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

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chapter 1 - Flaxen Cords ... Continued

It's interesting that just when I think that I have control of my thoughts, a flood of "should have dones" come into my mind.

I imagine that night now four and half weeks ago wishing I did more. I reflect on that and wish I did more than merely touch. These thoughts most certainly will condemn me.

But the process of learning to control these powerful thoughts that arouse such emotions is difficult. I feel helpless; in those thoughts I begin to think how I wish the Lord would allow me to have one day of "freebies." Alas, I understand that cannot be.

Learning to retrain the mind is hard. I think how long it took for me to cultivate the thoughts that generate such passion in me. I clearly remember being not more than four years old and captivated by an image from a magazine of a man modeling underwear. That was more than twenty-five years ago. I suppose, then, I did not really know what my life would be like or become.

I now sit in my office, during my lunch break, and reflect on my life. My day.

This morning I drove out to the capital to pick up some surveys I left, on the drive there these thoughts overcame me. I nearly drove off the road to a side road and relieved my frustration. At that moment, while I was listening to the Book of Mormon, came the following from the Book of Ether Chapter 12 verse 37:
"And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: If they have not charity it mattereth
not unto thee, thou hast been faithful; wherefore, thy garments shall be made clean. And because thou has seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father."
I paused and reflected on what I heard: "Because thou has seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong." I have yet to fully see the entirety of my weakness, thus I am still not strong. But as days become weeks, I have learned slowly that I have been able to control my thoughts, they are not as frequent.

I wonder if I should try praying for a natural release at night to at least get me from trying to release it manually. Perhaps there is a connection here with my thoughts. But alas, this does not solve the issue. To put off the natural man, I must think as God thinks, do as He does.

These thoughts a constant reminder of how far I am from God, how far my thoughts are from God. How far the intents of my heart are from His.

I am weak.

I desire to see my weakness. I pray for this. I may not have the strength to endure it, but if I do, perhaps then will come the strength.

It is hard to concentrate on my work; the thoughts of the that night and the thoughts of what I should have done continue to plague me daily. My only solace is in saturating myself with all things Gospel. This is hard. Even my favorite music has suggestive melodies that bring these thoughts.

Every morning I wake up and see my body tempting me. I shower and there my body tempts me as I bathe. It is hard. When I see and feel my body tempting me, the thoughts come easily. How weak is my spirit, how weak is my mind.

Certainly, the world would think I am crazy to deny the appetites of the body. To deny my "true" character. While that is partly true, they fail to realize that my true character is eternal, and this mortal identity is merely a part of my eternal nature. I believe this, or at least I hope to.

Deluded? Maybe, but I know for myself what laws of Heaven I have violated.

I hear my body copying the refrain that it's natural, God created you this way, He desires your happiness.

To that I respond, perhaps overzealously, who am I to chastise and tell God what His laws are? Who am I? Well, that I really don't know. I have simple faith born of an experience in my mission. This is all I have now to cling to, a faint memory of a powerful spiritual experience.

I did not nurture or build on it; I tried, but did so under the influence of pornography and self-pleasure. These two unclean things, stunted my growth, caused me to lie to myself and to my God.

I was in sixth grade when I saw my first pornographic film. It was "straight." However, I fixed my eyes on the guy. And now I struggle to get my eyes off of him.

From that time to this, the thoughts of being with a man plague my senses, my very being. I could have stopped and talked with my Bishop or father at that time, but I chose to hide, I carried that secret for years.

When I was seventeen I confessed to my Bishop that I viewed pornography among other things; but I never really tried to "see my weakness," rather I tried to conceal I had any problem. Doing so allowed the thought so fester and grow stronger and stronger. Now nearly 19 years of slow steady nurturing of the unclean thing is difficult to turn back. These thoughts are so easily entertained.

I hope and pray that my very nature will be changed, I hope for a mighty change in heart, mind, might, and soul.

I hope to be granted grace from Heaven.

1 comment:

  1. thank you for your honesty and humility.
    thank you for sharing.