Why do Mormons seem so happy?

Jan 4, 2012 by

why are mormons so happy?

We received the following question from Len a couple of weeks ago:

I’m Jewish, and I know this might seem like a weird question, but I can’t stop thinking about it: Why do all of the Mormons that I know seem so happy? So genuinely, positively happy? Why do their personal lives seem so fulfilled? Even the Mormon missionaries that I see on the street seem so warm and kind and are always smiling. I really don’t understand how they can be that way 24/7. Is it just an act? Or is it real? I know that Mormons struggle too (everyone has bad days), but I’m really puzzled to see an entire group of people emanating joy, success, and happiness.

Len, this isn’t a weird question at all. We hope it will be beneficial to read responses from several different people; we’ll be posting some of those responses over the next few days. 

One key reason why you may sense this happiness from members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“Mormons”) is because of our religious beliefs. For example:

Mormons Believe in Hope
(see submissions below by Jen and Susan)

~by Jen

I think this true happiness that is so apparent comes from the that we as a church really truly believe in HOPE!  That knowing that Heavenly Father lives and loves us and communicates with us through the spirit and modern day prophets makes our connection to Him very real. It also can/should give the prospective that no matter what life sends us here on Earth, if we listen and follow what we are told to do from our Heavenly Father we have the promise from the most high power that He will not ever leave us alone through any hard times. In fact that He will help us through them and we can overcome any trial that life will send our way.  Most of all that God loves us so much that he sent us a Savior to aide us in our journey through life.  Our Savior has already overcome everything and we just have to choose to follow him in order to overcome anything.  One of the best parts is that Heavenly Father trusts us enough to allow US to make the choice to follow.  We are not forced we are asked to follow, and given a promise that if we do follow we will come out on top. If we mess up, and make the wrong choice, He has given us a way around that also. It doesn’t mean it is not hard.  It doesn’t mean it is not going to be a constant battle sometimes.  It doesn’t mean that we will not be challenged to a point that seems unbearable at times.  It simply means that we can find hope in knowing that because of a loving Heavenly Father we will be empowered and victorious over anything that might be hard for us.  This gives us hope in the face of adversity and that is what makes it possible for us to find/have hope. A hope for true happiness.  If we choose to stay on the Lord’s side we are promised true happiness and given the many tools (ie family, prayer, scriptures, spirit, forgiveness, love, mercy, etc) to have it.

I truly am grateful for the knowledge that I have of our Heavenly Father’s plan, the understanding that I have been given, the hope that I have been blessed with, the faith that gets me through my trails and to be a part of such a great family!!  I am also very grateful that I am truly happy!!!

- – - – - -

~by Susan

Here’s my perspective. You’re right, everyone has challenges, trails and heartbreaks and they all make us sad, discouraged and frustrated. That’s life sometimes. The difference is, how we chose to let those things affect us. I believe that, people that have faith in a higher power than themselves, believe that things will get better and, with that higher help, they will be able to get through the trial or they have faith that eventually it all will workout for good. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, not only believe in a loving Heavenly Father and  his son Jesus Christ, but also have access to inspirational men and women that are encouraging and helpful when they say things like,

“So much in life depends on our attitude. The way we choose to see things and respond to others makes all the difference. To do the best we can and then to choose to be happy about our circumstances, whatever they may be, can bring peace and contentment.”

(President Thomas S. Monson)

My husband and I have a favorite radio host who is Jewish, his name is Dennis Prager.  One of his themes is, “Happiness is a moral obligation.”  He concurs with what President Monson says that, “So much in life depends on our attitude.”

Mormons have a hope in Jesus Christ. Because we believe he is the Savior of all mankind, we have faith that he knows us personally, and is aware of our needs, concerns and trials. The people you mention in your question,  believe that the Son of God not only knows their life but knows them by name, when you believe that, it makes it possible to look beyond the trouble and discouragements in life, and easier to recognize all that is good and count the blessings.Lastly, when you count the blessings in life and avoid dwelling on the difficulties, you just feel happier. You can’t help it.

