We start with Pinocchio, a puppet brought to life, who wants so desperately to be a real boy. He starts down the right path. He's got his conscience Jimminy Cricket, he's got his books and he's off to school. He's on his way to becoming a real boy!
As he skips down the path with his trusty conscience, joyfully heading to school, he meets Honest John, a fox who distracts him from his goal. He convinces him that an actor's life would be so much better than going to school. Despite contrary suggestion and guidance from his conscience he decided to pursue this life as an actor.
As the story progresses we see that an actor's life is not all it's cracked up to be. He ends up trapped in a cage with no choice, whatsoever, of what he can do. He remembers his friend Jimminy Cricket who always told him to just, "give a little whistle". Well, Jimminy comes back to him and manages to get the fairy that brought Pinocchio to life to get them out of this jam. Pinocchio goes home with the determination that he will go to school now.
It happens again. Pinocchio is off to school when good ol' Honest John comes along and convinces him that he doesn't wanna go to school. He wants to go to Pleasure Island where all the real fun is. Pinocchio veers off the path again and makes the journey to Pleasure Island, which is not very pleasurable at all. They think that they are free and having a good time, smoking, drinking and playing pool when they suddenly realize that they are turning into donkeys.
Pinocchio realizes once again that he has made a mistake and he needs Jimminy Cricket, as Jimminy tries to help him they end up being swallowed by Monstro, a giant whale. As they manage to escape
the whale Pinocchio has finally learned his lesson, goes to school and becomes a real boy.
Now what in the world does all this have to do with us?
We really are not that different from Pinocchio. We become distracted from the goals with the greatest prizes by things that seems better at the moment. As we strive towards our own goals and ambitions we have our own "Honest Johns" that come along and distract us down a path that turns out to not be as amazing as was hoped. Much like Pinocchio, as we ignore our conscience and follow these "Honest Johns" we find ourselves separated from the guidance of the Holy Ghost and our conscience.
So who are the Honest Johns out there? All the things that distract us from our destiny to live with our Heavenly Father. Riches. Alcohol. Drugs. Recreation on the Sabbath day. I promise you that all these things are just gilded treasures. Worthless things made to look like they are greater than what we currently have, or can receive without them.
I can promise you that if we follow our conscience, follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost, we qualify ourselves for that companionship more often. The reason most people fail is because they give up what they want most for what they want at the moment. What do you want most?