Are you happy?

Are you happy?
Sister and Elder Gavarret's grandchildren
Gavarret family
Sister's and Elder Gavarret granddaughter

As usual every week we communicate with our children and grandchildren.

One day one of my granddaughters called me and what I heard through the phone line was a little voice that asked me:

'How are you, grandmother?' I immediately responded by saying, 'I'm fine.' Without giving me room to add one more word, she asked me: 'Are you happy?' That question resonated in my mind and in my heart and has led me to reflect on the personal search for happiness.

From the beginning the divine plan consisted of coming to earth, subjecting ourselves to mortal conditions, going through this probationary state and having joy.

Lehi speaking with his son Jacob says: 'Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.' (1)

Aristotle (2) affirms that happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole end of human existence. The happy man lives well and serves well.

We all want to be happy. We often long for peace, the joy we see in other people whose lives seem to be filled with happiness, and perhaps some of us have wondered, 'Am I happy?'

Shortly after Lehi's death, Nephi learned that his brothers' anger had been mounting and they were planning to take his life. The Lord warned him to withdraw, take those who were willing to go with him and flee to the desert.

Probably this exodus was not without difficulties, however, Nephi, after describing what they had done to establish a new community, says: “And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness.” (3)


1.- We are happy when we interact with people who build us.

Nephi describes those who followed him and were “those who believed in the warnings and the revelations of God; (4)

When we interact with people who build us, we encourage and strengthen each other. As we strive to keep the commandments, we encourage our friends, through our conduct and example, to do the same.

We all need good and true friends.


 2.- We are happy when we are obedient to God's commandments.

Nephi tells us that his people fulfilled the 'commandments of the Lord in all things,' (5).

President Monson said: “When we keep the commandments, our lives will be happier, more fulfilling, and less complicated. Our challenges and problems will be easier to bear, and we will receive [God’s] promised blessings.” (6)

King Benjamin in his speech encourages his people to consider: 'the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God.' (7)

Our beloved prophet President Russell M. Nelson has extended the following invitation: “The very first word in the Doctrine and Covenants is hearken. It means “to listen with the intent to obey.”  To hearken means to “hear Him”—to hear what the Savior says and then to heed His counsel. “ (8)


3.- We are happy when we work.

Nephi also describes what they did when they settled in that new place. He said: 'And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did cause my people to be industrious, and to labor with their hands.” (9)

In these verses we clearly see that work is an essential factor in being happy.

Bishop David Burton said, ' Work is not a matter of economic need alone; it is a spiritual necessity.' (10)

President David O. McKay liked to say, “Let us realize that the privilege to work is a gift, that power to work is a blessing, that love of work is success.” (11)

Acting honestly brings us happiness and a sense of our own worth. Our Heavenly Father has sent us to earth not devoid of gifts and talents, so it is important to study, train, continually learn and work for that goal that we want to achieve.

'You should live, think and do the best you can today, because today will be soon tomorrow and tomorrow will be eternity soon.' A.P. Gouthey. (12)


4.- We are happy when we worship in the Temple

Nephi also tells us that he and his people built a temple as they settled in that new place. (13)

The temple is literally the House of the Lord. In the temple we learn about the Plan of Salvation, that we are children of a loving Heavenly Father and that our lives have a purpose.

Elder Marion D. Hanks said, 'In the temple we can learn to live as Christ lived on earth and prepare to live as He and the Father live now.' (14)

Every time I attend the temple I feel that a purifying spirit transforms me, refines me, makes me a new person, more full of love for my fellow men, more loyal to the covenants I have made with my Heavenly Father, and more eager to seek first the God's Kingdom.

My granddaughter's question comes back to my mind: 'Are you happy?'

Again the words of our beloved prophet President Russell M. Nelson provide us with the answer:

“In those two words—“Hear Him”—God gives us the pattern for success, happiness, and joy in this life. We are to hear the words of the Lord, hearken to them, and heed what He has told us!”(15)

No one can do for each one of us what we should do for ourselves, therefore, if we want happiness, we will be faithful to the covenants made with our Heavenly Father.

I know that Jesus Christ is the way, that he lives and that if we listen to him and continue we will be happy.


  1. 2 Nephi 2:25
  2. Aristotel- He was a philosopher, polymath, and scientist born in the city of Stagira, north of Ancient Greece. He is considered along with Plato, the father of western philosophy. His ideas have exerted an enormous influence on the intellectual history of the West for more than two millennia. (385-323 BC Greece)
  3. 2 Nephi 5:27
  4. 2 Nephi 5:6
  5. 2Nephi 5:10
  6. Thomas S. Monson, October 2016 Ensign  The Blessings of Obedience
  7. Mosiah 2:41
  8. Russell M. Nelson, Hear Him, April 2020 General Conference
  9. 2 Nephi 5:17
  10. The Blessing of Work. Bishop H. David Burton Liahona, December 2009
  11. David O. McKay, Pathways to Happiness (1957), pág. 381. 3.
  12. Adolf Philipp, also known as Adolph Philipp (January 29, 1864 – July 30, 1936), was a successful Broadway composer, writer, lyricist, director, and performer.
  13. 2 Nephi 5:16
  14. Temple Worship: The Key to Knowing God-Liahona July 2016 Marion D. Hanks
  15. Russell M. Nelson, Hear Him, April 2020 General Conference