Tuesday, February 9, 2010
As most of you know I am a Chemistry major. I love understanding science, it is fascinating to me. So I guess I am applying science concepts to my missionary view of life...
Today I want to talk about happiness. As a missionary I see lots of people trying to find ways to be happy. They can get caught up in some pretty bad things. Last night I woke up rather late in the night and I had an interesting thought enter my mind. What is happiness? Even though I haven’t opened a text book in over nine months, my brain still thinks in terms of science. Happiness is a stimulus. Happiness is an inherit reaction to ones actions that produces a desired feeling. Why was our body wired this way? What in particular is our body responding to?
I came up with something. The cause of this stimulus, that chemical release, can be categorized into two sections. First, inherit reactions and second, learned reactions.
#1 Inherit reaction “true happiness”-
I decided that almost all natural stimulation in the form of “happiness” is the result of some sort of gratification or fulfillment. A toddler pleases their father, they feel happy. A teenager receives an “A” on a hard project, they feel happy. A college student graduates with high marks, they feel happy. These are things that are forms of natural happiness. All people regardless of background will most likely react in that same positive way. We are inherently wired to have a desire to progress, to learn, and to grow.
#2 Learned reactions “pleasure” –
These stimulations are reactions that are not the same for everyone. They are not in our DNA, they are not in our spirit. They are taught to us by the culture that we live in. One person might like to watch violent movies; that will give them a form of happiness. Another person might like to drive really fast, that is also a learned response reaction. The important thing is, this form of happiness is a temporary happiness and is not inherit; it is not the same for everyone. This happiness would be better classified as pleasure.
God created us. We are his kids. He put us in this controlled environment that we call the earth. We are here to progress, to learn.
God is a master scientist.
Of course he has implanted each one of us with an inherent positive reaction for his desired result. Any time we progress, any movement forward; any time we learn or progress to be more like God, we have true happiness.
Let us not confuse happiness with Satan’s counterfeit of pleasure. Not all pleasure is damaging or destructive. We must watch ourselves. Pleasure is not lasting; often times it is destructive.
True happiness is the measuring stick of our gratification to God. The true way to have everlasting happiness is to do the things that will help us to progress to be like God. Let us always choose to gratify and please our loving father.
I bear testimony to you that Heavenly Father wants us to find true, lasting happiness. His plan for our salvation is often called "the great plan of happiness". His Son was sent to die for us, to atone for us, so we can be happy in this life and receive a fullness of joy in the eternities.
I feel I can't write anymore… I have lost all my English skills, please forgive me.
immersed in the work,
เอ็ลเดอร์ บราวน์ (Elder Brown)