Why is it so important to overcome our appetites and passions while in this life? I understand the part about the spirit world where we won’t have a body to help us, but won’t we be resurrected to a near perfect state anyway? I’m trying to loose weight and sometimes it just gets so hard. Thanks.
The importance of gaining control over ourselves is not so that we will look good, but it is to give us the spiritual strength to overcome all things. One of the purposes of fasting once a month, for instance, is to repeatedly practice denying ourselves the satisfaction of sating our appetites, and thus subject the influences of the body to the control of the spirit. This is important because the Lord influences us through our spirits and the adversary attempts to influence us through our carnal appetites and passions.
And, by the way, when we are resurrected we will have immortal bodies that will no longer be subject to pain, etc., but unless we overcome all of our mental imperfections while in the spirit world, we will be resurrected as the same obnoxious people we were when we died. The mind is not automatically changed from evil to righteousness, from ignorance to knowledge, from pride to humility, from prejudice to tolerance just because the spirit (which houses the mind) was separated from the body for awhile. We will still have to struggle to overcome faults, and to gain self control. And that process may be even more difficult beyond the grave.
Amulek, in the Book of Mormon, in teaching the cast out poor among the wicked Zoramites, had this to say on the subject-
For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.
And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.
Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.
For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked. (Alma 34:32-35)