Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lustI had a hard time understand what it meant to be "partakers of the divine nature", but here is what I found (and how it can apply to us).
As I pondered its meaning, one thing that came to my mind was that divine nature to me means that as a children of God, the divine is part of our nature and it is a part of who we are, even if we sometimes forget amidst our mortal trials and difficulties (and sometimes wrong choices). Going to church and reading the scriptures (along with all the other "standard" answers) will help us remember what our heritage and nature are, but still I could not understand the "partaking" could refer to.
With a little more careful reading I was able to delve a little deeper into the idea of how to partake of the divine nature. The same verse 4 give a clue, saying that when we partake of the divine nature we have escaped the corruption that is in the world. To me, this seems to imply that when I don't partake of the corruption (or bad things) that are part of our fallen world, then I am able to partake, or feel (or connect) with the part of me that is connected and a part of our Heavenly Father. This reminds me of the teaching of the Savior that no man can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24) and as we put our focus on spiritual (or divine) things, then we are not able to focus on those things that are carnal, sensual, and devilish (Alma 42:10).
When we go on reading verses 5, 6, and 7, we can also learn what steps we can take so that our minds are more in tune with the spiritual instead of the temporal and carnal. Peter instructs us to give all diligence to:
- faith, virtue, and knowledge (verse 5)
- temperance, patience, godliness (verse 6)
- brotherly kindness, charity (verse 7)
Verse 8 then states that when we have those qualities in us, then we will be full of the knowledge of Jesus Christ. When our minds are affixed on our Savior, He can then help us overcome any challenges or shortcomings that we have that keep us from partaking of our divine nature.
President David O. Mackay said it best when he explained that being a partaker of the divine nature means "to rise above the temporal, the sensual, and partake of the divine Spirit of God".