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Monday, February 8, 2016

Moral Agency

Earth daylight

Christ said at the great council in heaven regarding the two plans,

“Father, Thy Will Be Done and the Glory be Thine Forever”.  (Moses 4:2)

D. Todd Christofferson, “Moral Agency”

“When we use the term moral agency, we are appropriately emphasizing the accountability that is an essential part of the divine gift of agency. We are moral beings and agents unto ourselves, free to choose but also responsible for our choices.” ”

“Using our agency to choose God’s will, and not slackening even when the going gets hard, will not make us God’s puppet; it will make us like Him. God gave us agency, and Jesus showed us how to use it so that we could eventually learn what They know, do what They do, and become what They are. Remember that with His gift of moral agency, our Heavenly Father has graciously provided us help to exercise that agency in a way that will yield precious, positive fruit in our life here and hereafter.”

“While Satan cannot actually destroy law and truth, he accomplishes the same result in the lives of those who heed him by convincing them that whatever they think is right is right and that there is no ultimate truth—every man is his own god, and there is no sin.”

“The Savior’s use of moral agency during His lifetime is an instructive example for us. At one point in His teaching He revealed the principle that guided His choices: “He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him” (John 8:29; see also 3 Nephi 11:11).

I believe that much of the Lord’s power is attributable to the fact that He never wavered in that determination. He had a clear, consistent direction. Whatever the Father desired, Jesus chose to do.

Being Jesus’s obedient disciple—just as He is the Father’s obedient disciple—leads to truth and freedom: “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).

To the secular world it seems a paradox that greater submission to God yields greater freedom. The world looks at things through Korihor’s lens, considering obedience to God’s laws and ordinances to be “bondage” (Alma 30:24, 27).”

Our choice is simple, we choose to do the will of our Father or we choose to do our will. The world tries to deceive us into thinking we can do our will without consequences to that choice. If we choose to do our own will then we are no longer followers of Christ and have lost the opportunity for exaltation. If we choose to do the will of the Lord in all things we will be exalted.

This principle, choosing between our will and God’s will is the litmus test for catching deceptions in doctrine of the world’s new spirituality. Christ’s example demonstrates the key to staying on the straight and narrow path and avoiding the pitfalls that Satan has put in our way. We can catch ourselves even when we are on the fringes of destruction if we only remember that one sentence Christ said “Father, Thy will be done”. Truth encourages us to submit our wills to Father’s, while lies encourage us to act on our own wills without any reference to Father’s will. Christ said, “Father, Thy will be done” or in other words “Thy will, not mine”.  We must be willing to completely submit our will to Father in all things always, becoming like a child should be to a Father. We must look to His will in all that we do. We must let go of Pride in all of its forms. We must become Humble before Father in all things.

Another test we are shown to tell the difference between truth and lies is exemplified in the following scriptures.

Moroni 7:10-19

10 Wherefore, a man being evil cannot do that which is good; neither will he give a good gift.

11 For behold, a bitter fountain cannot bring forth good water; neither can a good fountain bring forth bitter water; wherefore, a man being a servant of the devil cannot follow Christ; and if he follow Christ he cannot be a servant of the devil.

12 Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually.

13 But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, everything which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.

14 Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil.

15 For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.

16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for everything which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.

18 And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged.

19 Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ.

In these scriptures it says that we can judge good from evil as clearly as daylight is from dark night.

To recognize evil teachings, only one of the following circumstances has to apply. If even just one of these conditions applies then the teaching is evil:

  1. Whatsover thing persuadeth men to do evil
  2. Believe not in Christ
  3. Deny Christ
  4. Serve not God

To recognize good teachings inspired by God all of the following must be true: God inviteth and enticeth

  1. To do good continually
  2. To believe in Christ
  3. To serve God

I believe what is being said here is this.  All criteria have to be satisfied to prove something is inspired by God and a “good fountain”. If you do not have all of the principles then it is not of God. If you have teachings that appear “good” and encourage people to do works that seems good, yet deny or redefine God, then they are words of the Devil, therefore a “bitter fountain”. For if any of these things listed are missing it cannot be a “good fountain”. Therefore we must not drink of it. This is how we tell if a teaching is of God or is of the Devil. For if it is of God, it will tell you to do the Lord’s will and to worship the Lord, if it is not it will tell you to do your own will, which is the will of the devil.

Copyright 2009