Hi J pip. Been a while since I visited this thread. Thank you for your response.Poppyseed, you asked so i'll give my opinion. I think it's wrong to look inward for God. I don't think you'll find Him there. I don't believe that any of us have any righteousness in us ourselves. I agree that when were born again, the old dies and we become new creatures. What I would call sactification, but there's nothing in me that is Godly apart form the spirit, But that would be God and not me. It sounds Deepak Chopra esque to look into ourselves to find God, I don't think it's right and could become an Idol for us. That's what I think.
I don't think what I am saying is that we look inward to find God. I am not God and I am dependant on God for my very breath. I look to God to lead me and answer my prayers. I look inside to hear his messages, but I know who I am and I know who he is and you are right that there is nothing to be worshipped inside of me or you.
But I see God like the perfect parent, and since I am his spirit child, there are parts of me that are divine -- part of me waiting to be nurtured and developed into maturity. We are also taught that we have talents and capacities and certainly as we come to Christ our spiritual capacities increase. I believe that God wants us to cultivate those gifts and talents. I think He wants to help us turn our weak places into strong ones and I think he wants us to learn to trust ourselves and stand immoveble on our own without the sting of the whip and the bite of the dog. I think He wants to trust us. There is a scripture in the D&C that I think of often that refers to "without compulsory means". I think that God is leading us to be independently righteous. I am not quite sure how that works exactly as it is thru Jesus that any perfection happens. Perhaps there is a point in eternal progression where we do become independent....independent in that thing. Perhaps we become independent inside of Grace "bringing to pass much righteousness of our free will and choice." I think we underestimate ourselves if we don't recognize the divinity within and recognizing it in no way underminds the Atonement or the reality of the natural man. Certainly if any of us forgets where our power comes from, the Lord can help us quickly remember. Which actually brings me to my excitement about faith. With faith in Christ, anything is possible! As we trust and join our force with God's, great things happen......even if they seem insignificant to others. I think this is why God invites us to trust Him because he not only leads us to our own power, but gives us access to His.