- – - – -
In a post already published on Mormon Women (entitled “It’s Fun to be Me,” Susan also shares the following about how the gospel adds to the happiness she feels: 

[A]s a Mormonwoman, I know who I am. I know why I’m here, what life is about. When you know that, it gives you perspective on everything else. It’s fun to have a sure measuring stick for life. It’s not fun to have to guess. It’s fun to know.

In a strange way it’s good to be me because I know I can be better. I am familiar with my weaknesses. They are not hard to figure out for me. They are obvious, and I claim them as my own. It’s good to be me because I know they don’t have to be permanent. It is fun to be me because I have faith and hope in my life because of the Savior.

44 Comments

  1. Peter

    I think that the reason Mormons appear happy is because they are at peace born of a testimony of the truth. A lack of peace causes stress.

  2. Michael

    Many Christians of other faiths also have the Hope and testimonies of Christ that we have. They seem somewhat happy too, however, there is a big difference with the LDS folks. Others partake of the Holy Spirit; the LDS are able to be born of the Spirit because of the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It is the change and sanctification of the Spirt that brings this great happiness.

  3. I think that to many people we do appear to be happy and perfect and like we do have it all together all the time. I believe its because we have a strong faith, and a desire to be like Christ as much as we can, So we take care of ourselves, home, families and we are happy to do all of these things however hard or stressful they are with a smile or a song in our hearts because we know that it is we feel and believe Christ would be doing.

    And when we do hit trials and bumps in the road we lean on Him to see us through and believe with all our hearts that he can heal us and help us. Heavenly Father would not let us down and let us suffer endlessly, because he loves us and wants us to be comforted in his loving embrace.

  4. Jeff

    I agree with all the above, but also believe us Mormons are so happy is because we are compelled to Charity. Not forced into it but Charity is a major part of our lives. When you live a Charitable life your burdens are made light. It is much easier to see and count your blessings when your helping someone in need. Many people are stressed raising children, but that is also made light when you raise your children in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Remember, people may not always be perfect but Gods Church is. May you find happiness. God Bless, Jeff

  5. Karen Ellis

    I am Happy being a Member of the |Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, because of the Peace that we feel even all around me there,s contention, knowing that heavenly Father still loves me even when i make mistakes he won,t abandon me. As long as i keep following the Plan and keep the commandments he will guide me in my life.. Having the gospel in my life has changed me completely and has made me a better person.

  6. Tim

    Peace and happiness are close companions. Both are affected by vision. The more confined and narrow our views, the less hope we have. The Gospel of Jesus Christ expands our vision of who we are, and can become. Most importantly, it gives us opportunity to be free of our condemnation, and potentially enjoy God’s future promises. That yields hope, eternal hope…and happiness. Of all people, those who possess the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, and exercise the gift of the atonement through repentance, will find peace in this life, and eternal life in the world to come.

  7. Heidi Ashworth

    I believe the reason Mormons all seem so happy is that they have purpose. They know where they are going, they know why they are here. They know what things to do that will make their lives happier and blessed and know the things to avoid in order to prevent unhappiness. Does this means that Mormons do not have trials? Of course not! However, when they do, they can turn to a loving Heavenly Father and their Savior Jesus Christ to succor them. Mormons also have the gift of the Holy Ghost to lead them, guide them and give them hope and peace. You can have all sorts of horrible things going on in your life but if you have hope and peace, you can still feel happy.

  8. Julie

    I’m happy because I know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ loves ME. I am thoroughly insignificant and I know the Almighty loves everyone, but it is the personal knowledge that I am loved, that somehow I am of worth to Deity, for my personal and individual weaknesses and sins, Christ wanted me enough to die to provide me that chance. How could anyone not be at peace and happy with this knowledge?

