As mortals, we are faced with opposition from birth. Some of the contributing factors to this opposition are:
- Having no memory of our life before birth
- Being born into a mortal body with genetics and element which is in opposition to the Spirit of God until trained properly under the influence of the Spirit
- Growing up in a carnal world which is not oriented to the things of God
- Having the traditions of the world and of earthly families ingrained into us from the time we were small
- Having experiences which have affected us emotionally before we were in touch with the Spirit of the Lord or had the tools to deal with them.
All of these things and more have a definite affect on our reactions to things, people, situations, ideas and concepts which affect our ability to hear the promptings of the Spirit’s guidance and obey.
We might call these things carnal ties, for they things to which we are tied which cause us to react carnally, blocking us from truly following the guidance of the Spirit in our lives. They act as interference in certain areas between us and a God-guided life.
Each person is tied carnally to different things and only by revelation can one’s own carnal ties be identified. Yet, without the identification of these things, we might overlook the detrimental effect they have on our progression.
A carnal tie might be a person or persons, a relative, a friend, even a husband or wife, to whom our loyalty and tie is stronger than our loyalty and tie to the Lord, our mission, and our work. This can be a strong tie or a weak one, it may affect you deeply as we have seen those who leave the gathering with their husbands or wives rather than take the stand for truth that they know to be true; or it may affect you not quite so deeply as to cause you to leave the gathering, but to interfere with your contribution or mission to the gathering. Your tie could be to someone outside the gathering, or even to someone in the gathering. In either case, if your tie to a person or persons interferes with the Spirit’s influence in your life, chances are, you are carnally tied to that person or persons. In a very real sense, they stand between you and God.
A carnal ties might be a love or fondness for certain music, certain foods or eating habits, other habits and behaviors, that you are unwilling to give up, or even look at as needing to give up because underneath you have made up your own mind (carnal) without seeking the wisdom of the Lord (spiritual) that you don’t need to.
We can be carnally tied to the fashions of the day, to our own opinions of how things should be, to laziness, to sex, to carnal security, to junk, memorabilia, souvenirs, habits and ideas of cleanliness, perceptions of beauty, perceptions of our own self-image, sentimental collections, T-V, movies, dances and dancing styles,hobbies, homes, belongings, cars, …..the list is endless.
If you look at your life and ask yourself, what am I not willing to give up? What am I not willing to sacrifice if the Lord required it of me? You might see some carnal ties pop up, because for us, it is required to sacrifice whatever the Lord requires. There are general sacrifices that are required of all, but in the sanctification process, especially dealing with individual carnal ties, the Lord may require different things of different people to cleanse them of that which stands between them and God.
Preparing to move into a Terrestrial world has required a great deal of change. In this process we have changed our thinking, our ways of eating, praying, living. But moving into the Terrestrial realm will require more change than we have yet seen, for we are striving to reach the Celestial realm. We are headed for many 180 degree turns upward and any carnal ties could hold us back from entering into that realm and making the progress we desire.
Clinging to these carnal ties could put us into the category Paul was speaking of when he wrote to the Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 3:2
“I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able [to bear it], neither yet now are ye able. 3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas [there is] among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?“
The Lord has told us that we must separate ourselves from the world. That separation is physical, emotional, and environmental as well as spiritual. We must be anxiously engaged in the purification of our hearts, the cleansing of our environment, and increasing the dedication of our souls to the Lord. Otherwise we run the risk of being pacified into apathy because of our own decisions which open the door to the adversary in our lives.
2 Nephi 28:21
“And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well–and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.“
By ridding ourselves of the carnal ties as they are revealed to us, we remove rebellion from our natures and characters. Our willingness to sacrifice all things that the Lord requires, great or small, is an indication that our hearts are becoming pure before Him.
“To that degree that we maintain carnal ties in our lives, we remain in a carnal state and to one degree or another are in a state contrary to happiness. Sensing unhappiness within us may indicate that we are not letting go of carnality somewhere, and it might be because we are maintaining carnal ties in our lives.”
“And now, my son, all men that are in a state of nature, or I would say, in a carnal state, are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; they are without God in the world, and they have gone contrary to the nature of God; therefore, they are in a state contrary to the nature of happiness.“
We all like to think we are righteous, the elect, those who will do the will or the Lord, but until we have cleansed every cobweb of selfishness from our desires and all the resistance of self-will is yielded to God’s will, we run the risk of being subject to the judgment of a just God upon us. For of us much is given and therefore, much is required.
For although a man may have many revelations, and have power to do many mighty works, yet if he boasts in his own strength, and sets at naught the counsels of God, and follows after the dictates of his own will and carnal desires, he must fall and incur the vengeance of a just God upon him.
Let us not deceive ourselves into believing we will be able to slip by without the assiduous work of cleansing these things from us. Carnality is sin, and carnal ties are directly linked to our carnality. Left unrecognized, they have the potential of becoming our Achilles heel.
“And again, verily I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto this ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am–not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual. 11 For no man has seen God at any time in the flesh, except quickened by the Spirit of God. 12 Neither can any natural man abide the presence of God, neither after the carnal mind.“
Lectures on Faith, p. 58
A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for, from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things. It was through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life.