losses on those who have proceeded to mortality, the second estate. Satan encourages a loss of virtue, a loss of integrity, a loss of reputation, a loss of ideals, a loss of wholesome associations, and even a loss of life.
"In contrast, our Heavenly Father created us to resist and to overcome such losses, to be whole, to have joy. He wants us to return to him, and he has provided a way for that reunion to be achieved. No wonder we say that his gospel is 'a voice of mercy from heaven; ... a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy.' (D&C 128:19.)
"Our Creator wants us to be happy in this life. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that 'happiness is the object and design of our existence.' (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 255.) The things of the earth were created for our happiness. Modern revelation tells us that 'all things which come of the earth... are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart.' (D&C 59:18.) Even on the Sabbath, a day of worship, the Lord expects us to have 'a glad heart and a cheerful countenance.' (D&C 59:15.) A prophet has called the gospel plan 'the great plan of happiness.' (Alma 42:8.)"
- Dallin H. Oaks, "Joy and Mercy," Ensign, Nov. 1991, p. 73
Click here to read the full talk

Elder Oaks teaches that one of Satan's greatest efforts is to take things away from us — virtue, integrity, reputation, ideals, relationships, even our very lives. But Heavenly Father's greatest desire is to add: to complete us, to make us whole, to bring joy. His Gospel is good news, "a voice of gladness" for us as we strive to counter Satan's efforts to bring us down.

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