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The gospel of Jesus Christ offers us the consummate gifts of peace, happiness, and joy. But to many, these eternal promises seem elusive, even unattainable. In his familiar, warm style, Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shares truths we need to understand and embrace to truly have a life of peace, happiness, and joy.
“I have sought to write these things as though the two of us were alone together in an open and frank discussion of truth,” he writes in the book's preface. “At critically important times in my life the Lord has made it possible for me to be oriented, guided, and immensely blessed by exceptional mentors. While I can't help you directly in that capacity, my prayer is that the following chapters may be as close to a mentoring experience as I can make it.”
Filled with insightful stories and examples to illustrate doctrine and principles, the book encourages the reader while at the same time sharing profound apostolic counsel that will help us find true peace, achieve enduring happiness, and experience periods of immense joy.
- Paperback: 6" x 9"
- Pages: 352
- Paberback Published: 2010
- Number of Discs: 10
About the Author
Elder Richard G. Scott, was called as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in October 1988. He had served in the First Quorum of the Seventy since 1977 and was a member of the presidency of that quorum for five years. He holds a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering and completed post-graduate work in nuclear engineering. Prior to his call as a General Authority, he worked on the staff of Admiral Hyman Rickover developing military and private nuclear power reactors. Elder Scott and his wife, Jeanene Watkins Scott (deceased), are the parents of seven children.
As explained in more detail in the preface, the purpose of this book is to help you and others you love find true peace with enduring happiness and joy regardless of your circumstances in life.
What are peace, happiness, and joy? How can they be obtained in this mortal life? To what extent is it reasonable that one living in today’s world of declining values, demoralizing influences, and uncertain future can expect to enjoy the blessings of peace, happiness, and joy?
The Savior taught:
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.1
Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me.2
The peace that the Master has promised is much more than the absence of strife, turmoil, conflict, and contention. Its greatest blessing is realized in the life of an individual. Its absence is also felt most profoundly in the human mind and heart.
An example will illustrate the meaning of peace. I once had an experience that caused me immense anxiety. I was severely troubled. It had nothing to do with disobedience or transgression but with a vitally important human relationship. I was so overcome with concern that I did something I never do. I left my office early and went home to pray. For some time I poured my heart out to the Lord. Try as I might, I could find no solution, no settling of the powerful stirring within me. I pled for help from that Eternal Father I have come to know and trust completely. I could see no path that would provide the calm that is my blessing to generally enjoy. Sleep overcame me. When I awoke I was totally at peace. I knelt again in solemn prayer and asked, “Lord, how is it done?” In my heart, I knew the answer was His love and His concern for me. That is consummate peace.
Happiness has its roots in obedience to the teachings of the Lord and in faith in His capacity to fulfill His promises. It can be enjoyed in an environment of poverty or wealth, sickness or health, scarcity or abundance, serenity or challenge. Happiness can and should be the general background in which life is lived. It can provide strength and comfort when periods of challenge, sorrow, and disappointment are encountered, though we cannot expect that blessing when we are guilty of premeditated disobedience. Happiness and joy are often used interchangeably and will be repeatedly in this work. However, the scriptures confirm that joy can be so intense as to overcome entirely all other feelings.3 Such joy is a gift of God when fully merited. That singular joy is not often felt in life, while the happiness that comes through application of truth can be the predominant state in which we live.
No formula can prescribe how every individual can be assured of continual peace with happiness and joy in this mortal life. I am a witness that with patience, some long-suffering, and the help of the Lord, coupled with obedience to His commandments, those blessings can be enjoyed most of the time. You have seen a confirmation of that truth in others’ lives. My desire is that your prayers and faith—and hopefully some of the insight and truth shared in this volume—will permit you to have those consummate blessings in your own life.
Many in the world are convinced that wealth, power, influence, sexual pursuit, and the artificial stimulation of the mind and body through alcohol and drugs are the sources of happiness. Seeking that path to happiness is like looking for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Not only will the treasure not be found, but the results will almost always be sadness and disappointment, eventually leading to grief, anguish, and addiction. Such are consequences of yielding to Satan’s alluring temptations with their hollow promise of “happiness.” Only our Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, have given the pattern to acquire real peace and happiness. That is why the Father’s plan is appropriately named the Plan of Happiness.4
For enduring peace, it is essential that you understand the relationship between peace of conscience and peace of mind. It is also vital that you live the principles upon which both of these blessings are founded. I will explain.
