Creation and Compassion: Keys to Happiness

Reading: “Happiness, Your Heritage,” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, General Relief Society Meeting, Sept 28, 2008

In the past I have written a few times about perfectionism.  When we are perfectionists, we demand that we be perfect right now and forget that becoming perfect is a life long pursuit, with which God wants to help us.  When I read Elder Uchtdorf’s talk, that is immediately what I thought about.  In his cooking story he shows how his wife is never fully satisfied with her cooking, that she demands more of herself than maybe she needs to.

Elder Uchtdorf gives us two ways to combat bad feelings in our lives, such as those that come from perfectionsim.

First, he encourages us to create.  He is careful to leave the definition of creation wide open.  He points out that while we may not be as artistic as others, we all have talents.  I know that few things make me happier than having a really clean house, or finishing a project, or even writing in my blog.

Second, he encourages us to have compassion for others.  He encourages us to seek out others and help with whatever problems they may have.  He says that when we help others to overcome their problems, we will feel better ourselves.  I know that when I feel like I’ve helped someone to feel better, especially my husband or my baby, I feel a lot better about myself.

His last statement is a promise that if we try to obey the commandments of God, and live the gospel, we will be able to overcome those feelings of inadequacy and other trials we may face.  He said,

My dear sisters, I have a simple faith. I believe that as you are faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, as you draw closer to Him in faith, hope, and charity, things will work together for your good. I believe that as you immerse yourselves in the work of our Father—as you create beauty and as you are compassionate to others—God will encircle you in the arms of His love. Discouragement, inadequacy, and weariness will give way to a life of meaning, grace, and fulfillment.

So, to apply Elder Uchtdorf’s teachings today I’m going to find something to create and also try to do an act of compassion.  I’m not sure what I’ll do yet, and I’m really not sure what will happen.  I will let you know.

What are times in your life where an act of creation or compassion helped you to deal with bad feelings or bad circumstance?

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