Mormonism, atheism, and existential dread

photography of railroad during nighttime

This weekend I heard a clear expression of “Mormon atheism”:

“I sometimes wonder if in the Sacred Grove Joseph Smith realized there was no God, and came up with a religion to help people deal with that.”

Mormonism and atheism are left with same existential dread. They both fail to satisfy the bottom of our hearts. Neither can make us truly happy.

A forever-family with all others can’t satisfy the eternity God has put in our hearts. Not even ever-increasing pleasure. Not even having a resurrected body. Not even being forever-married. Not even creating worlds without number. Not even “understand[ing] all mysteries and all knowledge.”

Even if we had all that there would still be something fundamentally missing. The dreadful hole would not be filled. People would still feel tempted to commit suicide. We would still cry,

“Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”

Only a personal relationship with the Most High God can take resolve human existential dread. Anything else is just suppression, survival strategy, or coping mechanism. All other methods and religions underestimate what it takes for the human heart to be truly happy.

“You have formed us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in you.” (Augustine)

Everything else is ultimately unsatisfying. In Christ “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:3)