Am I BORN AGAIN of Body, Mind, and Spirit?
David W. Allan
Traditionally, we think of the born again experience as accepting the Savior – exercising faith in Him, repenting of all our sins and being baptized of the water and the Spirit to confirm our commitment to Him as we take upon ourselves His name – becoming His sons and daughters. As we dig deeper and ask the question in the title, we find some extremely important information that can change our lives for eternal good.
Let us treat each of these three aspects of our beings in the born again experience and then bring them all together in conclusion. I will treat them in inverse order as to how they are listed above, as that is how I came to appreciate and internalize them better myself.
Being born again of the Spirit:
Being born again is viewed very differently throughout Christendom and has a variety of names and forms that it takes in the lives of practicing Christians. Rather than share those, I wish to go right to the heart of the issue and share what I believe are the correct scriptural perspectives that lead us to a purified state before the Lord, so that He, as our advocate, can present us "without spot" to the Father. This requires:
Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ – accepting Him as our Lord and Savior, the very Son of God. That Faith includes belief in all of His teachings. He stands at the door and knocks, and our faith has opened that door to receive fully of the grace extended by Him through His infinite and eternal atonement. Our faith leads us to "press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men... feasting upon the word of Christ, and enduring to the end." Then we have the sure promise of the Father that we shall have Eternal Life – the greatest of all the gifts of God.. (2 Ne. 31:20)
Repentance is the way to reach the purity essential to stand in the presence of the Lord, as no unclean thing can dwell in His presence. For "Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." (John 8:34) As we in humility give ALL your sins to Christ, and pray for forgiveness from them and forgive all that we may be forgiven of all, we open the door to complete forgiveness. "Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more. By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them." (D&C 58:42-43) Coming before the Lord with broken heart and contrite spirit opens our souls to receive the cleansing power of the atonement – filling our souls with unspeakable joy and opening the windows of heaven to light and truth. The person who does not repent has been dumbed down by the adversary; repentance is the smartest thing we can do – both of sins of commission and omission. The blessings from doing so are beyond comprehension.
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" (Matt. 28:19.) "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead [to sin] is freed from sin." (Romans 6:4-7.) "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." (John 8:36)
"Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost." (Acts 8:17) "And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." (Romans 5:5) The Apostle Paul declared, "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. ...because of the grace that is given to me of God, That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to [you] ...being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. ((Romans 15:13-16.) For those so sanctified, Paul promised the Corinthian saints, "God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ." (1 Corinthians 2:11-16.)
II. Being Born Again of Mind
Agency, our choice, is heart and core to the plan of happiness of our loving Heavenly Father; He will not violate it. In pre-mortal time, we chose to follow the will of the Father, which would give us the opportunity to be born into mortality. Because of Father’s love for us, we were each given missions to fulfill before we came here that would best help us and those around us return to the Father. We participated in the design of those missions and happily accepted the anticipated pain and suffering along with the joy and goodness that would come with our mortal experiences. In mortality we live by faith; whereas, there we knew of the goodness of God. Now, we have the choice again whether or not to do the will of the Father. We are but stewards here in mortality; for the earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof. We have nothing to give the Father that is really our own except for our wills. It is the only thing that we really have to give, and it is in that giving that we can be Born Again of Mind. It is only after we chose to totally submit our will to the will of the Father that He can and will best use us in both finding our missions and in best helping ourselves and those around us to move along that path to perfection and a fulness of joy – as did the Son – He being a perfect example before us. As Paul said, we then have "the mind of Christ." Doing the will of the Father exemplifies the highest level of love.
III. Being Born Again of Body
We are born into this world pure and innocent. We are blessed with these wonderful temples we call our bodies. As Paul says, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. (1 Corinthians 3:16-17) The Lord has designed these incredible bodies so that we can perform our mortal missions – free of disease, and run and not be weary and walk and not faint. Daniel and his friends, because they would not eat the meat from the Kings table, but only pulse and water were the healthiest and wisest in all the kingdom. Most people have a hard time in believing this, but recent studies have confirmed these promises made by the Lord. We are what we eat, and science has validated that if we eat the wonderful – garden of Eden like – foods that the Lord has provided, not only can the body ward off all kinds of disease, but all kinds of disease can be made to go away as well. Furthermore, like as with spiritual rebirth, where one has no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually, with the rebirth of the body to its optimum state of health the cravings for foods that are not good for us go away, and our taste-buds are enhanced to enjoy the foods that are best for us – another miracle of this marvelously designed body. The Lord has promised:
And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones; And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures; And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint. And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen. (D&C 89:18-21.)
The modern day "destroying angel" takes on all forms of disease?
Sometimes physical challenges are given to us – even birth defects. These give us the opportunity to learn some important lessons of life and to grow spiritually from overcoming and dealing with these challenges.
It is about LOVE. "For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) As we learn to love God, we will come unto His Beloved Son so that we may be born again: body, mind and spirit into a harmonious whole to be ONE with God. LOVE is LIGHT, and enLIGHTens our minds. LOVE through the atonement lifts our burden of sin from our spirits, and brings LIGHT into our countenance. LOVE gives LIGHT to the sun bringing food full of photosynthesis light to enliven every cell of our bodies and to overcome every disease. LIGHT is TRUTH. He is the way, the TRUTH, and the life. No one can come unto the Father but by Him. This LOVE, this LIGHT, this TRUTH leads us to be BORN OF GOD of body, mind and spirit. In so doing we have joy and rejoicing in Him in body, mind, and spirit. As we become ONE with Him, we desire purely to do His will. We continually nurture body, mind and spirit with the best of physical, mental, and spiritual foods so that we may best serve Him and those around us. We become new creatures in Christ in all three dimensions of our beings. "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong..." (Ether 12:27) "We then that are strong..[can then]... bear the infirmities of the weak,..." (Romans 15:1) As we invite Him into our lives, He will purge and purify our souls, fill our minds with the light and truths of God, and He can and will renew our bodies so that we may best love and serve those around us and we will have the joy of fulfilling our missions in mortality, which will glorify the Father take us back into His presence to receive a fullness of joy.