In our world of instant gratification through electronics, fast-food, microwaves, washing machines, planes, trains, and automobiles, we sometimes think everything should go the way we want it to. We think we should be happy 100 percent of the time. I think sometimes as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we also think we should be happy 100 percent of the time because we have the gospel of Jesus Christ and we have Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness. So, shouldn’t we be happy all the time? After all, man is that he might have joy, right?
The problem with thinking we should be happy all the time is that it’s a lie. Yes, Heavenly Father’s plan is a plan of happiness, and living the gospel will bring us joy, but there is a very important element that we need in order to truly be happy. It’s unhappiness. I know, nobody wants to be unhappy. But, how will we know what happiness is like if we don’t experience its opposite? Just like rain is necessary for plants to grow, we do the most growing when we are unhappy, uncomfortable and looking for change. We learn from Nephi in the Book of Mormon that, “…there is an opposition in all things…if not so…righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad.” Without opposition, the 50/50, life would just be blah. Like oatmeal mush without salt. We wouldn’t even recognize happiness.
If we believe we should always be happy, then we will always be looking for things that make ourselves feel better. This may include overeating, drinking, indulging in too much social media, shopping, pornography, etc. But, if we understand that we are actually supposed to feel unhappy about half the time and really accept that concept, then when something happens and we feel unhappy, we can remind ourselves that it’s all part of the 50/50, and that happiness will come around again too.
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