Friday, July 27, 2012

Misery & the Plan of Happiness

I have noted lately a very strange aspect of LDS culture.  It’s simply that we seem to enjoy misery.  I’m not sure why this is, because we teach that accepting and living the gospel plan brings peace, joy and ultimate happiness.  So I ask, why this obsession with misery and suffering? It is that we feel that in order to be ‘righteous’ we must suffer?

Let me illustrate my point:

Go to any meeting, testimony meeting, talk, what have you and you are likely to hear stories of sadness, heartache, devastation, frustration, sadness and despair.  Everyone does it…we don’t give it a second thought. After all, it is inspiring to tell of people who overcome heartache and tragedy and embrace the gospel, or who have suffered for the sake of the gospel. I’m just saying that in our LDS culture we just seem to really obsess about it…to the point of being off-putting. Where is the fun in telling the story of a person who easily accepted the gospel, that their family was happy to see them embrace the good news and all went smooth and wonderful?  That’s no fun! (Sarcasm)

I just wonder if this focus is a little misplaced.  After all, we are told that we exist so that we can have JOY (2 Nephi 2:25)…yet somehow we don’t seem to be a ‘joy-full’ people.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Why get Married?

I read an interesting article online about Men in the LDS Church being fearful of marriage.  This is a common theme these days and many Church leaders lament that young men are so reluctant to experience the “Joy” of marriage and the accompanying happiness of creating an eternal family. I’d agree that a large (and growing) percentage of our men are missing out on the most rewarding experience life has to offer…that of fulfilling the design of your creation as a man, to Protect, Preside and Provide.

Many Church leaders offer suggestions about how to overcome this predicament and offer ‘encouragement’ to Young Men to just get on board, find a girl and get married… if they would simply have faith then all will be well…so they say.  This approach clearly isn’t working.

I have my own ideas as to why the current trend is toward NOT getting married.  Again, I don’t think I’m going to be popular for saying it though.  But since when has that stopped me before?  Recent experience has taught me that even men who are married and have kids are struggling to find meaning in it all. They want that joy and happiness that has been promised, but it’s easy to get bogged down in the drudgery of family life.  Joy doesn’t just happen…it takes work and effort. Like most good things in life…you have to go get it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Brotherhood & Adversity

There is a book called “Band of Brothers” by Stephen Ambrose that is about the Easy Company of the 101st Airborne in the 1940’s. A big part of the book deals with the training process that they went though toward the end of World War II in preparation for D-Day invasion.  Those men got worked over in some astonishingly difficult ways but that hard work served to solidify them as a unit.  One quote from the book on that difficulty that I really loved went something like this: “the bonds of brotherhood are forged in adversity.”

It is about this topic that I’d like to share today.  Creating BROTHERHOOD through adversity.