I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know who I am. I know God's plan. I'll follow him in faith. I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. I'll honor his name. I'll do what is right; I'll follow his light. His truth I will proclaim.

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Gospel Message Day 365

Freedom to Choose

This ties in with yesterday's post really well. But it is another one that I'm sure I've covered before. One of the greatest gifts we have had as Children of God is the power to choose for ourselves. We have had this power since the world began, as we were able to choose whose plan we wanted--Christ's or the adversary's. If you've made it to the Earth then you chose Christ's plan. You weren't forced. It was your choice.

And ever since we came to Earth our choices have been ours. Well, OK, as very young children our parents made choices for us. But they were choices our parents thought were for our benefit--to help us grow and to learn. It isn't fair to expect a new child who is learning to act and choose for themselves to be accountable for those choices. They are still learning what is right and what is wrong. (Which is why our role in children's lives is crucial to help teach them.) Still, even as they are learning wise parents, family, leaders, teachers, etc. allow children to make choices for themselves so they can learn about consequences of choices. Right choices bring the good consequences. Wrong choices bring the bad consequences.

Then at 8 the children are accountable for their own choices. If they choose wrong, it is upon their heads. That still seems like a pretty young age. But guess what? Those parents, family, leaders, teachers, etc. are still there to help teach those children about repentance. Not that the child should feel that it's OK to do wrong, they'll just repent later. Over these years before and after 8 they need to be taught what the deeper consequences are to wrong choices, and why obedience is such a great blessing--not a hinderance.

Still, whether a Child of God chooses to be obedient or not, chooses the right or the wrong, it is still their great privilege and gift to make that choice. They are not forced to do anything. Whether they had people teach them right from wrong or not, they will always have the Spirit. If they are not a baptized member, the Spirit is their conscience. Their shoulder angel, if you will. :-) What they choose to do with that conscience--listen or ignore--will lead to how much the Spirit will bring guidance. Members of the LDS Church are given the gift of the Holy Ghost. With righteous living and choices, we are able to call upon His guidance, comfort, or testimony at any time, for we are blessed to have the Spirit with us always.

And all of this? All of this being able to choose in this life? It is because Adam and Eve chose to take of the fruit that had been forbidden to them. It is because they chose to bring mankind to the earth to let each of us have our own opportunity to work out our own salvation. Next to the Spirit and Christ's Atonement, I don't think there is any greater gift.

2 Nephi 2:27

Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

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