Agency and the Plan of Salvation

Choice and the Plan of Salvation

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“In these latter days, there are no small decisions. The choices you are making right now are of critical importance. Agency, or the ability to choose, is one of God’s greatest gifts to His children. It is part of the plan of happiness you and I chose and defended in our premortal existence. Live your lives in such a way that you can listen to and hear the Holy Ghost, and He will help you make correct decisions. In fact, He will tell you ‘all things what ye should do.’ ”

Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women General President
Be Not Moved!” April 2013 General Conference

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“What does the Lord want you to do? He wants you to be a valiant and virtuous daughter of God, dedicated to living each day so that you can be worthy to receive the blessings of the temple and return to Him. In today’s world that will take courage. You have the plan of salvation, which makes it possible to do this. Moral agency, the ability to choose, is an essential part of this plan.”

Mary N. Cook, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Never, Never, Never Give Up!” April 2010 General Conference

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“We all owe a great debt of gratitude to Eve. In the Garden of Eden, she and Adam were instructed not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. However, they were also reminded, ‘Thou mayest choose for thyself.’ The choice was really between a continuation of their comfortable existence in Eden, where they would never progress, or a momentous exit into mortality with its opposites: pain, trials, and physical death in contrast to joy, growth, and the potential for eternal life. In contemplating this choice, we are told, ‘And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, … and a tree to be desired to make her wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and also gave unto her husband with her, and he did eat.’ And thus began their earthly probation and parenthood…
 
“Eve made an even greater statement of visionary wisdom after leaving the Garden of Eden: ‘Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.’ If it hadn’t been for Eve, none of us would be here.”
 
James E. Faust, Second Counselor, First Presidency
What It Means to Be a Daughter of God,” October 1999 General Conference

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“We had existence as individuals long before this life. We had agency then, and we chose to come to earth, though we knew there would be hazards and hard things here. We had sufficient confidence then to choose to follow the plan of Jesus Christ. We knew that his help would come in showing us ways to live righteously, ways to love and serve each other, and ways to shun the bad and seek the good.”

Aileen H. Clyde, Second Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Confidence through Conversion,” October 1992 General Conference

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“Agency is an eternal principle and is implicit in the test of life. We must constantly choose between opposites: good and evil. Satan sought to destroy the free agency of man, and here on earth he’s still working to entangle man in sin.

“To use our agency wisely we need information to act upon. We need a knowledge of the laws of life, with their accompanying blessings and protective punishments. When we know the gospel, the elements of the ‘thou shalts’ and the ‘thou shalt nots,’ we’ll make better choices.

“The scriptures remind us, ‘And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ Our job is to search for the full truth and apply it in our lives. Though we are free to act, we are not free to decide what is right or wrong. That was determined eons ago. We can scoff at sacred things, rationalize our behavior, spout our own ideas, agree or disagree, but it doesn’t change anything. We cannot alter God’s laws, his truth. We can choose to use truth wisely and reach our goal, or we can refuse to learn truth, to live it, and then pay the inevitable penalty.

“Accountability is the natural product of agency and is the basis of the plan of life. We are responsible for our own actions and accountable to God for what we choose to do with our lives. Life is God’s gift to us, and what we do with it is our gift to him.”

Elaine A. Cannon, Young Women General President
Agency and Accountability,” April 1982 General Conference

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