A matter of definition

People have the most diverse ideas about what constitutes happiness. Many anchor their happiness to earthly wellbeing, while others consider their health to be the top priority. Still others can only feel happy when they are surrounded by family and friends.

Thus there are many things that we might regard as basic prerequisites for being happy. The one thing they all have in common is that they are linked to a certain attitude of expectation: God has to give us something—money, health, people—in order for us to be happy.

And God also wants us to be happy. He is not only interested in our future in His kingdom, but also takes an interest in our lives here on earth. However, He has a somewhat different interpretation of what constitutes happiness. Jesus has given us the gospel and has given us the mission to put it into practice. He calls upon us to love God above everything else, and to love our neighbour as ourselves. If we apply this to our daily lives, we will be guaranteed to always have a heart filled with peace and joy, even if we at times find ourselves in situations of financial distress, illness, or loneliness. He wants to make us happy already today here on earth—irrespective of the conditions of life in which we happen to find ourselves at any given moment. But we must also do something for this, namely trust Him and accept His word.

Food for thought from a divine service by the Chief Apostle

February 2021