Success as Joy’s Counterfeit

by | Mar. 18, 2010

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What if the famous scripture in 2 Nephi 2:25 read this way?

“Adam fell that man might be; and men are, that they might be successful.”

I’m sure most of you, like me, would find such a scripture discouraging and irritating and false instead of inspiring and hopeful and true. But sometimes I look around me and wonder: why do we as Mormons seem to buy so completely into the notion that we must be “successful” in order to be happy? Shouldn’t the fullness of the gospel—the knowledge of where we came from and what our potential really is—keep us more centered and serene than so many of us actually are?

We all know that wealth and beauty and fame often serve as poor substitutes for joy. It’s easy to look around and see evidence of rich, beautiful, wildly popular people who are also miserable.

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