Have We Not Reason to Rejoice? – Alma 26:35

35 Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.

God wants us to be happy:

  • Lehi taught his sons that “men [and women] are that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:25). 
  • Joseph Smith taught that “happiness is the object and the design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 255-56).
  • President Boyd K. Packer reminded us on multiple occasions that “the end of all activity in the Church is to see that a man and a woman with their children are happy at home, sealed together for time and for all eternity” (“The Plan of Happiness,” General Conference, April 2015).
Part of mortal life is to pass through experiences which are anything but enjoyable. But the goal, the object, the end of life is happiness. Therefore, I think we need to learn to set aside our worries and rejoice. Sometimes we are the only ones standing in the way of our own happiness. For myself, it is often because I am anticipating future challenges rather than living in the moment. It is important to prepare for the future, but we must live in the present. One way to do that, as Ammon demonstrates above, is to acknowledge and delight in the amazing blessings we have received.
On this Independence Day, I will follow Ammon’s example of rejoicing. Rather than spend excessive time dwelling on the challenges ahead, I will enjoy the time I have today with my family, and I will be grateful for the blessings we enjoy, including the opportunity to live in this great nation.

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