I have been thinking about this a lot lately, and I started to hi-jack Inklings comment section to vent it all, but decided to do it properly on my own blog. The Book of Mormon has a scripture that says, in part, "...Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness." Alma 41:10 I have been thinking about this scripture alot lately.
The world teaches that momentary pleasure is what brings happiness. The feelings a person gets from drugs, or the excitement from illicit sex, or thrill of lawbreaking are "highs". Those are a form of pleasure, but pleasure isn't necessarily happiness. Happiness is a contentment, not a continual high. Happiness comes from peace. A person can be very poor, without the comforts of life, and still be happy. But a person with a guilty conscience can never be happy. The chinese have a saying that goes, "A quiet conscience sleeps in thunder." If we want a happy life, we need to lead a good life.
Some people think money will make them happy. My grandmother was a very humble person, and didn't have much money. She made do with what she had, or was given. I seriously doubt if she ever bought clothes from a store. That just wasn't her nature. She was very careful with her money, and wasn't concerned about fashion or decorating. She had lived through the depression, so was happy to just have her needs met. She was never rich as to things of this world, but she was happy.
Momentary pleasures are not lasting happiness. A person might enjoy an ice cream cone while they are eating it, but will the happiness last for the rest of the week? In my experience, that kind of pleasure only lasts while you are eating the ice cream. The same goes for most things that people pursue. My husband was listening to a radio interview a few days before Valentine's day. He said that the person being interviewed said that the things that give us long lasting pleasure aren't things at all. He said that if a person wanted to give a valentines gift that would be most meaningful, they should give one that was an experience, not a tangible object. He rightly said that we get more pleasure from memories of time spent together than from things we are given. He suggested that instead of buying a stuffed animal for a loved one on Valentine's Day, a better gift would be to take them out to dinner and spend time talking. True happiness comes from what we do, not from what we own.