Christ subjected his flesh to his spirit, and that is the task that is put before all of us. We talk of crucifying the man of flesh. He subjected his flesh to his spirit by subjecting his flesh to the will of his Father.
But can we say that we have subjected our own flesh to our spirit when we are committing adultery in our heart?
The pharisees took the words of Moses, and instead of asking what they really meant, sought to interpret those words in ways that allowed them to justify them in their wickedness. Thus Christ told them Moses would himself would testify against them.
We know that Christ said that whoso looketh upon a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her in his heart.
But, like the Pharisees, in this generation, we haven’t sought for the meaning of his teaching. Like the Pharisees we have developed a marvelous system of rationalization.
We convince ourselves we can watch a woman seduce us on the wide screen television and that we are not looking on a woman to lust after her.
We convince ourselves that that movie had a marvelous message and so that one scene wasn’t looking on a woman to lust after her.
We convince ourselves that watching women in movies or on the internet in short skirts or belly shirts or showing cleavage isn’t looking on a woman to lust after her. We have actually carried this lie forward to the point it is ludicrous, as practically all of us will watch a movie which shows women nearly naked in underwear, or wearing even less, in a bikini, and claim that we “don’t notice” or “are grown up enough” or are “big enough” or some other such lie that it doesn’t constitute looking on a woman to lust after her. Apparently, if it is so familiar that we are hardened in it, then that is supposed to allow us to continue indefinitely without it counting every time.
We commit adultery in our hearts, but we have set up a wonderful system of spiritual accounting just as the Pharisees did, whereby none of it is what it really is, and we can swallow a camel and strain at a gnat, pointing out that we are always cheery and smiling at church, and never contradict anyone, and frequently get doors and greet people with a smile.
Now, by no means am I saying that we are an apostate church like the one run by the Pharisees. But we cut the Holy Ghost down from the river God would pour out upon us to a trickle, for we cannot commit adultery in our hearts and not offend the spirit.
And many will be lost by such indulgences, vast numbers that could have been saved. We are seeing that even now, as almost everyone seems to have a friend or family member that they are afraid to offend with such plain and fundamental gospel truths as “boys are boys and girls and girls and that’s the whole story”. We will see many of our own children fall to destruction if we will not repent in time that they, themselves, may also be taught better in time as well.
We cannot afford the costs of our sins.
We do have a marvelous system of rationalization set up. But how will that save us? What does it profit us?
And yes, many of us will lose our own souls in the process of our rationalization.
We know that Christ offended many when he said that looking on a woman to lust after her is committing adultery in one’s heart. We have learned to rationalize his plain intention away, and found ways to convince ourselves that these women have no pull on us, and that thereby we are not lusting after them. We say a movie had “some skin” and maybe even regret watching it if it had actual nudity. We don’t even count immodesty that isn’t extreme.
Christ asks us the question: What does it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, but lose his soul. We need to ask what is profits us to gain all the interesting and exciting movies, websites, music, and books that the world puts in front of us, and lose the Holy Ghost, consequently losing our soul and destroying the souls of our children in the process. It may happen so slowly we can pretend it isn’t happening at all. It may be happening at the Bishop’s house and at the Stake President’s house, making it all the easier to rationalize away.
But we will not find that Christ’s grace is sufficient until we deny ourselves of all ungodliness as the scriptures declare, and how can we be saved unless we follow the terms on which he says his grace will be sufficient for us?
Moroni 10: 32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.