Monday, September 21, 2009

To Those Searching for Happiness

This week I wish to focus on two different groups of people with which I have had the opportunity of interacting recently. The first group is comprised of people who do not understand the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and subsequently what the restored gospel of Jesus Christ has to offer. They may not know very much about the Church and do not wish to know more because of negative things they have heard. Or they may not wish spend the time and effort of learning more simply because they don't realize the benefit such knowledge would afford them.

The second group of people understands that the Church may have something to offer and that there may be truth in the teachings found in the Church. The people in this group understand the importance and significance of ordinances such as baptism so they just want to be sure that what the Church teaches is truth and not anything else; thus they are hesitant in making any sort of long-term decision or commitment such as baptism.

Although some read my blog and some do not, the article this week is catered to both groups of people. At the General Conference held in April of 1979, President N. Eldon Tanner, an apostle of Jesus Christ and counselor to the prophet Spencer W. Kimball gave a talk entitled, "To Those Searching for Happiness." President Tanner tells a number of stories of people who have come in contact with the Church, have learned the truth, and have allowed the restored gospel to bless their lives.

To those of you in the first group, this talk contains the reasons to investigate the Church, only here in the Church will you find a fulness of truth and subsequently a fullness of happiness and joy. The blessings of living the restored gospel of Jesus Christ vastly outweigh any effort spent coming to know them.

In the words of President Tanner, "Reasons given by converts who join the Church today are . . . so varied as to lead to the conclusion that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can supply the spiritual as well as the temporal needs of any person who is seeking for the truth."

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Check it out.

To the second group, the group who wishes to learn more and more and essentially know everything before they commit to anything, here you go. Here is even more information and reason to join the Church. Did this information help? Perhaps. You may know a little more about the Church, and others' stories may help you see a little better how the restored teachings of Jesus Christ can help you. But you are no closer to knowing that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church on the earth and that living by the teachings found therein is the key to true and lasting happiness. Why? Because you must pray to know the truth, you must listen to what the Holy Ghost tells you, and you must act in faith (see Moroni 10:3-5). You cannot and will not know everything in this life, but you know enough. Remember, Christ commands us to come unto Him and be perfected in Him, not be perfect and then come.

From one of President Tanner's stories:

“My prayer is that others will not continue to willfully blind their eyes, refusing even to read the Book of Mormon in order to learn. No man can read this book and not have his life changed. I have not overnight become an expert on the Mormon faith, but I am an eager student and am not afraid to learn what the Holy Spirit would teach through those to whom He has given the authority."

I have a dear friend who was baptized this weekend. She hasn't been reading and studying and learning about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for very long, perhaps a few months, but she understands well enough to know that she needed to get baptized in order to continue on the path to everlasting happiness and partake of the Atonement of Our Savior Jesus Christ.

I echo the words of President Tanner, "If you are searching for happiness in this life and eternal life with God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ hereafter, then I would exhort all of you to find the way, the truth, and the life, which is in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."