Outside In: The Secret to True Happiness

Happiness is found by turning outward rather than focusing on ourselves.

"Our Father in Heaven loves us and wants us to be happy." - Larry R. Lawrence

Photo by Andreas Weiland

Everyone searches for happiness, but many people aren’t sure how to achieve it.

In the talk “Choose Happiness,” Elder Larry R. Lawrence assures us that the Lord wants us to be happy: “Latter-day prophets have taught us that happiness is the purpose of our existence.” Since it is our purpose to be happy, we might think there must be a set path leading to happiness. Of course we must live righteously to be happy, but the answer is a little more detailed than that.

Elder Lawrence gives three insights on how to find this happiness:

  1. Be grateful. We should “thank the Lord thy God in all things” (D&C 59:7). We should also show gratitude to the people in our lives, particularly our parents.
  2. Give praise. We can show our gratitude and love for others by giving them sincere praise. Quoting Mark Twain, most of us “can live for two months on a good compliment.” Our Heavenly Father and Savior both give praise to us, and we should give praise to others in turn.
  3. Smile. Smiling is one of the easiest ways to show love to others. According to Elder Lawrence, “Latter-day Saints who are guided by the Spirit should be the most congenial people on earth.”

Ultimately, happiness is found by looking outside ourselves and turning our focus to others. Though doing so won’t solve every one of our problems, it will bring more happiness into our lives. As Elder Lawrence says, “our Father in Heaven loves us and wants us to be happy—even as He is happy.”

For more on how to find happiness, read Elder Larry R. Lawrence’s full talk: “Choose Happiness.”

Source: BYU Speeches

—Bethany Patterson, Mormon Insights

feature image by yingchou han

Find more insights

To learn more about Heavenly Father’s desire for us to be happy, read President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk “Happiness, Your Heritage.”

Check out the Mormon Channel’s podcast episode “Finding Happiness” to discover how others have found lasting joy.

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