The Gift of Joy: Embracing Happiness as Followers of Christ
Have you ever been present as a child unwraps a present? There’s a particular kind of magic in the air. The child’s eyes sparkle with anticipation, their heart races with excitement, and as they vigorously tear off the wrapping paper, their happiness seems to radiate from them. It’s an infectious joy, uncontained and raw, spreading to those who witness it. This is the level of joy, happiness, and deep fulfillment that we, as followers of Christ, can and should experience daily. The gift we’ve been given, the gift of the Gospel, far surpasses any material present we could ever receive.
“Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” (2 Nephi 2:25)
In the Book of Mormon, this simple yet profound verse encapsulates a foundational belief of our faith—that our purpose in life is to have joy. As followers of Jesus Christ who embrace His gospel fully, we should be “the happiest people among all the people who have been created by the hand of God.” (4 Nephi 1:16)
But what is the root of this joy? Why should we, as followers of Christ, radiate happiness? The answer lies in our understanding and acceptance of the fullness of the gospel. We have been given a divine blueprint that reveals God’s plan for us, assures us of His eternal love, and promises the potential for eternal life. We bask in the comforting knowledge of our Savior’s Atonement, which not only promises forgiveness for our missteps but also offers the hope of personal renewal and transformation.
Beyond this, we have the divine guidance provided by commandments. Rather than viewing these as restricting or burdensome, we see them as beacons that light our path to true and lasting happiness. When we align our lives with these divine laws and principles, we cultivate an environment of peace, purpose, and joy.
Despite our faith, we’re not blind to the reality that life is filled with trials and hardships. Christians aren’t promised a life devoid of challenges. But the distinct difference lies in our perspective. We regard trials not as insurmountable stumbling blocks, but as refining fires that offer opportunities for growth, learning, and drawing closer to God. Our faith equips us with a lens of optimism and resilience, enabling us to unearth joy even in the midst of adversity.
A key part of Christ’s teachings involves showing love to one another. Through acts of service and kindness, we experience a depth of joy that is profoundly fulfilling. The happiness we derive from lifting others and easing their burdens is unique and deeply enriching. As we serve, we’re drawn closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ, and become more like Him.
Moreover, our Christian faith fuels hope. We have hope in Christ’s promises, hope in the prospect of eternal life, and hope in a loving Heavenly Father who desires our success. This hope acts as a steady light amidst life’s storms, nurturing our happiness and enabling us to press forward with faith.
So let us strive to be like the child unwrapping a gift, living each day with an infectious joy. We too have been given something immeasurably precious—the Gospel of Jesus Christ. May we treasure it, live it wholeheartedly, and let the joy it brings permeate every facet of our lives. For we, followers of Christ, are not just meant to be happy—we are meant to be the happiest people on earth, radiating a joy that is contagious and beautifully uncontained.