Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Choose to Be Happy

This life is full of choices. We may choose to be friendly or prickly. We may choose to work hard or to take it easy. We may choose to believe God or to believe the hypotheses of men.

Choices are the gateways to paths that lead us to different outcomes. People who say they have no choices have forgotten that choices made in the past have led to that outcome. People who feel discouraged by life have made choices that led to that discouragement. I know this may sound harsh. I have been discouraged myself and I really had to search for which choices I made that took me there.

Choices that lead to discouragement
  1. The choice to believe that I am worthless
  2. The choice to withdraw from people who are happy
  3. The choice to allow negative thoughts and self-defeating habits
  4. The choice to blame someone else
  5. The choice to run away from the truth

Choices that lead to hope
  1. The choice to be grateful for people, circumstances and small moments of bliss
  2. The choice to believe that God has it all under control
  3. The choice to confront my fears and unmask them
  4. The choice to learn a new strategy for dealing with overwhelming things
  5. The choice to imagine more than one outcome

I believe that if we know the end result we want, we will get it. I think that we get to choose the ending of our story. I believe that God has given us a glimpse of what the ending will look like after death. I believe that everything I am experiencing now is for my ultimate growth and understanding.

If I did not believe in the end and it didn’t matter what path I took then life would feel very pointless.  I would be unwilling to resist the temptation to soothe every appetite whether for food, sex, sleep or drugs. 

The willingness to forgo instant gratification for future bliss comes from faith in God’s plan.  The common consensus to go for gratification is in every movie and advertisement. I like how Thomas S Monson put it last April.

“May we choose to build up within ourselves a great and powerful faith which will be our most effective defense against the designs of the adversary—a real faith, the kind of faith which will sustain us and will bolster our desire to choose the right. Without such faith, we go nowhere. With it, we can accomplish our goals.

Although it is imperative that we choose wisely, there are times when we will make foolish choices. The gift of repentance, provided by our Savior, enables us to correct our course settings, that we might return to the path which will lead us to that celestial glory we seek.

May we maintain the courage to defy the consensus. May we ever choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong.

As we contemplate the decisions we make in our lives each day—whether to make this choice or that choice—if we choose Christ, we will have made the correct choice.”

I choose to have hope. I choose to believe. I choose to be happy. Not just once, but daily.

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