Happiness Comes Through Living the Teachings of Jesus Christ

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in Harmony Mahatma GandhiEver heard the expression “Heaven on Earth”? Everyone wants earth to be like heaven but few seem to think about what would take to create that environment.

I have seen heaven and it isn’t just about singing choirs of angels. Heaven is heaven because of the choices and attitudes of those who reside there. Heaven is heaven because of the reverence and honor that its inhabitants have for each other. Heaven is heaven because God is there and the energy of His love and perfection permeates everything and everyone there.

Every mortal I know wants to be happy. However, in order to be happy, there are actions that must be consistently adhered to.

True happiness is not found in the carefree attitude of eat, drink and be merry. True happiness IS to be found in love, serve and having an attitude of gratitude!

Today, I am sharing the next excerpt from the article called The Gospel Path to Happiness by Jeffrey R. Holland.

In order to overcome depression, we have to live in a way that brings us to happiness. We cannot lie, cheat, or bad mouth others and successfully overcome depression. Jesus did not teach us to be kind, to give service and to tell the truth to help him out. He taught us those things because they would bring us the greatest joy, peace and happiness.

As you read today’s excerpt, think about how you are doing in cultivating your own happiness. If there are ways that you can improve, think about how you might go about that process.

Last, but not least, remember that anytime you need to change in a positive way, prayer is there to assist you! Be sure to ask the Lord for help in your positive endeavors!

Live the Gospel

Above all else, ultimate happiness, true peace, and anything even remotely close to scriptural joy are found first, foremost, and forever in living the gospel of Jesus Christ. Lots of other philosophies and systems of belief have been tried. Indeed, it seems safe to say that virtually every other philosophy and system has been tried down through the centuries of history. But when the Apostle Thomas asked the Lord the question young people often ask today, “How can we know the way?”—which for many translates, “How can we know the way to be happy?”—Jesus gave the answer that rings from eternity to all eternity:

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. …

“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do. …

“If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it” (John 14:5–6, 13–14).

What a promise! Live my way, live my truth, live my life—live in this manner that I am showing you and teaching you—and whatsoever you ask will be given, whatsoever you seek you will find, including happiness. Parts of the blessing may come soon, parts may come later, and parts may not come until heaven, but they will come—all of them. What encouragement that is after a mournful Monday or a tearful Tuesday or a weary Wednesday! And it is a promise the realization of which cannot come any other way than by devotion to eternal truth!

In the words of then newly ordained Elder David O. McKay (1873–1970) just short of a full century ago, unlike gratification or pleasure or some kind of thrill, true “happiness is found only along that well beaten [gospel] track, narrow as it is … [and] straight [as it is], which leads to life eternal.”5 So love God and each other, and be true to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Today’s excerpt from The Gospel Path to Happiness by Jeffrey R. Holland is from the following website: https://www.lds.org/ensign/2017/09/the-gospel-path-to-happiness?lang=eng

 

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The Gift of Ourselves

Preach the Gospel Always, and when necessary use words Preach the gospel always soldier-military-uniform-american Francesco of Assissi

Storm and Fire news is a consistent topic every time I listen to the news lately. Businesses I frequent have donation jars to assist those affected by our local and national disasters. I love that so many are willing to help.

However, I can’t help but think about those who need our help on a daily basis. Those who need a little patience, a pat on the back, a smile.

There are so many ways we can help each other on a daily basis. 🙂 Those small acts of kindness are some of the most meaningful ways we spend the “life time” we are allotted!

What has been your experience with simple acts of kindness? Has someone helped you in a small but meaningful way? I hope that your life is blessed with simple acts of kindness!

Please enjoy today’s story!:

Saving Memories
Rebecca Sell, Fredericksburg, Virginia

Three months after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Rebecca Sell, then 24, a photojournalist for Fredericksburg, Virginia’s Free Lance-Star who was on assignment covering the disaster, captured a distraught New Orleans couple sifting through waterlogged photo albums. As she snapped the photo, something within her clicked. “I told them I could take the ruined pictures, copy them and give them digitally restored photos,” she recalls. Although a bit skeptical, the couple agreed. Rebecca took their photos home with her once her assignment ended, restored them and took them to the couple at their temporary residence in Virginia. “It felt so good to be able to do that for them,” says Rebecca.

