Friday, December 23, 2016

Joseph Smith on finding happiness in our mortal life

Joseph Smith was given the apostolic authority when the Church of Jesus Christ was organized on April 6, 1830 and he was designated the first president of the church at age 24. He was martyred in 1844 at age 38.
"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. But we cannot keep all the commandments without first knowing them, and we cannot expect to know all, or more than we now know unless we comply with or keep those we have already received....
"But in obedience there is joy and peace unspotted, unalloyed; and as God has designed our happiness—and the happiness of all His creatures, he never has—He never will institute an ordinance or give a commandment to His people that is not calculated in its nature to promote that happiness which He has designed, and which will not end in the greatest amount of good and glory to those who become the recipients of his law and ordinance."
- Joseph Smith, Aug. 27, 1842; History of the Church 5:134-136; see also TPJS pp. 255-256

There are a number of important insights in this classic quote from the Prophet of the Restoration.

  1. Happiness is the fundamental purpose and goal of our mortal experience
  2. Happiness if obtained through obediently following guidelines provided in God's commandments
  3. Obedience follows knowledge; we must know and understand in order to obey
  4. As we obey we are able to learn and understand more, thus being enabled to obey in a greater measure and obtain greater happiness
  5. Every ordinance and commandment from God exist to bring us greater joy and peace as we comply

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