“Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy.”
Thus reads the scripture.
And I’m pretty sure we’re not talking pint of Tillamook and a good book joy. We’re talking Hark the Herald trumpet-toting angel Joy to the World! Joy. In this crazy world joy.
President Uchtdorf says we can and should experience happiness in this life. The happiness of God, even. Who, I assume, is a pretty happy fellow. Being God and all.
When I contemplate being God, I think it could possibly be the most miserable, angst-filled job in the universe. I mean, really–I get frustrated beyond words when I tell a child fifteen times to do or not do something and they don't hear me, not even once. Or they hear me, and intentionally disobey. Or unintentionally, even. Now imagine you had to witness the disobedience of billions of your children day after day. Never mind day after day–constant, unremitted suffering for thousands of years at a stretch. No exhausted falling into bed at the end of the day and waking up feeling a bit better, ready to face another. Constant. And to know the future–how much more cataclysmic human suffering is in store–how is God happy?
Some people say, and some days the idea seems like a good one–that it would be better to die and cease to exist, than to continue on eternally–experiencing and then later witnessing this constant tension of opposites–good and bad, sorrow and joy.
Just poof, gone. You wouldn't know or care. Because you wouldn't be. Seems like a valid argument.
But then you would have to believe that the spirit and intelligence of man is nothing more than a life process, like a beating heart that can be stilled in an instant. Can you really believe that? I can't. I know I existed before this life. I know I will continue on after it.
So the idea isn't even on the table.
Because non-existence isn't an option, I am faced with the question of how to best be happy.
The moments of real joy in my life have to do with family. Kneeling across the altar to be married. The baby at the end of the labor. Laughing when you don't even know what's funny, but just to agree with the toddler that does. That's joy as I know it. So God is happy because God loves so many of us?
According to Uchtdorf we are the children of the most creative and compassionate Being in the universe, and as such, we have a heritage of happiness. Good talk. Link here if you want to read it.
Creativity and compassion he says. These are the keys to happiness. You create the babies, the families, the environment where a toddler can laugh hysterically for unknown reasons, and you love them. For unexplainable reasons. And you are happy. He observes that we are born with the desire to create–to take unorganized matter into our hands or minds and form something beautiful from it.
I think I'd feel more balanced if I was doing just that. Creating, and not just muddling about in the elements. Maybe that's the reason for this bizarre blog. Silences the inner critic–because after all, this is off the cuff, right? Uncensored, unedited, rambling. It doesn't have to be good or perfect or profound. It just has to be. Like me. Existence non-negotiable.