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Everything posted by Seminarysnoozer

  1. In the beginning it is cut and dried. And that is the question that was put out, 'God made me this way'. After we have some time on this Earth, yes our spirits can take on the features of carnality and then those things are initiated by the spirit. But as far as being born that way spiritually - no, we were not. The inheritance we are born with in this life is ours to lose. We start out with full potential, full inheritance. Over time we can lose it. This is why infants who die before the age of accountabilty have lost nothing, they receive a full inheritance. They did not start out with original sin or in a negative position.
  2. When one studies the brain carefully, one realizes it isn't so much a battle between left and right side of the brain, it is more of a battle between cortical and subcortical circuits, the logical and the primitive instincts of the brain. The right and left brain balance drives personality and likes and dislikes but it doesn't compete between each other. The greater competition within the brain has to do with primitive drives such as hunger, for example, vs the higher cortical function of the brain that says "I'm not going to steal the food off my neighbors plate just because I am hungry". The primitive drives of anger, thirst, hunger, jealosy, pride etc. are counterbalanced by the logical parts of the brain, the higher functioning that have to couch those drives within some social norm and acceptable behavior. The change in Phineas Gage is an example of what happens, in part, when the two do not oppose each other and the primitive part of the brain is cut off from the logical, social norm driving parts.
  3. How one looks past animosity is by not having animosity in the first place. I, honestly, don't know of any LDS that has animosity towards another religion. I have heard of such a thing but this is not part of our gospel. We do not believe in the spirit of contention. Others might but we don't. So I think the best way to "look past our animosity towards others" is to not have animosity in the first place. According to Merriam-Webster; Animosity = "ill will or resentment tending toward active hostility : an antagonistic attitude" 3 Nephi 11: "29 For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another. 30 Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away."
  4. The discussion is about "God made me this way". One of the arguements, I'm sure, by those that wanted to do things a different way up in the war in Heaven had to do with the fact that we were pure to begin with, 'why risk becoming impure by sending us to this world?' That was a strong case against coming here, that is in part why a third of the host didn't want to come here and take that risk. If there was nothing to lose there would be no Fall, it would have been just a move forward. Obviously, we believe that the step from pre-mortal life to this one was a step downward but forward and onward. I suppose many people believe we didn't fall that far. I believe we fell very far, almost unrecognizably so. Again, this is, in part, why Moses proclaimed that man is nothing. I think if one ponders these verses carefully one sees the comparison Moses is making to those things that are spiritual vs those things that are natural (physical); " 9 And the presence of God withdrew from Moses, that his glory was not upon Moses; and Moses was left unto himself. And as he was left unto himself, he fell unto the earth. 10 And it came to pass that it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man; and he said unto himself: Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed. 11 But now mine own eyes have beheld God; but not my natural, but my spiritual eyes, for my natural eyes could not have beheld; for I should have withered and died in his presence; but his glory was upon me; and I beheld his face, for I was transfigured before him." During this life we reveal our underlying spiritual nature but we come to this life with a spiritual clean slate. The body, on the other hand, starts to cry from day one for hunger and thirst, for carnal drives. From day one it feels the pains of hunger, it strives for air, it wants to be held and physically comforted. Carnal passions and drives start from day number one of life. However, the spirit is pure from day numbner one of mortal life such that infants do not need baptism. As is warned in Moroni 8, anyone who suggests spirits need baptism from some intrinsic evil they carry is wrong! Even if someone "supposes" that they carry evil with them or are born with evil in them is "in the bonds of inequity" according to Mormon. I would be careful about suggesting or even supposing such a thing, Moroni 8; " 8 ...wherefore, little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin;... 12 But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism! 13 Wherefore, if little children could not be saved without baptism, these must have gone to an endless hell. 14 Behold I say unto you, that he that supposeth that little children need baptism is in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; for he hath neither faith, hope, nor charity; wherefore, should he be cut off while in the thought, he must go down to hell."
  5. Yes but at the same time sometimes there are thorns in the flesh, like Paul's thorn, that are meant to last a lifetime while here no matter how much we might pray or be worthy of such a healing. This like is supposed to present challenges that we cannot overcome by ourselves and some of which we simply have to learn to endure throughout our lives.
