David A. Bednar, “Ye Are the Temple of God,” Ensign, Sept. 2001, 18.
Everyone ever born on earth was sent to earth for the precise reason of gaining a body. That body is to be used to prove ourselves on judgement day. No, this doesn't mean we save ourselves. All sin and have need of repentance only available through the redeeming grace of Jesus Christ. His atonement allows us to present ourselves pure and worthy on that great day but this idea whispers that something is required of each person: living the commandments and repenting of short-comings.
Some suppose they are powerless against the enticings of the adversary that lead to sin. Not so. Joseph Smith taught. “All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not. The devil has no power over us only as we permit him. The moment we revolt at anything which comes from God, the devil takes power” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith , 181). Because we chose to be on God's side during the war in heaven, we will always have the advantage of a physical body over the adversary and his dark angels.
God, the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, have bodies of flesh and bone. In order to progress and be more like them, we have lessons to learn that can only be learned in the flesh. "Our relationships with other people, our capacity to recognize and respond to truth, and our ability to obey the principles and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ are amplified through our physical bodies. In this classroom of mortality we experience tenderness, kindness, happiness, sorrow, disappointment, pain, and even the challenges of physical limitations in ways that prepare us for eternity," David Bednar.
Additionally, we gain the power to create life with a body. This and other powers of the physical body can be used for a most beautiful purpose or twisted into something vile and ugly. “The spirit is pure, and under the special control and influence of the Lord, but the body is of the earth, and is subject to the power of the Devil, and is under the mighty influence of that fallen nature that is of the earth. If the spirit yields to the body, the Devil then has power to overcome the body and spirit of that man, and he loses both. Recollect, brethren and sisters, every one of you, that when evil is suggested to you, when it arises in your hearts, it is through the temporal organization. When you are tempted, buffeted, and step out of the way inadvertently; when you are overtaken in a fault, or commit an overt act unthinkingly; when you are full of evil passion, and wish to yield to it, then stop and let the spirit, which God has put into your tabernacles, take the lead. If you do that, I will promise that you will overcome all evil, and obtain eternal lives. But many, very many, let the spirit yield to the body, and are overcome and destroyed” (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe , 70). We are free to choose which way we wil go. 2 Ne. 2:26–29
Some say humans are inherently evil. With the forgoing ideas, we are taught that this isn't so. Instead, because the mortal body is of the fallen earth, we are subject to temptations brought about by the fall. Subject is not the same as doomed. We have choice. Both the Bible (1 Corinthians 6:19–20) and The Book of Mormon teach (Mosiah 2:23-25)that our bodies belong to Jesus, who bought them with His atoning blood. All choices concerning the use of our bodies are eternal with consequences bad or good. "Consequently, you and I must carefully consider what we take into our temple, what we put on our temple, what we do to our temple, and what we do with our temple," David A. Bednar.
"Our physical body is the instrument of our spirit. In that marvelous revelation the Word of Wisdom we are told how to keep our bodies free from impurities which might dull, even destroy, those delicate physical senses which have to do with spiritual communication. “The Word of Wisdom is a key to individual revelation. It was given as ‘a principle with promise, adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints’ (Doctrine and Covenants 89:3). The promise is that those who obey will receive ‘great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures’ (Doctrine and Covenants 89:19). If we abuse our body with habit-forming substances, or misuse prescription drugs, we draw curtains which close off the light of spiritual communication” (Boyd K. Packer, Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled, 211). It really does matter if we take all the pills doctors prescribe or use alcohol/illicit drugs or partake of caffeine laden drinks without weighing the imagined or real benefits with the possibility of agency surrendering addictions.
“Do not underestimate the important symbolic and actual effect of appearance. Persons who are well groomed and modestly dressed invite the companionship of the Spirit of our Father in Heaven and are able to exercise a wholesome influence upon those around them. Persons who are unkempt and careless about their appearance, or adopt the visual symbols of those who often oppose our ideals, expose themselves and persons around them to influences that are degrading and dissonant. Outward appearance is often a reflection of inward tendencies” (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, ed. Clyde J. Williams , 220). As representatives of Jesus, "we must be thoughtful and careful about how we dress and what we put on our personal temples," David A. Bednar. One of the most tragic lines in scripture was spoken by Alma to his errant son, Corianton: “Behold, O my son, how great iniquity ye brought upon the Zoramites; for when they saw your conduct they would not believe in my words” (Alma 39:11).
"We must be particularly careful as the fads and fashions of the world entice us to mark or to pierce or to otherwise deface or disfigure our personal temples. Consider the following counsel from President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985): 'How far, we wonder, will men and women go to pay ovations to the god of style? Will men wear rings in their noses when style dictates? Will young people still fall prey to their god of style, which they worship?' (David A. Bednar quoting, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball , 380). Years ago, I read Dinesh D'Sousa's What's So Great About America that agrees with David A. Bednar's statements about unusual fashion trends. Dinesh talks about the Starbuck's Guy; David says, "It is interesting to me that these trends of the world frequently promote a false individuality that is nothing more than a superficial and curious outward conformity."
Purity is paramount. “One of the ‘plain and precious’ truths restored in this dispensation is that ‘the spirit and the body are the soul of man’ (Doctrine and Covenants 88:15) and that when the spirit and body are separated, men and women ‘cannot receive a fulness of joy’ (Doctrine and Covenants 93:34). That is the reason why obtaining a body is so fundamentally important in the first place, why sin of any kind is such a serious matter (namely because it is sin that ultimately brings both physical and spiritual death), and why the resurrection of the body is so central to the great triumph of Christ’s Atonement.
Most significantly, the body's purpose is to create new life within a proper family. Yes, there are proper and improper ideas about family whether it is politically correct to say so or not. Since the adversary cannot ever have a family, since he gave up his first estate or the right to gain a physical body, he wants to stifle everyone else in this righteous pursuit by any means possible. Virtue and chastity are good and right and noble. Within the bonds of marriage, little children should be brought forth, cherished, and brought up in the ways of Jesus Christ as an unbroken chain throughout the ages. Sadly, many don't realize this as young people. They refuse to marry or limit their progeny, because they become blinded to the eternal nature of this pursuit. It is hard to do good sometimes. However, it may be noted that addiction and defacing the body and disease are not usually easy to endure either. The lifestyle that leads to these consequences may seem 'fun' for awhile, but this is an out and out lie.