Wandering through life I have often observed people in search of what I believed was happiness. My view has changed, ever so slightly. This week I was reading a talk given during General Conference by Elder Quentin L. Cook Personal Peace: The Reward of Righteousness. People are in search of happiness, however, I think more fundamentally they are in search of peace. As Elder Cook stated, “I have been impressed with the difference between universal or world peace and personal peace.” Elder Cook gave some examples of specific where events in the United States distress people because it disturbs people view of their own peace. He gave the example of September 11th and the Sandy Hook elementary shootings. He may have included the Boston Marathon bombings in that list also. With these events many can not find, nor do they know where to find peace. He then began talking about agency. Because he wanted to show that personal peace can be obtained by correct choices. It is interesting to note, in a book I read a couple of weeks ago called Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander, he is a neuro-surgeon that had a near death experience that turned him from an atheist into a believer in God. He states in his book the overwhelming feeling of love he felt as he was involved with his heavenly experience. He made the statement that in that place the influence of God would not allow evil to be present, and only on earth could evil exist. It was interesting that Dr. Alexander made the observation that agency required there be evil present so we could make choices. Dr. Alexander, not really knowing what to do with his experience, doesn’t yet realize that making choices that bring us closer to Jesus Christ and ultimately our Father in heaven is where we can find that overwhelming sense of love and peace he felt during his near death experience. However, it is surprising his new zeal to try an convince others of the realness of his new beliefs.
Making the correct choices and doing what is right and good is not easy and will probably never be popular. People like to say, write and show that there are easy ways to find happiness and peace. Sadly, the lasting peace and happiness that all of us seeks will not come in this life. At best we are only going to catch glimpses of these things here on earth in this life. The religious, where I count myself, believe that what we do here in life will affect how our existence will be after this life. I also believe living the best life we can will bring us more happiness here.
Another fascinating thing I listened to this week was on NPR TED hour called, What is Beauty, This program patched together TED talks about beauty. They hypothesized that beauty is something we need to survive and to happiness. Nancy Etcoff believes that beauty is what we see ,that subconsciously, we interpret will help us survive. I want push a bit farther and say that beauty in this world is a bit of the glory from heaven that is shining through to our world to help us remember what is was and it will be like to be with God.
I believe we are all attracted to beauty because it helps us feel that peace we are all looking for. When we make good choices we get closer to that peace.
The only thing I ask is that people continue to find those things that bring peace into their lives.