Ads 468x60px

Not Really Happy?

Happiness is not, cannot be measured according to one’s righteousness.
It just can’t be.

I overheard a faithful Latter-day Saint bemoan her own economic struggles, and openly question why an acquaintance that had left the fold was prospering. She wondered why her lot was so tough, and the other family was obviously prospering. Where were her blessings? Why were they getting all of the blessings?

I am one of those people according to Elder Glen L. Pace in his classic talk They’re Not Really Happy (Ensign Nov. 1987) who has traded “telestial pleasure for celestial happiness and joy.”

I have let the faith of my youth. I suppose I have changed my address to General Delivery, the Great And Spacious Building.

Is that really how God works?

I cannot be really happy. Real joy will never be mine.

I am outside of the faith now.

And. I am happy.

Mental gymnastics make my head hurt. You would think after all of the years and all of the practice I have had in the sport, bending and twisting logic to explain the black and white in front of my face would be second hat.

I understand the mind-set. What else can I expect? I lived my life by the same ideals.

Maybe I am just out of practice.

Used to be when I would look at someone else who living life outside of the rules of life within the Church, my mind would go into default mode.

“They’re not really happy.”
I am happy. Even though I see those people doing all of the things I would like to do, it is me who is happy.
Not them. Nope.

Sounds pretty superficial, I get that. But, I am not talking about the people who went bowling on Sunday or who kept their tithing money in their own pockets.

What I did see were women who seemed happier. I would tell myself that was an illusion. I was the happy one. I had the Gospel of Jesus Christ, after all.

I was supposed to among the happiest people on earth.

But then I would see someone else receive some great “blessing” and the jumping-through-mental-hoops would start all over again.

How is it that I am over here struggling, and they are apparently getting all of the blessings?

These “blessings” were not necessarily material in nature. Happy people, happy moms were everywhere I looked.

They had balance. I teetered on the edge of falling to pieces.

Still, I found other places to shift the blame. My confirmation bias auto-corrected. I was being tested. By a loving God. I would be the better for it.

The Refiner’s Fire was melding me into something amazing.

Except that I just felt charred.

And when it didn’t feel right, I blamed myself for a profound lack of faith and commitment. I slipped back into the drowning pool.

Of course, that was then...

The truth stares me in the face. God is no respecter of persons. I have heard that one before. The rain falls on the just and the unjust. There is no rhyme or reason to why some do well, and others fare worse.

Happiness is a nebulous concept.

Maybe there is happiness to be found along other paths. Maybe the path to happiness is letting others go along on their own paths as they see fit, and wish them happiness along the journey.


Madame Curie said...

Maybe there is happiness to be found along other paths. Maybe the path to happiness is letting others go along on their own paths as they see fit, and wish them happiness along the journey.

I love this.

lifelongguy said...

Maybe in perverse reaction to what you are talking about I feel pressure to make sure I appear happy and well adjusted and hide my flaws now that I am no longer of the faith, just so that others will not see any problems or misfortune and want to blame my apostasy for my trials.

I'm out, and still totally being controlled. :)

Anonymous said...

I do feel very blessed and happy and my life is far from perfect. I'm very happy in the gospel. It actually brings me peace. When I'm not all in I find my life not all fitting into place and I become more about me. No one is perfect and none of us are without trials. We are here to learn and be better people, and contribute positively to society and try to make a difference. If the gospel doesn't work for you then great, but it does work for others. I think anyone can be happy if they are living a Christ-like life and serving others.

Post a Comment

who we are

Welcome to The Peacewriter.

We all want to belong somewhere, to someone. It is a basic human need.

If you have ever experienced a period of doubt or questioned your beliefs in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you know that this is not a minor thing. It is tantamount to a crisis, and one that can be life altering.

Lose your testimony, and you stand to lose everything that matters.

There are those who exist on the fringes of the Church, who feel disenfranchised, even unwanted. If you are single, gay or lesbian, feminist, atheist, or uncorrelated, it can be tough to feel like a part of the community. You may feel that you do not belong.

You belong here.

If you have ever loved someone who endured a faith crisis, you know that there are a lot of gray areas. Uncertainty is the dominant force; black and white become moot points.

Those who have walked the same path share a common bond, understood by few who have not traveled the same road.

This is the place to share common experiences, to find a voice, to be heard. This is the place to seek after peace, and to find it in the common ties we share.

This is The Peacewriter.

Please visit, and visit often. We intend to post new submissions regularly. If you want to contact us directly, click on the Contact Page or email us at

We welcome your feedback and submissions.