“Agency and Accountability,” For the Strength of Youth (2011), 2–3
“Agency and Accountability,” For the Strength of Youth, 2–3
Wherefore, men … are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death.
Heavenly Father has given you agency, the ability to choose right from wrong and to act for yourself. Next to the bestowal of life itself, the right to direct your life is one of God’s greatest gifts to you. While here on earth, you are being proven to see if you will use your agency to show your love for God by keeping His commandments. The Holy Ghost can guide you in using your agency righteously.
You are responsible for the choices you make. God is mindful of you and will help you make good choices, even if your family and friends use their agency in ways that are not right. Have the moral courage to stand firm in obeying God’s will, even if you have to stand alone. As you do this, you set an example for others to follow.
While you are free to choose your course of action, you are not free to choose the consequences. Whether for good or bad, consequences follow as a natural result of the choices you make. Some sinful behavior may bring temporary, worldly pleasure, but such choices delay your progress and lead to heartache and misery. Righteous choices lead to lasting happiness and eternal life. Remember, true freedom comes from using your agency to choose obedience; loss of freedom comes from choosing disobedience.
You are also responsible for developing the talents and abilities Heavenly Father has given you. You are accountable to Him for what you do with your talents and how you spend your time. Choose to do many good things of your own free will.