  6. Again, it depends on which "we" you are talking about, the spirit or the body. Our current bodies are made that way, subject to the effects of the Fall. Our spirit is not subject to those things unless we allow it so by choosing to follow those influences more than spiritual ones. One of our presiding leaders, Elder Bednar said; "As sons and daughters of God, we have inherited divine capacities from Him. But we presently live in a fallen world. The very elements out of which our bodies were created are by nature fallen and ever subject to the pull of sin, corruption, and death. Consequently, the Fall of Adam and its spiritual and temporal consequences affect us most directly through our physical bodies. And yet we are dual beings, for our spirit that is the eternal part of us is tabernacled in a physical body that is subject to the Fall. As Jesus emphasized to the Apostle Peter, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). The precise nature of the test of mortality, then, can be summarized in the following question: Will I respond to the inclinations of the natural man, or will I yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit and put off the natural man and become a saint through the Atonement of Christ the Lord (see Mosiah 3:19)? That is the test. Every appetite, desire, propensity, and impulse of the natural man may be overcome by and through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We are here on the earth to develop godlike qualities and to bridle all of the passions of the flesh."
  7. Yes, that is what I believe. The spirit has to take it in. It has to accept it as it's own for it to be carried with the person to the next life. Another way of saying "accepting" it is to say it becomes a "desire of the heart". If it is one's heart desire then, yes, it will continue. If it is not one's heart desire then it will not. Some people make it their "heart's desire" by identifying with the condition. They call their self an "alcoholic", this is the way I am, God made me this way. To me that is a form of making it one's heart's desire. It is better to proclaim, this is not who I am but something I have to endure while in this life. If I endure it well then it will pass and I can enter into Christ' rest. D&C 137; " 9 For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts." In Alma, we learn that in order to potentially have it "stick" to your spirit one has to understand the difference or at least have the potential to understand the difference between life (spirit) and death (the body) as the body dies, all things of the earth will turn back to dust from which it came; " 4 I ought not to harrow up in my desires the firm decree of a just God, for I know that he granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction. 5 Yea, and I know that good and evil have come before all men; he that knoweth not good from evil is blameless; but he that knoweth good and evil, to him it is given according to his desires, whether he desireth good or evil, life or death, joy or remorse of conscience." In other words, the opposite is true too, in order for the good to "stick" with our spirit we have to know it as good, this is why works that are not done with an eye single to the glory of God, if we don't do it for the right reason, then it means nothing. Like the Pharisee who prayed in front of everyone in Luke 18, " 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." "Humbling" oneself entails realizing that even the good gifts are just temporary in nature as well. One should not, like the Pharisee, claim that they are better than someone else because they have certain privileges in this life, such as intelligence, certain skills or even physical attributes - height, strength etc. All of which are temporary stewardships and not self. Consider someone with Down's syndrome. Are those features carried with the person to the next life? How about someone with Tourrette's syndrome who uncontrolably lets out explitives, maybe even in the middle of church, is that carried with them to the next life? How about Paul's thorn in the flesh, was that carried with his spirit to the next life? These are for but a short time and if we endure them well then ours will be the reward. There is a reason we have to endure. Enduring is differnt than getting rid of the thing. Someone may have a genetic predisposition for whatever thing, alcoholism, anger, etc. If they are endured well, resisted and not taken in by the spirit, then the person will be received unto Jesus' rest. Rest from what? Rest from the battle they have been enduring while in this life. "Rest" does not mean they will stop advancing in their growth but that they will not have to face these kinds of battles between selfs, the "thorn's in the flesh" battle or "according to the flesh" type battles.
  8. Our bodies are hardwired to sin. Our spirit is not. The test is over which one will win out in this dual body experience. We believe that the natural man is an enemy to God. Elder Bednar explained that the elements which make up our body are from this fallen world and therefore pull us towards sin. Therefore the test is between which influence do we listen to the most, brain, hormone, animal instinct etc. or spirit.
