Monday, October 7, 2013

From September 23, 2013: PROposito

Well my friends, hello.
Guess what?  It's hot.  Except it's not today!  It's like in the 90's with a breeze, so it's cool!  You think I'm being sarcastic but seriously it feels a little cold today.  I'm told people wear coats and gloves when it hits 60 degrees here.  I guess we will see in a few months.
Elder B. (my companion) is awesome.  We pun together.  While we bike.  And then we laugh.  And then we find people to teach. Can you believe I've been out 2 months?  It's flown by in some ways and yet in other ways it seems so far away.  
It was a really good week this week.  Well let's take that back.  Every week and day is something of a roller coaster but it's all for the good.  I sent the dust storm picture from a while back so hopefully that got to you.
We found several new investigators this week.  But honestly I can't even say that.  They were given to us.  For serious.  It was awesome!
We are also teaching an investigator who quantifies happiness in terms of dopamine and seratonin and claims not to believe in moral truth.  IT'S LIKE HE WAS PREPARED FOR ME.  So we had a lesson on how joy, which is an internally, self-sufficient good that can be had by relying on and trusting in Jesus Christ and making covenants, can transcend "happiness", which I viewed from his perspective as searching for an unending string of external pleasures.  And I got to use economic forms of thought to show the value of the gospel.  It was... so different.  But cool. 
And it got me reflecting on the value of the gospel in our own lives. Let us consider, for a second, the possibilities of correctness.  Now either the man we taught is right, and there is no such thing as moral truth, goodness, or righteousness, no real right or wrong, and no reason to choose to do right, OR, there IS such a thing as moral right and wrong, the source of which must be a higher being, which is God.  If this is so, then we must follow the commandments of God and do the best we can to choose the moral right.  This also implies that there is purpose in life and something higher than just seeking after the next pleasure in life.

Imagine how sad life would be if there is nothing more than the next thing to bring us pleasure. Our life is then meaningless, and if there is more pain than pleasure, there is no point to being.  That's got to be the darkest, saddest view of life I've ever heard.  But that is how most people live, even if they don't recognize it.  They live life, looking to the next thing that might finally bring happiness.  The next girl, the next vacation, the next job, the next...fill in the blank.  And life is spent searching high and low for pleasure and to avoid pain.  How dismal and dreary is that? 

 There's so much more than that.  So much higher purpose than that.  So much more to live for than the next material thing. 

Let me tell you about purpose.  Let me tell you about REAL happiness, which we will call joy for our purposes.  Joy is something internal and self-sufficient, which persists and survives irrespective of what exists externally.  No external stimulus is required to make you happy.  You simply don't need it.  If that's what your life is about, do yourself a favor and come find out what real happiness comes from. 

So where does it come from?  And why is joy superior to happiness?  Joy is superior to happiness because it is:
1. enduring
2. foundational
3. involves purpose
People say that religious people live for a Heaven that they can't know exists.  Oh, children.  No. 

We can either live for today and get as much pleasure as we can today or waste our lives, or so I'm told constantly.  Ah, but how misguided such a view is.  If we spend life living for pleasure and not for purpose, we will NEVER have internal, self-sustaining joy, and happiness will always be confused with pleasure.  And that's just a sad way to live. 
So come and find joy, which is obtained by gaining the perspective and purpose of following Christ and striving to BECOME. 

That's your challenge for the week.  Don't be.  Become.  

Think about that!

Love you all,

Elder Molinaro

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