This thesis proposes that human beings by virtue of living in each new present moment are motivated to develop strategies to secure the best possible outcome in their lived experience. A personal account of the phenomenological experience of time is presented and a brief history is given. The implications associated with being thrown into the present moment make apparent the weaknesses of the current assumptions that the slices of the present moment form a continuity of past and future and create a coherent synthesis of life. The assumption that human beings are intentional, goal-directed, and prone to seek meaning in their lives is explored. The ultimate nature of human beings and what their responsibility is in this life is re-examined.

A personal experience that enlarged the author's understanding of the tentativeness of the present moment is investigated. In addition, five theorists are selected whose work is concerned with temporal constructs, existentialism, and the intentionality of each human being.

It is concluded that a theory of linear time cannot account for the time phenomenon created by human beings being thrown into the present moment. The continuity of the present with the past and future to form a whole life is only assumed, but not explained by current theories. The five theorists cannot account for humanity's intentionality and search for meaning. Implications of the personal time experience are explained. Religious doctrines found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are examined to show how the gaps in the theories of time can be addressed by these beliefs. These doctrines include belief in pre-existence and an eternal afterlife, the reality of God and the Devil, and the power of faith and repentance.

In summary, the thesis defends the conclusion that the theorists and humankind all have some level of faith in God, and that the theorists are limited in developing accurate theories about human beings because of the erroneous and incomplete understanding of the character and nature of God. God as the creator understands the whole process and it is only through His revelatory process can we understand humankind. God loves His children and has prepared a way through the atonement of Jesus Christ that all might return to Him.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Psychology



Date Submitted


Document Type





Time, Motivation, Psychology, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Doctrines