Sermoncitos, a family tradition



The purpose of man's creation is to enable him to gain joy - as the scripture says: "Men are, that they might have joy." Joseph Smith not only understood the profound meaning of this scripture as it relates to our eternal pursuits but also in regards to our earthly endeavors when he said, "Happiness is the object and design of our existence, and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it." The Lord has clearly defined this path which is kindness, obedience and godliness.

The process of acquiring this joyful state of happiness began in thepreexistence. It was there that all the sons of God shouted for joy at the prospect of coming to earth and undergoing probationary experiences. To those who are obedient to the gospel, the scriptures say that good tidings of great joy will be ours. Joy is a gift from the Spirit. It comes from the Holy Ghost.

It is universally known that providing service adds purpose and joy to our lives - as Robert Louis Stevensen wrote, "I know what happiness is, for I have done good work." More importantly the Lord stated in D&C 58, "Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness. For the power is in them."

I read a story of a 92 -year-old man. His wife recently passed away, making it necessary for him to move into another room in the care center. He smiled sweetly when told his room was ready and followed the attendant into the hall. As she motioned toward the room he said, "I love it", with enthusiasm. "Mr. Jones, you haven't seen the room, just wait." "That doesn't have anything to do with it," he replied...happiness is something you decide on ahead of time, Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is's how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I'll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away...just for this time in my life."

My advise to you would be to deposite a lot of happiness in the back account of memories.

President Hinckley said, "In all of living have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." Remember these five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.

JoAnn F. Howard


"A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance." Proverbs 15:13

President Hinckley said, "We need to have a little humor in our lives. We better take seriously that which should be taken seriously, but at the same time we can bring in a touch of humor now and again. If the time ever comes when we can't smile at ourselves, it will be a sad time."...also... "In all of living - have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured."

Craig wrote an article about laughter and how it applies to our good health. He quoted from Paul E. McGhee, Ph.D. McGhee is president of the Laughter Remedy in Wilmington, Del. and has published 11 books on humor. McGhee cites a study of people who had suffered a myocardial infarction. Half were put through the regular cardiac rehab program, while the other half were asked to view a 30 min comedy program. Dr. McGhee reported, "At the end of one year, the comedy group had significantly fewer recurrent incidents of myocardial infarction during the year and significantly lower blood pressure".

I know for myself, when I get out the movie, "Three Amigos", and watch till I'm bending over in laughter...I always feel much better. In technical terms the thing that is happening to us when we laugh is muscle relaxation, reduction of stress hormones, immune system enhancements, pain reduction and cardiac benefits. I agree with the experts and promise you ...Your sense of humor will not only enrich your life; it also promote within you... physical, mental and spiritual health.

Have a great week.

Nathan L. Howard

I Will Dance

This was written by an 83-year-old woman to her friend.

Dear Bertha,

I'm reading more and dusting less. I'm sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I'm spending more time with my family and friends and less time working.

Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure. I'm trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.

I'm not "saving" anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom.

I wear my good blazer to the market. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $128.49 for one small bag of groceries. I'm not saving my good perfume for special parties, but wearing it for clerks in the hardware store and tellers at the bank.

"Someday" and "one of these days" are losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it's worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now.

I'm not sure what others would've done had they known they wouldn't be here for the tomorrow that we all take for granted. I think they would have called family members and a few close friends. They might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think they would have gone out for a Chinese dinner or for whatever their favorite food was.

I'm guessing; I'll never know.

It's those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew my hours were limited. Angry because I hadn't written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn't tell my husband and parents often enough how much I truly love them. I'm trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and lustre to our lives. And every morning when I open my eyes, tell myself that it is special.

Every day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift.

"People say true friends must always hold hands, but true friends don't need to hold hands because they know the other hand will always be there."

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

Submitted by Heather Cook