I’m going to study today about bridling passions: I feel that is something I really need to think about, ponder upon, and consider when submitting my will to God.
Bridle is defined as: “To control or restrain with or as if with a bridle. See Synonyms at restrain.” and “to restrain, check, or control with or as if with a bridle”.
From “Bridle all our passions“
As the Prophet Joseph Smith wrote, “The nearer man approaches perfection, the clearer are his views, and the greater his enjoyments, till he has overcome the evils of his life and lost every desire for sin.” 1
God is the author of our passions. If we “bridle” them by the bounds he has set, our passions will be fulfilled.
So we accept divine limits in order to find—not to deny—the abundant life. As part of that acceptance, our self-denial in the short run makes possible our self-fulfillment in the long run.
…whether the subject is love, education, or investing scarce resources, Satan deludes us into believing that a cookie is more valuable than a dream home—because we can have it right now. His manipulation is full of irony, because his long-term intent is that “all men might be miserable like unto himself.” (2 Ne. 2:27.)
As Jeffrey R. Holland, then president of Brigham Young University, put it, intimacy between two people symbolizes a total bond that is “the union of all they possess—their very hearts and minds, all their days and all their dreams. They work together, they cry together, they enjoy Brahms and Beethoven and breakfast together, they sacrifice and save and live together for all the abundance that such a totally intimate life provides. And the physical manifestation [only symbolizes] a far deeper spiritual and metaphysical bonding of eternal purposes and promise.”
The story of eternal love is like the missionary labors of Ammon and his brethren, who recounted “their sufferings in the land, their sorrows, and their afflictions, and their incomprehensible joy.” (Alma 28:8; emphasis added.)
We must be individually worthy of exaltation, but we cannot be exalted alone.
From Bridle All Your Passions
“Use boldness, but not overbearance; and also see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love; see that ye refrain from idleness.” Alma 38:12
Affects an area of sensitivity. Bridling our passions means controlling emotions and desires, which people can feel sensitive about, because the natural man wants them to have free rein. But if we overcome our sensitivities, we can develop self-discipline.
Is placed on animals that are of great use. We are told to “bridle all [our] passions,” not to suppress or kill all our passions. Controlling our emotions and desires does not mean to stamp all of them out because they are all bad. Just as we bridle animals because they are useful and helpful, we bridle our passions so that we can control them and allow them to serve a higher purpose.
Helps to tame and train. Just as wild animals can be hostile, unpredictable, and destructive, so can our passions and emotions be if left unchecked. When we tame our emotions, we can train them and redirect them in positive ways to fulfill a greater purpose than they ever could if we simply allowed them to run wild.
Helps to direct. The reins attached to a bridle help us direct an animal in the way we would like it to go. Similarly, we can channel some strong emotions into good works or other appropriate outlets in order for us to become better people and of greater service. By bridling our passions, we can “be filled with love”—one of the highest and greatest emotions—and become more like our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
Every appetite, desire, propensity, and impulse of the natural man may be overcome by and through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We are here on the earth to develop godlike qualities and to bridle all of the passions of the flesh…disciplining the natural man in each of us makes possible a richer, a deeper, and a more enduring love of God and of His children. Love increases through righteous restraint and decreases through impulsive indulgence. (Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “We Believe in Being Chaste,” Ensign, May 2013, 43–44.)
From We Believe in Being Chaste
“Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 11:11)
The man and the woman are intended to learn from, strengthen, bless, and complete each other.
First, I’d like to read or listen more to that talk called “We Believe in Being Chaste” by Elder Bednar.
Second, I’m grateful to be studying this topic today: I’m at a car dealership getting the van fixed and the secretary is wearing super tight spandex pants. I’ve been praying every time she walks by that I can keep my thoughts clean and my eyes on my own work. So far it’s gone pretty good but it hasn’t been easy.
Third, I want to make sure my study is “good” in the site of God. Sometimes I feel like studying online can make it easy to skim over the content and then just copy and paste things I think are good. I do feel better about this blog being something that only I’m reading. I’m not writing for “they eyes of men” or “the arm of the flesh” – I’m trying to write for me and for God.
I’m grateful for the council to bridle my passions. I feel this is an essential part of my recovery from addition to pornography, masturbation, and lust.
I plan to continue this study and want to create a post that I can submit to the Ensign at some point.
I’m grateful to be studying the gospel and know that by so doing, I’m taking accountability and trying to submit my will to God.