When her editor, Dave Ellis, saw the photo of the couple, he suggested they go back and restore damaged photos for even more people. So in January 2006, with paid time off from the paper, the two set up shop in the Pass Christian, Mississippi, public library, 65 miles from New Orleans (or rather, the double-wide trailer that now served as the library; the original had been destroyed in the hurricane). After posting a notice in the community newsletter, Rebecca and Dave were inundated with 500 photos in four days: water-spotted wedding pictures, baby photos crinkled with moisture. For each, the pair snapped a new digital picture, then used high-tech software to erase water spots and restore colors. “We worked from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day for four days,” says Rebecca. “It was a massive undertaking.” In a stroke of luck, a popular website linked to Dave’s blog about the experience, and soon Operation Photo Rescue, as it came to be known, had emails from hundreds of volunteers, including photographers, restoration experts and Photoshop whizzes, eager to help.

Though digital restoration is a painstaking process, mending irreplaceable family pictures means the world to victims like Emily Lancaster, 71, of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, who tossed out piles of ruined photo albums after Katrina, never thinking the mildewed mess could be salvaged. But she just couldn’t bear to part with a few treasured pictures, including a portrait of her father, who had passed away, and a photo of her husband as a boy. Then she heard about Operation Photo Rescue. “I didn’t have a whole lot of hope they could fix them, but they did,” Emily says. “Almost every day I think about all the pictures I’ve lost. I’m so happy to have these two.”

In the five years since Katrina, Operation Photo Rescue—now headquartered in Fredericksburg, Virginia, with more than 2,000 volunteers—has collected thousands of pictures ruined by floods, hurricanes and tornadoes in such states as Iowa, Georgia, Kansas, Texas and Louisiana. Volunteers make “copy runs” to disaster areas across the country to gather damaged photos from survivors; operating costs are covered by donations and grants. “It’s great to be able to give people some of their history back,” says Rebecca. “One person told me that thanks to us, her grandmother got to see her photos again before she passed away. Moments like that remind me why I do this.”

To volunteer or make a donation, go to OperationPhotoRescue.org. Photo: courtesy of David Ellis/Operation Photo Rescue

Today’s inspirational story shared from the following website: http://www.womansday.com/life/real-women/a2093/lending-a-helping-hand-112631/

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Life is Not About Waiting for the Storm to Pass…

Life is not about  waiting for the storm to pass ...it’s about learning to dance in the rain

I love learning about individuals who have overcome difficult obstacles.  What makes them inspirational to me is that they have been willing to endure tough moments, overcome doubts, and work at their skill set until everything has come together in a positive way.

Today’s story involves a young woman who has endured tough times and come out on top. I recognize that not everyone will succeed in just the same way.

For some of us, success may mending a relationship. For others, success may be an accomplishment in spite of a handicap.  For yet others, it may be nothing more than not giving up.

We all have difficulties and obstacles. My prayer is that, collectively, we will all endure the hard moments and wade through our difficulties and find that place in our hearts where love and peace and hope can eternally dwell. I hope you enjoy today’s story. For further enlightenment, go to YouTube.com and enjoy listening to Charice as well!

The Story of Charice Pempengco

Charice Pempengco’s dream of becoming a singer began halfway around the world in the Philippines. She found a following on the Internet after a stranger posted her jaw-dropping performances on YouTube.

Oprah’s producers were among the 13 million people who logged on to watch this 16-year-old sensation sing songs made famous by artists like Celine Dion and Beyoncé. Then, in May 2008, Charice flew 15 hours to showcase her talent on The Oprah Show. She stole the show with a soul-stirring rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.”

Millions of viewers were moved by Charice’s powerful voice—including Gayle King. “That evening Gayle called me,” Oprah says. “She said she fell off her treadmill when she heard that girl.” Oprah says the performance blew her Manolos off!

Charice’s voice wasn’t the only thing that impressed Oprah. “One of the things I love most about Charice is that no matter what obstacles she’s faced in her life, she’s never given up on her dream of something better,” Oprah says.

In the small Filipino village where Charice lived as a child, there wasn’t much to sing about. When Charice was 3 years old, she says she remembers seeing her father fly into a fit of rage and take out his anger on her mother. She says she watched as he choked and attacked her.

