Sunday, December 29, 2013

Agency: ability to choose the right

Since the Fall of Adam, Man has always had the ability to choose the wrong. The easiest way to damnation is to do nothing.  Choosing the wrong is our default setting. Following the natural man, following after our appetites and passions, and doing whatever we want, leads to slavery and death.

However, because of the commandments of God, and the atonement of Christ, man now has a choice.  Man can now do something other than being an animal and following his stomach.  Sons and daughters of God can choose to fast even while we are hungry.  We can choose to forgive even when offended. Man can act instead of just reacting in a predictable way and being acted upon.

Some misunderstand the definition of agency as the right to choose right and wrong.  This definition leads to thinking that our laws should protect our right to choose wrong.  We should be free to use drugs or be immorally promiscuous.  In reality, while our laws should never force people to do what the government thinks is right, they should punish those who harm harm others and protect the free expression of conscious.  

(Recreational drug abuse should not be illegal because there is no victim.  However, recreational drug distrubution should be illegal because it harms the buyers.  Similarly, same-gender civil union should be legal with all associated benefits.  However same-gender couples should not be married which means bep ermitted to bare and raise children because children ideally have the right to be raised by both a father and mother.)

Or in other words, laws that protect agency should: 1. never be against a person's belief. 2. they should punish for caused harm but not try and prevent (prevention laws punish everyone but the perpetrator) 3. laws should never force people to do what the government thinks is right. 4. laws should protect people's right to act according to the dictates of their own conscience. 

Acting according to conscience is not "doing whatever we want" but acting according to what each person believes is good, right, moral, just, merciful, ethical and the will of God.

Because of the commandments of God and the atonement of Christ, all mankind are now free to choose liberty and death. Or in other words, if we do nothing or just follow the flesh and "whatever we want", we will be involuntarily bound to the consequences of slavery and death.  On the other hand, if we instead choose liberty and eternal life in Christ, be are free and must remain free to voluntarily bind ourselves in covenant to the commandments of God.  We must bind ourselves because fasting when we are hungry, forgiving when offended, helping and serving others are not the natural things we do. 

Charity is the pure love of Christ- for our Father in Heaven.  Because of Christ's unwavering commitment to do His Father's will in all things and not His own will, Christ was empowered to be good and to do good more than any other man.  Charity is the opposite of pride and not what we give to the poor but our williness to do and obey the will of God.  If we love and obey God we will be empowered to help others more and better then we could ever do on our own because: 1. God knows and loves otgers more than anyone could 2. God has the perfect concept of what is right and good.  God's thoughts and ways are higher than our thoughts and ways.

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