Elder Holland Shares Secrets of Happiness at BYU-Idaho Devotional

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Image taken from: churchofjesuschrist.org

BYU-Idaho welcomed Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles today as he spoke at their devotional. Elder Holland focused on the quest for happiness, as

Happiness comes to us when we least expect it.

He made a unique point as he spoke of the pursuit of happiness. It is not something we can aggressively embrace, but as Henry David Thoreau opined,

Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it the more it will elude you. But if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.

Elder Holland also mentioned 2 Nephi 5: 27. Nephi doesn’t ever state that his family was happy, but that they, “Lived after the manner of happiness.”

We too can live after the manner of happiness, by:

1) Living the Gospel of Jesus Christ: Many have tried different methods and philosophies to obtain happiness in their lives, but none have succeeded save those who live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and by His example.

2) Your Happiness Lives in Your Hands: Elder Holland reminds us of the power of our agency and how we can make the choice concerning our happiness. Happiness, he also reminds us, exists in our heads long before it lives in our hands. It is vital to maintain it.

3) You can Never Build Your Happiness on Someone Else’s Unhappiness: The manner of happiness doesn’t build its foundation on negativity or anything synonymous to it.

4) Avoid Animosity, Contention, and Anger: Satan is the source of all unhappiness and we need to remember that nothing good ever comes from embracing sinful behavior.

5) Be Industrious: Happiness comes from being proactive. Elder Holland called on the audience to serve others, learn to work, be industrious, and study. Unhappiness thrives in individuals who are idle.

Elder Holland challenged the audience to,

Be the living expression of God’s kindness

In conclusion, Elder Holland grabbed the audience’s attention by mentioning how adopting sinful habits can lead to unhappiness. He encouraged everyone to “reject transgression, in order to live consistently with the nature of God, which is the nature of true happiness.”

Elder Holland blessed the audience with the knowledge that Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. He promised them that as they live the gospel of Christ, they will have every righteous desire in their hearts.

Natalie New is a writer and intern for LDS.net and a current English student at BYU-Idaho. She was born and raised in an LDS home and has attending two Mormon universities up to this point. Natalie has also held a variety of Church callings and has had unique experiences, giving her a unique outlook on life. You can contact Natalie via email.