“Why are Mormons always happy?”
Ever since I was young, it has always been the question asked of me. People are curious as to why members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seem to frequently carry with them a jubilant spirit wherever they go. One college classmate even said in a yearbook comment dedicated to me: “She is the girl who can quickly laugh after crying. I don’t know how she does that.”
Does this scenario sound familiar to you? Do you also have a Mormon friend who does not seem to have many problems at all? Are you wondering what makes us so cheerful?
Many people think that Mormons are always happy people, but we also have our rainy days and bad days that can bring us down to our knees. Thankfully, there are several reasons why despite the pain and difficulties, we can still smile through it all. Here are 4 of the reasons why Mormons can always be happy despite all the challenges that come our way.
The gospel brings us hope
One thing that keeps us going despite the challenges is the hope that is brought to our lives by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When you are down, it is a great comfort to hold on to something; a truth that can get you through. As members of the Church, we are taught the Great Plan of Happiness also known as the Plan of Salvation. This beautiful knowledge of God’s plan for His children helps remind us that life on this Earth is not the end; that everything we experience here is for our wisdom and learning. We are reminded that failure, loss, and even death need not be final. We believe in endless new beginnings available to everyone because of the hope that the gospel brings. (To learn more about the Plan of Salvation, visit here: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2006/10/the-plan-of-salvation?lang=eng).
We are reminded of who we are
Perhaps one of the most popular LDS songs is “I am a Child of God.” This song, in all its lovely simplicity, reminds members of the Church who they are: “I am a child of God, and He has sent me here, has given me an earthly home with parents kind and dear.” One of the truths that we hold on to is the knowledge that we are not mere creatures here on earth; we are sons and daughters of the Lord who loves us with an infinite love. In times of despair, we remember that we are children of God who wants us to be happy and successful in this life.
The impact of service
Susan, a 23 year old Interior Designer said “There have been times when I felt so weak and disheartened that I literally raised my voice and said ‘I can’t do this anymore!’ But, my faith has eventually always been rejuvenated because help has always been sent through others. The service of people around me reminds me that I am not facing my challenges alone. Someone, both in heaven and on Earth, is willing to help me along the way.” The help and service extended to us by people around us get us going.
President Thomas S. Monson, the President and current Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said this:
“To find real happiness, we must seek for it in a focus outside ourselves. No one has learned the meaning of living until he has surrendered his ego to the service of his fellow man. Service to others is akin to duty, the fulfillment of which brings true joy.” (https://www.lds.org/prophets-and-apostles/unto-all-the-world/service-brings-joy?lang=eng)
One of the greatest antidotes to sadness is looking beyond ourselves and helping other people. Mormons are encouraged to give service to other people. Service, no matter how small, creates a special feeling that helps us forget our own problems. Indeed, when we give our time, talents, and effort to serving others, we feel fulfilled and joyful.
We are taught where to turn in times of grief
As sons and daughters of God, we are reminded that we can always have someone to turn to whenever we are downtrodden with grief, sorrow, and pain. If we turn to the Lord, He will listen, He will understand, and He is ready to extend help. He is true to His promise when He said “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28)
Like anyone, Mormons experience pain and hardships. We cry our hearts out because of disappointments, nibble our fingernails because of anxiety, and sometimes, succumb to the shadows of depression. But because of the Gospel of the Lord, the knowledge of who we are, the giving and receiving of service, and our belief in a Father who understands and helps us overcome when we have dark days … we generally carry a spirit of optimism that lightens our lives, as well as others’.