Bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ

Paul taught the Corinthians that while we “walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh.” The war we have is against “imaginations, and every thigh thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).  Commenting on this passage, Mathew Henry (1662-1714) wrote of the opposition that is made “against the gospel by the powers of sin and Satan in the hearts of men.”

Ignorance, prejudices, beloved lusts, are Satan’s strong-holds in the souls of some; vain imaginations, carnal reasonings, and high thoughts, or proud conceits, in others, exalt themselves against the knowledge of God, that is, by these ways the devil endeavours to keep men from faith and obedience to the gospel, and secures his possession of the hearts of men, as his own house or property. (Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible, 2 Cor. IX)

How do we gain power over these vain imaginations, these reasonings disconnected from the mind of God, this prideful conceit? Paul’s counsel to the Corinthians was to  “[bring] into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). The Lord Himself said to Joseph Smith, “Look unto me in every thought” (Doctrine and Covenants 6:36). No wonder in partaking of the sacrament we covenant to always remember Him.

David O. McKay said, “That man is most truly great who is most Christlike. What you sincerely in your heart think of Christ will determine what you are, will largely determine what your acts will be. … By choosing him as our ideal, we create within ourselves a desire to be like him, to have fellowship with him” (Conference Report, Apr. 1951, 93, 98).

 

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