Each of us should apply that principle to our attitudes in attending church. Some say “I didn’t learn anything today” or “No one was friendly to me” or “I was offended” or “The Church is not filling my needs.” All those answers are self-centered, and all retard spiritual growth.
In contrast, a wise friend wrote:
“Years ago, I changed my attitude about going to church. No longer do I go to church for my sake, but to think of others. I make a point of saying hello to people who sit alone, to welcome visitors, . . . to volunteer for an assignment. . . .
“In short, I go to church each week with the intent of being active, not passive, and making a positive difference in people’s lives. Consequently, my attendance at Church meetings is so much more enjoyable and fulfilling.”
All of this illustrates the eternal principle that we are happier and more fulfilled when we act and serve for what we give, not for what we get.
The moment you have a self at all, there is a possibility of putting yourself first—wanting to be the centre—wanting to be God, in fact. That was the sin of Satan: and that was the sin he taught the human race. Some people think the fall of man had something to do with sex, but that is a mistake. . . . What Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors was the idea that they could ‘be like gods’—could set up on their own as if they had created themselves—be their own masters—invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside God, apart from God. And out of that hopeless attempt has come . . . the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.
The tithe-payer establishes communion with the Lord. This is the happiest reward. Obedience to the law of tithing, as to any other law, brings a deep, inward joy, a satisfaction and understanding that can be won in no other way. Man becomes in a real sense a partner, albeit a humble one, with the Lord in the tremendous, eternal program laid out for human salvation. The principles of truth become clearer of comprehension; the living of them easier of accomplishment. A new nearness is established between man and his Maker. Prayer becomes easier. Doubt retreats; faith advances; certainty and courage buoy up the soul. The spiritual sense is sharpened; the eternal voice is heard more clearly. Man becomes more like his Father in Heaven.
Those three things - autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward - are, most people agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying. It is not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It's whether our work fulfills us. If I offered you a choice between being an architect for $75,000 a year and working in a tollbooth every day for the rest of your life for $100,000 a year, which would you take? I'm guess the former, because there is a complexity, autonomy, and a relationship between effort and reward in doing creative work, and that's worth more to most of us than money. Work that fulfills those three criteria is meaningful.
Make up your mind to be happy-even when you don't have money, even when
you don't have a clear complexion, even when you don't have the Nobel
Prize. Some of the happiest people I know have none of these things
the world insists are necessary for satisfaction and joy. Why are they
happy? I suppose it is because they don't listen very well. Or they
listen too well-to the things their hearts tell them. They glory in
the beauty of the earth. They glory in the rivers and the canyons and
the call of the meadowlark. They glory in the love of their families,
the stumbling steps of a toddler, the wise and tender smile of the elderly.
They glory in honest labor. They glory in the scriptures. They glory
in the presence of the Holy Ghost. One thing I know for certain: the
time we have here goes by far too quickly. Don't waste any more time
sitting on the bench watching life pass you by.
In the game of life a second effort is often required. The happy life is not ushered in at any age to the sound of drums and trumpets. It grows upon us year by year, little by little, until at last we realize that we have it. It is achieved in individuals not by flights to the moon or Mars, but by a body of work done so well that we can lift our heads with assurance and look the world in the eye. Of this be sure: You do not find the happy life … you make it.
There are no simple, easy answers to the challenging and complex questions of happiness in marriage. Among the many supposed reasons for divorce are the serious problems of selfishness, immaturity, lack of commitment, inadequate communication, and unfaithfulness.In my experience there is another reason for failure of marriage that seems not so obvious but that precedes and laces through all of the others. It is the lack of a constant enrichment in marriage, an absence of that something extra which makes it precious, special, and wonderful, and without which it becomes drudgery or difficult or even dull.
You can eat so much food that your belly aches-yet you still want more! Even though your belly is filled to the point of physical pain, you, the self, are not full; you still desire to consume more. The fact that the body can be full or satisfied while you still feel empty is evidence that the body is not you.