“Remember that there is one thing Christ and Satan have in common—they both want us to become like them. Satan, however, wants to trick us into it. Christ wants it to be our choice.”
President Kevin J Worthen shares insights on how we should act despite outside influences.
How are you exercising your agency to further the work of the Lord?
All of us can find ways to be more open and receptive to the transformative change that the Lord requires of us—even that mighty change that transforms us into someone new.
May we learn how to learn by the Spirit; may we choose and decide in time how best to prepare for eternity; may we offer global experience and training to contribute to every nation, kindred, and tongue; and may we seek and rejoice in spiritual strengthening.
Obviously we cannot completely control the events that come at us daily, but we can indeed control the worthwhileness of those events. We worship an omniscient God and know that “all things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good, and to my name’s glory, saith the Lord.”
Being “an example of the believers,” living a life of kindness and compassion, keeping your covenant “to mourn with those that mourn,” and serving others can all have powerful effects on those around you.
Agency and responsibility are inseparably connected. You cannot avoid responsibility without also diminishing agency. Mercy and justice are also inseparable. You cannot deny the Lord’s justice without also impeding His mercy.
[The family proclamation] unequivocally proclaims: "We warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets."
I believe that when we exercise our agency to learn, grow, and accomplish good in this world and when we apply “the principles of righteousness,” our influence will naturally increase.
As important as choices are—such as what to major in, what career path to take, where to live, and where to send the kids to school—the choices you make regarding the type of person you want to be are, in my opinion, more important and will help you make those very important decisions regarding the direction you choose for your life and your family.
How could we become like the Savior if we did not have agency to make those choices? By using our agency to choose the right, we begin to put on the divine nature—to pattern our lives after His. We find peace, happiness, and freedom as we make right choices.
In our fast-paced world, we are sometimes impatient for His plan to unfold. Popular culture tells us, “Get a life.” My advice to all of us is, “Get an eternal life.” By making right choices today, tomorrow, and for the rest of our time on earth, that eternal goal means the most to us.
Well-meaning people may honestly disagree with my interpretation of how the universe is put together. Agency allows and requires this possibility. But for me, as I noted above, science is faith affirming because I choose to believe, and everything else follows.
It is because of the Atonement of Christ that we can recover from bad choices and be justified under the law as if we had not sinned.
Becoming decisive is part of our spiritual growing up. This growing up requires constant decision making. We must learn to be decisive, because indecision is no choice at all. If we fail to choose, we fail to act.
The abundant opportunities to choose the right that confront us in apparently small ways each day provide the choices that I am talking about. These are the choices that mold character and determine who, at the core, we really are.
I submit that a prerequisite for dealing in any way with adversaries is to love them. A wonderful side effect of living this principle is that it invites the Spirit to teach us how to handle the situation. Hatred and contempt are not consonant with the presence of the Spirit.
[God] wants us to have joy. We cannot do that unless we are free to choose. But neither can we have that joy unless we are willing to be spiritually submissive day in, day out, and unless we exercise that grand and glorious freedom to choose in which people truly matter more than stars.
The Holy Ghost will be the wind beneath your wings, placing in your hearts the firm conviction of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ and His place in the eternal plan of God, your Eternal Father.
Are we ready to choose to commit to the Lord’s plan? Are we ready to choose to forsake our sins and come unto Christ? Will we choose to call on His name?
The Lord needs faithful, articulate, committed men and women who are undaunted by what lies ahead and who are willing to stand up for what is right again and again...
An important discussion of controversial topics such as the family, abortion, choice, and diversity, in terms of earthly objectives and eternal goals.
Some of you may be wondering what it would be like to stand here at a podium where prophets, apostles, presidents of the United States, a prime minister of England, Nobel Prize winners, university presidents, and many learned men and women have spoken—particularly some of you who may feel you are not quite as qualified as those who have occupied this place. As the least-qualified devotional speaker in the history…
We all have the need to know the processes by which we recoup what we could be and could have, had we chosen more wisely. So these are the three basics: Atonement, Agency, and Accountability.
Do what is right and others will follow your example. Every time you make the right choice in the face of potential criticism, you build strength that makes it easier the next time.
Ruth E. Brasher, director of the BYU Honor Code Office, shares insights into the dangers of separating agency from accountability.
To "get a life," we must use our agency to love God and serve others. Then, no matter our circumstance, we can say "Life can't get any better than this."
In the thirtieth chapter of Deuteronomy we read, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life” (19). With these words Moses challenged the children of Israel to renew their covenant with the Lord. We may have heard the same words earnestly addressed to us by parents, teachers, and church leaders. We know what they mean. Or do we? Perhaps we could gain by pondering…
Christlike character is cultivated through our choices, not our circumstances or predispositions. We are always accountable for the outcome of our actions.
God's plan includes agency, the freedom to choose. That cannot be taken away, but our freedom, or ability to act on our choices, can.
There is a balance to be found in life between looking to the Lord's hand in all things and using your God-given agency to guide you through life.
Your free agency is a gift from God and can save you from being tied down by procrastination, bad habits, and debilitating excuses.
In life's constant opportunities for giving and getting, let us be more concerned with giving. Nothing worth getting comes without effort and sacrifice.
Using the tagline, "spiritual is as spiritual does," Mary Ellen Edmunds reminds us that spirituality is determined by the steps we take to develop it.
The gift of agency is central to the Plan of Salvation. Using our agency to follow God's commandments gives us true independence and power over our destiny.
Our light will shine and we will influence the world for good as we respect the agency of others and have pure intentions.
God desires all His children to return to Him, but the conflict of life is to choose between eternity's blessings and compromising for worldly things.
Daniel H. Ludlow outlines the conditions necessary for our moral free agency to be effective. In our lives and our country, we must preserve this freedom.
It is our obligation to go to work on our problems and then counsel with the Lord and get the ratifying seal of the Holy Spirit on the conclusions that we’ve reached; and that ratifying seal is the spirit of revelation.
Time is a god-given gift that the wise will cherish and that the foolish will waste or misuse; what we do here will determine what we are in the eternities.
It isn't enough to be doing the right things; we need to make sure we are doing them for the right reasons. Ask yourself, "Are my motives pure?"
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What are you making of the many opportunities you have? Adam S. Bennion counsels students to take advantage of their time devoted to study and improvement.
Your soul is as powerful as the atomic weapons which our age fears. As you discover your divine potential, you will be able to actualize it.
Your personal liberty does not give your the right to flout standards and rules that you have agreed to, nor to ignore when others who do so.
The morality of the world can be no greater than the goodness of its individuals. Use your knowledge and God's guidance to make the world a better place.