Monday, July 18, 2011

Choosing Happiness

On Saturday night I read a really great talk in this months Ensign. It is an article by Camille Fronk Olson, who is an Associate Professor of Ancient Scripture at BYU. I didn't know who she was prior to last Sunday, when she spoke at a YSA fireside in South Jordan. She is a pretty amazing woman and has written a few books, including Women of the Old Testament and Mary, Martha, and Me. (I have added a few of her books to my "to-read" list")

I will just say that the fireside was amazing. I really enjoyed listening to Camille because she was so real and I felt like I could relate to her in a lot of ways. I felt like she said things that every girl/guy needs to hear about making decisions and following the path you feel is what God wants for you regardless of opposition from others.

The article in this months Ensign is called "Be of Good Cheer, Choosing Happiness". The entire article was good but she points out two false assumptions that I know are not true, but I still get in to the mind set at times that they are.

1. We Can Avoid Tribulation:
First is the false assumption that, if we are good enough, we can avoid having bad things happen to us and those we love. If we can just keep all of the commandments, pay an honest tithing, and have daily prayer and scripture study, we can assure ourselves of His protection from heartache, accident, or tragedy. But trials will surely come, including when we are trying to do everything right.

If we believe that God will shield us from tribulation because of our obedience and then adversity strikes, we may be tempted to accuse God of not hearing our prayers or, worse, of not honoring His promises. Obedience to God is not insurance against pain and sadness. Challenges have always been included in God’s great plan to test our faith and to help us grow in humility and compassion.

2. We can trust in our own Efforts:

A second false assumption might come from misunderstanding 2 Nephi 25:23—“It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” We mistakenly deduce that we must first prove our worth through our obedience and righteousness before the Lord’s sacrifice will cover us or His grace enable us.
We may come to believe that we can and should trust in our own efforts rather than humbly acknowledge God. This is self-righteousness. When we look through the lens of our righteousness and take comfort in our good efforts, the idea of depending wholly on Christ (see 2 Nephi 31:19; Moroni 6:4) seems a bit risky.

I wanted to share some of my thoughts from this article, but didn't get a chance at church. So I guess this is where it gets to land :)

Also, a quote from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf that is in this article


“The gospel of Jesus Christ
has the answers to all of
our problems. The gospel
is not a secret. It is not
complicated or hidden. . . .
It is not someone’s theory
or proposition. It does not
come from man at all. It
springs from the pure and
everlasting waters of the
Creator of the universe,
who knows truths we
cannot even begin to comprehend.
And with that
knowledge, He has given
us the gospel—a divine
gift, the ultimate formula
for happiness and success.”

1 comment:

  1. I read that article too and thought it was really good. I actually read the entire ensign the other night when I was waiting for Matt to come home from bball. I really liked this one. So true.