We want to hear from you!

BYU-Idaho values suggestions and ideas that can improve the university.
Use our Feedback Form to let us know what you think.

Brigham Young University Logo

Class Information

Below are the date, time, location, and outline for this class.

The Natural Man vs. the Nature of Man

Taught by Joseph West


Day Time Location
Friday, August 2 4 p.m. Taylor 276
Joseph West

Joseph West


West received his Bachelors in Economics and his MBA from BYU. Over the last 50 years he has thought much about his own strengths and weaknesses. He has also tried to, thoughtfully, observe the strengths and weaknesses in others. He has tried to understand why we are the way we are.

West and his wife have been married for 41 years and have nine children with 34 grand children. He has served on several high councils, as a bishop twice, and as a mission president. He would like to have a hobby but has not found the time to pursue one.

Class Outline

We know that the Natural Man is an enemy to God, being carnal, sensual, and devilish. Yet all of us have appetites, desires, and passions. Does that make us a "natural man," an enemy to God by default? Are our bodies the root of these problems? Are all inherent attributes of man, in other words, the nature of man, negative? Is it the nature of man to believe in God? Is it the nature of man to know right and wrong? In this class we will explore these issues and how we can use the nature of man to overcome the natural man to become a saint.

Learning Objectives:  

1. The students will understand the term, the Natural Man, and be
    able to list the characteristics of the Natural Man.

a. Mosiah 3:19

i. Enemy to God

ii. Since the Fall of Adam - Alma 42:9-10

b. Seeks his own will

2. The students will understand the nature of man in his current state.

a. His make up, the soul of man - D&C 88:15

i. The eternal nature of his intelligence

ii. His spiritual body

iii. His physical body

b. Events that affect this earthly existence

i. Premortal existence

ii. The Creation

iii. The Fall

c. Influences of man's behavior

i. Man's innate essence, his intelligences - Abraham 3:22

ii. Man's physical body

iii. The Light of Christ - D&C 93:2

iv. The Holy Ghost

v. Satan

3. The students will demonstrate that they know whether the physical
    body is the cause of man becoming carnal sensual and devilish.

a. Ponder whether Satan was carnal, sensual and devilish -
    Abraham 3:27-28

b. Ponder whether Adam and Eve were carnal, sensual and
    devilish before the Fall - 2 Nephi 2:23

4. The students will discuss what is the nature of man independent of
    any outside influences.

a. What are the negative natures of man?

b. What are the positive natures of man?

5. The students will discuss how an innocent child becomes the
    natural man - D&C 93:38.

6. The students will think about and ponder what is his own, personal
    nature. What are his own, unique and not so unique, positive and
    negative, characteristics that he can choose to enhance or
    diminish. What have been the key influences in his life?

7. The students will be able to ponder their personal goals in this life
    to determine what influence they will follow.

8. The students will be able to list some activities he can do to
    change his behaviors and to affect the kind of person he wants
    become. Can the nature of man be used to control the
    Natural Man?

9. The student will understand the Atonement of Jesus is another
    influence in his life. The student understands that through the
    Atonement his very nature can be changed, enhancing the good
    characteristics and diminishing the bad. Indeed, the Atonement
    may even give the student new characteristics.

10. The students will leave the class feeling that he has the power and
      the ability to become the kind of person he wants to become.

Additional Materials