What is the natural man?
Mosiah 3: 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.
Neal A Maxwell said…
So what characterizes the natural man? Simply stated, the natural man is someone who remains in his or her fallen condition; he or she has not experienced a spiritual rebirth. At one end of the spectrum, the natural man may be a person who loves Satan more than God and thereby is carnal, sensual, and devilish (see Moses 5:13).
At the other end of the spectrum, the natural man may well be a moral and upright person bent on benevolence. Such a person, acclimated to the present fallen world, still does not enjoy the enlivening power of the Holy Ghost and does not enjoy the sanctifying power of Christ’s covenants and ordinances. Even though the light of Christ is making an impact, he or she has not followed it into the Lord’s full gospel truths.
So how can we tell if we are a natural man?
This is a list that Neal A Maxwell has to help us notice if we are being a natural man..
1. The natural man is unable or unwilling to perceive spiritual realities
1 Cor 2:14 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.
President Brigham Young said,
“How difficult it is to teach the natural man who comprehends nothing more than that which he sees with the natural eye! … Talk to him about angels, heavens, God, immortality, and eternal lives, and it is like sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal to his ears; it has no music to him; there is nothing in it that charms his senses, soothes his feelings, attracts his attention, or engages his affections, in the least; to him it is all vanity.”
If you don’t see God in anything than that is a sign of being a natural man.
2. The natural man is proud. The natural man’s most distinguishing feature is pride. The look of the natural man is neither up (to God) nor over (to man), except as the horizontal glance allows him or her to compete with others.
Alma 4:12 he saw great inequality among the people, some lifting themselves up with their pride, despising others, turning their backs upon the needy and the naked and those who were hungry, and those who were athirst, and those who were sick and afflicted.
Pride is another common sign of a natural man.
3. The natural man is preoccupied with the rewards of this world. His or her values are derived solely from pragmatism and materialism. Such people find only temporary pleasure in having something. Soon they want more, and they want more of it than the next person.
D&C 63:48 He that sendeth up treasures unto the land of Zion shall receive an inheritance in this world, and his works shall follow him, and also a reward in the world to come.
The reward we should be looking for is an eternal reward. Not the rewards of the Earth.
I believe that we should not be looking for things of this world, but of the world to come. And even though some part of us may have problems with this, we still have a chance to fix it through the Atonement.