  9. I enjoyed reading this post. I know that we all of trials and hard moments but I too know that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me and a Savior that walks with me through these experiences. In between all of the hard days there are all the wonderful things about the Gospel of Jesus Christ that keeps us centered on Christ. Our hope in Christ and the Plan of Salvation is the reason that we can be happy.

  10. Because of the Lord’s blessings and promises and counsel in the Book Of Mormon.

    Or the short answer: The Book Of Mormon! The Book Of Mormon! The Book Of Mormon! The Book Of Mormon! The Book Of Mormon! The Book Of Mormon! The Book Of Mormon! The Book Of Mormon! The Book Of Mormon! The Book Of Mormon! The Book Of Mormon! The Book Of Mormon! The Book Of Mormon! The Book Of Mormon!

  11. Sister Barbara Horrocks

    My husband and I are currently serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Sydney, Australia. I think a big part of the happiness we have in our ‘Mormon lives’ is because we are given so many opportunities to serve. As new members we may teach a sweet little primary class of 3-year-olds. As our knowledge and testimony grows we are able to accept more responsibility or, just teach that same class with more understanding. Each member of the church is needed and appreciated.

    Some of our callings can be difficult and challenging but there are always rewards that equal our efforts. When you attend LDS Sunday worship meetings you will notice that everyone there is genuinely happy and excited to see each other. There is a tremendous love and appreciation for our brothers and sisters in the church.

    We are currently attending a ward where there are 2 to 4 baptisms every month. The difference in the countenance of people before and after they accept the gospel is remarkable. After baptism, a newly baptised persons eyes sparkle and they can’t keep the smiles off their faces. To me, that is what God’s love is all about, having joy in serving others and accepting his gift to us, the Atonement.

  12. I know that no matter what happens in life,if I am faithful and do my part,in the end Heavenly Father has promised me that everything will be alright,He will make up the losses that I have endured in life,what better assurance of love is that.That alone is enough to keep me with a positive attitude and to keep on pressing forward.

  13. BJ Snow

    I’m sure this isn’t going to be published on the blog, but I think as LDS women, we are trained to “appear” happy, ALL THE TIME. Most of us are on antidepressants, don’t space our pregnancies well, are anemic and tired and suppressing our true feelings and opinions. So it’s not true that we’re genuinely happy. Some of us are just really good actors.

  14. Mel Walker

    This is kind of an odd question for me. When I used to be the ward chorister, I would sit on the stand every Sunday and look out over the congregation. I never saw so many sad sacks! Only a handful of people in the entire congregation even had smiles. Seriously, it could be fairly depressing to look at.

    Sometimes I wonder if Mormons look happy outside of church _because_ they aren’t in church! :-)

  15. Kate Bennett

    I do believe that Mormon women are so happy because most of them are taking an anti-depressant and therefore the world seems at peace.

  16. Margaret Budge

    Funny. That is exactly what I thought when I read the title of this article–good for you Kate, Mel, and BJ to say what is on your mind. I do concur with all the good and the negative since we are just who we are. We are all of the above at different times–I do try to be more on the spiritual side mostly but at times it is not in the cards. Also every person has different human abilities and disabilities which can make it easy or difficult to always be happy–they can’t feel what others feel even when at times they have a sure belief of God and Jesus’ love and plan for us. Most important we are talking about both and laugh and love ourselves. God and Jesus laughs and loves us too. Keep talking.

  17. Jenalee Larsen

    Happiness comes from feeling peace, not from everything being perfect. The Gift of the Holy Ghost can bring that feeling of peace and comfort. I agree with Heidi Ashworth that if you have hope and peace you can still feel happy even in the midst of trials and difficulties.

  18. Jason

    “Fake it ’til you make it.” is the unofficial LDS motto.

    Some are happy, many are not but put up a facade as they pretend to be.

  19. I think that while some may not be truly happy, it is incredibly unfair to chalk it all up to antidepressants. I have had a very difficult life over the past several years, as I have attempted to heal from an abusive marriage, and protect my children from the affects of emotional manipulation and crazy making by their father. There have been many times when I have been utterly miserable. I have never taken antidepressants.

