Indifferent toleration of the imperfect conditions of human life, or joyless resignation to the belief that such conditions are inevitable, may be called content; but the term is properly applied only to the glad satisfaction that one feels when he has learned the real purpose of life and labor, and is working toward the fulfilment of this purpose. To know genuine content, then, it is necessary first to define correctly the purpose that gives meaning to life.

There is a plane of human existence upon which the petty cares and pleasures of each day appear to be all-engrossing. Those who live on this plane scarcely rise above an unquestioning and unreflecting satisfaction with sordid aims and achievements. Many others, more awake to the possibilities of man's intelligently-directed activities, conceive the end of existence to be wealth, fame, or power; but the futility of striving to find permanent satisfaction and content in worldly riches or honor proves to such seekers that what they believed to be a purpose worthy of their most earnest efforts is neither true nor desirable.

Again, there are those who, endeavoring to obey the injunction, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth," make it the object of their lives to prepare for another world. Such a goal is necessarily obscure if by its attainment is meant the entering by death into perfection. Is not even the most willing credence severely taxed to explain the process by which a mortal is at once transformed into an immortal being, worthy of living in the presence of the absolute purity of God? Is it desirable to believe that perfection can be attained with so little sacrifice of human selfishness? Does this belief truly satisfy faith, and make one content in the midst of sorrow and failure?

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April 25, 1908

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