“Building the Best You,” For the Strength of Youth, Sept. 2021, 6–7.
When the Lord commanded Joseph Smith to build the Kirtland Temple, He didn’t leave him to figure out how to do it all on his own. He revealed a plan that would lead to success.
“Let the house be built, not after the manner of the world,” the Lord declared. “Let it be built after the manner which I shall show” (Doctrine and Covenants 95:13–14). The Lord then gave instructions on how to build the temple (see Doctrine and Covenants 95:15–17).
Thankfully, the Lord has shown us more than just how to build temples. He has also given us instructions to help us become the best person we can be. As we follow them, we will build our lives “not after the manner of the world” but after the way the Lord has designed.
Here are five ways to build a happy and joyful life centered on Jesus Christ.
Any architect or builder will tell you that a solid foundation is essential to any building. Helaman taught that the best foundation for our lives is “the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God” (Helaman 5:12). We can make Christ our foundation by coming unto Him and following His teachings. How do you feel you’re doing at making Christ the foundation of your life?
Another great way to build our lives, according to President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, then-Second Counselor in the First Presidency, comes when “we’re on our feet serving the Lord and serving those around us.”1 When you serve others, you are doing what Jesus did and learning to become more like Him. And you will not only bless the lives of the people you serve, but you will be blessed as well.
Another way to build a happy life is to build a relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. A great way to do that is through prayer and scripture study.
President Uchtdorf said: “To strengthen our relationship with God, we need some meaningful time alone with Him. Quietly focusing on daily personal prayer and scripture study… will be some wise investments of our time and efforts to draw closer to our Heavenly Father.”2
Prayer is an opportunity to communicate with our Father in Heaven. He knows us, loves us, and wants to hear from us! When we pray sincerely, offer our thanks, and ask for the things we need, He listens and always answers in His own way and time.
When it comes to scripture study, there is no one right way to do it. The important thing is that you do it! President Russell M. Nelson has taught, “Daily immersion in the word of God is crucial for spiritual survival.”3 Spending time each day in the scriptures will, without a doubt, help you build a life of faith and strength.
Heavenly Father wants us to connect and build relationships with others—especially family and friends. We are often shaped by those we spend time with. Whether they are members of the Church or not, you should surround yourself with people who help you live the gospel, keep the Lord’s standards, and become a better person. You can also help those around you to do the same. Which of your friends is helping you build your foundation on righteousness?
There are many other ways you can build your life to be spiritually strong and have joy, including going to church and partaking of the sacrament, making and keeping covenants, and following the counsel of living prophets.
It’s important to remember that all of these things take work and time. There’s always building and learning to be done, but you don’t have to do it alone. The Lord will help you each day as you try your best to build a life that you and He can be proud of and that will bring you joy.