    Yet, even when I feel that my life is falling apart, that I have no one to turn to, I have my personal relationship with my God. If one truly understand and acts upon the principles of the restored Gospel, they are never alone. And, they are able to see even their enemies as children of the Heavenly Father. How can you help but be anything less than joyful under such an increase of love?

    Think about what the reality of the restoration means. God cared enough about a 14-year-old boy to answer his question about which church to join. Not only did He send His Son to Atone for us, He had the foresight to inspire an entire civilization to record their interactions with Him so that we could learn from it! As if that isn’t enough, He grants us a constant divine companion in the person of the Holy Spirit to comfort us and guide us, if only we open ourselves to it.

    He is not a distant God, He is our Father in every sense of the word. And yes, knowing that brings a joy that no mere mortal sorrow can completely overcome.

  20. Amanda D

    I think that it’s unfair to say that most LDS women are on anti-depressants. Some are, sure; but I don’t think the majority are.

    I think that the reason LDS women seem happy is because they are happy. We are taught the reason we are on earth, we are taught to serve others and we are reminded that family is one of the most important things. We know and feel God’s love for us.

  21. Barbara

    I totally disagree that most Mormon women are on anti-depressants! Not to my knowledge or experience. I, for one, am not.

    True, many Mormon women struggle with depression because we expect so much of ourselves and fall short of the perfection we seek. Of course, we fall short! Perfect is a long process.

    But even while fighting depression, beneath that is the peace and happiness of knowing that we are children of a God who loves us and has a plan for our eternal happiness. We do sometimes get discouraged with how well we are following that plan.

    Remembering that our Savior, Jesus Christ loves us so much that he suffered for us brings comfort and joy and a feeling of worth.

    I am curious, Mel the chorister, were YOU smiling? What did they see?

    Perhaps the “sad sacks” were concentrating on listening or doing their weekly life evaluation – or struggling to stay awake. : )

    I would not be nearly as happy outside of church if I did not spend significant time in church.

  22. Janelle

    Every happiness I have comes from the truths taught in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. I’m thankful for the knowledge of a Savior and the opportunity to repent and improve. I’m thankful for our teachings of eternal families and life after death. I’m thankful to have a prophet and the knowledge that God does communicate with people through both answering personal prayers and gives general guidance to all through Prophets. I’m thankful for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. I am grateful for my religious community for the friendships I have there. I am thankful for the opportunities for service I have at church that also prepares me for service in my community. When I’m at church I feel peace. When I sing our hymns I feel reverence. When I attend the Temple I feel at home.

    I am happy.

  23. The following is something that I shared with an old high school friend the other night…I remembered this question about why we seem so happy and I thought I’d share it here. Since I shared this personally to a friend, you know it’s sincerely how I feel…maybe it’ll add to this discussion in some way:

    “I feel pain and sorrow when I sin…and that teaches me what Jesus Christ took on for me in the Garden.

    I didn’t know PERSONALLY in high school as much as I do now.

    Now I can say beyond any doubt that I KNOW JESUS CHRIST is real.

    It took going through hard times to know that.

    Like, I know that the person Jesus is real. I have felt his presence in my darkest hour. He has never made me walk alone.

    Being a Latter-day Saint and following its strict rules kept me from making major mistakes in my early life.

    Because I wasn’t bogged down by addiction, heartache, or poor choices, I was free to feel the Spirit teaching me about eternal truths

    I was free to be me. Free to feel happy.

    Even when going through regular life-stuff.

    These are the blessings that LDS people enjoy.

    They enjoy light, truth, knowledge, an understanding of the mysteries of God, an understanding of who we really are, and peace.”

  24. Most of the comments on this site have been positive statements of LDS members who really have discovered the secret to happiness. Some answers have been peace, charity, knowledge of eternal truths, and the Gift of the Holy Spirit. Their testimonies ring true to me, because I too have gained those same answers in my life.

