Sunday, December 18, 2011

Happy Like Jesus

Juli gave a wonderful 2-part lesson in Relief Society, all about being Happy Like Jesus (based on D. Kelly Ogden’s book).  Many of you are already so good at so many of these things.

Your challenge for 2012:  Pick just one of these attributes to work on this year – a gift you’ll give to the Savior.  It will change your life and those around you and you will simply be a happier person.  We promise.

Be Happy

“I am perfectly satisfied that my Father and my God is a cheerful, pleasant, lively, and good-natured Being.  Why?  Because I am cheerful, pleasant, lively, and good-natured when I have His Spirit.  (President Heber C. Kimball)

Be Holy

Our Redeemer has taught us how to be holy, and he has shown us the way.  By immersing ourselves in his words and sincerely talking each day with our Heavenly Father, along with giving selfless service to our brothers and sisters and offering faithful service to God in his House, we can be holy – like Jesus.

Be Spiritually Minded

By filling ourselves with the Spirit through his words (scriptures) and our words (prayer), we displace the powers of worldliness with the powers of heaven.  The devil will leave us, and angels will come.

Be Humble

God must be first in our life and labors, our fellow humans should be second, and we need to be third.  We get into trouble when we put ourselves in first place.  It is best to put our hand in the hand of God and let him work with us according to His plan.

Be Knowledgeable

Knowing God and his truths is absolutely urgent in order to escape the bombardment of worldliness surrounding us.  The knowledge of God, including his ordinances and covenants becomes our shield and protection against the powers of darkness.

Be Serviceable

Laying down our life doesn’t just mean dying for others; it also means living for them, being willing to sacrifice (give up) our time and effort to bless others.

Be Prayerful

God wants us to pray, plead, implore, and importune – specifically, frequently, and sincerely.  He wants us to plead with him in humility for what we need.

Be Peaceful

The Father, indeed, has great expectations that his chosen children will exercise the true independence of heaven, even while surrounded by wickedness, and still provide for the prodigals a serene view of happy living.

Be Fruitful

True disciples bring forth much fruit, and thereby they glorify the Father and the Son.  the Lord does not necessarily require huge, earth-shaking, world-changing accomplishments, but he does expect of us many quiet, unpublicized acts of kindness and compassion.

Be Obedient

The Lord expects complete obedience – exact and strict obedience.  You receive blessings commensurate with your level of obedience.  If you almost obey, the Lord almost blesses you!  And you get in trouble when you think you are above some commandment, that you are an exception to a rule.  Exact obedience is the rule of Heaven.

Be Loving

You too are called to feed the flock.  Whether it is the large flock (as bishop of a whole ward) or a small flock (as Primary teacher of the Sunbeams) – size does not matter to the Master Shepherd – you are called to watch over, guard, protect, and nourish the sheep under your care.  And for the ones who have wandered off, you will search them out and do all you can to guide them back.

Be Forgiving

Complete forgiveness for all our little failings and all our outright sins is what we hope to receive from the Savior.  You have frequent opportunities while here in mortality to learn to be like him, and one of the most important godly qualities you can learn is to forgive – as Jesus does.

Be Long-Suffering

“How can you and I expect to glide naively through life, as if to say, ‘Lord, give me experience, but not grief, not sorrow, not pain, not opposition, not betrayal, and certainly not to be forsaken.  Keep from me, Lord, all those experiences which made Thee what Thou art!  Then let me come and dwell with Thee and fully share Thy joy!’” (Elder Neal A. Maxwell)

Be Persevering

We, like Jesus, suffer contradictions as part of our probation on this earth.  It is what we do in the face of those contradictions, how we react, that demonstrates our commitment to God and thus determines our place in eternity.  The greater the contradiction, faithfully endured, the greater the blessing enjoyed afterward. (Andrew C. Skinner)

Be United

You and I must be united in thought and action with the Gods, and we must be united with one another to make the kingdom flourish, especially in family relationships between husband and wife.  We must come to see eye to eye and become as one in our most important thoughts and feelings – just as the Father and the Son are one in their thoughts and feelings.

Be Dedicated

The Lord Jesus Christ wants you and me to do the same:  dedicate ourselves and focus our lives on the things that matter most – the things of eternity.  He taught that the eye is the light of the body and the window to the soul.  If our eye is single, if we are dedicated to our Savior’s glorious cause, then our whole body will be full of light.

Be Disciplined

No one achieves self-mastery overnight; it is a long process of struggling and overcoming.  But we need to be sure we are on the right track and that we are moving forward – if we are just sitting there, we will be left behind.  The Savior does not expect instant perfection, but he does expect continuous progress.

Be Christlike

Jesus has laid out a clear pattern of how to live, here and forever.  He is the personification of all noble character traits, humble, knowledgeable, serviceable, prayerful, peaceful, fruitful, obedient, loving, forgiving, long-suffering, persevering, united with him and his Father, dedicated, disciplined, and Christlike.

Merry Christmas!

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