Serving in the Mexico Mérida Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

"Joy is the love of good things"

Lia's new companion, Hermana de Leon
Hola Fambilia,

That is my lesson for the Young Women that I was telling you about, Ava-- sorry it turned into a sermon. I'm not sure how I would have given all of that to you in our 5-minute Skype conversation. 

In broaching the subject of dressing modestly, I would like to reference an excellent talk in the April 2014 Ensign called “Eye Single To My Glory.” It talks about how our bodies are glorious creations of God, and how when we dress immodestly it’s like we’re trying to take the glory that is owed to God and bring the praise to ourselves. It’s evidence that the glory of God is not our first priority.

Please:  Go read that talk.

Also, immodest dress is an indicator that we are looking for happiness in something that CANNOT last, i.e., people being physically attracted to us. There’s no doubt that feeling attractive is something that brings happiness, but it is not complete happiness and it is not lasting happiness. Really I’s “distraction of Satan” happiness, who wants us to waste our thoughts and energy towards something that in the end will leave us with nothing (because physical beauty and attractiveness doesn’t last forever.) You've paid the price of your integrity for an empty promise.

Christ tries to warn us to not put our affections and energy on things that won’t last. (2 Ne 8:7-8) I’ve always wondered why the scriptures talk so much about moths eating things and things getting corrupted and the “frail existence”, but it’s because Heavenly Father is trying to help us to discern the lies that Satan is telling us by evaluating what will bring happiness not only now but in the long-term. Like the eternal term.

Christ instructs us to love things that will last (3 Ne 13:19-20). Elder Uchtdorf wrote a FANTASTIC, best-ever, the-whole-point-of-existence talk called “The Love of God.” He says... “Joy is the love of good things.” Oooh-- that is profound. In my less-credible-than-Elder-Uchtdorf thinking, I would also say that joy is “real and lasting happiness.” And we can only have real and lasting happiness when the things that we love are real and lasting.

Go read that talk.  Also, see also Hebrews 1:9, 11 -12.

Also, just as an extra comment, I remember one time in a Youth Conference, some speaker said:  “Dressing immodestly is like rolling around in mud. Sure you will get attention, but from pigs and flies.”

So what do you do if you want the things that bring short-term happiness more than you want the things that bring long-term happiness (like the things they talk about in church or the scriptures). How do you change what you want? Well, you should know that that problem is completely natural and is kind of the whole point of the Atonement. It is to have “a might change of heart” (Mosiah 5:2).  In the last days, God is going to give us exactly what we desire, so we’d better make sure we desire things that will bring real and lasting happiness (Alma 29:4). Christ should be the center of your process of changing your heart. Because of His Atonement, you can be forgiven after wanting and doing things that are wrong and you can be strengthened and-- through a process I still don’t understand-- given a change of desire. But it requires the faith to turn to Heavenly Father and ask.

Hermana Garcia and Lia in Tiger Country
It also requires faith to even decide you want happiness in the long-term-- because you’re trading instant and certain happiness for something in the future that you don’t really even know what it is or if you want it. But you decide to trust God that what he promises is something that you want, you’ll start doing what God has told you to do to achieve that happiness.

My suggestion would be to start with the scriptures. Look for what it is that Heavenly Father is actually promising you, what is eternal life after all, and why would it be something you would want? If the goal is for us to become like Heavenly Father, what is He like that would make us so happy to be with Him and be like Him? (Starting hint: Christ came here in order to show us what Heavenly Father is like.)  And what is it that we have to do to be able to be more like Him?

Other hint: The Book of Mormon answers all of those questions rather fantastically and only in 500-something pages.

And the more you learn and apply, the more you will start to taste this real and lasting happiness that Heavenly Father promises and you will want to ALWAYS and FOREVER have it.

I love you all very much and wish I had another hour to write to you.

Presidente said he’s going to switch the Lideres de Capacitacion (Training Leaders) every transfer, so I’m soaking her up while it lasts. Hermana De Leon is like waves of the sea and white sands all the time...
Love you mucho!
Hermana Ludlam

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