For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father. (Mosiah 3:19)
This scripture has been on my mind a lot lately. For a single verse, it contains a lot of gospel principles to ponder and to learn to apply to my life.
The term natural man (which, of course, includes women) refers to all types of worldliness, physical and intellectual. We have to learn to put off the natural man by yielding to the Holy Spirit and also by applying the atonement to ourselves. We learn to put God first in our lives and using His teachings as the guide for how we live our lives.
We also need to become as a little child in the sense of being trusting and humble and meek. All of these things are taught to us through the scriptures and the words of the prophets. In addition, we have the gift of the Holy Ghost to teach and inspire us and to confirm truth to us. Prayer--communion with our Heavenly Father--is also a chief source of learning for us.
I think it is interesting that the word patient is included in the list of attributes we should develop. I believe it is because the Lord works in His own way and time. He knows the end from the beginning and understands completely what is best for us, even if we do not. Patience is important, too, because it takes time for us to learn and apply all of these things. We do not change overnight, but we do change if we will put in the effort.
I've also been thinking about how being humble, meek, patient, and full of love can help us in our relationships with other people. We are all different, yet we do have a lot in common as well. If we can learn to be patient with the differences and to appreciate them, even as we enjoy what we have in common, we will improve our relationships with our brothers and sisters.
It's interesting how one verse can spark so many thoughts.
Labels: atonement, God, Holy Ghost, Jesus Christ, scripture