God wants each of His children to enjoy the transcendent blessing of peace of conscience.5 A tranquil conscience invites freedom from anguish, sorrow, guilt, shame, and self-condemnation. It provides a foundation for happiness. It is a condition of immense worth, yet few on earth enjoy it. Why? Most often because the principles upon which peace of conscience is founded are not understood or adequately followed. My life has been so richly endowed from peace of conscience that I wish to share insights on how it can be obtained.
Peace of conscience is the essential ingredient to your peace of mind. Without peace of conscience you can have no real peace of mind. Peace of conscience relates to your inner self. Only you can take the action required to obtain it. Peace of conscience comes from God. Its fundamental requisite is a righteous, obedient life. It cannot exist otherwise. On the other hand, peace of mind is most often affected by external forces, such as concern for a wayward child, economic pressures, real or imagined offenses, world conditions, more to do than sufficient time to do it in, or, most pointedly, the transgressions of others. An unsettled mind should be temporary, transitory. Peace of mind is restored by resolving the external forces that disturb it. Not so with a troubled conscience, for it is unrelenting, ever present, a constant reminder of the need to correct your past mistakes, to resolve an offense to another, or to repent of transgression. Oh, a disturbed conscience can be temporarily masked by physical stimulation of the mind and body, where one yields to the temptations of alcohol, drugs, pornography, and worse. All this comes at the cost of an increased appetite for counterfeit methods to calm an aching conscience, and it brings the risk of incurring unrelenting addictions. Such actions will never restore peace of conscience.
The ability to have an unsettled conscience is a gift of God to help you succeed in this mortal life by being motivated to make needed change. It results principally from the influence of the Light of Christ on your mind and heart.6 The Light of Christ is that divine power or influence that emanates from God through Jesus Christ.7 It gives light and life to all things.8 It prompts all rational individuals throughout the earth to distinguish truth from error, right from wrong.9 It activates your conscience.10 Its influence can be weakened through transgression and addiction and restored through proper repentance. The Light of Christ is not a person. It is a power and influence that comes from God. When followed, it can lead a person to qualify for the more definitive guidance and inspiration of the Holy Ghost.11
It is well to recognize that even with peace of conscience you can have temporary periods when your peace of mind is interrupted by external concerns. Your understanding of the causes of those concerns can relieve much of the pressure they generate. As your personal life conforms to the teachings of the Lord, you can seek His help in resolving troubling issues. Thus, your faith in the Lord and His teachings will yield peace of mind. Your efforts will be stepping-stones to greater personal growth as Spirit-guided solutions are found. In addition, such challenges, as they are resolved, can often bring blessings to those whose needs have caused the disturbed feelings in your mind.
There is a scriptural basis for what we have reviewed. It is found in the extraordinary experience of the people of King Benjamin:
And . . . the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience, because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ who should come, according to the words which king Benjamin had spoken unto them.12
In summary, you can obtain peace of conscience by living a righteous life or by repenting of personal transgressions that cause you internal turmoil. Then peace of mind can be secured by resolving or understanding the external pressures that cause you temporary anxiety, worry, and distress. Yet if in your life there has been significant violation of commandments, try as you might, you will not find enduring happiness until, through repentance, you satisfy personally broken law to restore peace to a troubled conscience.
In subsequent chapters we will review together principles which form the foundation for a life of peace with happiness and joy for yourself or for a loved one. A variety of circumstances will be covered, with suggestions of what helps and what hinders efforts to live in peace with happiness and joy. The next chapter reveals ways to have more of those blessings in your life.
by Mary - reviewed on November 07, 2008
I have sticky notes sticking out all over this book as I've tried to mark the places relevant to me. I agree with another reviewer that I could almost hear his voice as I read the words. For years I've held close to my heart, in reference to trials only being a small part of our life and to enjoy it more fully. I felt the Savior's love for me in a very tender and personal way as I read this book. He does want me to feel His love and have joy and peace. I can't wait to get this book as a gift for others who might enjoy and benefit from the sweet words of this book.
Help for Troubled Times
by Kristina - reviewed on October 28, 2008
I have read this book twice already! I battle depression and reading this book every day is a great source of help. As I read it, it is as if I can hear Elder Scott's kind loving voice. It seems as if he really cares and really wants to share what he has learned about living so as to have peace, happiness and joy! I recommend this wonderful book to everyone!
by John - reviewed on June 29, 2007
This book is a treasure. For me, it was like I could hear the voice of Elder Scott, personally talking to and mentoring me. The principles Elder Scott teaches have had and will continue to have a significant impact on my life.
