Friday, January 9, 2009


What does it mean to be happy? Joseph Smith said, "Happiness is the object and design of our existence...." The scriptures talk about joy and happiness. I have a testimony of the prophets and scriptures, so I know that happiness is something that we can have in this life.

I think because of my depression and current events in my life, that I am unable to even feel hope for happiness. I find it difficult to grasp that my once contented life now has no hope. Please don't misunderstand...I'm not in the depths of despair or need a suicide watch. But when one is depressed for an extended amount of time, one begins to lose hope of ever climbing from that pit. One begins to think, "Is this my life? Is this what I will have to look forward to for eternity? Will there be happiness once 'eternity' begins?"

What about now? When life becomes so difficult and even moments of pleasure are interrupted by depressing thoughts, how do we continue to have hope for something better?

For me, it is my testimony. A friend once told me that when she was depressed, the only thing that kept her sane was that she knew she had a testimony. She didn't feel it, but she knew her testimony was real and continuing to attend church was important for her to exemplify for her family. I don't have a family that reminds me of being an example, but I do have a testimony. My testimony has sustained me through other difficult times.

I question the meaning of happiness because I've always heard it was more of a state of being rather than a destination. But, I don't understand this. I'm not happy dealing with the difficulties in my life. Even before these difficulties started, I never considered myself happy. I was content. Is that happiness? Can we be perfectly happy in this mortal, fallen world?

When I think of that quote by Brother Joseph, I wonder if my definition of happy is skewed. The quote goes on to say something about as long as you pursue the path that leads to happiness can you achieve it. Meaning, we need to follow God's way for us. And truly, if we are rebelling against God then we will not be happy. We may have pleasure in our activities, but once the pleasure fades, we then feel the ramifications of sin.

But there are a lot of good people that have sad, depressing lives. And some of them are happy people. At least they appear to be. And I know that I appear to be happy. I would venture to say that no one who sees me daily has any idea that I am not happy and am suffering from depression. But it takes a lot of energy to keep up that facade (another topic). My point is that happiness is obviously something personal. And since there is a season for everything, perhaps it's my season to not be happy. That whole opposition thing, you know.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Feel like makin' bread!

The title is not what you think.

When I was at BYU, there were about 5-6 of us that would gather on Sunday evenings and sing. One guy brought his guitar and he would play chords as we sang various songs. We had some really good singers and had sopranos, altos, baritones, tenors, basses.

One Sunday after a fireside by Elder Packer (he spoke on chastity), we gathered as normal. Chad decided to play the chords from a song he just learned. All of us knew the song and began to sing/harmonize:

Baby, when I think about you
I think about love
Darlin, dont live without you
And your love
If I had those golden dreams
Of my yesterdays
I would wrap you in the heaven
till Im dyin on the way

Feel like makin
Feel like makin love
Feel like makin love to you

As we sang the chorus, we realized what we were singing. Suddenly, the whole group stopped as if a conductor had cut us off. We discussed how after hearing Elder Packer talk about chastity, that perhaps singing about making love wasn't appropriate.

So, we decided to come up with our own lyrics. Each person took a turn to make up a verse and chorus. The one that "won" was "Feel like makin' bread." I don't remember the lyrics now, but I remember singing about the smell and melted butter.

I love this group and love this song. However, whenever I hear it, my mind changes the chorus from "feel like makin' love" to "feel like makin' bread."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Read your scriptures!

I'm not really into New Year's resolutions. But I like the thought of goals. One of my goals is to read the Book of Mormon in 60 days. I am not expecting to receive deep insight or reveal new doctrines. But I do expect to become reacquainted with a beloved book. I do expect to feel the Spirit again in my life. I expect to have these 60 days help me to create a habit of turning to the scriptures more.

I couldn't sleep this morning, so at 4 am, I was dinking around on the computer and came across this website. Perhaps you know of it. But if you don't, look around. It's free and has a lot of features.

One of the things I like about it is you can set up a reading schedule and it will email you so that you can read it online, listen to it online, or just be reminded to read it (in your own scriptures if you prefer). There is also a way to mark the online scriptures with highlighter and notes. It keeps track of your notes. There's a journal and the ability to form a group to discuss the scriptures you are reading together.

Anyway, I began my 60 days today. I'm hoping I don't become a dork and skip a day thinking that I'll make it up. I find that if I do that, I tend to fall even further behind and then get discouraged and quit altogether.

If you join and decide you'd to form a group, let me know and I'll join the group. I'm all about others kicking me in the tush to help me with my goals.

So, whatever you decide to do, just do it--read your scriptures!