By Study and Also By Faith

An LDS (Mormon) blog representing a search for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mosiah 3:19

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.

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Anonymous Barb said...

I think I may understand where you are going with taking what we have in common with others and gaining from them in our relationships as well as where we differ. I do find that as I get to know a person that I can find something of merit in them even if they may be someone that society may look down upon. And I may find qualities and traits in them that I lack in myself even. As far as the natural man goes, I think it helped me when I read an article that points out how we all have the natural man that we are working to overcome. We are here to learn to master our physical bodies and God does provide a way for us to have such strength if we will seek him and avoid those things that will weaken us.

10:09 AM  
Blogger Mary A said...

Hi, Barb. Good thoughts. I think that seeking God does help us overcome the natural man. I also like what you said about avoiding those things that weaken us--we have our part to do even as we rely on God.

8:23 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Is natural man the natural state of man as well??

11:10 AM  
Blogger Mary A said...

Hi, Kathleen! The way I understand it, the natural man is the natural state of man until he yields to God. As he does this, he loses even the desire to sin. He leaves behind the weaknesses and temptations. Not that it happens in an instant--it's a process. In a way, though, since we are eternal beings, even though we are going through a mortal phase right now, we have spiritual longings that lead us toward God, so perhaps in that perspective, the natural man isn't really the natural state of man--at least not in an eternal sense.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. That's a good question to ponder.

4:21 PM  

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