Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Lusts of the Flesh; Fruit of the Spirit

In 2 Nephi 2:29, Lehi tells his children, that “the will of the flesh giveth the spirit of the devil POWER to CAPTIVATE.”

For a very long time I only supposed what the “wills of the Flesh” could be. Until I took more careful study of some scripture verses that I had overlooked while reading the more "prominent" verses.

In Galatians 5:22-23(the prominent verses), Paul teaches us what "the fruit of the Spirit" means, but right before that, in Galatians 5:16-21 (the verses that enlightened me), Paul counsels: “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Then he lists what the “lusts of the flesh” are (I’ve added the definitions):

Adultery: voluntary sexual intercourse between a man or woman not his or her husband or wife
Fornication: voluntary sexual intercourse between unmarried men and women
Uncleanness: morally impure; unchaste; obscene; dirty; filthy; foul
Lasciviousness: expressing lust or lewdness; exciting lustful desires (read Elder Holland’s April 2010 General Conference talk)
Idolatry: excessive devotion to or reverence for some person or thing
Witchcraft: black magic or sorcery
Hatred: a strong dislike or ill will
Variance: discrepancy; divergence
Emulation: desire or ambition to equal or surpass; rivalry
Wrath: intense anger; fury; rage; any action carried out in great anger especially for punishment
Strife: contention or competition; the act or state of fighting or quarrelling; struggle; conflict
Sedition: stirring up of discontent, resistance or rebellion against those in power; revolt
Heresy: a religious belief opposed to the doctrine of the Church or the rejection of a belief that is part of the Church dogma
Envying: A feeling of discontent and ill will because of another’s advantages, possessions; resentful dislike of another who has something that one desires
Murder: unlawful and malicious or premeditated killing of one human being by another
Drunkenness: intoxicated
Revelling: boisterous festivity

Following a lengthy list of things that will surely put us on the path to Captivity and Death, Paul shares those things that can give us Liberty and Eternal Life. He gives us a list of nine, a.k.a the “the fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-23): Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness, Temperance.

President Marion G. Romney said this: “Earth life is a period of trial for every person of two mighty forces pulling in opposite directions. On the one hand is the power of Christ and His righteousness. On the other hand is Satan and his fellow travelers. Mankind, in the exercise of their God-given moral agency, must determine to travel in company with the one or the other. The reward for following the one is the fruit of the Spirit—peace. The reward for following the other is the works of the flesh—the antithesis of peace. If we would have peace, brothers and sisters, we must make up our minds to pay the price of peace."

I have made up my mind that I will pay. the. price. of. peace!

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