02 September 2011

Overcoming the Natural Man

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The key ingredient in our holding on to the natural man or woman in us is selfishness.

Read the following comment made by Elder Neal A. Maxwell in his October 1990 conference talk, Put Off the Natural Man and Come Off Conqueror:
"Stubborn selfishness leads otherwise good people to fight over herds, patches of sand, and strippings of milk. All this results from what the Lord calls coveting “the drop,” while neglecting the “more weighty matters.” (D&C 117:8.) Myopic selfishness magnifies a mess of pottage and makes thirty pieces of silver look like a treasure trove. In our intense acquisitiveness, we forget Him who once said, “What is property unto me?” (D&C 117:4.)
"Such is the scope of putting off the burdensome natural man who is naturally selfish. (See Mosiah 3:19.) So much of our fatigue, brothers and sisters, in fact, comes from carrying that needless load. This heaviness of the natural man prevents us from doing our Christian calisthenics; so we end up too swollen with selfishness to pass through the narrow needle’s eye.
"Unchecked selfishness thus stubbornly blocks the way for developing all of the divine qualities: love, mercy, patience, long-suffering, kindness, graciousness, goodness, and gentleness.
"Restoration scriptures tell us much more about how we can really be forgiven through the atonement of Christ by means of which, finally, “mercy … overpowereth justice.” (Alma 34:15.) We can have real and justified hope for the future—enough hope to develop the faith necessary to both put off the natural man and to strive to become more saintly.
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1 comment:

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