01 January 2006

Happiness in Spite of Change

So, I've been thinking a lot lately about what makes people happy, partially because of some stuff Katfish wrote in her blog over Christmas break. Apparently, some really wacked out stuff is going on in her life. It almost makes me feel like I have no right to talk about being sad, since my life is comparitively stable. Actually, I take that back. Every human being has the right to be happy and sad. Of course we all have a different scale; sometimes our scales aren't even measuring the same things. Why shouldn't we have a different scale? We're different people.

Anyway, what I wanted to write down was that life is simply a matter of centering yourself. As cliche as that may sound, I'm pretty sure it's true. (Isn't that how cliches get started? Something that is true that people say over and over because it sounds right? Maybe . . . interesting.) I got this idea out of the old Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens book. You see, what determines whether you are happy or sad is what you center your life around. People are usually miserable when they center their life about things they can't control: friends, a relationship, money, grades, etc. When those things change, the foundation of your life just disappears, leaving you freefalling.

The obvious solution is to find something to center on that will not change. In my case, I believe that thing must be the gospel. For instance, right now I'm really worried about losing my scholarship. My grades were much worse this semester than I thought they would be, and if I don't get straight A's next semester and retake some classes, my scholarship is bye-bye. When I first thought about this, I panicked a little. However, I went home that night and read my scriptures and just felt the reassurance of faith. I have something to fall back on. No matter what, I know the gospel is true, and its principles and precepts will get me through anything.

Which leads me to the real problem that I've been thinking about. Several blogs I've read recently have said they want to find a testimony, but just can't get it. I wonder what's wrong there. Exactly how does one go about gaining a testimony? For me, it was during my sophomore year of high school when I really started reading my scriptures every night, no matter how late is was. At one point, not during any particularly important part of Alma, I just felt a wave of peace and love, and I knew it had to be true. Sure, before that you had your EFY moments, and since then I can't say I haven't had my moments of doubt, but down inside I know its true. That seed of truth makes me feel guilty when I go against it and gives me peace when I do right.

But what can you say to someone who has tried and doesn't have a testimony? I can't possibly know what they have done, felt, tried. I cannot judge the sincerity of their desire. To me, it seems there must be one universal answer, a fool-proof method of finding truth for one's self. I've decided to make this the guiding principle of my scripture study for the next little while, until I find myself a satisfactory answer.

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