Sometimes being a Latter-day Saint requires that I be optimistic. It is something that is taught along with how to endure life.
One of my all-time favorite LDS quotes is from President Hinckley: “In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.”
And yet, although that is on a plaque in my hallway, I struggle with it. Day after day of these daily decisions regarding the Church and everything else that life entails can be a bit wearying. But among it all, I need to choose to be happy (because I do want to be happy).
Being a member of the Church, or really even just being human, isn’t supposed to be a struggle all the time. If that was what the plan of salvation was, I would probably rebel. But the Plan of Salvation is also the Plan of Happiness. And I am all for happiness.
Ether 12:6 says, “ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.” So yes, there are going to be trials, but with trials come growing and learning, and ultimately becoming better people. And I would like to think that as we become better, we also become happier.
Here are five scriptures that give us reasons as to why we should be optimistic.
Alma 26:35 says, “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.”
Psalms 146:5 teaches: “Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.”
In Moroni 7:41, it says, “And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.”
Romans 15:13 tells us of the power of hope: “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”
Ether 12:4 says, “Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.”
As the scriptures teach us, we have many reasons to rejoice and to be optimistic. We have a merciful God, hope, prayer, the Holy Ghost, and more. As we access all of these things, we can endure life with optimism. So let’s choose to be happy, and follow the examples found here.