Sunday, July 2, 2017

President Ezra Taft Benson on how to live happily

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.
"Do we realize that happiness here and now consists in freely, lovingly, joyfully acknowledging God’s will for us—and doing it in all ways and all affairs big and small? To live perfectly is to live happily. To live happily is to grow in spiritual strength toward perfection. Every action performed in accord with God’s will is part of that growth.
"Let us not partition our lives. Let us unify our lives, being contemptuous of fictitious honors and glories that do not come with God’s approval. Let us remember that the real source of our strength and happiness is beyond the reach of men and circumstances."
- Ezra Taft Benson, So Shall Ye Reap [Deseret 1960], p. 318

What is God's will for me—personally, individually? That becomes a key question in the quest for peace and happiness. If I can recognize it and then do it "in all ways and all affairs big and small," President Benson suggests that I will be happy as I experience growth in my spiritual strength.

President Benson then warns us of the temptation to "partition" our lives. If we are seeking for strength and happiness in the "fictitious honors and glories" of men, we will not truly find happiness. It is in God's approval that we will truly find peace.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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