Do you ever feel guilty for not being happy? I know I have felt that way. It sometimes feels like if I am not happy then it must mean I am not having enough faith and trust in God, or that I am not obeying the commandment to “rejoice”, or that I am not being grateful enough.
But I recently was reminded of some scriptures that helped alleviate those guilty feelings.
Isaiah describes Jesus Christ as “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief”
Many of us remember that when Jesus’ dear friend Lazurus passed away, Jesus wept.
He also wept over the city of Jerusalem.
Even Jesus felt forsaken by God, but that didn’t mean He lacked faith.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus found His apostles “sleeping for sorrow”.
Peter “wept bitterly” when he realized he had denied His Lord.
To the Romans, Paul wrote: “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.”
In vision, the prophet Enoch saw God weep for the suffering caused by the sins of His children.
The prophet Nephi wrote “my heart sorroweth because of my flesh”.
Ammon and his brothers were depressed at times during their mission.
Jesus’ disciples saw the extreme wickedness of their people “And from this time the disciples began to sorrow for the sins of the world.”
The prophet Mormon wrote “my soul was rent with anguish” because of the fallen of his people.
The prophet Joseph Smith also felt forsaken and sorrowful while imprisoned in Liberty Jail.
When you are feeling sorrowful or unhappy, you are in good company. The Savior, His apostles, and many great prophets and individuals throughout history have had times of unhappiness or of feeling abandoned by God.
This doesn’t mean you are unrighteous, ungrateful, or unfaithful. It just means you are a person, and that you are going through a hard time. Life wasn’t meant to be trial-free, so it wasn’t meant to be sadness-free either.
And even though we will have periods of sadness in our lives, we can have hope that our trials and sorrow will not last forever. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/rev/21.4?lang=eng#3)