Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Smile Today

On the morning of New Year’s Eve I attended a funeral of a wonderful woman named Elaine. This was the third funeral I’ve attended in the last few months. As I’m sure most people do, when they were talking about Elaine’s life, I started contemplating my own. I noticed that there were two big things that were mentioned over and over about her life, and the same in the other funerals—happiness and service.

I have decided to use these two as goals for me this year. I’m still working on the President Hinckley’s 9 B’s (from my I am Determined  post) and these go right along with them. I know I still have to work on all of them, but I feel like I’m progressing. I do have many reasons to be happy and I want to show that happiness to my children and radiate it to all those around me.

For many, many years, I had the first part of this quote on my mirror or refrigerator after receiving it from a Relief Society teacher when I was 18.

“The attitude with which we approach each day controls the outcome. We must be more concerned with what we do with what happens to us than what happens to us. Proper attitude toward self is an eternal pursuit. Positive personal attitude will insist that we deliver our best, even though less might seem adequate for the moment.”
Marvin J. Ashton, Who's Losing?, in Conference Report, Oct. 1974, p. 57; or Ensign, Nov. 1974, p. 41
(Of course, you should read the whole talk from the link.)
Love it still even after all these years! And it reminds me of something (maybe seemingly unrelated at first) that I read on Pitterle Postings that has made an impact on me this past month or so. (If you read Patty’s blog, you know that her posts always make you think.) Her post was about gratitude and she mentioned this quote: “There are no ordinary moments.” I started thinking lots about it. Every moment that passes, I am changing myself for the better or worse. Every decision of how I use my time or what I am thinking of makes me more into the person I will be someday. With each moment, I am creating the person someone will marry (even if it is in the next life), the person who will stand before my Heavenly Father one day, the person who aspires to be worthy to be with her children in the celestial kingdom. I cannot waste those moments by not being happy.

I wanted to share these thoughts with you, but wanted a few quotes to go along with them, so I searched in my quote file and found this one which went PERFECTLY along with what I was thinking.

"Regardless of your present age, you are building your life; it will be cheap and shoddy or it will be valuable and beautiful; it will be full of joy and happiness, or it can be full of misery. It all depends upon you and your attitudes, for your altitude, or the height you climb is dependent upon your attitude or your response to situations."
Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 161
So I am excited to start a happy 2011 where I can find time to serve others, work on the 9 B’s and be happy during it all. Right now, I’m feeling pretty happy and smiling!

May we never let the things we can't have, or don't have, or shouldn't have, spoil our enjoyment of the things we do have and can have. As we value our happiness let us not forget it, for one of the greatest lessons in life is learning to be happy without the things we cannot or should not have.”
Elder Richard L. Evans

“There can be no genuine happiness separate and apart from the home, and every effort made to sanctify and preserve its influence is uplifting to those who toil and sacrifice for its establishment... There is no happiness without service, and there is no greater service than that which converts the home into a divine institution, and which promotes and preserves family life.”
Joseph Fielding Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. [1939], 300

"Be cheerful in all that you do. Live joyfully. Live happily. Live enthusiastically, knowing that God does not dwell in gloom and melancholy, but in light and love."
Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 339

’With God’s help, good cheer permits us to rise above the depressing present or difficult circumstances. … It is sunshine when clouds block the light’ (Elder Marvin J. Ashton, Ensign, May 1986, p. 66). Each woman is responsible for her own happiness. Let us strive to cultivate this spirit of gladness in our homes and let it shine in our faces wherever we go.
Barbara W. Winder, "Finding Joy in Life", Ensign, Nov. 1987, 95


  1. Hi, new to your blog.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Your thoughts (Happiness and service) are good reminders for me. I, too, like to read PattyAnn's post.

    Happy New Year!

  2. Great quotes and great thoughts! I am glad you are happy and smiling!

  3. Beautiful thoughts Valerie. You certainly have me thinking.
    I could do so much better!

  4. Those are ALL great quotes. Great reminder of how our attitudes effect everything in our lives. Thanks for giving me a boost today.

  5. Valerie, I loved this post today. It is so positive and uplifting. Thank you for mentioning me, I am so glad that you love the posts I write. I like writing them! I especially love your quote from President Kimball. There is a special place in my heart for that man. And I love Marvin J. Ashton who also said:
    I am sure our Heavenly Father is displeased when we call ourselves "nobody". As Children of God, we are "somebody"! He will build us, lift us, and magnify us if we will but hold our heads up, our arms out, and walk with Him.

  6. I love this post! I had a couple of bad months last year, and my attitude was not what it should be. I wrote on a sticky note, "Happiness is a choice," and stuck it on my computer screen. It didn't take long before I began to change my thinking. Thanks for the reminder.


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