I once heard from a great teacher , Truman G. Madsen, that Jesus Christ was the author of elation. In other words, He is the author of happiness and was a master at owning it and teaching it to his followers. We have full access to the scriptures and the apostles that followed him were very selective in what they put in that sacred book. We find very rarely that they spoke about the Saviors diet, type of apparel, and certain daily habits. However, sometimes the WAY he did things tend to be overlooked , but they could be an INSIGHT on how we should react in our life. The Bible has changed my life and even being a Mormon, my favorite scriptures are the ones where Christ personally appears. When Christ appears to the Nephites in the Book of Mormon (3Nephi Chapter 11) and all the synoptic gospels ( Matthew, Luke, John, Matthew) are my personal favorites. I have highlighted my scriptures to the point that if I were to underline it one more time…It would probably tear the page. I find so much peace learning about his personal ministry and not a day goes by where I don’t willingly admit to myself that I wish I was born at a different time period. A great read that I recommend to member or non-member of our faith is Days of The Living Christ by Cleon Skousen. The narrative manner that Cleon Skousen describes the ministry of Christ is so appealing and refreshing. I have used his book to underline some amazing moments (small ones) that show us how Jesus reacted in certain situations. We can learn from the way HE reacted. Was the Christ someone who felt like he was ACTED upon or did he ACT from a position of power. Are we players of the game of life or victims of life. We have the choice. Jesus understood that we cant worry about things while maintaining happiness. The Master of Happiness can show us a few things about keeping the right attitude.
I love this short story that show how the way we REACT is everything to maintain our level of happiness and essential for decreasing our stress.
Two men go into a cabin and start surveying this beautifully built abode. They walked around and enjoyed how it had a great modern look to it. It had a ton of windows and then something happened all of a sudden. GRRTTTTCCCCTCTCTTCTTCTC! (sounds of a chainsaw filled the midnight sky) . All of a sudden in the span of an hour a ton of trees were falling down close to them. One of them said ” What a shame that we have all these trees cut and the stumps are all that are left as part of our view”. The other said” Don’t look sad, we could see the Moon better now.”
Are we ones that notice the tree stumps of our life and ruin the night for others? Or are we the ones that see a new possibility ( a new moon) in our life and always see the bright side of everything. The way you did things at that moment differ even though two people were in the same location and standing in the same house. So we are inclined to think that Jesus was the one that was the optimist and appreciated the moon..right? Wrong. I believe He would have played both. He would have taken some time to acknowledged the sadness of the trees falling, but then he would look at the bright side right after. He was a healer and he needed to feel the pains of people so that he could relate and then lift them up from wherever they are. Jesus had a way of handling things to preserve his legacy that has influenced billions around the world . If we could study His ways, wouldn’t we be better off and perhaps gain more happiness in this life?
5 WAYS CHRIST OVERCAME NOT ONLY THE WORLD, BUT REMAINED CALM BY THE “WAY” HE DID THINGS.
“How is that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my FATHER’s business”? – Luke 2:49
1. IDENTITY CRISES; JESUS HAD NONE. Jesus was about 12 years old when it shows in the scriptures that he was teaching in the synagogues. This is what he told his parents when they couldn’t find him and they were amazed all these Rabbis were surrounding him completely perplexed. They couldn’t believe that he understood the scriptures as if he wrote them Himself. They didn’t understand that he was Jehovah of the Old Testament and so technically he gave the prophets the inspiration to write the Old Testament. Around that time, according to the Talmud, the Jewish culture would recommend their offspring to be Sons of the Law at that age. They begin getting schooled in the Talmud and actively start memorizing the scriptures. I love how they were taught early on to treasure the scriptures. I believe no book can tell us more about our identity than that of the Bible. I believe whatever is happening in the world (good or evil) is directly proportional to how much the children of God know their true identity. Have you picked up the Bible recently to find out who God thinks you really are? Wisdom probably came to Christ early on since he understood where He came from, who He was, and Where He was going. At the age of 12, he started realizing he would be killed in cold blood by roman punishment. However, if He truly understood the scriptures, it was for the better of mankind. I believe the best place to start to really own happiness is to know who YOU really are! The bible awaits our questions with answers that will fill our soul for years to come. As we gain knowledge about who we are, we gain perspective. As we gain God’s perspective, we finally receive peace.
“…many received John as a prophet, but they believed not on Jesus.” – JST John 4:2
2. THE SAVIOR WAS PATIENT WITH HIS REPUTATION: John the Baptist was the fore-runner of Jesus Christ. He was the prophet, with the authority of the Aaronic Priesthood, and was able to baptize the Messiah himself. Although he was preaching about the Savior, many people did not believe him (at first). I believe that Jesus was understanding of his people who didn’t recognize him at first. Sometimes we get into a new venture and the closest people begin putting you down and denying your new self. The Savior became very accustomed to people not believing his words, however he finished the Great Plan. Who was his association? Who did he primarily associate himself with? He associated with people that had the same vision. Are you around people who treasure your new-found dream or do they choke the oxygen out of it. Look at your five closest friends..have you shared with them your dreams and aspirations? If they are not supportive, time to change your five friends to people who can stand by your dream.
