Man's Search for Happiness


A. YOUR SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS
Sometimes in your search for happiness, you ponder the meaning of your life. You sift your memory for beginnings, you send your mind ahead for directions, but all you really know is “now.” And you are lost in the present.

B. WHO AM I? -- YOU HAVE ALWAYS LIVED
Who am I? How did I come to be? Time. Where does it take me? Towards death? And then what? Where did I come from?

To understand why you are here, you must first your beginnings. At birth, you did not suddenly flare into existence, out of nowhere. You have always lived. In pre-earth life, you were with your Heavenly Father. There as His spirit sons and daughters, you lived until you were ready to come to earth. As the poet Wordsworth said,

“Our birth is but a sleep, and a forgetting. The soul that rises with us – our life's star – hath had elsewhere its setting, and cometh from afar. Not in entire forgetfulness, and not in utter nakedness, but trailing clouds of glory do we come, from God, who is our home.”

C1. ENTERING MORTAL LIFE -- THIS MORTAL BODY -- PAIN, DIFFICULTIES, DEATH, OPPOSITION
Upon entering mortal life, the memory of your life before birth was blotted out, that you might life by faith and further prepare for the everlastingness of [life]. This mortal body in which your spirit now dwells, is subject to pain, to difficulties, to death. For it is in opposition that you grow in strength of character. You must know pain to appreciate well-being; difficulties to develop courage; death to understand eternal life.

D1. A WONDEROUS MORTAL BODY, IN THE LIKENESS OF GOD -- A NOBLE HERITAGE WITH POSSIBILITIES BEYOND YOUR GREATEST DREAMS
You then, whoever you are, are related not only to every person upon this earth who lives, who has lived, who will yet live, but to God the Father of us all, and to His Son our Savior. With your acceptance of the responsibility of earth life, you were given a wonderous mortal body, in the likeness of God. So, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them.” And, “the spirit and the body are the soul of man.”

As sons and daughters of God, is it any wonder that you are an eternal part of His plan and purpose; and coming from such a noble heritage, that you have possibilities far beyond your greatest dreams. Be assured that your personal search for happiness has real purpose. Be assured that your life is worth living.

C2. TWO PRECIOUS GIFTS: TIME, FREEDOM OF CHOICE -- YOUR ETERNAL REWARD IS ACCORDING TO YOUR CHOSING
Life offers you two precious gifts; one is time, the other freedom of choice. The freedom to buy with your time what you will. You are free to exchange your allotment of time for thrills. You may trade it for base desires. You may invest it in greed. You may purchase with it vanity. You may spend your time in pursuit of material things. Yours is the freedom to choose. But these are no bargains. For in them you find no lasting satisfaction.

Every day, every hour, every minute of your span of mortal years must sometime be accounted for; and it is “in this life” that you “walk by faith” and prove yourself able to choose good over evil, right over wrong, enduring happiness over mere amusement; and your eternal award will be according to your choosing.

D2. A PROPHET OF GOD HAS SAID -- JOY -- FULLNESS OF LIFE -- A LIFE DEDICATED TO SERVICE -- TRUE HAPPINESS
A prophet of God has said, “Men are that they might have joy”—a  joy that includes a fullness of life; a life dedicated to service; to love and harmony in the home; and the fruits of honest toil; an acceptance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, of its requirements and commandments. Only in these will you find true happiness; a happiness which doesn't fade with the lights and the music and the crowds. ("Of course. Our Father in Heaven, we thank thee for this food; we ask thee to bless it...")

E. PRE-MORTAL PAST -- HOPE OF RESURRECTION
God has placed you on earth without memory of your pre-mortal past. But He hasn't left you without hope, or without faith in life after death.

F. THE RESURRECTION
This He has promised you, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” ("...that believeth in me, shall never die...")

One of the best attested facts of sacred history is the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Three days following his crucifixion, the disciples were gathered together, as recorded in scripture. “Then the same say at evening, being the first day of the week, when he doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, came Jesus and stood in the midst; and saith unto them, 'Peace be unto you.' And when he had so said he showed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord.”

