...looking forward to things is half the pleasure of them
When Pleasure takes priority over passion, your personality gets infected by procrastination
Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable, but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them. The extraordinary will take care of itself.
I may, I suppose, regard myself as a relatively successful man. People occasionally stare at me in the streets: that’s fame. I can fairly easily earn enough to qualify for admission to the highest lopes of the internal revenue. That’s success. Furnished with money and even a little fame, even the elderly if they care to may partake of trendy diversions. That’s pleasure. It might happen once in a while that something I said or wrote was sufficiently headed for me to persuade myself that it represented a serious impact on our time. That’s fulfillment. Yet I say to you and beg you to believe me. Multiply these tiny triumphs by a million, add them all together, and they are nothing – less than nothing – a positive impediment measured against one draft of that Living Water Christ offers to the spiritually thirsty, irrespective of who or what they are.
You have observed how some of your friends try to live a double standard of life. They want to appear to their parents and church leaders as though they are doing the right things, but secretly they do otherwise. They may have moments of excitement they consider pleasure, but they can never be at peace or truly happy. They fight against themselves internally and run the risk of destroying mind and body.
When you are alone with your friends, talk about doing good and being good. The feelings you will have, the promptings that will come to you, will powerfully motivate you for good. Those who do wrong and scheme to get away with it will never know such feelings. If you don’t feel comfortable with the thought of discussing good with your friends, they are not your friends. Change them.
Another great advantage of joy, contrasted with pleasure, is that joy overrides routine, which, otherwise, could make us bored. We don't know, for instance, how many times Heavenly Father has been through the plan of salvation before with other of His children elsewhere before our particular sequence on this planet. God even hints at the repetitiveness of His redemption when He says, "[My] course is one eternal round" (see 1 Nephi 10:19; Alma 7:20; D&C 3:2). Yet God is never bored by what might seem mere routine. Why? Because of His perfect love for His children! What He calls "my work and my glory" brings abundant and pure joy! (see Moses 1:39).
A major point about joy is that joy is obviously of a higher order than mere pleasure. Pleasure is perishable. It has a short shelf life. Mere pleasure is not lasting because it is constantly feeding on itself. Thus the appetites of the natural man, though frequently fed, are never filled. For instance, even as gluttony digests its latest glob, it begins anticipating its next meal. The same pattern prevails with regard to the praise of men, to lust, and to greed. Strange as it seems, so far as the carnal pleasures are concerned, the very act of their consumption insures the cancellation of their satisfactions. They just do not last!
Joy, on the other hand, is lasting. It involves the things that really matter, such as being forgiven and forgiving another. One true test of ultimate value has to do with whether or not something is lasting. Of so many human endeavors, even those celebrated with great excitement, the child's question in one of Southey's poems stands as a stark reminder: "But what good came of it at last?" (Robert Southey, The Battle of Blenheim , st. 11). This criterion is not one to which the things of the flesh can successfully respond.
The carnal pleasures cannot finally deliver. In fact, there is a scripture in the Book of Mormon declaring that the adversary lets his followers down at the last day (see Alma 30:60). He can't finally deliver. It is Jesus who is the Great Deliverer!
As in all things, we have the example of the Savior on the cross at Calvary. He did something that he was not forced to do—something which would benefit others with the gift of immortality which Jesus already had. His was the supreme act of selflessness.
You may recall reading in 3 Nephi about the visit of the resurrected Jesus to this continent and how after blessing the children he wept twice and he also said, “And now behold, my joy is full” (3 Ne. 17:20).
True joy can only come from giving ourselves to correct causes such as the building up of the kingdom, causes that are in a sense larger than we are. Pleasure tends to be self-centered. True joy always includes others.
Now is the time to set your life’s goals. Now is the time to set your standards firmly and then hold to them throughout your life.
To err by having naive expectations concerning the purposes of life is to err everlastingly. Life is neither a pleasure palace through whose narrow portals we pass briefly, laughingly, and heedlessly before extinction, nor is life a cruel predicament in an immense and sad wasteland. It is the middle (but briefest) estate of the three estates in man's carefully constructed continuum of experience.