Jana Hyer McDonald
Slave Lake, Alberta
I ask myself; ‘How did it come to this? How did our world become so conflicted?’ I reflect back on how this all started, “In the beginning…” so to speak.
We were all gathered in a heavenly counsel. God presented his Plan of Salvation. He would create an earth on which we would receive bodies, live, learn to choose, and be proven. God asked for a volunteer to be our Saviour, to perform the atonement that all God’s children might have opportunity to return to Him upon death and resurrection.
Jesus offered himself to provide the atonement. We would use our agency to choose eternal life or damnation. Satan offered himself, but in a dictatorial role.
God chose Jesus and ensured that all of His spirit children would have agency, the ability to choose for themselves.
So, the real culprit is the law of agency, commonly known as choice. God has given us agency, the ability to choose right from wrong and to act for ourselves. Next to the bestowal of life itself, the right to direct one’s life is God’s gift to us.
God is so committed to the law of agency that He allowed for it even in His heavenly home. He allowed us to choose for ourselves.
Upon completion of the creation of this earth and the introduction of Adam and Eve to earth life, among God’s first instructions was to not eat of the tree of good and evil. God then allowed Adam and Eve to experience temptation and sin.
We learn the laws of justice, mercy, and agency are essential, or “God would cease to be God.” These laws are eternal. It was the law of agency that required a Saviour to atone for our sins.
How does this play into our relationships with others in a world of conflict? Agency is an eternal law.
It allows us to be proven, learn, make decisions, accept or reject truth with access to repentance through the Saviour’s atonement. We have agency to make choices, but we do not have agency to choose the consequences of those choices. That is established by the laws of justice and mercy as set by God.
This knowledge has changed how I see myself and others. I recognize that each choice is a reflection of the use of agency.
It is a fulfillment of the creation of the earth and the opportunity to come, receive bodies, and be proven in this life.
When I see others use their agency in destructive ways resulting in negative consequences.
I recognize this is in God’s hands. He had anticipated our proving in this earth life not to go so well. From the very beginning He knew the need for a Saviour’s atonement.
My study in the scriptures helps to remind me that differences between myself and others are a manifestation of the law of agency and God’s Plan of Salvation.