Most Influential

4.02.2014

We must all choose for ourselves.


Three R’s of Free Agency
"the right of choice, the responsibility of choice, and the results of choice."
"Know this, that every soul is free
To choose his life and what he’ll be,
For this eternal truth is given
That God will force no man to heav’n.
“He’ll call, persuade, direct aright,
And bless with wisdom, love, and light,
In nameless ways be good and kind,
But never force the human mind."

Agency and Freedom
"Individual responsibility is a law of life. It applies in the law of man and the law of God. Society holds people responsible to control their impulses so we can live in a civilized society. God holds his children responsible to control their impulses so they can keep his commandments and realize their eternal destiny. The law does not excuse the short-tempered man who surrenders to his impulse to pull a trigger on his tormentor, or the greedy man who surrenders to his impulse to steal, or the pedophile who surrenders to his impulse to satisfy his sexual desires with children.
I suppose it is inevitable that those who have surrendered to impulse would try to use the defense of “irresistible impulse.” But in the courts on high, this defense will be transparent to the Great Judge, who sees all our actions and “knows all the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Alma 18:32)."

Choices
"Other people’s actions do not dictate what is right or wrong. One person having the courage to make the right choice can influence many others to also choose wisely."

Using Our Free Agency
"God has given commandments with promise of blessings for compliance with his laws, and penalties for violation of them. The late James E. Talmage said: “Obedience to law is the habit of free men. The transgressor fears the law, for he brings upon himself deprivation and restraint, not because of the law which would have protected him in his freedom, but because of his antagonism to the law. It is no more a part of God’s plan to compel men to work righteousness than it is his purpose to permit evil powers to force his children into sin.” (The Great Apostasy, Deseret Book Co., 1958, pp. 34–35.)
A person’s freedom should never be suppressed by men, by Satan, nor by our Lord. Men should never be in bondage one to another. While Satan would like us under his control, God does not control the actions of men. He has given us our agency to combat the trials, temptations, and evils of every kind. However, he gives certain principles that, if followed, will lead us back to his presence. God’s kingdom is founded upon perfect liberty. Every man, woman, and child has the right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience. Each person alone is responsible to his creator for his individual acts."


The Perfect Law of Liberty

"With respect to the loss of personal liberty through the misuse of free agency, our daily lives are filled with tragic evidence. We see the alcoholic with his craving for drink, the dope fiend in his frenzy, and worse, the pervert with his irretrievable loss of manhood. Who will say that such persons enjoy liberty?
Notwithstanding the fact that through its misuse, political, economic, and personal liberty are lost, free agency will always endure because it is an eternal principle. However, the free agency possessed by any one person is increased or diminished by the use to which he puts it. Every wrong decision one makes restricts the area in which he can thereafter exercise his agency. The further one goes in the making of wrong decisions in the exercise of free agency, the more difficult it is for him to recover the lost ground. One can, by persisting long enough, reach the point of no return. He then becomes an abject slave. By the exercise of his free agency, he has decreased the area in which he can act, almost to the vanishing point."


Burden or Blessing

"Those who say Church standards are restrictions probably know some Church members who carry the standards as a burden, not as an advantage in life. If you want your friends to know that your standards make you free from addictions, then live a happy life and try to show the joy you have through a healthy body, mind, and heart. We teach by example, not by words only. Show them the blessings of standards by the way you use your agency for good things."


A Question of Free Agency
"I will tell you this, something I learned long ago: It is a question of free agency. On any one of those five questions, had I had to give a no I would have lost my free agency. I was financially able, I was morally able, and I knew the law of consecration and what it meant; and I appreciated the opportunity."



I also suggest 2 Nephi 2 for further reading on the subject.

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