Living longer and better through religious involvement? A summation

Living longer and better through religious involvement? A summation July 22, 2020


Snowless Denver
Denver, Colorado
(Wikimedia Commons public domain image)


For several weeks, I spent quite a while here on this blog calling attention to, and summarizing, a small book on reasons (grounded in social science research) to attend religious services and to participate actively in a religious community.  It’s just a short initial pass-through, using some older research in a field where research is ongoing and of remarkable interest.  Still,  I think that’s  it worthwhile to gather all of the links to my blog entries on the subject into one convenient place. So here they are:


“Good Reasons to Attend Church”

“Better Health and Longer Life with Religion?”

“For your “Christopher Hitchens Memorial ‘How Religion Poisons Everything’ File””

“When it’s available, you should go back to church”

“Happiness, Excitement, Health, and Wealth?”

“Some of the things that you might miss out on if you don’t go back to church when you can”

“Faster Healing, Better Health, and Stronger Families”

“Religion and Health, with Notice of COVID-19”

“Toward a Better Life”

“Some Physical, Social, and Psychological Benefits of Religious Involvement”

“Friendlier people and fewer school shootings?”

“Living longer, but committing fewer crimes”

““What can I do, as one person, to make this world a better place?””




One of the major purposes of this trip is to revisit the neighborhood in Wheatridge, Colorado, where my wife grew up.  So we did that today.  We stopped by the house in which she lived for almost all of her childhood and youth until she went off to college, out of state.  We saw her elementary school and her junior high school.  We visited the Latter-day Saint meetinghouse in Golden, Colorado, that was built while she was very young and in which her father served as a bishop and her late mother as a Relief Society president.


Such visits are nostalgic, of course.  Which means that they’re tinged with a bit of sadness for time gone by, relationships faded away, and friends and loved ones lost.  But it’s also shocking to see how much things have changed.  My wife kept remarking on how different everything looked.  On familiar landmarks that have been obliterated.  It’s been quite a few years since we were last here.


Such is life.  It passes.


As Edward Fitzgerald famously rendered one of the eleventh- or twelfth-century quatrains of the great Persian mathematician, astronomer, and poet Omar Khayyám:


The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.


But I’ll close on a much more hopeful note, in two lines from a hymn that I never especially liked when I was young but that, perhaps inescapably, has become quite meaningful to me with the passage of time:


Change and decay in all around I see.
O Thou who changest not, abide with me!


Posted from Estes Park, Colorado



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