Come Listen to a Prophet’s Voice: Happiness
February 2004

“Come Listen to a Prophet’s Voice: Happiness,” Liahona, Feb. 2004, F2–F3

Come Listen to a Prophet’s Voice:


Adapted from “Our Search for Happiness,” Liahona, Oct. 2000, 2–8; Ensign, Oct. 2000, 2–6.

President James E. Faust

President Faust teaches us how to be happy.

Since we don’t always desire that which is good, having all our desires granted to us would not bring us happiness.

The story is told of Ali Hafed, a wealthy ancient Persian who owned much land.

An old priest told him that if he had a diamond the size of his thumb, he could purchase a dozen farms. “If you will find a river that runs through white sands, between high mountains, in those white sands you will always find diamonds.”

Said Ali Hafed, “I will go.”

So he sold his farm and away he went in search of diamonds. After years of searching, he had spent all his money, and he passed away in rags and wretchedness.

Meanwhile, the man who purchased Ali Hafed’s farm one day led his camel out into the garden to drink, and as the animal put his nose into the shallow waters, the farmer noticed a curious flash of light in the white sands of the stream. Reaching in, he pulled out a black stone containing a strange eye of light. In the black stone was a diamond. According to the story, this marked the discovery of the most valuable diamond mines in the history of the ancient world.

Had Ali Hafed remained at home and dug in his own cellar or anywhere in his own fields, rather than traveling in strange lands where he eventually faced starvation and ruin, he would have had “acres of diamonds.”1

How many times do we look for our happiness at a distance in space or time rather than right now, in our own homes, with our own families and friends?

Live happily every hour, every day, every month, and every year. The golden pathway to happiness is the selfless giving of love.


  1. Story paraphrased from Russell H. Conwell, Acres of Diamonds (1960), 10–14.

Illustrated by Barbara Kiwak