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What does it mean to “live after the manner of happiness?”

2 Nephi 5:27 includes this intriguing verse that is always a delight to ponder.

Manner: 1. form, method; way of performing or executing. 2. Custom, habitual practice. (source)

Sometimes I think of happiness in terms of how I happen to feel at the moment, but that attitude seems kind of reactionary doesn’t it? Is happiness something that is out of our control; ultimately how much say do we have in the matter?

The Nephites seemed to take things into their own hands and make happiness a deliberate pursuit, they had a method.

Happiness: the agreeable sensations which spring from the enjoyment of good… happiness therefore admits of indefinite degrees of increase in enjoyment, or gratification of desires. Perfect happiness, or pleasure unalloyed with pain, is not attainable in this life.” (source)

Do we take time to enjoy the good in life or do we take time to worry about deficiencies whether present or potential? Pain will be our constant companion it seems, we can’t change that, but we can change our focus. I live with constant physical pain, particularly some nerve damage in my leg along with 2 degenerative disks and some bad arthritis in my back due to a past injury. When my focus is on the good things in life, I hardly notice the pain, sometimes I’m not even aware of it.

Enjoy: To feel or perceive with pleasure or satisfaction in the possession or experience of. We enjoy the dainties of a feast, the conversation of friends, and our own meditations. To possess with satisfaction.

We possess more good than we realize. I’ll bet that if you actually tried, you couldn’t identify all the good in your life, it would be impossible (i.e., shelter, health, five senses, the stars, peace, food, friends, family, birds, sunsets, trees, etc.) . I think it would be easier to identify all the negative and I’d bet it’s a much shorter list.

Very cool.