Unfortunately, I didn’t make any time over the holiday break to study specifically. I didn’t get online at all either, so I guess that’s a plus.
Our holiday went really well. We went to Idaho to visit Mom, Dad, Larry, Julie, Pat, Jamie and Grandma Coffman. Grandma actually called me by name for the first time in quite some time, which I was pretty excited about. She seems to really love our kids most of the time too.
I was grateful we were able to be there and have a great experience together. It’s hard to say how many Christmas celebrations we’ll be having with Grandma Coffman in the future.
Some of the fun things we got to do while we were in Idaho:
- went bowling with the kids and Dad
- had some great talks with Dad about how things are going
- went to the church gym so Caleb could play with his new remote control car
- played some fun games with Dad
- ate, ate, ate!
- opened lots of presents
- went to the Manning’s for Christmas Eve – played Bingo, ate good food, and had lots of fun
- Becky got her hair done (a bit darker color)
- Madi got her hair done too
- watched BYU WOOP on UTEP
- had a relaxing day(s)
Today I’m going to study about agency and doing God’s will. I’m excited for the new year and the things that will happen as I make good choices. I’m studying the talk titled “Agency: Essential to the Plan of Life“.
What is Agency?
…agency is the ability and privilege God gives us to choose and “to act for [ourselves] and not to be acted upon.” 1
Agency is to act with accountability and responsibility for our actions. Our agency is essential to the plan of salvation. With it we 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.” 2
Why is Agency Important in God’s Plan of Happiness?
Our agency—our ability to choose and act for ourselves—was an essential element of this plan. Without agency we would be unable to make right choices and progress. Yet with agency we could make wrong choices, commit sin, and lose the opportunity to be with Heavenly Father again. For this reason a Savior would be provided to suffer for our sins and redeem us if we would repent. By His infinite Atonement, He brought about “the plan of mercy, to appease the demands of justice.” 4
…our wise use of agency and our actions are essential that we might have eternal life.
How Do We Use Agency?
…when we choose to do the will of our Heavenly Father, our agency is preserved, our opportunities increase, and we progress.
Whenever we choose to come unto Christ, take His name upon us, and follow His servants, we progress along the path to eternal life.
In our mortal journey, it is helpful to remember that the opposite is also true: when we don’t keep the commandments or follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost, our opportunities are reduced; our abilities to act and progress are diminished.
Whenever we disobey, we spiritually paint ourselves into a corner and are captive to our choices. Though we are spiritually stuck, there is always a way back…Returning to the Lord isn’t easy, but it is worth it.
…obedience to the commandments ultimately protects our agency.
When we follow the prophets’ counsel to hold family home evening, family prayer, and family scripture study, our homes become an incubator for our children’s spiritual growth. There we teach them the gospel, bear our testimonies, express our love, and listen as they share their feelings and experiences. By our righteous choices and actions, we liberate them from darkness by increasing their ability to walk in the light.
‘I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.’ 25
Doing a Personal Inventory
My brothers and sisters, are we hearkening with exactness to the voice of the Lord and His prophets? Or, like Saul, are we practicing selective obedience and fearing the judgments of men?
‘…through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind [including you and me] may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.’ 27
When we exercise our agency in righteousness, we come to know Them, become more like Them, and prepare ourselves for that day when “every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess” that Jesus is our Savior. 30
I’m grateful for this study.
I know that agency, and the exercise of it according to God’s will, is a huge blessing that I often take advantage of.
I feel I can do better.
I feel these are the priorities I need to follow to exercise the best agency and do God’s Will:
- Awake early in the morning
- Have personal prayer in the morning
- Have personal scripture study in the morning
- Pray throughout the day as I feel tempted to act against the will of God
- Make time for my children: to play, to read, and to enjoy them
- Have family scripture study in the evening
- Have family prayer in the evening
- Get to bed at an early time
- Always be grateful for the hand of God in my life and recognize His presence
I’m excited to set new goals and have a great 2011!