I have had this scripture from 2 Nephi 5:27 hanging in my home on my gallery wall, between family pictures for a few years. My sister had it printed and framed for me as a gift. I often think about how the pictures around it make me happy, and that being with the people I love is living that manner of happiness. Which is true, but I feel like I learn more about that happiness the longer I think on it.
I sometimes think the point is to be happy...and with a weird unspoken expectation to be happy all the time. But living after the manner of happiness doesn't mean being in a constant state of the feeling of happy. Happy is a feeling, and therefore by definition, a temporary state. Living after the manner of happiness is way better than just a feeling happy. Living after the manner of happiness is progression, it's resilience, it's goal setting, it's being present, it's failing and not making it mean you're a failure, it's learning, it's joy in the journey.
As Nephi said earlier in the chapter that he taught his people to be industrious and to labor with their hands, he taught them the value of hard work and sacrifice. Living after the manner of happiness means, we know the commandments of God and we strive to keep them. When we fail, we repent. We work to dedicate ourselves to a good cause. It seems to me that whenever happiness is mentioned in The Book of Mormon, those repetitive words of "inasmuch as they shall keep my commandments they shall prosper in the land..." also show up. And today I was thinking about how prospering in the land doesn't always mean, prosperity, or more money. It means prospering in our progression of life. It's learning, growing, achieving and loving the process even though it's hard. It's thriving in the simple mundane aspects of life and deciding every day counts. It's choosing to simply thrive now!
I love this process, I love learning to live after the manner of happiness! It's hard and lovely all at the same time.