  9. Right on! I think it is easy to push aside exactly how far we have fallen because we don't maintain any rememberance of our previous life and knowledge. I think any bit of understanding of how far we have fallen in this existence would result in what Moses said when he saw the bigger picture, that man is nothing. My feeling about what is us vs what is "given" as a stewardship is that we are given a tiny portion of ourselves here. I think the difference would be similar to how one is now vs how they are when they under the effects of anesthesia. The magnitude of difference between spirit self and mortal self are probably that great. One only has to think about how intelligent would a being be if they could spend eons in the presence of God without the weaknesses and limitations of the physical body. We matured before coming here. We learned all we could about everything save the experience of having a body and its effects. The test we face now is one of character in a situation where we are not ourselves. Its kind of like how a soldier performs in the heat of the battle when adrenaline is pumping, maybe losing blood from an injury, emotions are high etc .. then the true test of character and instinct comes out. What does a person do in that situation. That is what this life is like. When we are low, who do we turn to, who do we trust, who do we express faith in? God made the test, gave us stewardships that are underneath our true status of a child of God. We are all fallen. It takes a lot of effort to remember that we are all children of God and will receive a degree of glory that is indescribably magnitudes greater compared to this existence once this stage of development is over. Who we are is not this being, this being is a temporary existence, a temporary stewardship. The test is about recognizing that and not choosing the temporary reward of self (claiming this is who I am) over the real self; child-of-God self. I think sometimes professional atheletes get it right when they win the game and they thank Jesus as their gift is temporary, it is a stewardship on loan, like the parable of the ten talents. Going back to the OP, How you were made is far better the question as it is, I think, the least understood and pertains to the purpose and the temporary nature of this state.
  10. In LDS gospel we believe that there are two "me"s, so it depends on which "me" you are talking about when you say "God made me this way". Are you talking about the physical temporary body or our mostly hidden spiritual self? The effect of the Fall is what made our body. The corruption from the original creation, the thousands of mutations and alterations over the many years and being exposed to the corruption of the world is what makes our bodies what they are. The spirit self is a child of God that has spent eons in the presence of God, desiring to be more like Him and gleaning all we could from His direct teaching. What breaks through more loudly in this life is the make up of the body, that is the default setting or what we call the natural man. The "factory settings" of the physical body should not be acceptable to us and we try to modify them as much as we can. We wash them in baptism, we take on the body of Christ in Sacrament, we go through the ordinances in the temple, we live by the word of wisdom etc all to keep at bay and to modify the "factory settings" of the body.
  11. I am sure a lot of people on this forum will say 'oh boy, here we go again' but this is one of those specific situations where it is really important to have a strong testimony about the differences between the physical and the spiritual of our dual being nature. The carnality we take on in this life is temporary. True evil is to take in the carnality as self and make it part of our spiritual nature that carries with us into the next life. It is possible to be in the world but not be of the world. It is hard for us to now comprehend how the effects of being in the world, being exposed to such evil, does not automatically scar our spirit but it doesn't. The power of the evil that comes from carnality is only effective if one lets it be. It is possible to be exposed to much evil in this world and come out being unscathed. I think the easiest way to appreciate that is to separate our, as best one can, the nature of the body from the nature of the spirit and to realize that those things that come from dust will return to dust. D&C 89 speaks directly of this battle and the way to not be overwhelmed by its evil; " “And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones; “And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures; “And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.” We were never expected to overcome the evil of this world on our own. We are supposed to feel the need for a Savior to help us avoid being affected by the evil in this world. It is a good thing that you feel overwhelmed by it. You are in a tough profession because in order to really avoid the affects of evil around us people need to rely on the Savior. Some people just give into it. If one doesn't want to give into it then they must turn to the Savior for help. It can't be overcome by therapy alone. Was Christ' spirit made unclean by being around evil? Did He try to avoid being around sinners? Teachings of Joseph Fielding Smith; " The Lord expects us to forsake the evils of the world and live as becometh Saints.We are living in an evil and wicked world. But while we are in the world, we are not of the world. We are expected to overcome the world and to live as becometh saints. … We have greater light than the world has, and the Lord expects more of us than he does of them.5 In the seventeenth chapter of John—I can hardly read this chapter without tears coming to my eyes— … our Lord, in praying to his Father in the tenderness of all his soul because he knew the hour had come for him to offer himself as a sacrifice, prayed for his disciples. In that prayer he said, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 17:15–17.)" We can't overcome the world without being exposed to the evils of the world. And we also cannot overcome the world by ourselves. We are exposed to evil so that we should feel overwhelmed by it. And in that way, one turns to Our Savior. One of the steps of not letting evil around us affect us so strongly; D&C 59 "9 And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day; 10 For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High;" The other important step is to pitch ones tent towards the alter of God and not towards Sodom. Be a light to the world, even in ones profession, that is our ultimate goal, to have our eye single to the glory of God and not the praise of man. In other words, don't be afraid to suggest methods of spiritual strengthening to these people as that truly is the only way to overcome evil in this world without it becoming part of us (being of the world).
