BYU (Brigham Young University) is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often mistakenly called the “Mormon Church.” BYU students take nearly a semester of spiritually uplifting, stimulating religion classes.
In this series (see below), students enrolled in scripture study classes have shared their thoughts, insights, and reflections on the Book of Mormon in the form of letters to someone they know. We invite you to take a look at their epiphanies and discoveries as they delve into the scriptures.
In publishing these, we fulfill their desire to speak to all of us of the relevance, power and beauty of the Book of Mormon, a second witness of Jesus Christ and complement to the Bible. The Book of Mormon includes the religious history of a group of Israelites who settled in ancient America. (The names they use are those of prophets who taught the Book of Mormon peoples to look forward to the coming of Christ—Nephi, Lehi, Alma, Helaman, and other unfamiliar names. We hope those names will become more familiar to you as you read their inspiring words and feel the relevance and divinity of their messages through these letters.)
Let us know if you’d like to receive your own digital copy of the Book of Mormon, and/or if these messages encourage and assist you spiritually as well.
About Mormons: Choose to be Happy
I have learned in my Book of Mormon class this past week many truths. My focus was on choosing to be happy.
My class is studying in the block of chapters toward the end of Almaknown as the war chapters. They chronicle the many wars between the Nephites and Lamanites. It was a definite rough patch for the Nephites. Many were choosing to be unrighteous, allowing the Lamanites to gain power over them, as the Lord would not deliver them if they were unrighteous. There were also many quarrels and hardships because of the wars raging around them. It is because of these conditions that Alma 50:23 seems so out of place:
“But behold there never was a happier time among the people of Nephi, since the days of Nephi, than in the days of Moroni, yea, even at this time, in the twenty and first year of the reign of the judges.”
Despite the difficulties surrounding them, among the righteous Nephites there “never was a happier time.” This gives us a prime example of how we can choose to be happy.
My Book of Mormon professor Brother Griffin explained to us how external forces and our environment does not have any effect on our happiness. Just as my favorite saying goes, “Warmth comes from the inside,” it is the same with happiness. External circumstances can only affect our happiness when we let our inner shortcomings expand to the point where we are vulnerable to the outside world.
I have witnessed this in my own life. One may think that it’s ridiculous for me to so easily forget the past. Such as particular decisions that my father has made. One may think that I choose not to see them, to remain ignorant. This is not the case. I am a lot more aware than I let on. The thing is, I choose to forgive and forget. I think that deciding not to forgive others can be a weakness that when allowed to grow will affect how happy we are able to be. I am not making the decision to ignore what has happened. Instead, I am making the decision to happy in spite of it.
I think that controlling our own happiness boils down to one simple phrase found in 2 Nephi 2, verse 26. That people should “act for themselves and not be acted upon.” We can choose to act, to curb our inner weaknesses that we may choose to be happy, rather than be acted upon by negative external forces that only seek to bring us down.
Find great quotes on forgiveness here
Watch a wonderful video about a man who forgave after he lost his family
Watch a short video of a “real” Mormon talking about forgiving her father.