The Purpose of Life
WHY HAS GOD PUT US HERE?
In an episode of the American television program, “Everybody Loves Raymond”, Ray and Debra Barone’s daughter Ally, about 8 or 9 years old, wants to know how we got here. Ray, realizes it’s time for the how babies are made talk. After some stress-fill preparation, Ray sits down with his daughter to discuss a very delicate subject. After laying out his books, magazines, paper and, notes he starts to explain the facts of life. However, he doesn’t get many details out before she interrupts with,
“Why are we born? Why has God put us here?”
Completely caught off guard, Ray asks, “What?”
“If we all go to heaven when we die, then why does God want us here first?”
The best Ray can come up with is, it’s very crowded in heaven so God sends us down to earth for a little while to ease the heavenly congestion.
Ally’s question is a natural one for us. Why are we here? What is the purpose of life?
THE PURPOSE OF LIFE
The Dalai Lama has said, “The very purpose of our lives is happiness and joyfulness. That is very clear.”
This fits perfectly with Father Lehi’s teaching in the Book of Mormon. “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.”
To answer Ally’s question, God put us here to experience joy. When an angel appeared to the shepherds near Bethlehem, the message was one of joy. “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”
While a graduate student at John’s Hopkins University School of Medicine, Candace Pert discovered the brain’s opiate receptor – the cell site where the body’s “bliss-makers”, the endorphins – bond with cells to create joy. Dr. Pert says human beings are “Hard-wired for bliss”.
How then do we obtain joy? If, as Dr. Pert says, we are hard-wired for it, why do so many of us have so little of it?
One thing we can do is EXPECT to have joy. Dr, Pert’s studies have revealed that because of the way our brains are wired, we only see what we believe is possible. When Columbus arrived in the West Indies the natives literally did not see the ships for several days. They did not see them because their brains didn’t see what they didn’t know was possible. So if we believe our day is going to be joyless, we will literally not see those things that could bring us joy.
Another thing we can do is to sincerely work to bring joy to others. We have seen the joy on the face of a child on Christmas morning when she opens a gift. But that joy pales in comparison to the look of joy she has when she gives a gift.
May your days be filled with joy, and may you bring joy to others everyday.
Copyright © 2013 by Energy Media Works LLC
“Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” The Book of Mormon, Second Nephi 2:25
“Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” The Holy Bible, St. Luke 2:10
For more information about the Dalai Lama
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings “Now let Us Rejoice”