    Life is not perfect for everyone and life throws us all for a loop periodically, but members understand that faith and hope carry us forward into a spiritual fulfillment. It is more fulfilling to know that through obedience and work I can fit into a doctrine, because I accept what it offers me, as opposed to trying to make everything fit into my view where expectations are continually disappointing.

    My personal feeling about “Happy Mormons” is that we feel great happiness when we believe in one gospel. We are united and feel one with one another. This feeling is so strong within us, we want others to feel this “oneness” so our invitation extends toward all people. I mean, really, who doesn’t want to fit in, and feel included. I think my most favorite realization is that I can go anywhere in the world, walk into any LDS building, and find instant friends who are willing to accept me into their fold. The meeting is the same, the Sacrament is the same, the Sunday School class is the same, the doctrine is the same, and the Spirit is the same. I belong and I am happy. Come along, and be one.

  25. Emily

    I have often contemplated this. I don’t feel that I am always a happy person. “Man’s search for happiness” is a quest, and something that I don’t think always comes automatically. “Adam fell that man might be, and men are that they MIGHT have joy” I DO think that we are all trying in our own circumstances to find that happiness ( and yes I would also say peace). In comparison though, we DO have a much greater knowledge and understanding of our purpose here, our divine worth, we have the priesthood, we have living prophets, we have temples to worship and learn in , we are instructed each week in church, we are given many opportunities to serve, we hopefully live free from addiction, have the companionship of the Holy Ghost (or we are told to RECEIVE the Holy Ghost, — again something we have to work at) than those who don’t have that knowledge. And although, as I said, I don’t feel that I am always just glowing, I can’t imagine living a life without these things. I think we often take them for granted. My quest to find happiness, comes little by little, and we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves if we aren’t glowing all the time. But as our understanding increases, and our knowledge of our Heavenly Father increases, we can come closer to reaching the happiness we seek. I have learned that although I know that God loves me in my head, and that he is always there for me, I don’t always know it as well as I should in my heart. There is something special that we possess, we only need recognize the pearl of great price that it is. (Sorry so long)

  26. Stephanie

    I believe what you are noticing is peace of conscience. Here
    is a good talk by one of our leaders called “Peace of conscience and Peace of Mind”.

    This is the first paragraph:

    “In these times of increasing uncertainty there is so much heartache, anguish, and suffering throughout the world that could be avoided by understanding and applying truth. For many, relief and happiness can come by understanding the relationship between peace of conscience and peace of mind and by living the principles upon which both of these blessings are founded.”

  27. Robin Olivia Le Tellier

    I suppose I am a Happy Mormon, but it’s because I WANT to be happy, so I do something about it. There are lots of times when my heart is heavy or I am angry, annoyed, defeated, blue,helpless,impatient, apathetic…the list goes on! The choice is mine to let those feelings or circumstances take over my life. Taking a pill is a temporary fix. I choose instead to ask for help and soI pray. Prayer is my natural resource and is available at a moments notice. No one knows me better than my Heavenly Father. He knows my needs. All He requires is for me to come to Him…ASK! He helps me see the light, a new day, and strengthens me to be able to bear what burdens may come my way. Yeah, I’m a Happy Mormon because I choose to be..and it isn’t fake.

  28. Michelle Fagatele

    In earlier years I would compare myself to the women around me (mostly LDS) and in my unknowing eyes I saw perfect. This made me very judgemental toward myself. No matter how hard I worked at it I couldn’t measure up to that perfect wife & mommy I conjured in my head. Next thing I too was taking anti-depressants. When I chose to get involved, become a friend & interact with my sisters in Christ, then I came to realize how imperfect they all are and are just trying to be their best & do their best. I really and truly love my sisters deeply. I’m grateful everyday for all of their examples in my life. I’m thankful they are my friends. That they are willing to share knowledge & time, to lift up others too. I am a better me because I have sisters teaching me through example about how to be happy.

