what does "happiness" mean to a Mormon?

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Momma Snider
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Postby Momma Snider » Tue 23 May, 2006 02:42 pm

I just thought I'd throw in what an atheist friend of mine had to say:

"That's the beauty of existential humanism . . . If you truly believe that you only have one chance, then you're always asking yourself if you're doing the best thing that you could possibly be doing at any given moment. You try to live your life to the fullest, because you only have one. No sitting back in a life of misery telling yourself that you'll make up for it when you get to heaven."

I could see it going the other way, too, that if you didn't believe there was anything beyond this life, there's no point in knocking yourself out to accomplish anything special. For that matter, if I was living a life of misery and thought there was no happier life in heaven, I'd want to just quit the whole thing right now.

Anyway, that's what he said.

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Matt
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Postby Matt » Tue 23 May, 2006 09:20 pm

It's just a matter of what motivates you. Having no belief in the hereafter, the only "imortality" that I can be assured of is what I leave behind when I go. That's a pretty good motivator to leave something worthwhile behind. If I do good here AND there ends up being a heavenly afterlife, I'm cool with that too.
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Postby Slash the Berzerker » Thu 25 May, 2006 04:01 pm

"That's the beauty of existential humanism . . . If you truly believe that you only have one chance, then you're always asking yourself if you're doing the best thing that you could possibly be doing at any given moment. You try to live your life to the fullest, because you only have one. No sitting back in a life of misery telling yourself that you'll make up for it when you get to heaven."


I have known some religious folks who almost seem to revel in their miseries, as if it shows that they are really 'earning' their heavenly reward by being miserable now.

I also know some people who consider the idea of truly living life to the fullest now, as a betrayal of the idea that you should only be enjoying yourself once you get your eternal reward.
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Momma Snider
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Re: what does "happiness" mean to a Mormon?

Postby Momma Snider » Thu 21 Nov, 2013 04:14 pm

This was a good thread. I like thinking about it.

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Momma Snider
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Re: what does "happiness" mean to a Mormon?

Postby Momma Snider » Tue 18 Feb, 2014 02:19 pm

One meaning of happiness to me is knowing that the burdens I do have are being made light even as I'm carrying them. I know I don't have some of the really serious trials that some people have, but I have had some of them in my life at different times, and I've got some now. Because they have been lightened, I often forget I'm struggling with some things. It sounds funny, but it's true.

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Re: little detached happy thoughts

Postby ImAdhis » Fri 21 Feb, 2014 05:01 pm

ImAdhis wrote:There are so many ways to praise the Lord and his goodness that many women feel like they have to be able to do ALL of them (can peaches, sing in the choir, be Primary President, feed the hungry).


This list makes me giggle. At the time I wrote it, I had only ever canned peaches. I have since participated several times in feeding the homeless and I'm currently Primary President. I think in the future I will make up lists of stuff I REALLY want to do.
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Re: what does "happiness" mean to a Mormon?

Postby Momma Snider » Tue 25 Feb, 2014 02:09 pm

I thought of that when I was looking over this thread, Adhis.

My dear friend, who has very different ideas and philosophies of life from mine, does spirituality workshops with an associate. As expected, her idea of spirituality is also way different from mine. They have a website, www.callofmystery.com which explains their philosophy. Usually I just read what she writes and smile at our differences, but one thing she wrote on the page about their philosophies really floored me. She says, "Nothing in the world is more important than feeling good." I know a lot of people feel that way, but to relate that to spirituality just seemed wrong. Happiness, yes, joy, of course, but "feeling good" to me is a very temporary feeling, very fleeting. I assume Hitler (my go-to example of evil) thought he felt good when he saw all his soldiers goose-stepping up and down the streets, and when he knew his extermination efforts killed six million people, but I don't think that meant he was a spiritual person.

So I'm interested to see what she says about that.

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Re: what does "happiness" mean to a Mormon?

Postby ImAdhis » Mon 03 Mar, 2014 12:32 am

Jesus Christ did quite a few things that did not feel good. In fact, he did a couple that drew blood due to the immense pressures of not "feeling good". Ghandi did things that did not feel good. Mother Teresa as well. Joan of Arc.

I do understand the source of the idea of "feeling good" but I have seen it in recent years been oversimplified to mean we should only do what feeds our bliss. That is totally missing the mark and being completely misinterpreted by followers of the philosophy.
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Re: what does "happiness" mean to a Mormon?

Postby SDR » Mon 03 Mar, 2014 01:55 am

I've always heard happiness is a warm puppy.

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Re: what does "happiness" mean to a Mormon?

Postby Momma Snider » Mon 03 Mar, 2014 10:12 am

Adhis, that's exactly how this struck me. In another place, they explain that God needs nothing, including our obedience, and since he loves us unconditionally, he doesn't judge. I agree that HE doesn't need our obedience, WE are the ones who need it, but I haven't gone into that with her yet. And the concept that he doesn't judge is just more "if it feels good, do it" mumbo jumbo, in my opinion.

I think they completely leave Jesus out of it, in order to attract more of the noncommittal group.

I haven't heard back from her since I mentioned the feel-good concept. I don't think she's ever been mad at me for expressing my opinion in 44 years, but that's still what I worry about every time I disagree with her.


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