THREE VITAL KEYS TO HAPPINESS & PEACE
We can be happy and at peace - even when things are out of control!

THINGS I CAN CONTROL

1. My Relationship with each member of The GODHEAD
I found the first key to happiness is my personal relationship with each member of the Godhead: Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and with the Holy Ghost.  What role does each member of the Godhead play in my life?  What more can I do to strengthen these relationships?
     A. I know God lives and loves me. He is my Father.  Can I feel His love? Have I done all I can do to qualify to feel His love? (read scriptures; obey;) If yes, then maybe all I need to do is pray and ask to feel His love.
     B. I know Jesus is the Christ. He is the Son of God. He is my Savior. He died for me. He bled for my sins. Do I actively participate in His atonement?  Do I regularly repent? Do I consistently feel His peace?
     C. I know the Spirit is real. I know He’s there to help me. He guides, inspires, lifts, and protects me. Do I do what is necessary to qualify for His influence on a regular basis? (Daily? Hourly?)

2. PERSONAL Principles of RIGHTEOUSNESS
For me, the second key to happiness is my personal level of commitment to righteousness.
MY worthiness. MY choices. MY commitments.  MY thoughts. MY feelings. MY actions.
MY standards (Have I raised the bar like I’ve been asked to do?)
MY talents and skills. (Am I striving to develop them?)
MY knowledge and education. (Am I reading the best books? Am I learning? Am I growing?)

THINGS I CAN NOT CONTROL

3. GRATITUDE, COMPASSION & FORGIVENESS
The third key to happiness is the level of gratitude, compassion and forgiveness I feel. 
I am grateful for the Gospel, but I can’t control it.
I am grateful for the Priesthood. (D&C 121:36)
     “The rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven,
       and the powers of heaven cannot be controlled, only upon the principles of righteousness.”
I am grateful for my friends and family.
     Other human beings are “agents unto themselves”; they are (or should be) completely out of my control.
     Once I recognized and accepted that, I found things about them that I could be grateful for, which directly
     impacted my happiness.
I am grateful for my health.
     Health, too, can be out of my control, so I am grateful for it when I have it. When I don’t, I am grateful for
     each step of progress I make towards regaining my health.
How many times had I allowed people or things that I had no control over - decide whether I was going to be happy or not?  Why would I give that power away so freely?

My relationship with each member of the Godhead is in my control. I choose how I’m going to live. Will I choose to live a righteous life?  Will I choose to be grateful, or not.  In short... I CHOOSE to be HAPPY! 

What about Negative Experiences? How can we be happy then?
Truth is not as things appear to be; truth is what things really are.
Truth always has positive - even when everything seems negative.

Events in life will be challenging, and can have an effect on how we feel. Some may look at certain experiences as negative, but a negative can really become a positive. Even math testifies of this.  When negative numbers are multiplied, they become positives.  Example: -2 x -3 = +6

What if this principle were true in life as well? What if the “multiple” things we define “negative” in our lives are really there to make the outcome positive? 

Trials seem to come in multiples, and the phrase “trial and error” is usually connected to experience. Could personal experience through trial and error be a way of obtaining free education?  What if we looked at our trials as opportunities? Opportunities for growth and learning - How would our view of life change?

Pain also tends to come in multiples... “multiple aches and pains.” What if we chose to look at pain as a refiner, a cleanser, a healer? When something has been broken, often times, the process of healing the break is painful. Cleansing a wound can be painful. What if pain does not have to consume us in a negative way? What if it's meant to refine and purify us - wouldn't that make pain a positive?

Compassion & Forgiveness

Another way to make negative things turn positive is by offering compassion and forgiveness.  Being compassionate and serving are synonymous.  Lightening another's load by serving them somehow also lightens our load. Letting go of negative feelings through forgiveness, truly activates a cleansing power that does more good for us than the ones we forgive.

These three attributes (gratitude, compassion, and forgiveness) are full of such positive energy that when we choose to practice or live them, we choose to release or give them from within ourselves to help change the negative situation outside of us!  It truly works!

True happiness here and now depends upon our relationship with things of eternity:

          1. Our relationship with each member of the Godhead (Things in our control.)
         2. Our Personal principles of righteousness (Things in our control.)
         3. Our level of gratitude, compassion and forgiveness (for things not in our control.)

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” (Matthew 6: 33)
"Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord" (2 Peter 1:2)