  29. Chris

    I AM NOT a Mormon…I am a Christian…call me a Baptist if you want.

    I have served in the military with Mormons, had Mormons as bosses and worked side by side with several.

    They are indeed the nicest and most sincere group of people I have ever been around.

    Even though you are not in their faith they treat you as if you are a brother and actually try to make you the best person possible. They go to bat for you for promotions, raises…whatever.

    The way they appear IS NOT FAKE. It can’t be…you can only fake something for so long. Being in the military…next to the same group of guys 24/7 365 it’s pretty easy to pick out falsehoods.

    They actually rub off on each other and everyone around them.

    I have had several people ask me if I was Mormon. I always tell them I am a Christian and I appreciated the compliment.

    I feel as if God has a purpose for me. That as long as I am following along the path God has chosen everything else is just water under the bridge. I feel like I can always do better. That I am inherently flawed and there is always room for improvement.

    So I think once you have recognized that you are a sinner destined for damnation when you come to the realization Gods grace saved you…well yo ufeel blessed…AS YOU SHOULD! ;0).

    BTW I don’t really agree with the book of Mormon but I think when I get to heaven it will be filled with Mormons.

    My 2 cents.

    PS – I do not think Mormons are on anti depressants at a higher rate than anyone else…I don’t believe that for a second.

  30. Chris, thank you for your kind comment and for sharing some of your personal experiences and perspectives — and some of your faith, too!

  31. MormonConvert

    I love reading all the comments! It is true Lds members do seem happy all the time! That is one of our goals in life to be eternally happy :) Attitude like stated above plays a big part in it. We DO all struggle we DO all have trials that get us down, but like said already what you chose to do with these is up to us. I personally try not to dwell on things that might get me down, but look forward to what is ahead for me. There are so many things in the world today that could throw you into a spiral of depression, but with the lord on your side there is hope!

  32. Sammy

    I live in a heavy LDS area and though many seem happy, there are many I have met that try to keep up a facade of perfection and happiness, especially the moms. Some of the children even frequently remind my children that they are “good little morman girls”. Who says this nonsense and are the parents just constantly praising their kids that when they go into the real world they will learn the hard way that they aren’t the little rays of sunshine their parents constantly remind them they are? Should I have my children say I’m a “good little Catholic girl” to their faces? I have several LDS families in my neighborhood. Most are kind and I have positive things to say about them. Another has put up this facade of holiness (I’m better than you because I’m LDS and you’re not – even told us that in an indirect way) but in reality has done some business dealings that are not moral. I am not LDS but live just as “happy” of a life as another but it’s perspective on life, situations and your faith in the Lord that makes you happy (in addition to volunteer work etc.). There is no one recipe for happiness.

  33. Janelle

    I’m with you Sammy. Happiness is not confined to the LDS faith. But as a member I do believe that the teachings of my faith – self sufficiency, service and sacrifice as well as a belief in a loving God who provided a way for us to live again and repent – contribute to my personal happiness.

  34. Michal

    we don’t drink, or anything like that

  35. Capt Phil Martin

    Matthew 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them’.

    My late father was not a Mormon. My sister and I converted to join the LDS Church.But my dad use to tell me a story about an old man standing my a well and a traveler came by and asked what kind of town he was about to enter and the old man said; “what kind of town did you depart from” and the stranger replied well it was a wonderful place, full of laughter and honest, kind, humble, hardworking, and virtuous, people who were always doing good to even strangers without expecting anything in return. I hated to leave that place.”
    Oh well you will be happy to find that this is the same kind of town you are entering, said the old man.
    A few moments passed and another traveler came by and asked the same question and the old man again enquired after the sort of town he was about to enter and the old man asked what kind of town the traveler had departed from and this time the stranger said “it was a place of sorrow, greed, deception,absent of justice with everyone so unhappy preferring to love only themselves or their own likeness …I could not wait to leave”. The old man said, “I regret to tell you this is the same sort of town you are about to enter”.
    It was the same town the old man spoke of but each stranger was looking for different things.
    Mormons value family, respect life as well as each other’s divinely granted free agency. Those born in the church, from a young age or who have a testimony of the Christ in the Church strive to live by the 12 Articles of faith. The 12th of these is to be honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and to do good, to all men”; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul ‘we believe all things, we hope all things,” we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praise worthy we seek after these things.”

