Are Mormons Happier Than Everyone Else?
A huge study three years back by the Gallup organization looked at the connection between happiness and religion. The survey found that the religions with the happiest people were Judaism and Mormonism.
Why is it that Mormons are, or at least appear to be, so happy? A researcher by the name of Elisa Hunter recently did a study based on this question. She gives some possible reasons why Mormons seem to be so chipper:
1. Mormons are a pro-social organization. They are oriented toward volunteering as all their local units consist of lay clergy. Active members in the church say they volunteer more than 35 hours a month on average. They also pay a lot more tithing to their church than other religious groups do, and they donate much more of their income to charity than the average American.
2. Mormons live a family-centered life. The emphasis on family is strong in the Mormon faith. Family prayers, meals, meetings, activities, history, and rituals are a huge part of their doctrine. Recent studies suggest that these things are beneficial to childhood health and behavior, self-esteem, psychological wellness, academics and successful marriages.
3. Mormons have a sense of purpose. Their doctrine teaches that life has meaning, that people are God’ children, and that while this mortal life is only temporary, it’s purpose is to be a learning experience that leads to joy. Such belief may help them develop a more positive attitude about life and its challenges.
4. Mormons cherish their freedom to choose. Their religion teaches that God does not compel, but rather allows each of us to use our agency to choose between right and wrong. That sense of autonomy creates a self-motivation that leads to more positive results.
5. Mormons believe their bodies are temples. They also believe in something called the Word of Wisdom. This is a doctrine that basically states people should abstain from things like alcohol and tobacco, avoid eating an excess of meat, and instead eat wholesome grains and other foods. Research suggests that this pays off: Mromns are less likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease, and they live on average five to 10 years longer than non-Mormons.
Source: Religion News Service