Agency and Accountability
    two young women in the woods

    Agency and Accountability


    What Is Agency?

    Agency is the ability and privilege God gives us to choose and to act for ourselves. Agency is essential in the plan of salvation. Without agency, we would not be able to learn or progress or follow the Savior. 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 Nephi 2:27).

    In our premortal life we had moral agency. One purpose of earth life is to show what choices we will make (see 2 Nephi 2:15–16). If we were forced to choose the right, we would not be able to show what we would choose for ourselves. Also, we are happier doing things when we have made our own choices.

    Agency was one of the principal issues to arise in the premortal Council in Heaven. It was one of the main causes of the conflict between the followers of Christ and the followers of Satan.

    The Lord has said that all people are responsible for their own motives, attitudes, desires, and actions. Even though we are free to choose our course of action, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions. The consequences, whether good or bad, follow as a natural result of any choice we make (see Galatians 6:7; Revelation 22:12).

    Related Topics


    Scripture References

    Scripture Study Resources

    Prophets and Church Leaders

    Prophets and Apostles

    Other Church Leaders

    Teachings of Presidents of the Church

    Learning Resources

    General Resources

    “Agency,” True to the Faith

    “Agency and Accountability,” For the Strength of Youth

    “Agency,” Encyclopedia of Mormonism

    Church Magazines

    “What God Wanted for Me,” New Era, February 2017

    “Don’t Forget to Pray for Erik,” Friend or Liahona, January 2017

    “Our Space,” Liahona, December 2010

    “Helping Children Exercise Their Agency,” Ensign or Liahona, December 2010

    “Agency Is Essential to Our Eternal Progress,” Ensign or Liahona, June 2010

    “I Chose Not to Drink,” Ensign or Liahona, June 2010

    “My Garden Dream,” Ensign or Liahona, March 2010

    “Questions and Answers,” Ensign or Liahona, February 2010

    “Questions and Answers: What’s the harm in trying alcohol or tobacco just once?” Ensign or Liahona, June 2008

    “Unforgettable Family Home Evenings,” Ensign or Liahona, September 2006

    “Surfing the No-Swim Zone,” Ensign or Liahona, August 2006

    “The Fulness of the Gospel: Agency,” Ensign or Liahona, March 2006

    “Questions and Answers,” Ensign or Liahona, August 2003

    “Questions and Answers,” Ensign or Liahona, June 2003

    “Questions and Answers,” Ensign or Liahona, February 2001

    Study Manuals

    In the News

    “Robert D. Hales: Preserving Agency, Protecting Religious Freedom,” Church News


    Teaching Resources

    Stories and Activities for Teaching Children

    “Agency,” Lesson Helps for Teaching Children



    “Highlight: Preserving Agency, Protecting Religious Freedom”

    “Individual Agency”