I have been studying this passage for a few days…
” 36 And now, I say unto you, my brethren, that after ye have known and have been taught all these things, if ye should transgress and go contrary to that which has been spoken, that ye do withdraw yourselves from the Spirit of the Lord, that it may have no place in you to guide you in wisdom’s paths that ye may be blessed, prospered, and preserved—
37 I say unto you, that the man that doeth this, the same cometh out in open rebellion against God; therefore he listeth to obey the evil spirit, and becometh an enemy to all righteousness; therefore, the Lord has no place in him, for he dwelleth not in unholy temples.” – Mosiah 2:36-37
King Benjamin is addressing saints in these verses. He is speaking to those who have a testimony. He teaches that when we transgress – we actually withdraw ourselves from the Spirit of God.
A theme that has been repeated throughout my life is searching the Spirit. I mean, think of it. Everything is better when we have the Spirit. When the Spirit is with us, we have peace in our homes, we teach better, we love others more purely. The companionship of the Spirit helps us make better decisions and it comforts us when we are in the midst of trial. We need to Get the Spirit!
By disobeying, we cut ourselves off from the Spirit – this is because the Lord cannot dwell in unholy temples. Loss of the companionship of the Holy Ghost leads to our own spiritual degeneration.
” 24 And they saw that they had become weak, like unto their brethren, the Lamanites, and that the Spirit of the Lord did no more preserve them; yea, it had withdrawn from them because the Spirit of the Lord doth not dwell in unholy temples—” – Helaman 4:24
Because of wickedness, the Nephites, who had once been blessed with the gospel, were made weak as a natural consequence of their choice to be filthy and unholy.
Here’s an easy way to think of it:
Wickedness → Loss of Spirit → weakness.
Obedience → Sanctification → Companionship of the Spirit → Strength
I like this simple equation.