Agency and Righteousness

(The Responsibilty of Agency)

by Don R. Hender

Today we live in a world which insists on defining good as evil and evil as good. Perhaps in part it comes of a misconception of one's presonal agency or 'freedom' and preceived 'personal rights'. Do 'personal rights' circumvent 'right and wrong'? In this process God's authority and very position is often threatened. Many seem to think that God's laws are flexible and changeable per public opinion and social pressure. That simply is not the case. One does not have the right to determine in and of themselves what is right and wrong for themselves. There 'right of agency' is only that which is given of God to chose the right or the wrong, and to be reimbursed accordingly with the attached reward of righteousness or the attached penalty of wickedness.

Men and the minds of the natural man do not define what is right and what is wrong in the sight of God, in God's Church, and in the eternities to come. There is a law and a standard of righteousness and wickedness decreed before the foundation of the world. Man's agency is bound unto that standard and law. God's law is irrevocable. It stands absolute. And the rewards and the punishments of God stand ever connected and governed by it. That is the justice of God. The responsibility and extent of the right and power of man's agencey is to chose right or wrong and then to be held to the consequences of those choices of agnecy. The mercy and love of Christ and the atonement come into play insofar as man's willingness to conform unto God's law, repent of all evil doing, to chose righteousness over evil, commit themselves to God's Law, and live according to God's commandments and standards. I one is not willing to do this and chooses to persist in their evil ways, then they will suffer and be subject to the consequences of their wrong choices. Simply put the freedom and right of agency only works to the benefit of man as long as the persist in Chooing The Right.

What is God to think of and do with a person whose stated position is, 'I love the Church', but I am going to break God's commandments anyway? Their proclaimation of love in the first place is a false proclaimation. God states his position thus, "If you love me keep my commandments." If a person states that even though they 'love the Chruch', they are going to continue in their works of sin which the Church stands against, what choice does the Church have? And even further, by their own admission, the person has chosen sin or righteousness, evil over good and Satan over God.

It is a much different situation when one seeks God humbly, recognizing themselves to be weak and a sinner, and does seek God's help in the course of repentance. Thus was the Publican who stood at the temple gate and offered his humble prayer to God, which pray the Lord accepted. But to publicly declare that even though one professes the love of God or love of the Church and then in the same breath states that they are not going to repent of their sinful state, that they are totally opposed to the keeping of God's commandments; then they are as the type of the Pharisee hypocrite who professed one thing but did they other.

To speak bluntly to one cause which has reached the campus of BYU, self proclaimed homosexuals have so stated their 'love for the Church', but that they are not going to change in the way of their 'sexual orientation'. In the eternity to come the power of procreation, which 'sexual relationship' is irrevocablly tied to, will only continue with and in those who have conformed to God's law of eternal marriage between a man and a woman. There will be no such 'sexual relationship, orientation or attraction' among those who do not so comply to God's law of morality and chasity. To those who trample this Law of Chasity under their feet, they will suffer the consequences of their 'learned behavior' in the lose of any such thing what so ever.

All the protesting and social pressure in the world will not change the Law and Standard of God. Any who so believe and deem otherwise have only been beguiled and corrupted in their understanding of man's relationship to God. Now the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Plan of God, has been given that sinners may be reclaimed. But they will not be able to be reclaimed if they but persist in their sins and wickedness. God welcomes the humble repentant sinner into the fold if they are humble and welling to repent and seek God's forgiveness. But no such grace nor mercy it offered to the rebelleous who but refuse to repent and turn from their sin and wickedness. If they are not willing to walk in the ways of God, God has but one course left and that is to say unto them, 'Depart from me ye workers of iniquity.' And their position and place in the eternities to come will be of such appart from the presence of God, not being able to abide the Law of God to be able to stand in God's presence and be a part of God's Eternal Celestial Kingdom.

And thus it is as it ever has been. 'Choose ye this day whom ye shall serve.' Serve ye Christ and righteousness or the other course which is to follow after that man of wickedness and darkness. 'I would recommend the position as was stated by Joshua, 'As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord.' And if one is to choose the ways of Sodom and Gomorah, then the attached penalty of such will unavoidably follow. The wicked will burn and be destroyed and will forever live outside the presence of God.

[2 Nephi 2:5 (5-26); 2 Nephi 15:20 (13-24); Jacob 6:7; Mosiah 3:24-25; Mosiah 16:3-5; Mosiah 16:10-12; Alma 5:40-42; Alma 12:31-32; Alma 41:3-8; Helaman 5:2; Helaman 12:25-26; Helaman 14:30-31; 3 Nephi 26:4-5; 2 Nephi 27:14-17; Mormon 3:20-22; Ether 8:26; Moroni 7:12-14]