There is a difference.
As a self-proclaimed seeker of happiness (see blog title), I was enthralled with this lesson. Our lives are filled with everyone/everything telling us that you must have FUN to be happy. I remember a couple of years ago poking around the blogging world and finding wives and mothers who felt liberated by the stay-at-home blog (albeit well intended) message of: "Do what makes you happy!" Then they left their husbands and families and jobs to crochet. And you know what? It didn't take very long before I was reading these bloggers stories of how they begged for their jobs back. They pleaded with their husbands. They apologized to their children. I'm sure they had a lot of "fun" while they were away. Because fun is play, pleasure, and amusement. But HAPPINESS is contentedness, joy, delight and (here's the big one:) satisfaction.
While both fun and happiness are wonderful, wonderful things, I don't think anyone would disagree that happiness is the most worth seeking out. In the article that today's church lesson was based off of, Elder Claudio R.M. Costa says:
"Happiness can encompass fun, but fun alone cannot assure us true happiness."
The article goes on to list the prime example of this principle by discussing the prodigal son. Did he have fun while he was away from his father's house? Sure. But he came back so that he could be happy.
In our modern world, this same thing happened to millionaire director Tom Shadyac. After some buying all the stuff the world tells you you need to be happy, he looked around and realized he was still miserable. Having fun? Sure. But not happy. Then he made a documentary about it.
This lesson of fun vs. happiness was a pretty humbling experience for me. I have been complaining and kicking and screaming about my life here in Utah. Crying out that I'm not happy. What I really mean is, I am not having fun here. The confusion of the two is my own fault, and I feel rebuked by the spirit.
I know where TRUE HAPPINESS comes from, and it's not from the picture of a coat on Pinterest with the caption "happiness." It's not from television or crochet or photography. It's comes from following the teachings of our Savior, and knowing that while we are not perfect, his grace makes us whole. It comes from being with my family. It comes from inside of me.
The scripture that my blog title is based off of says that no one can receive a greater joy than the humble seeker of happiness. Not the humble seeker of happy moments, folks. A humble seeker of happiness.
I fear that I may have been chasing the moments instead of seeking the true and eternal. I hope that I can make that mistake no more. And I hope the same for you.