Friday, December 9, 2016

President Ezra Taft Benson on finding happiness in life

President Ezra Taft Benson (1899-1994) was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1943, and served as the 13th President of the Church from 1985 until his death in 1994 at age 94.
"'Men are that they might have joy' (2 Nephi 2:25). Our Heavenly Father wants us to be happy. He expects us to be happy. But there is no happiness in a letting down of standards. There is no happiness when you fail to live according to your convictions, according to that which you know to be right. It is so easy to form the habit of taking it just a little easy on certain things. It is so easy to form the habit of faultfinding, or criticizing, of carrying in our hearts reservations regarding certain things in the Church. It is so easy for us to become a bit bitter, and then dwell on that, to become sad and carry a sad face with us. A sad face never won a battle in war or love."
- Ezra Taft Benson, "The Home and Family," BYU Religious Life Series, September 1960; see TETB 361

We are intended to be happy! We should have joy in this life as well as in the world to come. Presiden Benson reminds us of an important obstacle to our happiness: lowering our standards and convictions, not living up to what we know to be right. Wickedness—even in the smallest forms—"never was happiness" (Alma 41:10).

But President Benson also warns about the attitudes we carry. If we carry attitudes of criticism or fault-finding in our hearts, we can become bitter and unhappy. We should avoid those traps in order to increase our joy!

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