Charice says the argument escalated, and her dad grabbed a shotgun and pointed it at her mom. “My dad was about to shoot my mom, and I couldn’t do anything,” she says.

Neighbors heard screams and broke down the door just in time. Fraternidad, a former neighbor, remembers it clearly. “The gun [was] pointed to the mother and then the children are crying,” she says.

Charice and her mother escaped with their lives. “We left my dad, and after that, I never saw him and I don’t want to see him,” she says. “I’m just singing now for my mom. I didn’t help her before. That’s why I want to help her now.”

When Charice was just 4 years old, her mom discovered her talent for the first time. “She thought the radio [was] playing,” Charice says. “She went to the living room, and she saw me singing and she was, like, ‘Oh, my gosh. She’s singing.'”

A few years later, Charice entered a singing contest. “Some people [were] saying that I’m not good enough and I’m not pretty,” she says. “I just wanted to prove that they’re wrong.”

When Charice first decided to enter competitions, her mother was working 16 hours a day, six days a week at a garment factory. Charice signed up for more than 80 contests to help support her family. “I really want[ed] to help Mom,” she says. “When I’m joining singing contests, and I won some $50, she was, like, ‘Okay, we’re going to have some food for one month, and we’re very happy.'”

After years of struggling financially—even being homeless—Charice has been able to use her contest winnings to help her mother pay for an apartment in a nice neighborhood. Charice now has her own room where she can draw, sing, play the guitar and continue to dream. “I think this is a big improvement because we’re more peaceful, and we’re happy,” she says.

In her bedroom, Charice has a notebook where she keeps drawings of the singers she idolizes, like Celine Dion. “I can say this is my dream notebook,” she says.

Charice can now say her dreams are beginning to come true, starting with an introduction to one of the most famous names in the music business. After hearing Charice sing, Oprah just couldn’t get the little girl with the big voice out of her head.

Instead of flying back to the Philippines after her appearance on The Oprah Show, producers pulled Charice off the plane and brought her back to Harpo Studios. Then, Oprah called legendary producer David Foster to see what the starmaker could do for Charice.

David invited Charice to join him in Las Vegas for a PBS special called “Hit Man: David Foster & Friends.” Backstage, Charice ran into some of show’s headliners, like Josh Groban and Michael Bublé. “I’m so glad I don’t have to follow you because that would suck for me very badly,” Michael said to Charice. “Because no matter how good I am, I know that you’d kick my butt.”

Charice then took the stage and sang three songs, including Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” to a crowd of 10,000. Her soul-stirring performance brought the audience to its feet. “A star is born tonight,” David said.

Charice’s summer of dreams didn’t end there—after her performance, she received a surprise call from world-famous singer Andrea Bocelli. Within weeks, Charice was on her way to Italy to meet Andrea and sing a special duet with the renowned tenor. “That’s really a dream come true for me,” she says. “I really love Andrea Bocelli because he’s my idol. When I was younger, I’m always drawing some things like me singing with Celine and me singing with Mr. Andrea Bocelli.”

More than 8,000 people gathered in the Tuscan countryside near Andrea’s hometown for the exclusive concert. Together, they sang “The Prayer,” a song that holds special meaning for Charice. “I think that God is always listening to all my prayers, and I have so many dreams in my life,” she says. “That’s why I’m always praying that someday I’m going to achieve all my dreams.”

“The first song that I learned was ‘My Heart Will Go On,'” Charice says. “Of course I want to sing with [Celine Dion] soon, I wish, someday.”

After her performance, Charice learns she has a fan who’s been waiting to speak with her via satellite. She’s a working mom with a 7-year-old who also loves to sing. She also happens to be one of Charice’s idols—Celine Dion!

Celine says watching Charice sing left her speechless. “I can tell you that we have lots of things in common. I was very shy too. And I also had a mother—still have a mother—who is my strength,” Celine says. “You have more talent than most people. You can sing. You can speak and sing with your heart. You can play guitar. You can draw. And you can have dreams.”

