Sunday, February 24, 2013

Scripture Challenge: Week 31

Thanks to a suggestion from my sister-in-law, Julie, one of the things I did for scripture study this past week was to read over the talk that President Uchtdorf gave on happiness at General Conference in October 2008.

I love the simple but profound message of his talk: true happiness, the sort of happiness that God feels, comes from two things - creating and being compassionate.

Really, every time that I am able to successfully create something (be it a beautiful moment with my kids, a lovely dinner, or a successful Power of Moms Retreat), I feel true happiness. And I also feel honestly and deeply happy when I am able to show real compassion for someone else.

I love that creating and showing compassion are one of the two key elements of motherhood. So as I see motherhood as a great vehicle for creation and compassion, I'm also seeing it as a great vehicle for bringing deep and lasting happiness.

Here are some favorite passages from President Uchtdorf's great talk:

Creating and being compassionate are two objectives that contribute to our Heavenly Father’s perfect happiness. Creating and being compassionate are two activities that we as His spirit children can and should emulate.

The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.

Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty.

...remember that you are spirit daughters of the most creative Being in the universe. Isn’t it remarkable to think that your very spirits are fashioned by an endlessly creative and eternally compassionate God?

But to what end were we created? We were created with the express purpose and potential of experiencing a fulness of joy. 4 Our birthright—and the purpose of our great voyage on this earth—is to seek and experience eternal happiness. One of the ways we find this is by creating things.

You may think you don’t have talents, but that is a false assumption, for we all have talents and gifts, every one of us. 5 The bounds of creativity extend far beyond the limits of a canvas or a sheet of paper and do not require a brush, a pen, or the keys of a piano. Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before—colorful gardens, harmonious homes, family memories, flowing laughter.

Start small. Try to see how many smiles you can create, write a letter of appreciation, learn a new skill, identify a space and beautify it.

The more you trust and rely upon the Spirit, the greater your capacity to create. That is your opportunity in this life and your destiny in the life to come. Sisters, trust and rely on the Spirit. As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you.

We are commanded to “succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.” 7 Disciples of Christ throughout all ages of the world have been distinguished by their compassion. Those who follow the Savior “mourn with those that mourn … and comfort those that stand in need of comfort.” 8

As we lift others, we rise a little higher ourselves...As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness.

James Barrie, the author of Peter Pan: “Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.”

In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance. Let us open our eyes and see the heavy hearts, notice the loneliness and despair; let us feel the silent prayers of others around us, and let us be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to answer those prayers.

I believe that as you immerse yourselves in the work of our Father—as you create beauty and as you are compassionate to others—God will encircle you in the arms of His love. 15 Discouragement, inadequacy, and weariness will give way to a life of meaning, grace, and fulfillment.

As spirit daughters of our Heavenly Father, happiness is your heritage.


Laura said...

Love reading these posts :)

Eyrealm said...

Loved that talke too. Can't wait to talk about it this weekend!


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