I was working toward worthy goals. But a gentle reminder of the blessings that I currently had showed me that I didn’t have to wait for joy.
I needed to finish two papers, study for a math test, call some of the girls in my Young Women class, and figure out our 4-H club agenda for our upcoming meeting. I was a little put out that my mom made my sisters and me dress up to watch the General Relief Society Meeting at the church with the other sisters in our stake. Couldn’t conference wait?
Things will be so nice once I finish this stuff, I thought. I lost myself in my worries about my tasks and my plans for the immediate future, at least until President Dieter F. Uchtdorf started giving his talk “Forget Me Not.”
President Uchtdorf spoke of five truths we shouldn’t forget; there was one for each petal of the forget-me-not flower. He taught that we shouldn’t forget to be patient with ourselves, to remember the difference between good and foolish sacrifices, to be happy now, to remember the why of the gospel, and to remember that the Lord loves us. These were all things that I needed to hear. But what pulled me out of my daydream was a story about golden tickets, worthy goals that could sometimes distract us from daily blessings if we let ourselves become impatient.
I had two choices: my first option was to complete my to-do list, and my other was to really be at this conference. My test and papers would still be there when it was over, and I would still work hard. But in that moment, I could enjoy my sisters and the words of the Lord. I decided to put my worries away, at least during conference.
That night in the chapel, I learned that God wants us to have a fulness of joy, and he wants us to have as much of it as we can right now. He doesn’t want us to wait to be happy until we’ve completed a checklist or until we’ve overcome all our problems. We’re all going to have challenges, and we shouldn’t ignore them, but we shouldn’t forget the blessings either. A little piece of that eternal joy is always in our reach if we simply choose to be happy in the present.
Other golden tickets came up for me in the following years: finding a job, getting into college, receiving scholarships, getting a mission call, teaching investigators, deciding on a major. When happiness felt far away, I would remember President Uchtdorf’s talk. I have never regretted taking a moment to bask in those pieces of joy.
Read more about being happy now in President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk “Forget Me Not.”
Source: LDS General Conference
—Shelby Gardner, Mormon Insights
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Find More Insights
Read Leah Emal’s Mormon Insights article “Finding Joy in the Process” to discover how to lean on Christ during trials.