Friday, June 26, 2015

Stop Hiding Behind Agency!

Moral agency is one of the great doctrines taught from on high to the Prophet, Joseph Smith out to the rest of the world. It means "men are free according to the flesh... 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" (2 Nephi 2:27). For the last several years I have found many people hiding behind this doctrine, and subtly mixing it with their own philosophies.

Far too often, other doctrines take a back seat to moral agency (which is always called free agency or just agency by people doing this). For example, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' doctrine on marriage and family goes right back to The Family: A Proclamation to the World stating, "marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children...WE CALL UPON responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society." Yet today, as the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that states cannot decide whether to allow homosexual marriages or not, many church members seem to be chanting how they're so happy about the decision, because ****AGENCY!!!**** 

The gospel is not a buffet from which you can pick and choose which doctrines and principles are ones you should uphold, and which ones are not. Any person who has entered into the waters of baptism, and ESPECIALLY any person who have received the temple ordinances, are under strict covenant to obey God's commandments. Yes, that includes ones that are contrary to your personal, political, or social beliefs AND the ones contrary to society's current trends, dominant political ideologies, and, yes, even codified and court law.

Agency is a wonderful thing! We, however, are not given agency so we can do whatever we want! We are given agency so we can choose to follow Christ. If you do not choose to follow Christ, you follow another being, who's sole purpose is to "drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo"
Helaman 5:12). Agency is not the gospel! The gospel encompasses agency along with hundreds of other doctrines, so stop pretending that you're righteous because you allow agency in your broad philosophy.

I stand with Joshua in saying, "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

I pray that the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the citizens of this once great nation will echo the Israelites in the next verse, "And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the Lord, to serve other gods;" Yes, including the god of agency.