But, I'm SO glad that at least I have a "True Happiness How To" book. You might be more familiar with its other name, the scriptures. One of my favorite chapters has got to be the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. In this chapter, Christ gives us what's known as the beatitudes. In order, they are:
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Now, I want you to think of these as a sort of spiral staircase. Each step leads up to the next, guiding you on your ascent to perfection. But if you notice, the blessing promised for both the first and last is the same: "for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." This makes a beautiful cycle for us to follow, giving us a step by step guide to not only live righteously, but to consequently be happy. They guide us as we try to become like our Savior.
I would love to focus more on each idea, but that would make this post much too long, so I shall conclude with one final idea. In Matt 5:48, Christ commands us to be perfect like our Heavenly Father. I don't know about you, but that sounds like a pretty tall order to me. I have always struggled with being a perfectionist, partially because of my personality, partially because I did ballet for ten years. It has gotten better recently, but for a while this was a hard scripture for me to read because I didn't fully understand it. But I've recently read an article that talked more in depth about this scripture. We don't have to be perfect now, but we do have the capacity to become perfect later. Part of the deal is that we do the best we can, and then we rely on both the Savior's ability and willingness to help with the rest.
I'm still learning to have more trust and faith in Him, but I can tell you this: it's worth it. The more I embrace His teachings and strive to be like Him, the more joy I feel in my life.
All it takes is one step...