“And he was there in the wilderness forty days, Satan seeking to tempt him” – JST Luke 4:2
3. EQUAL TIME DOCTRINE. Jesus had been known to have a meditation period where he walked in the desert for 40 days. This has only happened a handful of times in the scriptures that you can count on your hand. However, Joseph Smith Jr translated the bible and somethings were left out. He was mentored by angels and more importantly He was mentored by Heavenly Father. You could almost say that he had a very long extended Temple experience. In the book Days of the Living Christ, the scripture says it was not until “after” the forty days that “the devil came to him”. In our church, we believe we have a thing called “FREE AGENCY”. We have the choice to do good things or evil things. Brigham Young explained it this way:
When individuals are blessed with visions, revelations, and great manifestations, look out, then the devil is nigh you, and you will be tempted IN PROPORTION to the vision, revelation, or manifestation you have received.
Since Jesus was being visited by angels and mentored by Heavenly Father, it was only time before Satan could test him in three different ways (refer to Luke Chapter 4). Joseph Smith also translated the correct way of what happened with Jesus being transferred to different locations. In the scriptures, the devil supposedly took Christ and moved him. In the Joseph Smith Translation, Jesus was picked up by the Holy Ghost, Satan had no power over Him.
Two things we can learn from this. (A) Even though sin, temptation, and hardships come our way…God does not leave us alone. (B) Whenever great times come, prepare for tough times. This acknowledgement that the God of Heaven and the Adversary will have their way with us in equal proportions is an important one. I believe Jesus got accustomed to the way life works in oppositions. Great Times follow bad times. Bad times follow great times. The more you come into grips with this type of reality, you will have a happier journey since nothing will surprise us. When we expect for everything to go well with us all the time is when we get depressed and we beat ourselves to the ground. Be like Christ, he expected both and in the end…He won.
4.JESUS IS SELECTIVE IN WHO HE HEALS AND WHERE HE SPENDS HIS TIME: One of the most valuable assets that we have is our time. We can’t get it back and we can’t get more of it. Cleon Skousen states: Jesus did not respond to every casual request for healing. Special blessings of this sort were for the benefit of believers. whose faith deserved to be rewarded. He was especially determined to not heal people just to satisfy the curiosity of sign-seekers. Jesus therefore spoke rather abruptly to the nobleman to test him and said:
“Expect ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.”
The nobleman refused to argue about it. He simply said in pleading tones:
“Sir, come down ere my child die.” John 4:40
Cleon Skousen continues: Jesus was touched. Here indeed was genuine faith and therefore Jesus sent a signal across the distance from Cana to Capernaum and spoke to the millions of intelligences in the dying body of the nobleman’s son. Those intelligences heard the Master’s voice and the healing process began.
I think that part of Jesus’s chief characteristics involves where he spent his time. He was very careful where he would pour himself into. If we scheduled our appointments before we went to bed, we would get more accomplished. Also, as you read this blog..perhaps two people already called and you got some emails from a few stores. We must know when to say “NO” to something so that we can say “YES” to something more important. I believe Christ became so intuitive through his righteousness with God that he used the Holy Ghost to mentor Him on what he should focus on. We have a “will” and Heavenly Father has a “will”. If we follow His, we can’t say we are at the wrong place at the wrong time. As you lead a Christian Life, following the promptings of the Holy Ghost will lead to happiness. If Jesus was tempted to go to one country to see the sites and the Holy Ghost told him to go back to the city that almost stoned him, we all know where Jesus would have gone. We have access in these times to have the Holy Ghost guide our paths as well. Since we don’t have a unlimited time on this earth, we must spend time with those that value our time.
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid” Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. “
5. HE ASKED PEOPLE TO RISE UP BECAUSE HE ROSE UP FIRST. Jesus was looking for people who could carry his message of happiness to the world. You are happy because He knows that you will be with Him and the Father in the afterlife. Our mission that we all have (whether we know it or not) is to return back to our Heavenly Father with a perfected body. Your soul rejoices when you are living a Christ-like life because you will feel comfortable associating with them in the after-life. The life Jesus and God live is where they want us to go. Jesus was not preaching from inexperience, he was living what he preached. He is a prototype of a saved being.
Cleon Skousen states: “These passages make it vividly clear that the Savior is pleading with his disciples to be valiant, to be noble, to be exemplary, and to give the Father the righteous leaders he needs to light the gospel flame in the hearts of men and women throughout the world.”. If you are a Christian or a person who admires Christ, sharing the gospel to people who ask is our mission. If you have different personal beliefs, always be ready to share them. Many people are looking to improve their life and when we live out our beliefs and share them with others; our cup gets bigger. As our cup gets bigger, we can pour more spiritual juices in it. Jim Rohn once said ” If you’re not going to share what you read, don’t read at all”. Have you poured into anyone recently? Have you shared your beliefs when someone asked? Were you reverent about it and not pushy about your beliefs? The candle is a great example because you feel warmer as you move closer to it. He asks us to be a light to our friends and family…this blog is my way of sharing my beliefs to my friends and family. If anyone asks questions about my faith, i have no problem introducing them to some teachings and introducing them to the missionaries. As we pour into others, our happiness increases. There are countless characteristics of Christ that will help us, these were my favorite. Whatever religion you are :
READ. PRAY. ACT. WORSHIP. LOVE. SHARE.REPEAT.
Worry Less and Live More.