“Books,” Ensign, Aug. 1972, 94
Taken from lectures given over the years by the author to a variety of audiences, Seven Keys to Happiness is a practical guide for gaining the elusive yet universally sought-after treasure—happiness.
Here are the author’s keys for unlocking the secret:
1. Know and appreciate the world around you.
2. Maintain good physical and spiritual health.
3. Cultivate a good sense of humor.
4. Be a friend.
5. Be creative: always have a goal.
6. Maintain a wholesome relationship with the opposite sex.
7. Get to know and trust your Heavenly Father as a close, personal friend.
One way to “stop the war within,” says Brother Black, is to understand “that happiness translated into deeper meaning includes challenge. It is a commodity requiring action, self-discipline, and sincere giving of oneself.”
Another bit of sound wisdom is for parents who are counseling their youth:
“Don’t … ever think that you are that great that you can choose your friends by outward appearance only. There is a school full of no-name kids walking the halls each day who are sterling in character and goodness· Slow down and start taking time to notice people inside, instead of society’s … attitude of outside only. Whether they are fat, skinny, tall or short, … start checking the spirits of people and you’ll have a great, new experience coming to you.”
That sounds worthwhile for persons of any age.
In these three pamphlets, spanning the problems of today’s young adult, Brother Lowell Bennion pinpoints some perspectives and values gleaned from many years of successful teaching and counseling experiences.
In On Being a College Student, Dr. Bennion gives a few procedures to facilitate study. He suggests that a student—
—ought to make out a daily schedule in which the most important item after his class schedule is his study time—a good two hours of study for each hour spent in class.
—should train himself to live and to study in “daytight compartments,” not dissipating the mind with future concerns.
—should study at the same time and place.
—should ask questions. At least ask yourself, “What is the author trying to tell me?”
Brother Bennion concludes his pamphlet with this statement: “College life is not for everyone. Life is a choice of values and many people rightly find their satisfaction in developing skills with their hands. … University life is for the person who ‘hungers and thirsts after knowledge.’”
“Life is not static, but dynamic,” says Dr. Bennion in Looking Towards Marriage. “And marriage is ever a new kind of relationship demanding the best of two people.”
Since marriage is the most intimate, uninterrupted relationship of two total persons in a total changing situation, Brother Bennion points out that: (1) Marriage is for keeps. It is intended to be permanent. (2) Marriage is a working financial partnership. Couples have to maintain themselves. (3) Marriage is a love affair, although love in marriage is quite different from love before marriage, blending with living together around the clock. (4) Marriage is a total human relationship. (5) Marriage brings children, who add another dimension to the relationship.
All of this makes marriage “a far larger, more complicated, critical, and potentially rich relationship than anything one can know before marriage.”
In Husband and Wife, Brother Bennion explores the transition from the single to the married state, in which he says both husband and wife have adjustments to make. In attempting to answer the question, “How can husband and wife become more emotionally mature both individually and in their relationship?” he gives a few suggestions: (1) Basic to maturity is the practice of being honest with oneself. (2) Husbands and wives will learn to communicate with each other as they become free to express their feelings, desires, and needs. (3) Emotional maturity comes as one learns to lose himself in good causes outside himself—to become interested in the well-being of others, such as his spouse, children, friends, neighbors, or the community.
He concludes: “Only in relation to values and commitments greater than their own private interests can a couple find its oneness and greatest fulfillment.”