Sunday, April 27, 2014

Overcoming the natural man

photo taken by my husband. (Words added, obviously, by me.)

We are taught and taught and taught to read our scriptures and say our prayers on a daily basis.  In fact, it's taught to do these things more than once a day.  Most of the time we hear we need to read morning and night and always have a prayer in our hearts.  But if I know I'm supposed to, and I know that I feel like a better me when I do, why do I always put it off?  Why do I think it's okay to go to bed without reading my scriptures or saying my prayers?  Isn't that, in a way, saying, "Hey I got this under control...I don't need your help?"  Like really, if I think about it, that's what I am pretty much saying.  My life is going pretty good lately...I must be doing alright on my own.  Oh my heavens!  That is so false.  There is no way I could do this on my own.  I need Him.  I need His strength and His example and love in my life all the time.  

So if I know this why are these two simple things such big things?  Maybe it's because I need to personally strengthen my testimony even deeper.  When we are strong in our testimonies in certain things we are more inclined to do those things.  For instance, I know this church is true, and therefore, there is nothing that could make me decide to become inactive or fall away.  So if I work on my testimony of the simple act of reading my scriptures reading them will become natural.  It will become a  thing I look forward to doing instead of something I am doing just because I am told to do so.  

It's the natural man that does this.  That's my answer.  I need to overcome the natural man and remember who I am and WHOSE I am.  I am a daughter of God.  There are things bigger than this life.  There are things of greater importance. I love this story shared by Quentin L. Cook:

"I learned the importance of this early in my career. After finishing my education at Stanford Law School, I sought employment at a particular law firm. No members of the Church were associated with the firm, but the firm was made up of lawyers of character and ability. After a morning of interviews, the senior partner and two other partners invited me to lunch. The senior partner inquired if I would like a prelunch alcoholic drink and later if I would like wine. In both cases, I declined. The second time, I informed him that I was an active Latter-day Saint and did not drink alcoholic beverages.
I received an offer of employment from the firm. A few months later, the senior partner told me the offer of the alcoholic beverages was a test. He noted that my resume made it clear that I had served an LDS mission. He had determined that he would hire me only if I was true to the teachings of my own church. He considered it a significant matter of character and integrity."
He stood up for what he knew was right in his heart.  He could have easily given in and said yes to the alcoholic beverage, because he thought if he didn't he may not get the job, but he didn't.  He turned down the offer, stayed true to his heart and to his Father in Heaven, and he was blessed because of it.  However, on the flip side, the senior partner could have just as easily not given him the job because he chose not to drink, but that would've just made it clear that that job wasn't the job for him after all.  
People who are not of our faith, or even those who are and are just not as active, know a lot about what we stand for.  I've been told in conversation by a friend of another faith that she would expect more from a Mormon than somebody of her faith.  We have a responsibility to set the right example of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  We not only have a responsibility, but it is our privilege and honor to be able to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places.  He trusts us.  He knows all that we are capable of.  He knows that we are valiant and are capable of living a good life.  We are the ones who need to be strong and stand up for the truth, even when we are standing alone. 

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