Friday, January 10, 2014

The Gift of Agency

As I look back on last year and look forward to this New Year ahead.  I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for so many things.  Heavenly Father in His divine wisdom knew that this life would be a proving ground.  That by allowing us to have the ability to choose we could learn and grow by our choices.  Heavenly Father also knew the risk; that choice comes with a price. 
            He taught that “men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil.” (2 Nephi 2:5)  This sacred instruction began in the heavens.  There, in a Grand Council, our Heavenly Father would continue the gift of agency to prove us here in mortality, “to see if [we] will do all things whatsoever the Lord [our] God shall command.” (Abraham 2:24-25)
            I remember back when my daughter was little, maybe 5 years old.  My wife and I were trying to teach her about choice and consequence.  I don’t remember the difficulty of the decision that she was trying to make.  It was most likely whether or not to obey one of our simple rules, like clean up what you are playing with before you get out something else.  I do remember her comment; “Daddy, I don’t like choices because consequences aren’t fun.”  Choices do have consequences, both to bless our lives or to hinder our growth.
            Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught the following.  “It is our sins that make the devil laugh, our sorrow that brings him counterfeit joy.  Although the devil laughs, his power is limited.  Some may remember the old adage: ‘The devil made me do it.’  Today I want to convey, in absolutely certain terms, that the adversary cannot make us do anything.  He does lie at our door, as the scriptures say, and he follows us each day. (Moses 5:23)  Every time we go out, every decision we make, we are either choosing to move in his direction or in the direction of our Savior.  But the adversary must depart if we tell him to depart.  He cannot influence us unless we allow him to do so, and he knows that!  The only time he can affect our minds and bodies - our very spirits - is when we allow him to do so.  In other words, we do not have to succumb to his enticements!” 
            I choose to try to follow my Heavenly Father’s commandments.  To allow the spirit of Christ into my life so that as I use my Agency, I choose those things that will help me be more like him.  I want the consequences of my choices to be positive, not negative.  This takes some thought, not reaction.  I have found that if I react, most of the time I choose unwisely.  I am so grateful for the Gift of Agency, that I can have my Heavenly Fathers help in all of my choices I make.  I rely on my Savior’s example, but also my relationship with him to move forward with faith.  As I make choices, I choose to be on the Lord’s side.


  1. Hopefully in this new year, I will be able to use my agency better by making the choices that draws me closer to my Heavenly Father. It's great to see that even little children at the age of 5 can understand the fundamental principles of our Father's plan. It underscores the truth that our Heavenly Father's plan is simple and anyone who makes the effort to follow it can be rewarded with blessings.

  2. Agency is a tough but beautiful gift. There have been times when I have thought it would be so nice for the Savior to just tell me what I need to do instead of me muddling through and trying to figure everything out on my own, but I look back on these times and I am so grateful that he didn't just tell me. Because without the experience of deciding what is right and wrong for myself, I wouldn't have the relationship that I have with the Savior today. Like everyone else in the world I have had my fair share of bad choices and I have suffered the consequence, but the beautiful thing about the atonement and the repentance process, is that I can always be forgiven. No matter how great the sin, Christ has already paid the price so that each and every one of us can be forgiven no matter what. Christ is always with us whether we recognize his presence or not, so do not be afraid to ask for guidance, he often won't tell you what you must do, but he will always help guide you in the right direction if you put in the work, he will always meet you half way.


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