  12. They are not mutually exclusive. No doubt he wept because of their expressions but that being the case because, as humans, we have a hard time seeing the bigger picture, this is one of our shortcommings. Like I said He wept because of our (their) shortcommings. He grieved over their pain. Their pain caused by their inability to really understand that he would rise again. He also saw the result of what was about to happen, that because of this thing he could no longer walk openly amongst the jews. Take into consideration the verse before; " 33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,"
  13. He wept because despite performing this amazing miracle, the Jews would still not believe. When He weeps, He does so over our shortcommings.
  14. LDS believe that everyone here already made a promise to obey his commandments before coming here. We believe there was a premortal state in which we were given the option of following this plan or not. All those that did not want to follow the plan are not here now. So, you and everyone here agreed to obey his commandments. It is not a matter of fear, it is a matter of integrity. Are you the same person you said you would be despite you not retaining memory of it. It is a test of character. If one does not "love God" and obey God then one is revealing the nature of their character, they are showing to what degree they would do what they are told. It is kind of like when a soldier in boot camp says 'yes' to the ideal of not leaving any fellow soldier behind. Whereas, in the heat of the battle and the senses are dulled by fear and self preservation, only a few will actually put their lives in danger to go back for their fallen fellow soldiers. This life is that kind of test. We believe that your spirit and everyone else spirit here already believes in God and His plan and promised to follow it no matter what, to the best of their ability. So, now God is seeing how far we take that promise we have already made, it is a test of self integrity. God already knows we love him, otherwise we wouldn't be here, it is just a matter of to what degree do we love him.
  15. I don't know if this is true for you but I have found that most people I know that proclaim a hatred towards God do it because they can't comprehend how a "loving God" would allow for so much evil in the world. To those people, they don't understand how evil came about. God created paradise, the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve then fell from that state into our current conditions. The Fall is what "created" the condition we now have as well as its associated agency. This life, despite all of its exposure to evil is for our benefit, to grow, be refined and develop a dependent relationship with out Savior to learn some very important skills, love being one of them. One time I heard this description, not sure if it is true, that shepherds back in Jesus' time would break a leg of a lamb so that it had to be held in the arms of the shepherd until it healed. In that way it gained a close relationship to the shepherd and learned his voice and developed a dependency on him. This was done for the lambs safety later when it needed to respond to the masters voice quickly. Without that time it developed no affinity for the shepherd and would not follow him. These challenges and trials we face in this life are both for a test and for our development. We move forward by having gone through these challenges even if we dont overcome them because we learn a spiritual dependency on the Lord. When one can appreciate the total plan, as opposed to just seeing this small step of this world, then one can see the love that God has for us. The gospel truly is the good news when faced with such evil in the world.
  16. For me, it would be a "change both (in) the doctrine and the way it is taught" to say that women cannot become like our Heavenly Father. At least that is the way I have been taught and understand the gospel.
  17. Gospel Principles Chapter 2; "Every person who was ever born on earth is our spirit brother or sister. Because we are the spirit children of God, we have inherited the potential to develop His divine qualities. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can become like our Heavenly Father and receive a fulness of joy." What axe are you talking about?
