Seeking Happiness In Iniquity


I was reading in the scriptures the other day when I came across the words of Samuel the Lamanite. He is preaching repentance to the people and lamenting their state of unrighteousness. He has many things to say unto the people but one verse stood out to me like no other. It is found in the thirteenth chapter. It says:

“…ye have sought all the days of your lives for that which ye could not obtain; and ye have sought for happiness in doing iniquity, which thing is contrary to the nature of that righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head” (vs. 38).

According to Samuel “Seeking happiness in doing iniquity” is unattainable. Why? Because it is “contrary” to the nature of God! Perhaps to us it seems that those that do “iniquity” look to be happy because of the things they have “gained”. But, of course, we know that “wickedness never was happiness”. (Alma 41:10) The possession of worldly things or the pursuit of the pleasurable sensations of this life are temporary. For those that obtain them, it is often just Novocaine for the soul; a temporary “fix” for their more permanent problems. I don’t think I have ever found one material thing in this world that has given me permanent happiness. I can’t think of anything that I own, or have ever owned, that has given me true joy. I have enjoyed possessions and like most, I like nice things. But the pursuit of them over my family, my God, or my fellowmen is contrary to the nature of God, who is the author of happiness. Therefore, if I really want to be happy, I should align myself with its creator. That of course is Heavenly Father.

There is nothing inherently wrong with the riches of this world. Throughout history Heavenly Father himself has often used earthly riches to bless His people. But those riches do not provide true happiness. They augment or enhance and they can make life fuller, but by themselves they are shallow and empty.

The core of true happiness is the development and possession of love. Not just love for oneself, but a love for all mankind. I have been impressed by a series of recent commercials put out by a large insurance company. It shows a person doing a nice thing for someone else, and then the recipient of that service passes it along to someone else later that day. Just watching the commercial makes me feel good inside. I guess it makes me feel happy because it teaches a principle that is taught by the author of happiness; God! On the contrary, when I watch one of those car commercials showing a fancy auto racing around curves and flying along the speedway I don’t feel happiness. Most of the time I feel the envy and greed of wanting something I don’t have the money to buy! It creates in me a feeling of, “Why does that guy in the commercial get one and I don’t.” But I think most of us understand that the car won’t provide any permanent happiness. In fact, one of the biggest disappointments in life is how short the thrill of buying and driving a new car can be! But when you do service for someone, the good feeling it fosters seems to linger for days or months and sometimes a lifetime.

Remember that “happiness” is the nature of God. Pursuit it His way and He has said,”…Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Luke 11:9).


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