I wonder if most gospel/religious/philosophical truths fit in this catagory. Are we saved by "grace" or "works"? Is there "justice" in the life to come, or is this life, unfairness and all, all that we get? Are families forever, or do we need to make the most of the finite time we have with them?
Truths are objective; Joseph Smith practiced polygammy. The world is round. Denying it is usually counter-productive. But lets take both of those absoulte truths in historical context. Emma Smith and her children were in absolute denial of Joseph Smith's practice of polygammy. But what if accepting this absoulte truth would've caused irreparable bitterness and psychological damage to Emma? What if the husband Emma believed she had was a better man than the husband she actually had? Can we really say Emma was worse off for believing a lie?
And with earth being round, and undeniably not the center of the universe... back before astronomy and exploration, when man was weak and the world was filled with the unknown, isn't there some value in believing that our world is large and of importance in this universe? Would our species have survived knowing it's world is hardly more than a pale blue speck in an incomprehensibly vast universe? I believe there is empowerment in believing that our lives and world have some level of import and meaning, and having the world be "the center of it all" reinforces that belief. On the other hand, I think it can be very healthy to take more of a nihilistic approach, which the vastness of the universe seems to reinforce. When you don't get that job promotion, when your children rebel, when you fall short of the person you would like to be, still be happy! In the long scheme, all of it matters very little. The morning sun's rays glistening off the dew is ephemeral; but that's what gives it beauty.
I am reminded of a quote from the movie "Second-Hand Lions". It's part of Uncle Hub's "Being a Man" speech.
What do you think? Are lies sometimes worth believing in? Should we sometimes be willing to adjust our beliefs, not by what is objectively true, but by what we need to believe?Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most. That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love... true love never dies. You remember that, boy. You remember that. Doesn't matter if it's true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in.