Monday, November 29, 2021

President Ezra Taft Benson on finding happiness in the Savior

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.
"The Lord wants us to be happy. He will do His part if we will do our part. The Christlike life is the life that brings true happiness. There is no true happiness without God. Sin brings sorrow, disappointment, and heartaches. Only the good life brings a happy new year. It pays to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. It pays to accept the teachings of the Master, to apply them in our lives, to be true to the standards of the Church, to be true to our covenants—to live the gospel. And if we do this we will be bigger and can be bigger than anything that can possibly happen to us. I am sure that is the desire of all of us because those who have this faith, and have a testimony of the divinity of this work, can endure anything and keep their spirits sweet."
- Ezra Taft Benson, "New Year 1961," Washington D.C. Ward, 31 December 1960; see Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 339

That eternal "search for happiness"! President Benson's testimony is simple: Happiness comes from righteousness. It comes from "the Christlike life." It follows obedience and striving to live Gospel principles. It will be the result of keeping covenants.

The person who is truly striving to live that kind of Christlike life "can endure anything and keep their spirits sweet"—what a beautiful phrase! It's not just a positive outward attitude; it's an inner conviction to the goodness and knowledge that "all is well" and God is in charge. While some allow their spirits to turn bitter, angry, or resentful in the midst of the challenges of life, the true disciple's spirit stays sweet.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
May 3, 2016

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