Comments about ‘Duce's Wild: When Mormons aren't the happiest family on the block’

Return to article »

Published: Friday, Aug. 30 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended

Great article. I think it presents an interesting scenario that may not be all that uncommon.

Jeremy Parker
Petersburg, Alaska

We have had the same discussions in our family and I believe I know our failings in the matter. The answer at least in part is found here: President Boyd K. Packer "Concluding Remarks", 2010 Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, 2010

Bountiful, UT

I love this article! It is SO true. I know many awesome people who don't feel any need for religion or a 'different religion'. What can make it worse is that some of us have family situations that are very much less than perfect, not a light to anyone. However, without the fullness of the gospel, I don't know how us VERY imperfect people could survive this life. I thank God every day for the knowledge I have and hope that I will be in the right place at the right time if my testimony is ever wanted or needed.

Corvallis, MT

And don't forget the others who had to leave their comfort zone ... like the religious pious pharisees. Love this article by Sis. Duce. It's a homerun ... as always.

West Jordan, UT

Oh, how true.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

I don't know why any faithful LDS member should feel befuddled by seeing people as happy as they are. The Gospel message shouldn't be: "I'm happier than you are, so envy me and I'll explain." Any contrast in the peace we feel shouldn't be very evident during happy, peaceful times--it is usually exposed when things are anything but peaceful.

Hang in there, Stacie. Enjoy the fact that your neighbors enjoy life. Just like your friend, if/when they are ready to find out about what makes us tick, you'll know.

Lehi, UT

Then again, happiness can be quite subjective and relative for the most part.

Gilbert, AZ

Insightful and condemning at the same time. I overload myself too much, and become so miserable because of it, that I shy away from inviting others to have what I have because I'm not happy. I recently read Clayton Christensen's book "The Power of Everyday Missionaries" and it has completely changed my perspective on these issues ... for the better.

Sandy, UT

Great column. We too often think we have a corner on happiness. I have read several books lately by members of other religions who could have been writing as Mormons including one who used the term "the plan of salvation".

West Jordan, Utah

Thank you for this article. I have often observed the same relative to other families and people who shine their light and attend their various religious church services. In so called 'Happy Valley' where religious diversity is there but sometimes ignored, it's important to recognize the strength of others outside our ward experiences as being good and enlightened as well.

My oldest boy gets involved in activities that aren't mainstream in regards to popularity in Utah. Many parents of the boys he interacts with are transplants here in our state and their traditions and family units are impressive and strong. I love the friendships I have developed from this circle. They are a strength and positive influence on our family.

Sandy, UT

Great insights, as usual. Love the way you write and give us food for thought. I am feasting!

Bernard GUi
Puyallup, WA

Maybe happiness isn't the best or only criteria with which to determine truth.


The righteous are promised peace of mind and happiness although, in the case of the latter, not fully in mortality.

There are scriptures that show that a society which is Christ-like can be very happy but, for individuals, it is not quite as simple as that.

Luke's account of the Sermon on the Mount promises this to the righteous: that you will be hated and cast out but "your reward is great in heaven" and "woe to you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep". "Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh." (Luke, Chapter Six)

A life of righteousness can be an amalgam of joy and sorrow, but always there is peace of mind. The lives of the prophets seem to contain both elements (joy and sorrow) to an extraordinary degree. If in this life only we have hope we are of all men the most miserable. IT is the false prophet that all men speak well of, and who have, and enjoy, their portion in this life: the rich man and Lazarus can be the pattern.

We are counseled to be cheerful, however, in adversity, and to comfort one another.

Raeann Peck
Salt Lake City, UT

I have the privilege of a very close association with a number of Christian families. I'm intimately aware of their day to day family and home lives and find much to learn from them. While I've entered into cherished covenants through priesthood ordinances, they're faithful in living most of the same precepts simply because of their loving relationship with God. Their devotion is central to who they are. Their homes are peaceful, happy, and filled with love. Their children are respectful, self disciplined and helpful. Their faith is simple and pure. They are fruitful branches of the Vine who is Christ. We've shared many conversations discussing our common love for Him.

City, Ut

I recently listened to an LDS member who spent several years away from the Church. They said as soon as they made the decision to 'leave', life immediately became easier and 'happier'.
Gone were the struggles of trying to get the teenager to go to Church or stick to standards. Gone were the disagreements with the non-member spouse and family members. Gone was the stress of fulfilling callings, or the guilt of not measuring up in regularity of scripture study or prayer or temple attendance.

But you guessed it, now these many years later, there are regrets and consequences for all that was lost by leaving.

Sure, we may on the surface be 'happier' if we gave up and took an easier path. It can be part of the pay-off provided by Satan to make us think we have chosen the better way--the easier and "happier" way. But the negative consequences of capitulating later will wreak havoc on that happiness.

Pres Eyring in his book 'Choose Higher Ground' says when he would complain to his mother that things were hard she would advise him, “If you are on the right path, it will always be uphill.”

Phoenix, AZ

Perhaps happiness is no more related to religion than are hundreds of other of live's factors, and perhaps membership in a church is no more rewarding than membership in a social or fraternal organizations; and perhaps Duces can explain what the correlation of happiness is.


Stacie, You need to stop starching those shirts. That will give you 30 more minutes a week. ;) I find that when I go out to serve someone, I am usually not really excited about it until I'm actually "on the job." I have wonderful friends who are not members of our church and my friendship does not depend on whether they become Mormons. We have lots of chats and some are about religion. I really treasure their friendship.

Enid, OK

Article quote: "So how do you initiate a missionary moment with those who already seem to be fulfilling much of their spiritual potential? Do you say, “I know things are going really well for you, but how about taking a detour down the religious road less traveled where the journey is harder, more demanding and sometimes chaotic but the eternal reward is infinite?”"

Yes, that is exactly what you say.

If we are 'living' the Gospel of Jesus Christ but not happy, then we need to ask if our unhappiness is temporary or more permanent in nature.

If it is temporary then we need to remember that God never promised us that we would be happy every moment of every day in mortality. Think Jesus was 'happy' as He suffered in the Garden of Gethsemanee?

However, if our sadness is more permanent in nature, we need to be honest; in those situations we are N-O-T actually 'living the Gospel'. We may be going through the motions but our heart is not really in it.

I say this as one who sometimes does go through the motions.

WE fail the Gospel, not the other way around.

Phoenix, AZ

If one is Mormon and unhappy could that be an indicator that they need to change their religion and pray that maybe a JW or sme other kind soul sent by Jesus may come knocking at their door with the good news of change. Just wondering.

Oregon City, OR

Our natural man inside us doesn't want to do anything of a religious nature. Freedom of religion means being free of all guilt. If there is any guilt.. all you need to believe is you are saved by grace.. not by works. The occasional Sunday romp to church meets that obligation. Or just confessing your sins every week, receive a little penitence by saying a few prayers and are "forgiven" even though you keep doing the same thing over and over. Just think how hard it was for the young man Christ spoke with when he wanted eternal life and asked Jesus what did he need to do to get it. Guess what? He didn't want it that bad. No sacrificing there. And hey.. it is even easier if you deny that God even exists at all because certainly then neither would the devil. We could all be like the skeptic and suggest all kinds of things that take one away from getting eternal life.. because it doesn't exist either.

For those of us who do believe.. remember this.. It is called the plan of Happiness.. not the plan of Happiness right now.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments