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, February 8, 2011

The Brilliance of the Natural Man

I hear others tell me "all you need to do is read your scriptures...all you need to do it prayer...just do God's will and you'll be happy." To them, I graciously say, "thank you!" However, upon further reflection the "all you need to do..." lines do nothing for me. I read my scriptures, daily! I pray, daily - even when I don't want to. Last night, I knelt to prayer. Weighed down by falling yet again with another guy on Sunday, I tried praying, but nothing came for five or so minutes, I ended saying, "Father, I'm not ready to talk." I then crawled into bed and went to sleep. I woke up this morning, knelt again and said, "Father, I'm trying," with that I ended my morning prayer. I sat down for breakfast, read a chapter out of the Book of Alma. This has been my life. I find it hard to connect to God. Yes, I read. Yes, I pray. But at times this is not enough.

The problem is not that I don't know I am a child of God; not that I don't know that God loves me; not that I don't know I can trust God. I know these things, I have evidence of them. Yet,the problem is at the moment, I feel estranged from this. I can't seem to find the comfort in these things. I have hope that I will, else why do I continue to pray, even when I don't want to say anything?

The natural man inside of me is so very strong. Certainly the natural man has his ear bent toward Satan. The natural man knows me oh so well. As a result, it's incredibly difficult to give my will over. That is simply one problematic, the other is that I don't know how. I am sensing, after my acting out with another guy, that I have very little control of myself. I can not do it alone. But my will is hard to bend. The logic and reasoning of the natural man is so very persuasive. I struggle to put off the natural man; consequently, I struggle to submit to the will of God.

I think, in part, it's because I don't know what God's will is. It is easy for me to assume I know what his will is, but the reality is I don't know. There are things people tell me I should do, but they aren't God. I have a very generalized trust in God, yet, I struggle experiencing the belief that He has my interests in mind. I can say it, I can believe it, but my actions and the patterns of my thoughts suggest otherwise.


  1. Have you ever looked through a distorted lens? I have, in fact most of my life I have. I've struggled and fallen flat on my face so many times I've lost count, its hard to be gay and LDS. Like you I know the lens is distorted, but I don't necessarily understand how it is distorted. I think one of the best things for me was when I stopped beating myself up for falling down. Instead I just accepted that I had fallen and that I am trying to go in the right direction. God understands that we aren't going to be perfect in one day and that it takes time to change. I merely asked God to give me the learning experiences and understanding to change. It has been a slow process for me, but lasting change takes time. Just allow God the ability to help you and ask him to help you along the way. Don't get caught up on the guilt and depression cycle, it invariably cause you to fall again. Instead ask God to help you take small steps in progression towards him. What more can he ask? I started to find happiness in the journey of change, that I was making progress. I saw the light of day when I realize how much stronger I am as an individual for having gone through such difficult trials and not falling away from the church.

  2. Like you, I am also searching for God's Will in my life. Perhaps it's staying celibate for the rest of my life, perhaps it's getting married to a woman, perhaps it's getting married to a man. I don't know yet.

    All I know, is that every day, every moment, I have to do what I can do for that day. If it's just to get out of bed, then that is my best for that day.

    Us Mormons are so focused on being perfect and giving 110% every single day. But you know what? Some days, I can only give 10%.

    Jesus does the other 90% for me. It's His job.