I have been working on a chapter for the book, and keep coming back to the idea of happiness through trials, through difficulties and through, well, imperfection.
I don't know why it's on my mind so much lately, but my brain wanders back to the topic over and over throughout the day.
How do we remain happy and joyful even when things are hard? How do we remain happy when things can be so very bad?
Everything in the scriptures leads us to know that we are to be happy in this life. Men are to have joy. At the same time, warning after warning appear to remind us that choosing the wrong will lead to unhappiness and enslavement to sin.
Since we all sin all the time, how do we remain joyful and happy while we fail?
I think this is a case of PRACTICE makes PROGRESS. We simply choose to be happy. We simply give heartfelt sincere thanks for what we do have. We do not deny the blessing given us by loving Heavenly Parents. Instead, we express earnest thanks for them.
Gratitude equates happiness.
I invite you to do an experiment. You may have tried it before. In your prayers tonight, don't ask for a single thing. Simply give thanks. List everything you can think of that is a blessing. I bet that you won't be able to list them all. You'll have to give up praying before you get to the end of your blessings. But name them one by one. Then, throughout the next few days, anytime you recognize a blessing, give a quick prayer of thanks.
I promise you'll find it easier to smile and be happy even when your toddler chooses to flush a racquetball down the toilet.