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Finding purpose through a testimony of the Plan of Happiness

Graphic of a man and woman walking together with clouds and a temple in the background.

The plan of happiness has contributed to the lives of individuals through their missions and life experiences, and BYU-Hawaii students, alumni and professors shared the powerful impact embracing the plan has had on them.

According to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Plan of Happiness ultimately involves people returning to live with their Heavenly Father after they die by going through mortal experiences they agreed upon before coming to earth.

"My mission helped me realize that the plan of happiness is beyond death, but that Satan is trying hard to stop [the plan] from us," shared Day-j Mahana Gemmell, a senior from Tahiti majoring in Pacific Island Studies.

Gemmell commented on how her upbringing helped her build a testimony of the plan of happiness. Gemmell said she wasn't brought up in the Church, as her father was inactive, and her mother was baptized later in life.

"The day [my mother] accepted the gospel, everything changed," said Gemmell. Her mother's example inspired her to be baptized, she said.

"I truly feel that I needed to go through a specific path for me to become who I am supposed to become. I do not stop believing that [our] Father left us alone to walk alone."

I do not stop believing that [our] Father left us alone to walk alone.
Day-j Gemmell

Anne Workman, an adjunct faculty in the Faculty of Religious Education, talked about the family's role in the plan of happiness.

"Looking at Jesus Christ's example, He was always doing the will of His Father, and one of the last things He said was to have John take care of His mother. To the end, He was concerned with His earthly parents and to His Father in Heaven."

Will Krueger, a BYUH alumnus from New Zealand who received his degree in social work, said, "On my mission, I taught the plan of happiness hundreds of times, I'm sure. But no matter how many times I taught it, the truthfulness of that message was just as powerful as the first time."

Krueger continued sharing the desire for everyone to have happiness and said it is something everyone searches for in their lives. He said it is through the gospel that people can find true and everlasting happiness.

Gemmell shared an experience from her mission while sharing the plan of happiness. She said she was teaching a couple who were not attending church at the time, but they had a baby coming soon. The woman already had one boy, and when they taught the plan of happiness, he had a light about him knowing that he could be with his mom forever.

Krueger commented on the importance of acting on the knowledge we receive. "We talk about the plan of happiness so much, but it is not just talk. Act upon it, follow Christ, adhere to His teachings and try to apply gospel principles to your life. You will see it take effect. That's the beauty of it. It's not like a cute sales pitch or a gimmicky advertisement. It is an actual thing where you can be happy if you do follow the plan."

It is an actual thing where you can be happy if you do follow the plan.
Will Krueger

Gemmell shared being sealed to her husband impacted her testimony of the plan of happiness. She said, "Listening to him telling me every day how blessed he is to be sealed with me for time and all eternity, I have a deeper gratitude and testimony of the plan of happiness."

Workman said Jesus Christ taught to focus on the family should be a dominant force in our lives.

"We do not understand the plan of happiness if we do not understand the role of the family. Otherwise, we only understand a small part of it."