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

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Playing with Fire and Tender Mercies

Last night, I played with fire.

It started innocently. I was viewing friends' social networks pages, soon I was looking at strangers' pages, hoping to find "hot guys." This led to me then going to the emails, I had trouble deleting last week. I begin to view those emails and let my thoughts race. I pictured what I would've done with each person.

In the middle of that viewing process, I stopped and shut down my computer to sleep. I prayed that I might have the strength to overcome and the strength to change. As I put my head down on the pillow, all I could think about were the pictures. I felt guilty and dirty. I felt as if I had viewed pornography. Because I did.

I thought, "how can I truly 're-turn' toward God, if yet, I continually look back?" "How can I completely change, when I refuse to root these emails from my life?" I got out of bed and turned my computer on.

I then proceeded to delete the emails accounts and emails. It was hard, there was a part of me that was yearning to look at the pictures to gratify myself. I resisted and continued to delete the emails. Again, it felt as if a part of me was deleted. But I suppose a part of me was deleted. The part of me that loved the unclean thing was, at least, partly deleted.

I am beginning to realize how much harder this change thing is. I prayed afterwards that I might be kept from temptation, and that I might have the strength to resist. At that moment, I realized that simply asking to resist was akin to simply stopping the practice, I asked that through the atonement of Jesus Christ, the very desires of my heart yearning for pornography, yearning to gratify the sexual desires of the natural man had to be changed. These desires are strong and have controlled my life for so long. Simply ignoring them would only fuel those desires: those desires have to be extinguished through the grace, and mercy of the atonement of Jesus Christ.

The natural man is strong. His reasoning is compelling, but I must cling to every good thing that I know comes from Heaven.

Last night I felt the tender mercies of the Lord: strength given me to help "see" weakness that I might be made strong.

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