“It seems clear to me that one of the most important things we can learn in this life is how to emphasize our eternal spiritual nature and control our evil desires. This should not be that difficult. After all, our spirit, which has been around a lot longer than our physical body, has already been successful in choosing righteousness over evil in the premortal realm. Before this earth was formed, we lived in the spirit world as sons and daughters of Heavenly Parents, who loved us and continue to love us now.
And yes, we did have to make life-changing decisions and choices in that premortal realm. Every person who has ever lived or ever will live on this planet made an essential decision to choose to accept Heavenly Father’s plan for our salvation. So we all came to earth with a proven track record of a successful spiritual nature and eternal destiny.
Think about that for a moment. This is who you and I really are and who you have always been: a son or daughter of God, with spiritual roots in eternity and a future overflowing with infinite possibilities. You are—first, foremost, and always—a spiritual being. And so when we choose to put our carnal nature ahead of our spiritual nature, we are choosing something that is contrary to our real, true, authentic spiritual selves.”
Elder M. Russell Ballard, “Giving Our Spirits Control over Our Bodies”, General Conference, October 2019
You know, when we think of the meaning of “enemy”, at least for me, I tend to think of hatred towards or extreme dislike of, a foe, even wishing injury upon at times or indifference to.
But as I sit here pondering the meaning of “the natural man is an enemy to God”, it doesn’t mean He hates a natural (mortal) person, or a person who falls to mortal weakness. It’s not a man being an “enemy of God” but a carnal man being an “enemy to God”. I used to think that He wanted nothing to do with me if I was “natural”. We know naturalness cannot abide with Him. I thought that it actually could but that He chose not to allow it to and that was the source of my mindset. But, it’s not physically or scientifically possible for a natural man to be in the same presence as Him. His perfectness does not make it possible. If it was possible, He would be less perfect, which then means He would not be perfect. You can’t have a little darkness with the light, otherwise there just isn’t 100% light. Just like as long as there’s a little light in the darkness, there isn’t 100% darkness. The light grows and grows until darkness is dispelled.
But then I think, well, how can I be judged in His presence if I am not perfect and He is? Fact is, I’m not sure. We know that He can make Himself visible and bearable for a mortal’s eyes to abide in His presence. I would imagine He will do exactly that in the Judgement Day. How He does that, I don’t know. I can’t fathom it. Maybe it’s like a protective covering so imperfectness cannot penetrate.
Regardless of how, I know He loves me despite my naturalness. He wants me to rid me of all natural tendencies so that I can be with Him in the end. He is my Father, He is your Father. Long before we were enclosed in our mortal bodies, we were spiritual beings. We still are. We are here to learn to control these physical bodies. We are spiritual beings having a human experience, afterall.