Friday, November 2, 2018

The Power of Free Will and the Skill of Choices

Free Will

"What I like about the Power of Free Will is it gives us less to do. We don't need to make others happy or convince them of anything—just be pleasant."

The only person you can change is yourself.
It is difficult honoring free will in yourself and with others.
When we think others are controlling us we forget our free will.
When we think we can change others we forget their free will.
If I believe that people can make me act in a certain way, then itg is reasonable to assume that I can make others act in a certain way.

1. Become aware of how often you think others are making you do things.
2. Change your "shoulds" to "coulds." Then make a choice.
3.  Practice allowing others to have their own thoughts and feelings

Wendy Nelson: 
“He is only reporting to the Lord, and he is fearless with that focus,” she said. “That and his passion for preserving the agency of others. This is not a man who will say, ‘you must.’ In fact, he said to me the other day, ‘I don't even want to use the word must in any of my talks. I don't like that word.’ That is Russell Marion Nelson. He will never force the human mind.” 

President Uchtdorf: Perhaps President Uchtdorf explained it best in a 2006 BYU devotional address. “You have agency, and you are free to choose. But there is actually no free agency. Agency has its price. You have to pay the consequences of your choices.” 

In recent years, the D&C phrase “moral agency” has quickly—and, it seems, appropriately—taken the place of its "free" counterpart. These early references to “free agency" were missing an important element, Elder Christofferson pointed out in a 2009 Ensign article. “The word agency appears [in scriptures] either by itself or with the modifier moral. When we use the term moral agency, we are appropriately emphasizing the accountability that is an essential part of the divine gift of agency.”

Bednar talk:
In the grand division of all of God’s creations, there are things to act and things to be acted upon (see 2 Nephi 2:13–14). As sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, we have been blessed with the gift of moral agency, the capacity for independent action and choice. Endowed with agency, you and I are agents, and we primarily are to act and not just be acted upon. To believe that someone or something can make us feel offended, angry, hurt, or bitter diminishes our moral agency and transforms us into objects to be acted upon. As agents, however, you and I have the power to act and to choose how we will respond to an offensive or hurtful situation.

"For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves" (D&C 58:28)

   2 Nephi 2
13 And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away

2 Nephi 2 26
And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall.  And because that he may redeem the children of men from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil: to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments, which God hath Given.  

Joseph Smith, "I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves."

D&C 121:37 "when we ... exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness. .. the Spirit of the Lord is grieved."

D&C 121:42-43 ""influence . . . only by persuasion, long suffering, by gentleness, and meekness, and by love unfeigned.  By kindness and pure knowledge . . ."

2 Nephi 2:27  "men are free . . . to choose liberty and eternal life or to choose captivity and death."