The Natural Man Needs Assistance from Christ and His Atonement to Rise above the Carnal State
Romans 7:19, 23
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. . . .
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
President Harold B. Lee said:
“Recently I met a young man, in a circumstance where I was the victim and he was the master, in a hospital bed where he was preparing me for an operation. ‘Could I ask you some questions?’ he said. ‘I am very much worried about myself because in our ward we have had a couple in whom I had great confidence, who have recently been excommunicated from the Church because they have been living in sin, and it has frightened me and I want to know if you can tell me, how can I be fortified against the possibility of making a similar mistake? Where is that safety?’
“As you observe the frightening events even on college campuses, you could be caught up in the maelstrom of mob psychology. Where is there safety? As I thought of his question I remembered some things which the Master said: ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: But rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell’ (Matthew 10:28).
“Perhaps you may have read what the Apostle Paul said: ‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places’ (Ephesians 6:12).
“The Apostle Paul put that statement in a meaningful way when he said: ‘For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do’ (Romans 7:19).
“‘But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members’ (Romans 7:23).
“You see those about you, some in important places, in the community or in the Church, who may have been called to account for misdeeds heretofore unsuspected, perhaps to be arrested before the law or to be excommunicated. Perhaps you have said, ‘If it could happen to him, it could happen to me. Can you tell me how I can avoid falling into sin or transgression?’ So potent are the insidious forces of evil mastered by the ruler of darkness of that world, that it might well be said, as someone has put it, ‘Man is prone to do evil as sparks are to fly upward.’
“President Heber J. Grant used to tell us that in the later years of his administration he began to ponder if there was some outstanding thing the Lord would have him do. So he prayed earnestly about it and sought to have the answer. As he prayed, the startling answer as to the greatest thing that he could do was to teach this people to keep the commandments! And this is the most important thing for you to do—to keep the Lord’s commandments.”
(Decisions for Successful Living , 220–21.)