Applying the scriptures: Pursuit of possessions can encumber the achieving of happiness

One reason for unhappiness, said Elder Marion D. Hanks at the April 1972 general conference, is that people seek material possessions more than spiritual values.

"Material objectives consume too much of our attention," said Elder Hanks, then an Assistant to the Twelve and later a member of the Seventy. "The struggle for what we need or for more than we need exhausts our time and energy. We pursue pleasure or entertainment, or become over-involved in associations or civic matters. Of course, people need recreation, need to be achieving, need to contribute; but if these come at the cost of friendship with Christ, the price is much too high.

" For my people have committed two evils,' said the Lord to Israel;they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.' " (Jer. 2:13.)

Elder Hanks said that the substitutions people fashion to take the place of God in their lives truly hold no water. "To the measure we thus refuse the `living water,' we miss the joy we could have."

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