Gift of the Spirit - Happiness


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Boyd K. Packer

It is impossible to force ourselves to be spiritual.  In fact, when we try to force the Spirit, we open ourselves up to be deceived.

We must let happiness, the Spirit, and spiritual gifts come as God grants them to us.  When we put our Father and His Son at the center of our lives, these gifts will flow unto us"without compulsory means . . . forever and ever"  (see DC 121:46).

Elder Boyd K. Packer, while speaking at Brigham Young University, taught a valuable lesson concerning the receiving of such spiritual gifts as happiness and the Spirit:

"I must emphasize that the word 'gift' is of great significance, for a gift may not be demanded or it ceases to be a gift.  It may only be accepted when proffered.

"Inasmuch as spiritual gifts are gifts, the conditions under which we may  receive them are established by him who offers them to us.  Spiritual gifts cannot  be forced, nor bought, nor 'earned' in the sense that we make some gesture in payment and expect them to automatically be delivered on our own terms. 

"There are those who seek such gifts with such persistence that each act  moves them further from them.  And in that persistence and determination they place  themselves in spiritual danger.  Rather we are to live to be worthy of the gifts and they will come according to the will of the Lord." (Gifts of the Spirit, BYU Fireside, Jan. 4, 1987)

Elder Richard G. Scott has taught: "Now the most important principle I can share:  Anchor your life in Jesus Christ, your Redeemer.  Make your Eternal Father and his Beloved Son the most important priority in your life...   Make their will your central desire.  Then all that you need for happiness will come to you."  (Ensign, May 1993, p. 34).

It will come to you!  You cannot force happiness.  At times some people appear to be trying so desperately to find and keep happiness that they are miserable!  They seek happiness with drugs, alcohol, and parties while lusting for money, fame, and immoral practices. 

In the end, however, many find only sorrow, heartbreak, and emptiness.  Happiness is a by-product of sincerely following the Father and his Son and of making and keeping sacred covenants.  Happiness cannot be forced any more than a plant can be forced to grow.  We must do all we can and then wait for the Savior and our Father to bring forth fruit unto us.