To HAVE Joy, and to BE happy

Sterling Silver High-Polish Script Joy with clear cubic Zirconia-Accent Pendant, 18"Today we went to the temple.  I was really hoping for some ways to be a happier family, a happier mom and a happier person.  This isn’t to say that I’m not happy… which sounds silly… being that’s what I want.  I just want a more peaceful, happy home, preferably with less yelling, but just as much getting done.
I was really struck by how God wants us to HAVE joy (men are, that they might have joy) and he wants us to BE happy.

I was mostly struck at this is something God passionately wants for us.  Just like we want our kids to be happy, God wants the same for us.  He sorrows when we sorrow and he doesn’t want that for us.  That’s the reason he gives us commandments and rules that keep us safe and out of sorrow’s path (as much as possible).

But then I started think about the difference.  I think that things (be they moments, kids, items) bring me joy.  And it’s those joyful things in composition with my own attitude that help me to be happy.

And while we can orchestrate some of those moments of joy, we can’t control a lot of it.  Some of you might remember my post on being happy a while back.  I didn’t see a lot of happiness coming up in my life.  Luckily, I was wrong.  I am now surrounded by great friends who lift me up just as much as the old ones.  I’m in a new phase of my life and I love this life just as much as I loved my prior life (plus, I still have those old friends, via IM facebook and texting — I love the Internet).  BUT, I had to choose the attitude I was going to have.  I had to be willing to put myself out for those things, those moments, those new people.  I’m so glad I did.

So, how to have joy?

I guess God places a lot of joy in our lives.  I think it’s up to us to find it, but joy does tend to happen.  Even when it’s really not happening and your furnace and washing machine have both died you can find little bits of joy.

I think it’s compiling all that into happiness that’s the hard part.

But, then I posted this on facebook and someone said that joy is far more than happiness.

So, I think we all think of it in different ways.  How do you think of it?  Do you have joy and are you happy?  Do you know that God wants that for you?  Does that make you work to be happier a little harder?  Let’s talk happy. :)

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  1. says

    I think joy is definitely something that is more of a state of being, much deeper and more permanent than happiness. But happiness is a byproduct of joy. It doesn’t mean that if you have joy you’ll never be sad, though.

    Hard to explain how I feel about it. But I loved this post.

  2. says

    I just did some looking through the topical guide under happiness and joy. What I came away with is that happiness (at least in the scriptures cited) seemed to be more about being cheerful and about the results of being righteous. Joy seems to be more overwhelming, more “full”, more “great”. And then there’s actively rejoicing, which plays in there somehow. But they definitely seem connected.

    Alma 27:18 was particularly interesting: “Now was not this exceeding joy? Behold, this is joy which none receiveth save it be the truly penitent and humble seeker of happiness.”

  3. says

    I think true happiness comes in waves…but even in the darkest and most difficult times, there are always glimpses of joy. If you have children and don’t find joy, somehow, you need an anti-depressant. (Seriously. It really might be a chemical issue) Kids can be a huge stressor, but they are so pure and HAPPY!

    Loved this post. Inspiring.

  4. says

    It is raining a lot where I live. I see myself as a pretty happy person, but I wasn’t fully aware of how the rain was affecting me until it started raining for a few days straight, and then the sun would come out and I was sooo much happier.

    So, I have discovered that I need to look for and find simple little things that I can do every single day that will lift me.

    Going to the temple is one of my favorite ways to invite more joy and light. And the knowledge of God’s love for me is stronger when I go more often. That inner strength is even better than the sun’s light.

    Of course this is rarely an option with four kids and an absent husband, so I have many other avenues. But, in general, the gospel is a strong foundation that provides a lot of happiness.

    I loved your post. Now I have a lot to think about today. Thanks.

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