It was one in the morning. Seventeen year old Joe just got home. Everyone was already in bed. He was feeling pretty crappy again. In recent weeks he’s been trying to quit smoking spice and messing around with girls.  He has been feeling guilty about these behaviors every time he went to church and blessed the Sacrament. Although “spice and girls” were not a big problem they were concerns. He approached the end of the hallway and feeling particularly depressed thought “My life sucks. I want to feel better” He had two distinct thoughts: Turn right and go into his bedroom get on his knees and pray- feel joy (Purpose of life Joy- 2 Nephi 2:25) OR Turn left and go into the bathroom open the window and smoke spice – feel joy (Works of the devil Joy- 3 Nephi 27:11  

As he approached the end of the hallway he turned …. left – smoked spice. He felt better.

Joe told me this story few days later in a therapy session.

Because alcohol, drugs, (and other immoral behavior that triggers the sexual response) are effective and dependable- They can change the way you feel particularly in the early stages.

Check out what science says:  Small amounts of alcohol causes, among other symptoms, the following: “vivaciousness, feeling of warmth, and inappropriate laughter.” (eMedicineHealth.com) The following are some typical responses to marijuana: The intoxicating effects of marijuana include “relaxation, sleepiness, and mild euphoria (getting high)”. (MedlinePlus.com). Sounds like some pretty inviting consequences to sinful behavior wouldn’t you say?

What About Viewing Porn and Other Sexual Behavior?
The sexual response refers to the sequence of physical and emotional changes that occur as a person becomes sexually aroused and participates in sexually stimulating activities, including intercourse, masturbation, or viewing of pornography. Check out this video: Why Pornography is so Addicting.

 …pornography is a fabulous stimulator of drug production in the body … The sexual response is a brain response similar to that of cocaine.

Why is the initial experience of
sin often so pleasurable?

The answer: 

alcohol, drugs, and behaviors that trigger the sexual response
CAUSE a physiological / brain change
changing the way we feel-usually pleasurable.

It’s part of you and I being wired as a “Natural Man” (or woman).

(I’ve always said, give me a human body and drugs, alcohol, sex etc etc and I promise you I can change the way you feel with or without your permission. In time I’ll find the right combination  to do the trick.)


Spring FlowersAlmost always the initial consequence of sin is pleasure and the “wicked prosper” (See Jeremiah 12: 1).

Statements by Church leaders: Boyd K. Packer said “… They turn to drugs and find for a moment the escape they seek. At last their spirits soar. They reach beyond themselves, erase all limitations and taste for a moment, as they suppose, that which they have been seeking …” (The Other Side of the Ship, Conference Report, October 1969, Afternoon Meeting, pg. 36.)

Spencer W. Kimball wrote “Whoever said that sin was not fun? Whoever claimed that Lucifer was not handsome, persuasive, easy, friendly? Sin is attractive and desirable. (Faith Precedes the Miracle, Deseret Book, 1972, pg. 229.)

Study these scriptures:

– “…to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;” (Hebrews 11: 25)
– if your life “is built upon the works of men, or upon the works of the devil, verily I say unto you they have joy in their works for a season. . .” (3 Nephi 27:11)
– “…but have pleasure in unrighteousness.” (D & C 56:15)
“the Lord would not always suffer them to take happiness in sin.” (Mormon 2:13)
– “Eat, drink and be __?___  (See Luke 12:19)

See you’re already familiar with this concept.

From personal experience Joe knew that smoking spice would make his body feel better.

Satan uses pleasure as the conseqence in the first season of sin (or addiction).

We are taught that
– immoral sexual acts outside of marriage
– breaking the word of wisdom e.g. drugs and alcohol
– viewing pornography
– etc etc
are a sin.
The assumption is because they are a sin, they must “make you feel bad.”
But NOW you know the opposite is usually true – initially “sin makes you feel good.”

Why else would successful, bright, otherwise great souls like you and I commit sin?

“… Satan hath sought to deceive you, that he might overthrow you.”  D&C 50:3

Deceiver: a person who intentionally conceals or distorts the truth for the purpose of misleading.”

The “pleasure” experienced initially with sin will not  persist.  Of course, the adversary’s trick is to make that which will eventually hurt us seem pleasing and that which is ugly seem attractive. Using the analogy of “seasons”, Satan intentionally distorts the initial Spring Season of Sin as “pleasure” while concealing the consequence of the later seasons. Sin leaves an aftertaste followed by remorse, guilt, bondage, and the most devastating consequence of sin: The Loss of the Spirit.

Satan’s plan = immediate pleasure with long-term agony and addiction as the reward.
God’s plan = short-term self-discipline with long-term joy and happiness as the reward.


Brigham Young said that it is important to study . . . evil, and its consequences.” (Discourses of Brigham Young, comp. John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1941], p. 257.)  Paul explains one reason why, “lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” (2 Cor. 2:11.) Satan has many methods to achieve his goals. Some of the more popular of Satan’s tools include: The Gradual Process (See: The Safest Road to Hell...” ); Discouragement; and the one we’re talking about now: The Pleasures of Sin.

To learn more: See: The Lion Sleeps Tonight. NOT! and Satan Exposed.

Links for additional information: James R. Goodrich, “Alcohol Addiction: Hope for Understanding and Recovery,” Ensign, Jul 1981. Make sure you review the subheading: “People Drink For A Reason: 1) A person discovers the short-term pleasure of alcohol use.” And the pamphlet; An Important Lesson: Helping Students Avoid Drug Abuse. Published by: Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Make sure you review the subheading: “Why do kids abuse prescription drugs? They are seeking psychological or physical pleasure.”

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