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How to Find Happiness in the Scriptures


God, our Heavenly Father, wants all people to be happy. The Bible explains that God wants to reward faithful people with “gladness and joy” (Isaiah 51:11). Another book of scripture, the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, states that joy is one of the very purposes of life: “Men [and women] are, that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:25).

Happiness—and how you can achieve it—is a theme discussed throughout God’s scriptures. You can find advice and promises about how to find lasting happiness as you read scripture verses like these.

Proverbs 16:20

“He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.”
God promises you can be happy as long as you trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. But what does trusting in the Lord mean?
In the simplest terms, trusting in the Lord means that when life gets rough you continue to have faith that your trials will make you stronger and that God will help you through them. More importantly, if you keep a positive attitude and perspective, these trials can bring you closer to God. As you trust in the Lord that your trials will be for your ultimate good, you’ll find it much easier to find lasting happiness, no matter your current circumstances.

Romans 14:22

“Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself.”
Everyone makes mistakes; everyone sins. Everyone breaks a commandment from time to time because none of us are perfect. But just because you make a mistake or sin doesn’t mean you can’t overcome your weaknesses and become better and better. Don’t be too hard on yourself; little by little, you can become the person you want to be.
Have faith in Christ and His Atonement, that through believing in Him and through good works your soul may become clean once more. Now, that’s a happy thought.

James 5:11

“Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.”
In the Bible, Job is a man whom the Lord allows to be tested with all manner of afflictions, from sickness to the loss of his personal wealth to the deaths of his family members and the loss of his friends. Throughout all of his trials, though, Job endured faithfully, knowing that the Lord allowed him to go through trials for his own good and that the Lord would not forsake him.
Just as with Job, the Lord is “of tender mercy” when you endure well the trials He gives to you. The Lord promises blessings—now or after death—for enduring mortal tribulations faithfully.

2 Nephi 2:13

“And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness.”
Perhaps the biggest key to finding lasting happiness is righteousness—that is, being obedient to God’s commandments. The Ten Commandments God gave Moses—don’t take God’s name in vain, don’t steal, don’t kill—are intended as guidelines to help us live a righteous life. Jesus explained more of God’s commandments in the New Testament, and He has promised that with righteous living comes happiness (see, for example, John 13:17 and Mosiah 2:41).

Alma 44:5–6

“And now, Zerahemnah, I command you, in the name of that all-powerful God . . . and also by the maintenance of the sacred word of God, to which we owe all our happiness; and by all that is most dear unto us . . . that ye deliver up your weapons of war unto us.”
In this verse, Captain Moroni, a righteous military leader in the Book of Mormon, pleads with his enemy’s leader to avoid war. He knows that war brings tragedy and sorrow. But Moroni also points to the happiness the word of God brought to his people. The enemy rejected Moroni’s offer of peace—and were soon defeated. Moroni attributed his army’s success, and gave thanks to God for his people’s deliverance. With their faith in God’s power, the people rejoiced and “did worship God with exceedingly great joy” (Alma 45:1). 

You too can find happiness in faith and by reading and pondering the word of God. The words of His ancient prophets, found in the Bible and Book of Mormon, remain relevant today. Whenever you feel discouraged, turn to the scriptures. The answers to happiness—and to life—are there.

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