    Happiness follows after such people. My sister has lost two children and still she is filled with happiness in knowing that they are sealed to her for time and all eternity. Happiness is knowledge of our Father in Heaven and all He has for those who believe.

  36. Capt Phil Martin

    Matthew 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them’.

    My late father was not a Mormon. My sister and I converted to join the LDS Church. My dad use to tell me a story about an old man standing my a well and a traveler came by asking “what kind of town am I about to enter”. The old man said; “what kind of town did you depart from” and the stranger replied well it was a wonderful place, full of laughter and honest, kind, humble, hardworking, virtuous people who were always doing good to even strangers without expecting anything in return. I hated to leave that place.”
    Oh well you will be happy to find that this is the same kind of town you are entering, said the old man.
    Another traveler came by and asked the same question and the old man again enquired after the sort of town he had departed from and this time the stranger said “it was a place of sorrow, greed, deception, absent of justice with everyone preferring to love only themselves or their own likeness …I could not wait to leave”. The old man said, “I regret this is the same sort of town you’re about to enter”.
    It was the same town the old man spoke of but each stranger was looking for different things.
    Mormons value family, respect life as well as each other’s divinely granted free agency. Those born in the church, from a young age or who have a testimony of the Christ in the Church strive to live by the 12 Articles of faith. The 12th of these is to be honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and to do good, to all men”; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul ‘we believe all things, we hope all things,” we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praise worthy we seek after these things.”

    Happiness follows after such people. My sister has lost two children and still she is filled with happiness in knowing that they are sealed to her for time and all eternity. Happiness is knowledge of our Father in Heaven and all He has for those who believe.

  37. Nancy

    I am not Mormon but I am a born again child of God saved by grace through Jesus Christ. I may not always feel happy but I am filled with peace and joy because of the hope of my salvation through Jesus Christ my LORD. Because of the hope of my salvation in Jesus Christ I am able to face each day because of Him and His promises to me. In reading the comments on this Post, works seems to be the prominent theme. With all due respect it’s concerning that works, not faith is the more important element to a Mormon’s happiness. God never promised us happiness but He did promise a life of joy, peace and contentment as we trust in Him. Ephesians 2:8-10 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works so that no man can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Works comes as a result of trusting God and receiving Him into our life through Jesus Christ alone. Our salvation is by grace – works then become our ‘thank you’ back to God for saving us from our sins. Perhaps Mormons agree but I wanted to clarify that works will not save anyone, faith in Jesus Christ alone will.
    God’s blessings to all. ;)

  38. Nancy, thank you for your heartfelt comment. I would say that we do agree. We don’t seek ‘happy’ from what we do, we find peace through the Savior and knowing that He is there to help us through life and to help us understand the purpose of life. We also as Mormons find great comfort and peace in understanding God’s plan for us as revealed in scripture and through living prophets.

    FWIW, we recently had a post about the topic of grace and why it is that we also talk about works (e.g., baptism). I know some may think we don’t believe in grace, but it is, indeed, a central doctrine of our faith. http://mormonwoman.org/2013/03/13/what-mormons-believe-about-grace-about-baptism-about-marriage-part-1/
    http://mormonwoman.org/2013/03/13/mormon-beliefs-about-grace-works-baptism/

    You might also enjoy this talk by Brad Wilcox: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLXr9it_pbY

  39. beawesomeb

    we are taught to be grateful. We do a lot of service in our church. Service causes one to get out of themselves. When you are worried about others you find joy. We are also taught to sing. We are also taught values. When you live these things listed it makes hardships tolerable. We are taught to be optimistic. And this gives us hope. We find love for others through service. Who can help but smile:) It just feels good!

