You might be wondering, why is this a bad thing? Well, sometimes human nature is a bit chaotic and, for lack of a better word, evil. When we allow ourselves to be ruled by this chaotic, slothful, jealous, and prideful nature, it creates problems in many aspects of our lives...especially in our family lives.
THE WHY: Why does the "natural man" have such a hold on us?
Because we are all human and subject to the effects of the Fall of Adam and Eve. In his book, Drawing Heaven into your Marriage by Dr. H. Wallace Goddard, he provides a list of behaviors that we learn in childhood and carry with us into adulthood (because...Satan) that prevent us from being kind and charitable to our spouses and family members.
We have to make a conscious effort to overcome the “natural man” and it’s destructive nature, but there is hope...hope in and through the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ.
THE HOW: How do we use Christ's Atonement to overcome the NM?
I struggle to overcome my human nature sometimes, especially when it’s been “a day”, if you know what I mean. (A kitchen with dirty dishes piled everywhere...shoes, socks, homework , you name it, it’s out...wracking my brain to think of what to fix for dinner while trying to prep a seminary lesson AND finish my own homework...all the while trying to figure out how my YW calling is fitting into this equation, not to mention...oh ya, I have a husband who needs my attention as well.) It’s on days like these when my natural woman rushes to the surface, exhibiting everything from impatience to rudeness and everything in between. Why is it so easy to let her take over? Especially when I’ve been spending hours studying the gospel for various assignments and lessons.
I suppose it’s just the nature of the beast...part of our earthly experience. More importantly it gives us an opportunity to turn to the Savior and “take His yoke upon us” Matthew 11:29). That is the only way that we will be able to tame the beast and become new creatures in Christ.
"Therefore is any man [or woman] be in Christ, he [she] is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
That is a powerful statement and concept to think about: When we are more godly, fewer things bother us." Wouldn't that be an amazing way to live? Not only in a marriage/family situation, but in school, work, social settings, etc. I, for one, want to sign up for living in a more godly manner so that the things that tend to drive me crazy, won't drive me crazy anymore. Too good to be true, you might say? Not so, because...
Goddard, H. W. (2009). Drawing heaven into your marriage: eternal doctrines that change relationships. Cedar Hills, UT: Joymap Publishing.
Natural Man. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/gs/natural-man?lang=eng.
Back in 2011 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, one of the first things I did was go to the temple to find solace and peace in that turbulent time of life. I knew that these words spoken by Ezra T Benson, a prophet of God, were true: “In the peace of these lovely temples, sometimes we find solutions to the serious problems of life. Under the influence of the Spirit, sometimes pure knowledge flows to us there” (Benson). That serious problem of cancer that I was experiencing was painful to endure and the effects of that experience still linger in my life, but the peace and solutions I found while I visited the temple during that time are a part of me. They will never leave, and they have changed me forever.
I keep mentioning quotes from Ezra T. Benson. You might be wondering who he is and why he is such an authority on this subject. Ezra T. Benson (1899-1994) is a prophet of God and he shared six blessings that come to those who “attend the temple and perform the ordinances that pertain to the House of the Lord” (Benson):
That is why temples are such a big deal. That is why members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints descend upon those temples in mass numbers. Although the specifics of what happens within those temple walls are not shared with the general public because of their sacred nature, I can tell you that what happens there is a very powerful, spiritual experience. That is why I go there. I feel an increase of power to resist temptation, be kinder and gentler to those around me, and to just be a better person.
Benson, E. T. (n.d.). What I Hope You Will Teach Your Children about the Temple. Retrieved from https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1985/08/what-i-hope-you-will-teach-your-children-about-the-temple?lang=eng.
Perry, J. K. (n.d.). I Love to See the Temple. Retrieved from https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/friend/2012/10/i-love-to-see-the-temple?lang=eng.
Yep. You read that paragraph right. This “Eternal Families” post is about the debate to legalize same-sex marriage. It was bound to happen, right? It is a topic that cannot be avoided, and frankly, should not be avoided because it is extremely important to a lot of people.
WHY DO YOU CARE?
Why write about it? Aren’t there enough blog posts, social media posts, news stories, tweets, and who knows what else about the subject? Why add to the debate? Quite honestly, I’m ready for it to not be a debate anymore. I’m ready for a society where we can share our opinions with one another, different as they may be, and respond with love, kindness, and understanding. It is with those thoughts running through my brain that I want to share why the topic of legalizing same-sex marriage matters to me anyway.
WHY IS MARRIAGE SUCH A BIG DEAL?
“Confucius taught that marriage lies at the foundation of government” (Obergefell 8). The late Elder L. Tom Perry, an Apostle of Jesus Christ said that, “a great number of secular people have concluded that a committed marriage and family lifestyle is the most sensible, the most economical, and the happiest way to live” (Perry). Marriage is important to many people, especially those who are religious and “offers unique fulfillment to those who find meaning in the secular realm” (Obergefell 8).
WHY THE DEBATE ABOUT LEGALIZING SAME-SEX MARRIAGE?
Nelson, R. M. (2014, August). Provo.
Obergefell v Hodges, 2015, Supreme Court Case
WHY ETERNAL FAMILIES?
This page is dedicated to sharing information regarding God's plan for families, how we can strengthen our family relationships, and how the Savior can heal even the most broken of hearts.