Because Charice shares so much of her talent with others, Celine wants to give Charice something in return. “I’m going to be singing at Madison Square Garden, and I would love to ask you to come and sing a duet with me,” she says. “Maybe we can sing ‘Because You Loved Me,’ and maybe we can dedicate this song to your mother.”

Now it’s Charice who’s left speechless! “Thank you, idol,” she says.

Today’s inspiring story shared from the following website: http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/teen-singing-sensation_1

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Miracles are All Around Us…All the Time

Life is a series of thousands of tiny miracles Notice Them

I have witnessed many miracles in my lifetime. I won’t be able to list all of them today.

The thing that I have learned about miracles is that they are all around us. The ones that are most dramatic naturally get the most attention. However, the small ones deserve attention too!

Have you thought about the miracle of the human body? The miracle of a rose? The miracle of the spacing of our planet in relation to the sun? The miracle of our autonomic system? What about the miracle of healing?

When you look…really look for miracles, they are ever present and we are surrounded by them! Take time to look and take time to drink in the feelings that will warm you as you seek to see and acknowledge the miracles that God has surrounded you with!

I hope you enjoy today’s story! Remember…We don’t have to be part of a tragic event to understand how important our life is and the potential that we have been blessed with!

Miracles Happen – Brian Boyle true story

They said that I was in God’s Hands because I was; I am living proof that miracles happen. My name is Brian Boyle, and this is my story.

A month after I graduated high school in 2004, I was coming home from swim practice and was involved in a near fatal car accident with a dump truck.

The impact of the crash violently ripped my heart across my chest, shattering my ribs/clavicle/pelvis, collapsing my lungs, damage to every single organ and failure of my kidneys and liver, removal of spleen and gallbladder, losing 60% of my blood, severe nerve damage to my left shoulder, and in a coma where I was on life support for over two months at Prince Georges Hospital Center in Cheverly, Maryland, USA.

I don’t have a memory of the accident, or the few days before the day of the accident. The first thing that I remember after the collision, which is still so vivid in my mind even today, is being in this very large white tube. In this tube was a boy sitting to my left, and many other boys and girls on my right side (I use the term “boys and girls” because they appeared to be my age); I didn’t know why I was there or how I even got there in the first place.

The more I sat there, the more I was able to visualize my surroundings. The boy to my left had a cell phone, and he asked me if I needed him to call anyone for me. I told him “yes, can you call my parents and tell them that I love them.” The next thing that I remember is waking up in a hospital bed, chemically paralyzed and hooked up to all these machines. Through all the buzzes and beeps going off from the medical equipment that was saving my life at that instant, I could hear my mom and dad telling me in between dramatic pauses of crying hysterically that I was going to be okay.

Only moments before, I believe I was waiting in line to meet my final judgment, but it must have not been my time. Moments later, I had come back to life. This was just the beginning of my suffering.

I died eight times while I was in the intensive care unit and even when I woke up from my coma, I couldn’t talk or communicate. The day that they knew that I would live, was the day that I either left my room in a wheelchair or a body bag. As far as the future, it didn’t exist. Walking was never going to happen again due to all the extreme injuries and because of the shattered pelvis. The thought of swimming was just that, only a thought. Just like my body, my dreams were shattered. But, I didn’t give up because I knew that God had a plan for me.

After spending two months in a coma, 14 operations, 36 blood transfusions, 13 plasma treatments, I lost a total of 100 pounds and had to go to a rehabilitation center in Baltimore. I had to learn how to talk, eat, walk, shower, and live independently again. After that agonizing experience, I had to go to outpatient therapy in Waldorf, MD. After spending a few months in a wheelchair, I took baby steps to walk on my own. It was a miracle that I could walk again, but I wanted to prove the doctors wrong and not only walk, but run. After I accomplished that, I wanted to get back in the pool again. After a few lung tests, I was able to go in the pool a little bit each week.