  40. jimboo

    Wrong! It turns out that Utah has the highest rate of antidepressant use in the nation. They may seem happy, but there is clearly something dark underlying the outward appearances.

  41. John

    I truly do NOT believe Mormons seem happy, nor does anybody I have discussed this with. What they seem, is like they are afraid to show their real emotions. In the Mormon world, if you experience sorrow, it is usually viewed as the fault of the sufferer (I.e. Drugs, not reading scriptures enough, not praying enough, etc.). Therefore, Mormons work very hard to give off the appearance that they are happy NO MATTER WHAT!

    The world has a news flash for you… you aren’t fooling anyone. With Utah consistently leading the USA in depression diagnoses and depression medication distribution, we can see very clearly what is really going on.

    What really fascinates me is how Mormons always seem to THINK the rest of the world views them as “oh so happy”. Do they really believe that is how they are viewed? Or is it more like wishful thinking?

  42. “John” this post was in response to a real question we got from someone not of our faith. I understand that your experience may be different, and I’m sorry that you have had negative experiences with our faith. I will share what I shared in response to the other comment that came around the same time as yours, because I think it’s relevant to both comments.

    Now to your points.

    First of all, it sounds like you are not happy yourself with Mormonism at some level. I’m sorry about that. The other comment from “John” about not agreeing with Mormons being happy also suggests to me that you are not happy or have had negative experiences within the Church. I hope you are able to find some peace for yourself, whatever that may look like.

    I’ll address something mentioned in the other comment on the post about Mormons being happy here as well. I do sometimes see people hiding emotions in our midst, but I also think this is often a human condition. If you have ever read materials from Brené Brown, for example, you would see that a lack of vulnerability is most certainly not a Mormon problem. It’s a human problem.

    To your comment above:
    Of course there are high-LDS populations in Utah. But stats are stats and if people want to study the LDS population, they can’t generalize Utah-centric data as being reflective of Mormons in general. It’s just not good stats practice.

    ““Mormons don’t use drugs. That’s why we are depressed.” Really? Really?! ”

    That isn’t what I said, but I see that I probably could have explained what I meant more clearly. Depression is a mental illness and people the world over struggle with it. Sometimes people deal with mental illness by self-medicating through unhealthy substances or behaviors. Sometimes people use medication (and the researcher mentioned above noted that that approach may be used by a population with higher levels of education or income). The point relates to point #4 which is that correlation (antidepressant use in Utah) is not causation (Mormonism “causes depression” and is to be “blamed” for high antidepressant use).

    Also, using antidepressant use as a negative measure could be measuring exactly the wrong things when it comes to reducing the stigma around mental illness.

    And yes, sometimes people overuse antidepressants or can get addicted to those. But once again, that doesn’t mean that the LDS faith *causes* such addictions or depression. Again, statistics would require that you back up your claims with data.

    So this claim –”If we take a step back and look at our LDS friends and family members, can we honestly say we don’t see a higher presence of depression than in our non-member friends?” cannot be made subjectively. It would require a randomized, large-enough sample to determine whether this could be backed up by data.

    That is not to say that subjective experience isn’t valid. Again, I’m sorry that your experiences seem to fall more into the negative category.

  43. Bill Kelley

    I believe moderation is the same as censorship……

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Why do Mormons seem so happy? (part 3 -- more responses) | Mormon Women - About LDS Life and Belief - [...] Once again, we have a few more responses that we’d already received to Len’s question before it ever posted …
  2. Mormon Life, Religious Commitment, and Life Satisfaction | Mormon Women - About LDS Life and Belief - [...] note: Two of our past topics (this reader’s question: Why do Mormons seem so happy? and the recent “Mormons in …

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