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June 3, 2021 - Natural Men and Women

Since the beginning, one of the reasons we don’t just admire mountains but feel so compelled to climb and conquer them is because of the fundamental and foundational truth that, as eternally progressing beings, we are predisposed to take on challenges. That is an essential underpinning of God’s plan of happiness. So you and I are divinely engineered to be dynamic and not static. Being in motion is requisite to progression. Thus we instinctively crave sacred summits—like the temple, general conference, or that summit of summits, heaven. And so even hard and uphill journeys—like life, for instance—can’t help but foster and develop both our progress and a priceless byproduct of that effort: faith.

Michael A. Dunn, "Why Mountains?", BYU Speeches, October 1, 2019

Its hard to believe that we were divinely designed to climb mountains when we see them in front of us when all we want to do is lay down and groan in frustration, at least that is how I feel about mountains. 😁

We are created to always be moving, not standing still. It's our mortalness that tells us to sit down in a big lazy boy chair, relax and stay comfortable. That is a seemingly innocent, natural desire afterall.

Maybe this is what King Benjamin meant when he taught that "a natural man is an enemy to God", or, at least, part of what he meant.

An "enemy" isn't just defined as having hatred toward another, which is how we most often define it. When I think of an enemy, it's someone trying to hurt or injure me. That's an enemy.

It can also mean SOMETHING that is trying to hurt me, not just someone.

So, when I'm being "natural", that doesn't mean I have hatred towards God. It means that mortality will spiritually injure me if I'm not careful and overcome those tendencies.

Meaning, when I see a mountain (metaphorically) and do nothing but lay down, I'm being natural. If I act natural, or give in to mortal tendencies, I will not grow, I will not become stronger, and I will not progress.

Is not that going to eventually injure or harm me spiritually? Therefore, being natural is indeed an enemy to God, who progressed to ultimate perfection, because it denies us the same progression.

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