Amazing! One of the best!
by Denise - reviewed on November 01, 2007
This book is one of the best. I was particularly touched by his thoughts on trials and their purpose. I have shared Elder Scott's thoughts and his book with several of my friends, both member and non-member who are going through trials of their own. It has become one of their favorites too.
Bought for a gift, couldn't give it away!
by Nikki - reviewed on October 30, 2008
I loved this book! I bought it as a gift for my Father-in-Law and ended up keeping it for myself instead! I mailed him a gift card for deseret book, and he got the same book and loved it too. When Richard G. Scott came to our stake to reorganize it, I felt like I already knew him.
ENTER INTO THE HEART
by Dr. B. William - reviewed on April 06, 2007
One test I use to buy a book is not its cover or the marketing but what happens if I just let a page fall open -- and read where the eyes land. If one finds that the words -- even if discovered out of the context of the chapter -- enter into the heart then this must be a true book. It then is like unto scripture. It then can become a candle of comfort, a source of study, and soon, an old friend. If for nothing else then what Elder Scott has taught from the pulpit and includes on page 86 pick up this book during your bookstore browsing. But there is more. It has been in my hands less than a day. Yet that process that begins with a soft lead pencil and then a firm yellow highlighter has now settled in. In the days and years to come it will teach me again and again. Not Elder Scott's stories but his gift of guiding us to the meaning of our own experiences is just one of the first lessons this book teaches me. Thus in a marvelous way-just like the scriptures- the reader and the writer connect in a deeply spiritual conversation.
by Customer - reviewed on January 04, 2008
Absolutely wonderful book that offers hope to everyone...from to those who have been victims of abuse to those who are frustrated that they can't seem to reach perfection. Lots of practical applications.
a true gem from a treasured Apostle
by Jeff - reviewed on September 14, 2008
Elder Richard Scott's first book was well worth the wait. The love he has for members of the Church and the desire to see all come unto Christ shows in this wonderful work. I highly recommend Elder Scott's inspired counsel and encourage you to partake of the powerful messages contained in this book.
I have been waiting for this book.
by Roberta - reviewed on May 17, 2010
I have been waiting so long to have Elder Scott's words put together. He really does speak "one-to-one". Thank you. So much to learn about recognizing the Savior in our day to day lives. As always... encouraging, encouraging and mostly encouraging. Easy to read without words that you are not quite sure what they mean; Common communication from the heart; I love it!
I love pure doctrine
by Martha - reviewed on February 02, 2012
I love this book for the following lessons: 1. How personal the message is. 2. The book is written with love, love for the Lord, love for us and love for his Wife. 3. Almost every paragraph has a reference to a scripture or to the words of leaving prophets. 4. It is for every one going through any thing 5. He makes doctrine be the water for a thirsty soul. You should listen to this wonderful interview http://mormonchannel.org/conversations/6 Thank you Elder Richard Scott
An amazing book that talks exactly about what the cover says.
by Alexander - reviewed on June 29, 2011
Elder Richard G. Scott’s Finding Peace, Happiness, and Joy is an amazing book that talks exactly about what the cover says. Elder Scott has written this book, as he does with all of his conference talks, with an immense amount of love, a voice of kindness and concern, and with personal stories which we can all relate to. The book is written to people in all different stages of life, he is a man that has been incredibly faithful his entire life and he describes what he has done to be a great son, father, and spouse. He uses many stories from his life in which we are able to understand others points of view and how we can better ourselves. This book is applicable to all, he relates the problems that we all have in life and different suggestion in overcoming these difficulties. It offers hope to all those that read it that are struggling with life, which is all of us. Elder Scott talks from his heart in this book and it is notable throughout the book the encouragement that he is offering the reader. There are a few issues that I found with the book. Some latter-day saint members might feel that they have heard the stories before. He does repeat some stories that have been told before in conference, and this might bother some readers. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that is struggling with life or that just needs that spiritual boost. It is like reading the scriptures for me. I have been able to mark this book up with underlining and highlighting. I have been able to look up the Scriptures that are referenced which is done notability well. I have been able to read this book and enjoy every page, you can tell of the love that he has thus far had for life. I plan on giving this book away as gifts to many of my friends because it is written for all in different stages of life looking for peace, happiness, and joy.