Before the accident I had three goals: to go to college, swim on the team, and compete in an ironman triathlon one day. After a few months of swimming a few laps here and there with my training partner and good buddy, Sam Fleming, I decided that I was not going to let my injuries stop me from living my dream, and six months after that I began my freshman year at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and also was one of the swimmers to watch on the team. It’s very easy to go through and list these facts and make it look like everything just seemed to easily fall in it’s own perfect little place, but the truth of the matter is that it didn’t. It wasn’t easy, not then, and not now. The pain and the agony was real and it existed all the way through, in the good times and the very bad. It was not an easy situation to be in where you’re laying in a bed, staring at the ceiling, knowing that your life is over while your looking at a priest give you the last rights. I thought to myself over and over, why this situation had to happen to me. I was always a good kid, received good grades in school, and went to church. Why would something as horrific as this happen to me? Why would God allow this? I went on and on for days asking why?

And, then it hit me. All that thinking and pondering on the what-if scenario’s and the questionable doubt only stirred up another question – why was I saved? I didn’t have anymore questions after that. I know what my purpose in life finally is. With the 50 year life expectancy I was given from the doctors, I am just trying to live each day to the fullest and motivate and hopefully inspire other people, in their lives and in the faith. I have been labeled on several occasions that I am “Lazarus-like” because God brought me back to life. To inspire even more, I just successfully completed the Steelhead 70.3 half-ironman race in Michigan a few months ago, and was also given the inspirational athlete media slot to compete in the 2007 Ford Ironman World Championship where my story and race footage was broadcasted in the Ironman show premiere as the main feature on NBC on Dec. 1.

My story is about the recovery and the comeback, but I want to make it much more than that, I want to make a positive impact on the world. I am just trying to live each day to the fullest and motivate and hopefully inspire other people through my endeavors to never give up on their dreams, and to never stop believing in their faith in God no matter how bad a situation is because everything happens for a reason.

By Brian Boyle

Brian Boyle Photos Gallery:

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Today’s story shared from the following website: http://academictips.org/blogs/miracles-happen-brian-boyle-true-story/

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Persistence and Determination

Energy and persistence alter all things Benjamin Franklin

I wonder how many people have had a dream and worked hard to accomplish their dream but gave up…just before they would have succeeded?

I love Thomas Edison – I love his determination and persistence. I especially love his attitude!

Do you have a dream in your heart? I believe we are all meant to leave our positive imprint on the world that we are a part of. I’m not talking about everyone having their day of fame or becoming incredibly wealthy. I’m talking about the day to day positive influence we can choose to give to those that we know, love and come in contact with.

I hope that when it comes time for my obituary to be written, that everyone I know can think of a kind word I shared or some way in which I made their life both better and happier. If I am successful in that endeavor, I will have been blessed with a wildly successful life!

What about your dream? Is your heart begging you to listen to it? Is there something wonderful you are meant to do for this world? Do you need to share a compliment? a kind word? some time?

As you think about the dream of your heart, I hope you enjoy today’s inspiring story!

Thomas Edison

When he was a young boy, Thomas Edison’s parents pulled him out of school after teachers called him “stupid” and “unteachable.” Edison spent his teenage years working and being fired from various jobs, culminating in his termination from a telegraph company at age 21. Despite these setbacks, Edison never deterred from his true passion, inventing. Throughout his career, Edison obtained 1,093 patents. And while many of these inventions — such as the light bulb, stock printer, phonograph and alkaline battery — were groundbreaking, even more of them were unsuccessful. Edison is famous for saying that genius is “1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”

One of Edison’s greatest stories of perseverance occurred after he was already wildly successful. After inventing the light bulb, Edison began a quest to find an inexpensive light bulb filament. At the time, ore was mined in the Midwest, and shipping costs were incredibly high. To combat this, Edison opened his own ore-mining plant in Ogdensburg, New Jersey. For roughly a decade, Edison devoted all his time and money to the plant. He also obtained 47 patents for inventions designed to make the plant run more smoothly. And after all of that, Edison’s project still failed thanks to the low quality ore on the East Coast.

But as it turned out, one of the aforementioned 47 inventions (a newly-designed crushing machine) revolutionized the cement industry and earned Edison back nearly all of the money he lost. In addition, Henry Ford would later credit Edison’s Ogdensburg project as the main inspiration for his Model T Ford assembly line, and many believe that Edison paved the way for modern-day industrial laboratories. Edison’s foray into ore-mining proves that dedication and commitment can pay off even in a losing venture.

Today’s inspiring story shared from the following website: http://www.growthink.com/content/7-entrepreneurs-whose-perseverance-will-inspire-you

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