1986
Freedom beyond Circumstance
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“Freedom beyond Circumstance,” Ensign, Feb. 1986, 53

Freedom beyond Circumstance

The Savior’s atonement reminds us that real freedom is freedom of attitude. One may be bound in chains, whipped, enslaved, or mocked. He may lose freedom of movement, expression, and religion. But there is one freedom that no man on earth has power to control or to confiscate—each person’s freedom to determine his reaction or response to a given circumstance.

The Savior was arrested, whipped, and beaten. He was taunted, teased, mocked, and ridiculed. His pain was ignored, laughed at, and unappreciated. And yet, in the midst of such degradation, he still claimed and utilized that basic freedom to determine his response to the situation. At the height of his pain, he chose to view his tormentors, his accusers, and his doubters with tenderness and to forgive them.

So also we, in our own problems, retain at least this one undeniable right—to choose our responses to them. And in lifting our responses to mirror his great example of other-centeredness, we can utilize our attitudes (as well as our actions) to grow daily more like Him.

Carolyn G. Depp
Keaau, Hawaii