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, October 19, 2010

The struggle continues

I wonder why I am not humble enough to admit that I can do nothing of my own accord. I continue to struggle. But I am resolved to examine the source of pride and overcome it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

President Packer

Let me first say, I struggled with President Packer for so long. Initially, it was his statements that nearly drove me out of the church. But it also was his statements that brought clarity and relief to my struggle. His conference talk ten years ago this conference saved me.

"Sometimes we are asked why we do not recognize this conduct as a diverse and acceptable lifestyle. This we cannot do. We did not make the laws; they were made in heaven "before the foundation of the world" (D&C 132:5; 124:41; see also Alma 22:13). We are servants only....

"When any unworthy desires press into your mind, fight them, resist them, control them (see James 4:6-8; 2 Ne. 9:39; Mosiah 3:19). The Apostle Paul taught, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (1 Cor. 10:13; see also D&C 62:1).

"That may be a struggle from which you will not be free in this life.
If you do not act on temptations, you need feel no guilt. They may be extremely difficult to resist. But that is better than to yield and bring disappointment and unhappiness to you and those who love you."

I recall listening to this soothing explanation. I realized then, it was not President Packer that was speaking to me, but the Lord. President Packer was his servant. While I may not know if the language was given him or the principles - it does not matter. President Packer made very clear that whether its a biological concern or not is not the issue - the issue is choice: it's our agency!

While President Packer had previously been a polarizing for me, I realized then, that he was a servant of God and under obligation to share the message impressed upon his soul. My obligation was to listen, President Eyring spoke of our covenant to keep the commandments of God, and one of those commandments is to heed the words of his servants. They will lead us to light and salvation.

As I listened to President Packer speak Sunday morning, I understood.

"If we're not alert, there are those today who not only tolerate but advocate voting to change laws that will legalize immorality, as if a vote would somehow alter the designs of God's laws and nature ... what good would a vote against the law of gravity do?

"Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and the unnatural.. Not so. Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?"

President Packer or rather the Lord was not saying that being gay is preset, but rather saying that having no choice in how we respond to the circumstance is preset. This is in harmony with what he said ten years earlier. God would not put us in a situation where we have no choice - there is always a choice, always a way out.

In his address ten years ago he noted:

"Some think that God created them with overpowering, unnatural desires, that they are trapped and not responsible (see James 1:13-15). That is not true. It cannot be true. Even if they were to accept it as true, they must remember that He can cure and He can heal (see Alma 7:10-13; 15:8)."

He can heal and cure. Does that mean God will make me straight? Probably not, but rather the miracle and healing comes in my ability to access the enabling power of the Atonement to endure and align my will to the will of God. The power of the Atonement will provide me grace sufficient to overcome, or control sufficiently with God's grace, the desires of my body. The perception I have of God and of myself will be healed through the Atonement. As I come to know who I really am, I will be healed.

I thank the the Heavens for prophets!

Afterall, Elder Anderson explained:

"There are no assigned subjects, no collaboration of themes. The Lord’s way, of course, is always the best way. He takes the individual prayerful efforts of each speaker and orchestrates a spiritual symphony full of revelation and power. Repeated themes, principle building upon principle, prophetic warnings, uplifting promises—the divine harmony is a miracle! I testify that in this conference we have heard and felt the mind and will of the Lord."