Kindness and Happiness go hand in hand. After all, how could we be truly content and happy by making others miserable?
I have lived long enough to observe many “before and after” stories. My observations have shown that those who are self-absorbed, mean and cranky always get a healthy dose of their own medicine. It doesn’t always come right away, but come it does.
I know of nothing that makes me happier than to see another smile and know that I, in some way, contributed to that smile.
We have been talking about obtaining happiness all week. The best way I know of to make sure that we are not happy is to mope, complain, and hold onto bitterness. The best way I know of being happy is to work for it and to try to make others happy.
When I talk about making others happy, I’m not talking about enabling unhealthy behaviors, I am talking about doing kind things. Sharing a compliment, sharing a treat, a smile, or helping another out are easy and simple ways to be kind.
As I observed heaven during my near-death experience, it was such an aha moment for me to see and witness how prevalent our kindness, love, and honor was for each other. We didn’t share false compliments – we genuinely gloried in lifting each other up and praising each other for our talents and goodness. (Our world could really take a lesson from heaven!) We didn’t care that someone else had greater knowledge or talents, we were overwhelmingly grateful for all of the talents, abilities, and knowledge that God had blessed us with and we felt the same gratitude for all that others had received from God as well.
As you read today’s excerpt from the article by Jeffrey R. Holland entitled The Gospel Path to Happiness, I hope you will think about how you can bring greater happiness into your own life. I know that the Lord wants you and me and all of His children to be happy! I know that He loves each and every one of us and wants nothing but the best for us! We just have to consent to His efforts to help us and be willing to work alongside of Him!
Be Kind and Pleasant
Here is another. In preparing this message, I sat in my study for a long time trying to think if I had ever known a happy person who was unkind or unpleasant to be with. And guess what? I couldn’t think of one—not a single, solitary one. So learn this great truth early in life: You can never build your happiness on someone else’s unhappiness.
Sometimes, maybe especially when we are young and insecure and trying to make our way up in the world, we think if we can tear someone else down a little, it will somehow miraculously lift us up. That is what bullying is. That is what catty remarks are. That is what arrogance and superficiality and exclusiveness are. Perhaps we think if we are negative enough or cynical enough or just plain mean enough, then expectations won’t be too high; we can keep everyone down to a flaw-filled level, and therefore our flaws won’t be so glaring.
Happy people aren’t negative or cynical or mean, so don’t plan on that being part of the “manner of happiness.” If my life has taught me anything, it is that kindness and pleasantness and faith-based optimism are characteristics of happy people. In the words of Mother Teresa, “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness—kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.”8
A related step along the path toward happiness is to avoid animosity, contention, and anger in your life. Remember, it is Lucifer, Satan, the adversary of us all, who loves anger. He “is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another” (3 Nephi 11:29).
After quoting that verse in general conference a few years ago, Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Seventy said, “The verb stir sounds like a recipe for disaster: Put tempers on medium heat, stir in a few choice words, and bring to a boil; continue stirring until thick; cool off; let feelings chill for several days; serve cold; lots of leftovers.”9 Lots of leftovers indeed.
Anger damages or destroys almost everything it touches. As someone has said, to harbor anger is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. It is a vicious acid that will destroy the container long before it does damage to the intended object. There is nothing in it or its cousinly vices—violence, rage, bitterness, and hate—that has anything to do with living the gospel or the pursuit of happiness. I do not think anger can exist—or at least be fostered and entertained and indulged in—in a life being lived “after the manner of happiness.”
This excerpt from the Gospel Path to Happiness by Jeffrey R. Holland was shared from the following website: https://www.lds.org/ensign/2017/09/the-gospel-path-to-happiness?lang=eng
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