E. YOU CONTINUE TO LIVE AFTER DEATH
Just as you lived before mortal birth, just as you now live in this life, so thru the love and sacrifice of your Savior do you continue to live after death.

C1. BIRTH/DEATH -- THE SEPARATION OF DEATH
Like every member of the human race, you were born and you must die. Your birth is a matter of record, you take it for granted. But death, that uncertain door that leads ahead,  has been for man an awesome mystery. Life's greatest test comes with the death of a loved one. And without faith in the immortality of the soul, the separation of death looms forever comfortless. 

D1. A PLACE OF REAWAKENING -- LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES
After death, though your mortal body lies in the earth, you, your spirit self—being eternal—continue to live. Your memory of this life will remain with you, and the knowledge of your life before birth will be restored.

Like coming out of a darkened room into light–through death you will emerge in a place of reawakening–and find loved ones waiting to welcome you.

There with your loved ones, you will await the resurrection—which is the reuniting of your spirit and your body. There you will continue towards the limitless opportunities of everlasting life.

C2. HERE YOU ARE ON EARTH  
So here you are on earth, with no memory of what went before, and only faith to whisper what comes after. ("Are you ready? Yeah. Let's go.")

D2. BY A STILL SMALL VOICE WITHIN YOU, AND THROUGH REVELATION TO APPOINTED PROPHETS, GOD GUIDES
Be assured that you are here, not by accident or chance; but as part of a glorious everlasting plan.

By a “still small voice” within you, and through revelation to his appointed prophets, God our Eternal Father guides the affairs of His children, today as in the past. In 1830 God reestablished His Church, and restored the fullness of His Gospel once more among men, through a modern prophet, Joseph Smith.

B. SALVATION AND EXALTATION --  EXPLORE, TEST, PRAY, SEARCH, SERIOUSLY CONSIDER
By revelation, our Savior made known again, the Plan of Salvation and Exaltation. Salvation comes as a gift to every man through Jesus the Christ. But Exaltation, which is the highest of eternal opportunities, you must earn. It is not enough just to believe in Jesus Christ, you must work and learn, search and pray, repent and improve, know his laws and live them.

This is the way to peace and happiness, and the fullness of everlasting life. It is your Heavenly Father's way. We invite you to explore it, to test it, to pray and search and seriously consider. “Prove all things, hold fast that which is good.” Only if you are unafraid of truth can you find it; but it leads to limitless opportunities—with your loved ones with you—always and forever.

A. EVERY MAN'S SEARCH -- THE KEY TO HAPPINESS -- A DEEPER HAPPINESS, BEYOND THE UNDERSTANDING OF MAN; OF ETERNITY
Therein lies your happiness; a happiness deeper than passing pleasure; a happiness beyond the understanding of man; a happiness, not of the moment, but, of eternity.

This is every man's search; this is the purpose of life; this is the key to happiness—for  the God and Father of us all has said, “This is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”




OUTLINE

A. Your Search for Happiness
 B. Who Am I? -- You Have Always Lived

  C1. Entering Mortal Life -- This Mortal Body -- Pain, Difficulties, Death, Opposition
   D1. A Wonderous Motal Body, In the Likeness of God -- A Noble Heritage with Possibilities Beyond Your Greatest Dreams.

  C2. Two Precious Gifts: Time, Freedom of Choise -- Your Eternal Reward is According to Your Chosing
   D2. A Prophet of God Has Said... -- Joy -- Fullness of Life -- A Life Dedicated to Service -- True Happiness

    E. Pre-Mortal Past -- Hope of Resurrection
     F. The Resurection
    E. Your Continue to Live After Death

  C1. Birth/Death -- The Separation of Death
   D1. A Place of Reawakening -- Limitless Opportunities

  C2. Here You Are on Earth 
   D2. By a Still Small Voice Within You, and Through Prophets, God Guides

 B. Salvation and Exaltation -- Explore, Test, Pray, Search, Seriosly Consider
A. Every Man's Search -- The Key to Happiness -- A Deeper Happiness, Beyond the Understanding of Man; Of Eternity

~

Suggested outline by Scott L. Vanatter.


See also comparison to The Family: A Proclamation to the World
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