Men Are That They Might Have Joy!
“ Is this the end of the world, Dad? “ My seventeen year old niece asked my
Judging by recent events, it was not a too far-fetched question. It seems the
world is upside down, and I am not only referring to the current events in this
country, but worldwide.
Our sense of security is gone. We regretfully know only too well, that going to the
movies in Colorado, or having dinner at a restaurant in Paris, or celebrating the
Bastille Day with family in Nice, or simply going to a bar with friends in Florida,
ended in the
loss of many innocent lives by terrorist and criminal acts, recently.
Families are under siege. More and more the world calls evil good, and good evil. Anger
and hatred towards others who are deemed to be different crosses borders, and it is
found in every race, country, or community.
Paul described our times as ‘perilous,’ which means dangerous. His exact words
recorded in the Scriptures, read, “ This know also, that in the last days perilous times
shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud,
blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection,
trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.”
2 Timothy 3: 1-5. Sounds familiar? “ From such, Paul counseled, almost two thousand
years ago, turn away.”
Easier said than done. We find them in our schools, our places of work, our
government, the media. They may be found among our neighbors, those we worship
with, and tragically sometimes even in our own families.
Many of us, when we witness the change in humanity, or lack of it, and hear of wars
and rumors of wars, hate crimes, tsunamis, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, fires,
plagues, hunger afflicting millions of the earth’s inhabitants right now, can sympathize
with my niece and want to ask, Is this the end of the world?
Christians throughout the world await the Second Coming and watch these events and
ask themselves if they portend Jesus Christ’s much expected arrival, but again the
scriptures clearly state, “...but the hour and the day no man knoweth, neither the angels
in heaven, nor shall they know until he comes.” D&C 49:7
Many people I know are suffering now. They are afraid, frustrated, angry, sad, anxious,
in other words, they run the whole gamut of emotions. Through my studies in Traditional
Chinese medicine, I have learned the importance of pent-up emotions in our overall
health. Through my studies of the scriptures, I have learned that a purpose to our
existence is to have joy.
In a society as the one we live now, it is easy to feel negative emotions more often than
positive ones. Easier to blame someone for whatever is going wrong in our lives. Easier
to become offended, to refuse to acknowledge our own shortcomings. To place blame
on others rather than bite the bullet and recognize that “the buck stops here, “ with me.
We hear all around us, “He made me do it.” “It was her fault!” “ They did it,” instead of
“I am sorry. It was my fault. I will never do it again.”
There is opposition in all things. Health and sickness, pleasure and pain, joy and
misery, love and hate. We may feel drawn by one or the other all the time, and though
we are free agents and able to choose what enticement to follow, sometimes bad
things just happened to good people.
Why? Because this is a fallen world. We live among imperfect people. We leave
our bike outside, and someone will steal it. We forget our laptop at school, and it
will not be there the next day. We come in contact with viruses, bacteriae, parasites
and we will get sick. We do wrong things, exercising our right to choose, and we
face consequences we did not want. That comes with the territory, as they say.
So how can we find joy and fulfill one of the purposes of our creation? How can we
face so much tragedy and fear and conflict and still be happy?
It is important that we do so. For many reasons, such as freeing our spirits of
negative energy, and continuing our progression, but also for our continued physical
The Chinese healers recognized this thousands of years ago. They observed that we
are energetic beings where channels of energy, which they called meridians, run
through related to paired organs in our bodies, lung and large intestine, spleen and
stomach, liver and gallbladder, etc. They observed that emotions can cause
obstructions in these channels, preventing the free flow of the energy, increasing heat,
causing inflammation, pain and illness. Let those obstructions stand long enough and
the meridians, and organs they are related to, will become weakened by the body’s
natural fight to heal itself. Obstructions and deficiencies will then make us sick by the
negative emotions we allow ourselves to feel.
So, again, what can we do? We can start by recognizing the phenomenon, and our
power to stop it. We can start by detoxifying our liver, the organ most affected by the
anger and frustration we harbor.
One of the easiest ways I advise my patients to do this is by using what is known as the
abc’s. A green apple, a beet, and carrots, in a salad, soup or smoothie daily will do this.
Add a teaspoon of milk thistle and you have a powerful liver detoxifier, that will leave
this battered organ whistling with happiness.
We can start by following certain rules. I call them the 15 commandments.
Understand that this too will pass. In my wise grandmother’s words, “No problem
lasts a hundred years nor there is a fool who can outlast them."
Take control of what you can control, and forget about the rest.
Do what you can, and then stand back and let the arm of God reveal Itself. Help will
We think it, We feel it, We do it, for good or bad. So, think good, happy thoughts.
Exercise. Endorphins, especially those you release while out in the open, while
hiking, walking, running on the mountains, forest, beach, open the energetic channels
and make you feel better.
Acquire a greater perspective. Focus on the bigger picture. Ask yourself, does
this challenge have eternal consequences or it is just for “a brief moment?”
Practice Prayer, Meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi on a daily basis.
Remember your blessings and develop a grateful heart. If you take the time to count
your many blessings, you will develop optimism and faith for a better future.
Recount your past challenges and lessons learned. You are a survivor of many
Worrying about whatever it is you are facing, will not cause the challenge to
Try to develop faith. Start by having the desire to believe in God, in you, in a
brighter future. All is possible to those who believe.
Watch your attitude. Beware of what I call Toxic Attitudes. Things such, I can’t.
I am not worth it. This is the end, for they are not real!
Be happy with, without or in spite of what you want and cannot have right now.
Serve others. Lose yourself in service. If we use our energy to help others more
disadvantaged than ourselves, and there are always more of those, we will find out
that we are happier and more resolute people, just by caring for others.
Finally, remember that you have been prepared even before you were born to
face the challenges of mortality and succeed.
President Thomas S. Monson in his book “ A Future as Bright as Your Faith,” reminds us
of this by quoting scripture.
“Ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and
the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come.” Ether 2:25
President Monson explains, “He has prepared us. If we heed His words and live the
commandments we will survive this time of permissiveness and wickedness-a time
which can be compared with the waves and the winds and the floods that can destroy.
He is ever mindful of us. He loves us and will bless us as we do what is right.”
So, let us do right, let us be happy, let us fulfill the measure of our creation!