  18. Its the same confusion that exists over the Trinity, how can there be one God and three individuals. Because we believe they are three individuals, does that make us a polytheistic cult? If we already accept the idea there are three individuals that make up the Godhead and therefore one God then it wouldn't be too confusing to suggest that God the Father could be one with His wife, at least not any more confusing than the Trinity discusion. The "purpose" in saying such a thing, if there is a purpose, could be to proclaim that all of Heavenly Father's children have the potential to be like Him, not just the men.
  19. The goggles converted infrared light into visible light. So goes back to original post asking about differences between what is emenating (key word) from light bulbs vs the light of intelligence type light. An interesting side question would be, is there intelligence type light that does not emit (i.e - placed under a bushel)? The metaphor might have to do more with the characteristics of light emmision and giving light to other things as opposed to just light itself.
  20. I have spent many nights in the dark, on my knees, praying and have been touched by the Holy Ghost answering my prayers while in the dark. I am sure many have had similar experiences. It is simply symbolic. It says in the verses you gave that it is symbolic of the "power thereof by which it is made". This includes the power by which the Earth was made which does not emit much light. Our eyes also do not emit light. Try turning off the lights and see how much light you emit. You were given light (according to those verses), so if that is the type of light you were given then you should be emiting that type of light in the dark. Obviously this is symbolic. And yet the "light", that type of knowledge and power, was used to make the sun that now gives off radiating light detected by cells in the retina. [Emit = produce ... not just reflect]
  21. Using theology terms yes. According to the scirpture, there is no such thing as immaterial matter. There is no fine vs course matter line drawn by the size of the particle, it isnt drawn between atom vs subatomic particles. I think that is a misconception drawn by using the unfortunate words, "fine" and "course". Fine and course have nothing to do with size. It only is used to describe physical vs spiritual or impure vs pure. It may have been a more exact choice of words to say "impure" matter and "pure" matter. As far as we know "fine" matter may be a 1000 fold magnitude bigger than "course" matter. I think it is also a misconception to suggest that enough "fine" matter stacked and pushed together would make some quantity of course matter. If anything it should be the other way around, enough course matter stacked together might make an ounce of fine matter as we are now in a "fallen" or "less than" state. As far as we know, the two are not on the same scale, one does not produce the other, they exist in their own realm. Yes they interact when told to interact but they are in their own systems. The only thing that may not be matter is the void that sits outside any measurable extent of the Universe. But maybe one day we will see there is matter out there as well.
  22. To become "one" with anyone requries charity. It is not the same thing but the method by which it happens, any more than a computer is the same thing as an internet forum. The pure love of Christ demonstrated by what happened in the Garden of Gesthemane entails the ability to feel what another feels, to know what another knows and to support them. Hypothetically speaking, if two people were to know all the other was thinking, experiencing, feeling etc. as if they were there experiencing it for their self, is that not the definition of "one"? Christ showed us that power by the Atonement. If we fully receive the effects of the atonement then we too can have that power, the power to love our neighbor as our self. Christ, having experienced that power while on Earth and what it really means to empathize with another wants us all to have that power too. It is what could make a person eternal. If limited to self experience it is finite. When the gates of experience can be shared with all, it becomes eternal, like the experience of joy we have when someone else is baptized.
  23. This scripture has considered the difference; D&C 131; " 7 There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes;" In other words, if impure eyes can see the particular light one is talking about, like the sun or the moon, then that source of light, by definition is not fine matter, it is not spiritual matter. There is fine matter and there is course matter, two different things that we have not been told the specifics about other than the fact that our bodies, our retinas, our brain cannot discern the fine matter, it is only discerned by pure spiritual sight.
