A lot of people, especially children, love treasure hunts. Maybe you participated in one yourself when you were little. It's fun to follow clues and ultimately find a reward, like candy behind a log in the backyard!
When my son was little he loved pirates so much we called him "Pirate Gregory". He loved the idea of pirates, oceans, sea monsters and treasures. The thrill of exploring the unknown and finding treasures was so exciting for him in the books we read, or the toys he had, that I even sewed a pirate eyepatch for him to wear.
We are each on similar earthly voyages every day of our lives exploring our unknown futures, facing dangers, and following invisible "treasure maps", seeking for any possible treasures we can find in our own lives. The only difference? We can find many treasures in our own life's journey, not just one, as we follow our personally tailored map (which Heavenly Father can help us follow on this earthly journey to finding the ultimate treasure). We need keys to open each treasure chest. Remembering that there IS an ultimate treasure, more important than all of the others, is one of the keys. This scripture teaches me what the ultimate treasure is.
"And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise." [Moroni 7:41, The Book of Mormon]
The ultimate treasure, as mentioned above, is believing that we will all return to live with a loving Heavenly Father when our journey on earth is complete, and be in the company of our loved ones. Many people call this "The Plan of Happiness". In addition, before we can feel joy, we need to feel HOPE, and we can find that hope through learning more about the atonement of Jesus Christ. As you and I learn more about this Plan of Happiness and the atonement of Jesus Christ you will come to know there is a Hope Chest full of joy for you while you survive the "dangers" along your journey, because I believe that joy and happiness are "our birthright".
We can feel joy today as we follow the map, even as we navigate the dangers, IF we will use the keys to open our own Hope Chest. Treasure maps always contain many dangers and a final reward where X marks the spot. Hard times in life are just like those treasure maps. We are each already holding our own invisible maps, and if you doubt it, think again. Have you survived, or are you in the middle of suffocating quicksand, the unpredictable fire swamp (like in the movie, The Princess Bride), passing horrible skulls in a dark cave, losing everything, or