We must also remember that because we have the ability and freedom to choose, our actions have consequences. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Thanks for sharing! Nyman and Charles D. Tate, Jr. Today, I would like to address both groups, members of our church as well as others, about one of the most important tenets of our faith and one of the most precious of God's gifts to mankind.
It is our freedom, our agency, our inalienable and divine right to choose what we will believe and what we will not believe, and to choose what we want to be and what we want to do. I wish to speak of our responsibility and our opportunity to choose God, and the good, and eternal life; or to select evil, the destructive, and that which leads to painful misery and despair.
The Lord's Great Gift: The Power to Choose - The Christian Post
The vital revelations about the agency of man-our freedom to choose-inevitably disclose the perfect generosity and justice of God. God has given us agency--the power to choose between good the path of life and evil the path of spiritual death and destruction. You probably think you have found a new freedom: to think wholly for yourself, to make wholly your own determinations, to criticize and decide for yourself what is right and wrong.
That was decided eternities ago. Right and wrong are not to be determined by you or me. Those elements were decided for us before our birth. We have the free agency to do the right or do the wrong, but who are we to alter those changeless things? We can scoff at sacred things, express our own little opinions, but remember that millions of men and women with keener minds than ours, with more erudite training than yours and mine, have said things and done things more startling, more ugly, more skeptical than you or I could think of.
Millions have gone down the path you are entering. They have all come to grief or will ultimately. Shall the violin say to Tony Stradivarius, "You did not make me"? Shall the created thing question the creator? The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball , p. Richard G. Please understand, no one has the privilege to choose what is right.
God reserved that prerogative to Himself. Choice Brings Consequences. I repeat, each of us has a choice between right and wrong. But with that choice there inevitably will follow consequences. In mortality men are free to choose, and each choice begets a consequence. Our Father controls the results of our acts at his own pleasure, and we cannot prevent it.
Man can produce and control his own acts, but he has no control over their results. God causes even the wrath of man to praise him, to redound to his glory and the salvation of his children.
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The Lord has given you the gift of agency see Moses and instructed you sufficiently to know good from evil see 2 Ne. You are free to choose see 2 Ne. With absolute certainty, choices of good and right lead to happiness and peace, while choices of sin and evil eventually lead to unhappiness, sorrow, and misery.
Choosing Is a Choice : A Book about God-Given Choice
Yes, moral agency allows you to choose what you will, but you cannot control the outcome of those choices. Unlike the false creations of man, our Father in Heaven determines the consequences of your choices. Obedience will yhield happiness, while ciolation of His commandments will not. The Master said: "He that keepeth [the] commandments receiveth truth and light. These scriptures teach how to overcome the effects of wrong choices, whether they be lying, stealing, gambling, addiction to alcohol or drugs, immorality, inflicting abuse, or anything like it.
Simply stated, one must use his agency to obey truth. When others give you advice, have you ever said, "I just don't believe the way you do. Those are your standards and your principles. I have my own"? Please understand that no one can change truth.
Rationalization, overpowering self-interest, all of the arguments of men, anger, or self-will cannot change truth. Satan knows that, so he tries to create an atmosphere where one unwittingly begins to feel that he can not only choose what to do, but can determine what is right to do. Satan strives to persuade us to live outside truth by rationalizing our actions as the right of choice.
But our Eternal Father defined truth and established what is right and wrong before the creation of this earth. He also fixed the consequences of obedience and disobedience to those truths. He defended our right to choose our path in life so that we would grow, develop, and be happy, but we do not have the right to choose the consequences of our acts.
Those who willfully, consistently disobey His commandments will inevitably learn that truth. Joseph Smith was inspired to record, "When we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated. Our agency does allow us to choose among alternate paths, but then we are bound to the consequence God has decreed.
Later, if we don't like where the path takes us, the only out is through repentance. Not Free To Alter Consequences. We are free to choose, but we are not free to alter the consequences of those choices. Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson , p. Of course we can choose; the free agency is ours, but we cannot escape the consequences of our choice.
Russell M. Often, however, agency is misunderstood. While we are free to choose, once we have made those choices, we are tied to the consequences of those choices. We are free to think. We are free to plan. And then we are free to do. But once an action has been taken, we are never free from its consequences. To clarify this concept, we can learn from the astronaut. Any time during the selection process, planning, and preparation, he is free to withdraw.
But once the powerful rocket fuel is ignited, he is no longer free to choose. Now he is bound by the consequences of his choice. Even if difficulties develop and he might wish otherwise, the choice made was sealed by action. There is always at least one victim of iniquity. Yes, I am free to choose, but I can neither be immune from the consequences of my wrong choices nor avoid accountability. Dallin H. God's law can assign consequences solely on the basis of our innermost thoughts and desires. There is no uncertainty in the administration of this law.
As Ammon taught King Lamoni, God "looketh down upon all the children of men; and he knows all the thoughts and intents of the heart; for by his hand were they all created from the beginning. Similarly, Paul warned the Hebrews that God "is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart," and "all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him. In other words, God judges us not only for our acts, but also for the desires of our hearts. He has said so again and again. This is a challenging reality, but it is not surprising. Agency and accountability are eternal principles. We exercise our free agency not only by what we do, but also by what we decide, or will, or desire.
Restrictions on freedom can deprive us of the power to do, but no one can deprive us of the power to will or desire. Accountability must therefore reach and attach consequences to the desires of our hearts. Agency in Pre-mortality. We declare a bright and glorious view of God and man to all who will hear, a view revealed in and illuminated by the restored light of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We testify of God's loving goodness and of his eternal respect for each of us, for us as individual children of God and for what each of us may become. Part of our reassurance about the free, noble, and progressing spirit of man comes from the glorious realization that we all existed and had our identities, and our agency, long before we came to this world. To some that will be a new thought, but the Bible teaches clearly just such an eternal view of life, a life stretching back before this world was and stretching forward into the eternities ahead.
God said to Jeremiah, "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. At another time God reminded Job that "all the sons of God shouted for joy" Job before there was yet any man or woman on the earth God was creating.
The Apostle Paul taught that God the Father chose us "before the foundation of the world. Where and when did all of this happen?