  24. Very funny! It has already been done, Born Again Christians - leaving the fleshy things behind to be born of the spirit. Jesus began the discussion with Nicodemus, He explained the difference between thinking with the carnal mind the brain that we are born with vs thinking and "seeing" with the spiritual mind; " 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. 9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? 10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? 11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?" I only use the Elder Bednar quote because it is the most recent quote on the topic but it all started with Jesus and then Paul took it further in many of his writings. Paul was concerned about the church in Corinth being too 'intellectual' and relying on the wisdom of men. So, he wrote a lot about the contrast between the wisdom of men and the wisdom of God and its associated internal conflict between carnality and spirituality. Knowing about his writings concerning the duality of men it is interesting to relook at the question he poses to the church of Corinth "Is Christ divided?" He was not divided by His duality. We are, though and struggle with it. He goes on to say in 1 Corinthians 1: " 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence." He explains very clearly this test that Elder Bednar summarized by saying in 1 Corinthians 2; " 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." And the next chapter goes directly into explaining the source of the natural man, flesh and carnality ... The whole milk before meat discussion is the same issue, that we have to subdue the flesh, we have to break through the flesh before the spirit is touched, before the spirit is in control. 1 Corinthians 3: "1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?" This relates to the lesser and the greater laws and priesthood. The lesser law dealt with things of the flesh whereas the greater law Christ introduces has to do with things of the spirit. We are baptized of the water (takes care of the flesh first) and then baptized by fire (takes care of the spirit). We partake of the sacrament (flesh) and then the water (spirit). The whole discussion regarding being born again is this very issue, overcoming the flesh to be born of the spirit. It is not enough to just be of the literal seed of Abraham but to be of the spiritual seed of Abraham, as Jesus explained to Nicodemus. It is the same as talking about the natural man, carnality vs spirituality and spiritual discernment. It is throughout our gospel if one looks at it carefully.
  25. Great post! What you are talking about is one's ability to spiritual discern. This dilemma is spoken of many times in the scriptures. I like Zechariah's words about it, chapter 11; " 17 Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened." The "right eye" is symbolic of one's ability to discern spiritual things. The "right arm" is symbolic of one's ability to carry out spiritual things. Just like we have a right eye and a left eye and a right arm and left arm we are dual beings. It is said more clearly from modern day prophets and apostles like David O Mckay and Elder Bednar that we are both physical and spirit beings. Elder Holland made it clear that the "mind" can have ailments as in depression etc. that are physical in nature, the physical mind or in other words the brain. Those being different from the thoughts that are generated by the "mind" of the spirit. Our ability to differentiate the source of those thoughts, passions, feelings etc is called spiritual discernment or metaphorically represented by the "right" side of the body, on the right hand or the right eye, etc. We want to find ourselves on the right side of Christ in the end. That is the test of this life - do we pay attention to the right side or the left side or like Zechariah so poetically said when one's faith is "shaken" what happens is the right eye becomes darkened. In other words, spiritual discernment is more difficult. The whole focus then is to keep our "right eye" clear. That is the purpose and effect of the gospel, to enhance our spiritual discernment. Without it, the natural man takes over, the "left" side of the body, or the physical or carnal man takes over and then we don't see things spiritually as well. Maybe this is why I spend so much time talking about what is physical vs what is spiritual, to discern the two can be difficult but that is the test. Elder Bednar; "The very elements out of which our bodies were created are by nature fallen and ever subject to the pull of sin, corruption, and death. Consequently, the Fall of Adam and its spiritual and temporal consequences affect us most directly through our physical bodies. And yet we are dual beings, for our spirit that is the eternal part of us is tabernacled in a physical body that is subject to the Fall. As Jesus emphasized to the Apostle Peter, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). The precise nature of the test of mortality, then, can be summarized in the following question: Will I respond to the inclinations of the natural man, or will I yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit and put off the natural man and become a saint through the Atonement of Christ the Lord (see Mosiah 3:19)? That is the test. Every appetite, desire, propensity, and impulse of the natural man may be overcome by and through the Atonement of Jesus Christ." Like you stated, the conundrum exists because we are dual beings, everything has to be processed through the natural man brain. Even if the spirit is the source of the message it still has to be processed through the brain. So, the best way to help (but not totally do away with the conundrum) is to do everything we can to distinguish what is from "natural man" the physical brain vs what is from the spirit (the way the Holy Spirit communicates is directly to our spirit). We "put off" the natural man to tune into the spirit or to improve our spiritual discernment. You are describing THE test as Elder Bednar says - which inclination do we respond to - natural man vs spirit, right eye vs left eye.