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July 21, 2015
Are We Having Fun Yet?
by Vickey Pahnke Taylor

Life is hard. It's also interesting, sometimes overwhelming. Life is full of hard lessons and sweet, tender ones. Feelings that span the spectrum. Shocking epiphanies and surprising twists and turns.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints add to their plate more "work" -- the work of callings in the Church, of service by appointment, of meetings and phone calls, and gospel study and sorting through so that we see more clearly the things that are of most importance. It's a lot of work, isn't it?

I remember a poem I heard years ago;

Mary had a little lamb;
It grew to be a sheep.
And then it joined the Mormon Church
And died from lack of sleep.

I laughed when I first heard it. I laugh now. You've probably also heard the slightly irreverent, "We believe in meetings, we have endured many meetings, and hope to be able to endure all meetings." 

So -- yes, we are busy in our Church. We are busy with life -- with careers, raising families, serving others, trying to figure things out, pushing to learn more and grow gracefully.

We're going through tunnels of darkness sometimes, grateful for that light at the end of the tunnel. Or maybe all of life in this Telestial world is a tunnel. The light we seek and see is that of a better time, of a better order, and of brighter things to come. We see it, sense it, feel it because of the spirit in us. And because we have hope.

Along all our goal-setting, work, doing and such, are we having fun? Are we incorporating a portion of amusement and enjoyment into our daily routines? Or the times that smack us and temporarily take us out of our familiar schedules and practices/?

President Gordon B. Hinckley was one who believed in fun. He believed in optimism and laughter.  He taught us that, "Life is to be enjoyed, not endured." Here is a man whose work load was unimaginable, the weight of his calling heavy, and yet he lived with joy and enjoyment. The rest of that quote is, "In all of living, have much fun and laughter."

What great advice!

We can find an inner rhythm of happiness and fun, when we sync up with the better, happier things of this world. They are, actually, connected to the things of a better world, where spiritual things of sweetness and goodness are prominent and beautiful.

Although we have to be serious about our life's work, we don't have to take ourselves seriously. We can more easily get through the darker places and the potholes if we are listening (and the Holy Spirit surely carries this to us and in us) and feeling the gentle rhythm of joy that comes from learning -- even in the harder times. 

It's not all easy, but it's all good. It can be a lot more fun, if we prioritize with the spirit President Hinckley suggested. That brings a lot more goodness. And goodness matters, doesn't it?

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About Vickey Pahnke Taylor

Vickey Pahnke Taylor is a wife, mom, grandmother, teacher, author, and songwriter. Her undergraduate study at BYU was musical theater. She has a Masters degree in interpersonal communications.

A Billboard award-winning songwriter with hundreds of songs to her credit, she uses music as a teaching tool. But her favorite way to use music has been to sing to her children. You should hear the family's rousing versions of "Happy Birthday"!

In addition to three solo albums in the LDS market, she co-wrote "Women at the Well" with Kenneth Cope and "My Beloved Christ: with Randy Kartchner. She is co-writer of the theme song for Utah's Make-A-Wish foundation, the song for the Special Olympics program, and EFY's theme song.

She writes for several online magazines and columns, and has authored several books. Her website, www.goodnessmatters.com, is her way of continuing to grow goodness in the world, pointing people gently toward Christ and eternal principles of truth.

She has spoken for the Church's various Youth and Family programs for 25 years. She and her husband Dean have eight children and four grandchildren. She adores being a wife, mom and grandmother. She loves flowers, brownies, cooking Italian and Southern foods, the ocean, and laughing every chance she gets.

Vickey was baptized a member of the Church as a teenager in Virginia. She serves as gospel doctrine teacher in her ward, and Dean serves on their stake high council.

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