The concept of short horizons vs. long horizons is the difference between those seeking immediate pleasure and long term joy (defined in 2 Nephi 2:25 footnotes as mans potential to become like Heavenly Father).
Many testimony meetings have a slew of similarities. People bear witness of the truthfulness of the gospel and that if we live by the commandments we will have peace in this life and joy in the life to come. While this is true, we must reflect on our lives and ask ourselves, “Is the life I have today along the path of the joy as defined above?” The degree of peace and joy is directly tied to what horizon you are governed by. Let me explain:
The short horizon seeks immediate pleasure. Time is running out on the short horizon so we “sow our royal oats while we can, for tomorrow we will be old and die.” We choose to eat, drink and be merry. These are the risk takers, the cliff jumpers, and the ones who ride the edge. “There is no tomorrow so live for today…” is their mantra. Some say, “Go big or go home.” This mentality is what produces the false hope in the world. It is what Hollywood “banks-on” and what marketing campaigns are aligned with. This is called the trend, the fad, the in, the popular, or the things of this world and aspiring to the honors of men. Those following these paths are riding a pride cycle into a downward spiraling black hole. The thrill from this horizon comes… from riding into the black hole long enough to get to the point of no return and then turn back to tell the tale. Those who get too close never return to tell the tale. There is no glory in sin. For these short horizon seekers the glory days ended soon after the thrill began, and now they face a lifetime of hopelessness in the slums, on the streets, in and out of jail, in and out of rehab, over and over again.
Those who set their eye on the more distant horizons find greater stability. They are considered more conservative. They are looking into the long-term investments. These type focus on the three, five, or ten year picture in life and are willing to sacrifice time and effort today for a larger piece of the “discipline-pie” in three, five, or ten years. The distant horizons find the short horizon successes daunting, but hold to their game plan with a hope in implementing correct investment principles. Those who are principled hold out for the long haul and have the patience to wait, knowing that their investments will pay off. These don’t cave into the fast money, but hold out for the long term rewards. The conservative distant horizon is made up of traits, such as consistency, steady, hard work, small steps, focus, and a solid mindset. This type of person has a clear view of the distant horizon in their mind, and cant be distracted by the immediate horizon. They are usually the ones who hold on to their real estate for the long term, the college graduates, the professionals, the highly skilled, the athletes, the record breakers, etc.
Finally, there are those who can see way beyond any horizon known to any mortal… into the eternities. These are they who place their initial time and effort into knowing the mind and will of God, and then align their entire life with the things that matter to God- until they enter into His presence. All other long-term or short-term goals are only stepping stones to God. If it doesn’t connect to coming unto God, then these type of people find it a waste of time, even a distraction. This category of people have the amazing ability to endure any circumstance. The power that these people wield is incomparable. They are the stable, unwavering souls that are considered noble and great. These are able to sacrifice all things, including their lives, for the right cause. It is these types that make up the Joseph Smiths, Nephi’s, Alma’s, etc. It is these whom the Lord calls his friends.