The Check-Off List for the UnNatural Man

by | Jan 20, 2023

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Fasten Your Seatbelt (No. 6)

From his talk Overcome the World and Find Rest

Part of the President Nelson Series

All blue quotes by President Russell M. Nelson (unless otherwise noted).

First Quote

Now, overcoming the world certainly does not mean becoming perfect in this life, nor does it mean that your problems will magically evaporate—because they won’t. And it does not mean that you won’t still make mistakes. But overcoming the world does mean that your resistance to sin will increase. Your heart will soften as your faith in Jesus Christ increases. Overcoming the world means growing to love God and His Beloved Son more than you love anyone or anything else.

Breaking Down the Message

What Is Still True

  • you won’t be perfect
  • you’ll still have problems
  • you’ll make mistakes


  • your resistance to sin increases
  • your heart softens (which just feels so much better)
  • your faith in Jesus increases (which increases your power to act)

Seek to

  • Love God and Christ more than you love anyone or anything else

Here It Is Again in the Old Testament

This same formula has held true for a long time. The Children of Israel tried President Nelson’s advice in Old Testament times:

12 And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul;
14 And they sware unto the Lord with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets.
15 And all Judah rejoiced at the oath: for they had sworn with all their heart, and sought him with their whole desire; and he was found of them: and the Lord gave them rest round about. (2 Chronicles 15:12, 14-15

I love that last detail – *and they found the Lord was in their lives, and He gave them abundant REST* (joy, peace, confidence, ease).

But how do we seek Him? How do we make that happen for us?

Be UnNatural

How, then, do we overcome the world? King Benjamin taught us how. He said that “the natural man is an enemy to God” and remains so forever “unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord.”

President Nelson references Mosiah 3:19 in his footnotes:

19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

The UnNatural Check-Off List

See which attribute tugs at your conscience the most today. That’s the one you want to contemplate – I have found trying to tackle more than one habit at a time makes all of them much harder to reach:

  • yield to promptings of the Holy Spirit
  • attempt sainthood (change something, start something, stop something)
  • be aware and use the atonement – go through the repentance process with something
  • be submissive
  • be meek (powerful, loving, and have confident humility like the Savior)
  • be humble
  • PATIENT (can you guess which one I am working on?)
  • full of love (just what is “full”?)
  • willing to submit (i.e., do things you really don’t want to or that aren’t immediate gratification)

Rule of Thumb

President Nelson sums up these quotes with a quick, easy way to follow his counsel that doesn’t require a lot of thought:

Each time you seek for and follow the promptings of the Spirit, each time you do anything good—things that “the natural man” would not do—you are overcoming the world.

Final Comment

President Nelson’s recent General Conference talk is one I will study over and over. He built in layers of inspiration and guidance that will not be outdated anytime soon.

For teaching helps – please see “5 Highlights for “Overcome the World and Find Rest” by President Nelson.

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