Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Free Agency out, Moral Agency in

Elder Christofferson Advises Students About Their Moral Agency

Elder Todd Christofferson
By Constance Yonashiro
31 Jan 2006

Heavenly Father gave humans moral agency and Jesus Christ exemplified
how to use it, said Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Presidency of
the Quorum of the Seventy at Tuesday's Devotional, Jan. 31, 2006.

"Whatever the Father desired, Jesus chose to do," he said.

BYU students should be obedient disciples to Jesus, who is an obedient
disciple of Heavenly Father. This will lead students to truth and
freedom and closer to God, Elder Christofferson said.

He listed three points that define moral accountability. First, men
must have options to choose from. Second, men must be aware that
alternative options exist and know what they are. Third, men must be
able to make their own choices.

"There is no mention of free agency in the scriptures," Elder
Christofferson said. "Agency is not free. We have to emphasize our
moral accountability."

Satan exploits the gift of agency to convince humans there is no
absolute truth and whatever society thinks is right, is right, Elder
Christofferson said. In addition, men must be able to choose correct
choices even when the Holy Sprit is not with man.

"It is in the furnace of affliction that we are chosen," he said.

In the pre-existence, the challenge of opposition appealed to all men
when God first showed His plan, Elder Christofferson said. However,
humans may have been naive of the challenges agency can bring and
man's fallibility.

"It is because of the Atonement of Christ that we can recover from bad
choices," Elder Christofferson said. "Agency would have no meaning
without the vital contribution of Jesus Christ."

If students will choose God's will, he promises to fill them with the
light and truth of all things and their agency will expand. This way
of thinking is opposite of the thinking of the world, Elder
Christofferson said.

"The beauty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ can pour knowledge into our
lives," he said. "Ignorance effectively limits our agency."

Elder Christofferson likens obeying God's commandments to steps on a
ladder, where if men obey each law he will go one step higher. The
higher he ascends on the ladder, the easier he can see the obstacles
he has avoided by obeying God's will. Likewise, his understanding of
God's will increases.

"There is much of keeping commandments, much of practice, much of
experience required before we enjoy a fullness [of truth]," he said.

Elder Christofferson said the Apostle John did not receive the
fullness at first but by grace for grace, truth for truth, that is how
students must progress until we also receive a fullness.

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