Thursday, October 13, 2011

Living After the Manner of Happiness by Juli Newman

Today's post comes from Juli Newman of the blog Juli's Journey:

I am so excited to be a part of The Book of Mormon Forum here on Jocelyn's blog today. What a neat idea!

The Book of Mormon is amazing! I read it all the way through for the first time when I was 17. It took my entire spring break plus some, but I finished it in less than a month. It was an incredible experience to have finally read all of the words that I had been learning about for years.

Earlier this year, I came across a challenge to read the entire Standard Works in one year while studying the women in them in-depth. I have been reading 10-15 pages each night after I get my girls to bed, and by reading the scriptures in larger chunks, I have grasped the hi{story} of these people so much more fully.

I have learned so many things through this and have discovered how to "liken the scriptures" unto myself.

I wish I could share everything I have learned, but it would take weeks, so I will just share one of my favorites.

In 2 Nephi chapter 5, Nephi shows us how to "Live After the Manner of Happiness." He lays out a pattern for us. I had never noticed this before in the countless times I have started reading the Book of Mormon.

Now remember, Nephi has already reached the promised land, but contentions arose with his brothers. I was reading through the chapter not really thinking much about it until I got to verse 27, where he talks about being happy.

This prompted me to look back at the chapter more closely to see what Nephi and his people had done to achieve this state of happiness. Here is what I found.

In verse 1 Nephi says,
"I Nephi, did cry much unto the Lord my God"

In verse 5 he states,
"the Lord did warn me, that I, Nephi, should depart from them and flee into the wilderness, and all those who would go with me."
HAPPINESS RULE #2 Leave behind contentious things.

In verse 10 Nephi tells us,
"And we did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things" and in verse 12 he says, "I, Nephi, had also brought the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass; and also the ball, or compass, which was prepared for my father by the hand of the Lord"
HAPPINESS RULE #3 Keep God's directions close to you.

Nephi says in verse 14 that they
"did make many swords less by any means the people who were now called Lamanites should come upon us and destroy us; for I knew their hatred towards me and my children"
HAPPINESS RULE #4 Prepare for what may come.

In verse 15 Nephi and his people construct a temple.

HAPPINESS RULE #5 Participate in temple work.

In verse 17 it says,
"And it came to pass that I Nephi, did cause my people to be industrious, and to labor with their hands."
HAPPINESS RULE #6 Work hard.

And then (here it is!) in verse 27 he says,
"And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness."

I found it so interesting that only AFTER all of these things were completed did they live in happiness. They had to DO before the could BE.

So, let's review: If we want to be happy, we need to:
#1 Pray A LOT
#2 Leave behind contentious things
#3 Keep God's directions close to you
#4 Prepare for what may come
#5 Participate in temple work
#6 Work hard

The Lord requires action of His followers and He taught us that early on in the Book of Mormon.

I am grateful to have the knowledge that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. That is was translated from plates given to the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that the Book of Mormon testifies that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. I know that He lives and that He loves me and wants me to be happy. How grateful I am that He has laid out a pattern for us to show us the way to have true joy in this life and the next.


  1. Perfectly incredible entry! I'm forwarding this on to a friend who's family have issues with not letting go of the bad things they've experienced and who, in effect, have left the Lord. Thank you so much for this. No one can be happy without the Lord. Without doing all of these things.

  2. Awesome post! I'm printing this one out for my study journal.

  3. I love this~ I too want to forward this to someone. Well said~

  4. Thank you for this inspiring example in studying the scriptures.
    So glad to have this as a reference now.
    Sincerely, Jean

  5. good ideas, the challenges is to put them into action...

  6. This was an wonderful post on the Book of Mormon. It was very insightful and I loved the list of things to do for happiness.
    Keep on enjoying your moments with the Book of Mormon.

  7. Great post!!! Just read 2 Nephi last week and really loved it.

    I'm flying through Mosiah and I'm really into it.

  8. Truly fantastic post, Juli! Thank you for sharing!

  9. I love this post. I have to teach a class on scriptures/happiness, and this is really getting my mind turning. :)

    Also - I love the pictures!

  10. I love this! It would be fun to do a scripture study where you focus entirely on happiness and how it's achieved. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! :)

  11. Awesome! I loved this so much I made it the subject of my B of M study today! Thanks for such an inspiring blog!

  12. I really appreciated this post. Thank you!

  13. How wonderful! This post has really inspired me today!!! :D


  14. I really loved this, thank you so much for sharing!