Where can true happiness be found

Good morning brothers and sisters. So, before I start off, I’d just like to say that this isn’t the last time you’re going to see me up here at this podium. As a future missionary, the stake presidency has assigned me to a high councilman and every month, I speak with that high councilman in whatever ward we’re assigned to.

So I was asked to speak on Where can true happiness be found? And while I was getting ready to fall asleep one night, I was pondering this question when a thought came to mind. That thought was Heavenly Mother, because today is Mother’s Day after all. We all talk about our Heavenly Father and what He does for us, but have we stopped to think, and remember, that we have a Heavenly Mother? Not a lot of people do, it’s something we sometimes forget about because it isn’t mentioned like at all anywhere in the scriptures. Churchofjesuschrist.org mentions this fact in its definition of Heavenly Mother.

“While there is no record of a formal revelation to Joseph Smith on this doctrine, some early Latter-day Saint women recalled that he personally taught them about a Mother in Heaven. The earliest published references to the doctrine appeared shortly after Joseph Smith’s death in 1844, in documents written by his close associates. The most notable expression of the idea is found in a poem by Eliza R. Snow, entitled “My Father in Heaven” and now known as the hymn “O My Father.” This text declares: “In the heav’ns are parents single? / No, the thought makes reason stare; / Truth is reason—truth eternal / Tells me I’ve a mother there.”

That is where you begin to realize something. Fathers do a lot in a family unit, but the mothers do just as much though it is sometimes not as noticeable. In a talk by Jeffery R. Holland titled “Behold Thy Mother”, he says “…it is not only that [our mothers] bear us, but they continue bearing with us. It is not only the prenatal carrying but the lifelong carrying that makes mothering such a staggering feat.” He goes on to share three experiences, like he always does. I’d like to summarize the one that spoke to me the most, one where they felt not only the love of own Heavenly Father, but also the love of our Heavenly Mother.

A young man entered the mission field worthily but chose to return home early due to a same-sex attraction and some trauma he had experienced in that regard. While still worthy, he was in a crisis; the emotional burden became heavier and his spirit was in pain and it was growing more and more profound. His mission president, stake president and his bishop spent many hours searching, weeping, blessing him and they held on, but much of this trauma reached farther than anyone else knew. His father poured out his soul to help him, but his job required him to work late nights and many times, the dark nights were accompanied only by the boy and his mother. Day and night, first for weeks, the sought healing together. Those weeks turned into months, and into years. Through periods of bitterness (sometimes hers, but mostly his), she bore to her son her testimony of God’s power, of His Church, but especially for the love of His children. In the same testimony, she testified of her own, undying and unwavering love for him. Throughout this, she prayed endlessly, she fasted and she wept, listening to her son repeated tell her of how his own heart was breaking. Thus she carried him again, only this time not for nine months within her womb. Today, this unrelentless mother has seen her son come home to the promised land. He started back to church, partook of the sacrament willingly and worthily and obtained a temple recommend. He accepted a call to serve as an early-morning seminary teacher and was very successful. Now, after five years he has, at his own request, returned to the mission field to complete his service to the Lord. “I have wept over the courage, integrity, and determination of this young man and his family to work things out and to help him keep his faith. He knows he owes much to many, but he knows he owes the most to two messianic figures in his life, two who bore him and carried him, labored with him and delivered him—his Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, and his determined, redemptive, absolutely saintly mother.”

What a beautiful experience! Despite the circumstances happening within, it shows the amount of love that a mother, and father, can have for their child. Sometimes, the circumstances may not require years of pain and anguish to feel the love of both your Heavenly mother and your earthly mother. Many times, we can feel their love constantly as we go about our day-to-day activities. However, we are not required to be happy constantly. In a totally different talk by Jeffery R. Holland, “I do not think God in His glory or the angels of heaven or the prophets on earth intend to make us happy all the time, every day in every way, given the testing and trial this earthly realm is intended to provide. But my reassurance to you today is that in God’s plan we can do very much to find the happiness we do desire. We can take certain steps, we can form certain habits, we can do certain things that God and history tell us lead to happiness.”