Monday, September 12, 2016

D&C 64:33-34 -- On Avoiding Spiritual Weariness and Learning Happiness

"Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.
Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days."
Doctrine and Covenants 64:33-34

Life is a test in a lot of ways, and sometimes we yearn for it to be over.  Not necessarily in a depressing deathwish way, but just in a "haven't I done enough?" way.  And that's easy to feel, especially in the midst of suffering and loss.  It's hard to see that more effort is necessary or required of us, and we want God to just say, "Okay, all the rest is extra credit.  You've earned your spot in heaven."

It's natural to feel those things, but when we do, I think we are missing the bigger picture.  Part of the plan is learning happiness and peace, not just suffering. When God asks us to endure to the end, he doesn't mean that we have to lay down our bodies in front of a freight train and wait until the extra-long length of it is finished running us over.  God also wants us to learn to find happiness in the world around us, so that we can be troubled, but not distressed (2 Corinthians 4:8), and happy now and looking forward to being happy still (Mormon 9:14).

The Lord requires our hearts.  This doesn't mean laying then on the altar to be sacrificed.  This means giving them to God, and letting him teach us how to feel; learning with his help to manage our anxieties and choose our emotions rather than letting externalities dictate them.

Someday, maybe God *will* give us the extra credit speech.  You never know.  But until that day, let's not suffer.  Let's learn happiness.  Let's find the joy in each other and in the world around us.  Let's look for and see the good, and make that our focus.

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