Man's Free Agency -- The Church teaches as a strictly scriptural doctrine, that man has inherited among the inalienable rights conferred upon him by his divine Father, freedom to choose the good or the evil in life, to obey or disobey the Lord's commandments, as he may elect. This right cannot be guarded with more jealous care than is bestowed upon it by God Himself; for in all His dealings with man He has left the mortal creature free to choose and to act, without compulsion or restraint beyond the influences of paternal counsel and direction. FN True, He has given commandments and has established statutes, with promises of blessings for compliance and penalties for infraction; but in the choice of these, men are untrammeled. In this respect, man is no less free than are the angels except as he has fettered himself with the bonds of sin and forfeited his power of will and force of soul. The individual has as full a measure of capability to violate the laws of health, the requirements of nature, and the commandments of God in matters both temporal and spiritual, as he has to obey all such; in the one case he brings upon himself the penalties that belong to the broken law; as in the other he inherits the specific blessings and the added freedom that attend a law abiding life. Obedience to law is the habit of the free man; the transgressor fears the law, for he brings upon himself deprivation and restraint, not because of the law, which would have protected him in his freedom, but because of his antagonism to law.
The predominant attribute of justice, recognized as part of the divine nature, forbids the thought that man should receive promises of reward for righteousness, and threats of punishment for evil deeds, if he possessed no power of independent action. It is no more a part of God's plan to compel men to work righteousness than it is His purpose to permit evil powers to force His children into sin. In the days of Eden, the first man had placed before him commandment and law, FN with an explanation of the penalty to follow violation of that law. No law could have been given him in righteousness had he not been free to act for himself. "Nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but remember that I forbid it" FN said the Lord God to Adam. Concerning His dealings with the first patriarch of the race, God has declared in this day: "Behold, I gave unto him that he should be an agent unto himself." FN
When the brothers Cain and Abel offered their sacrifices, the elder one became angry because his offering was rejected. Then the Lord reasoned with Cain, and endeavored to teach him that he must expect results of his actions to follow in kind, good or evil: "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door." FN
A knowledge of good and evil is essential to the advancement that God has made possible for His children to achieve; and this knowledge can be best gained by actual experience, with the contrasts of good and its opposite plainly discernible. Therefore has man been placed upon earth subject to the influence of good and wicked powers, with a knowledge of the conditions surrounding him, and the heaven-born right to choose for himself. The words of the prophet Lehi are explicit: "Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other. * * * Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great mediation of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself." FN
Another of the Nephite prophets, in speaking of those who had died, said they had gone "that they might reap their rewards according to their works, whether they were good or whether they were bad, to reap eternal happiness or eternal misery, according to the spirit which they listed to obey, whether it be a good spirit or a bad one. For every man receiveth wages of him whom he listeth to obey, and this according to the words of the spirit of prophecy." FN
Samuel, a converted Lamanite upon whom the spirit of the prophets had fallen, admonished his fellows in this wise: "And now remember, remember, my brethren, that whosoever perisheth, perisheth unto himself; and whosoever doeth iniquity, doeth it unto himself; for behold, ye are free; ye are permitted to act for yourselves; for behold, God hath given unto you a knowledge and he hath made you free. He hath given unto you that ye might know good from evil, and he hath given unto you that ye might choose life or death." FN
When the plans for creating and peopling the earth were under discussion in heaven, Lucifer sought to destroy the free agency of man by obtaining power to force the human family to do his will, promising the Father that by such means he would redeem all mankind so that not one of them should be lost. FN This proposition was rejected, while the original purpose of the Father -- -to use persuasive influences of wholesome precept and sacrificing example with the inhabitants of the earth, then to leave them free to choose for themselves -- was agreed upon; and the one to be known as the Only Begotten Son was chosen as the chief instrument in carrying the purpose into effect.
Man's Accountability for his individual acts is as complete as is his agency to elect for himself. FN The ultimate result of good deeds is happiness, the consequence of evil is misery; these follow in every man's life by inviolable laws. There is a plan of judgment FN divinely foreordained, by which every man will be called to answer for his deeds; and not for deeds alone but for his words also and even for the thoughts of his heart. "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." FN These are the words of the Savior Himself. "And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbor, and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the Lord." FN John the Revelator was permitted to learn in vision something of the scenes connected with the last judgment; he wrote: "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works." FN
The execution of judgment is not always made to follow the acts of men immediately; good deeds may not be at once rewarded, nor evil be peremptorily punished; and this is according to divine wisdom, for were it otherwise the test of individual character and the trial of human faith, for which purposes this mortal probation was primarily ordained, would be greatly lessened; as the certainty of immediate pleasure or pain would largely determine human acts to secure the one and avoid the other. Judgment, therefore, is postponed, that every one may prove himself, the good man increasing in righteousness, and the evil-doer having opportunity for repentance and reparation. On rare occasions, speedy judgment of a temporal nature has been executed, the physical results of worldly blessing for good, FN and calamity for evil deeds FN following swiftly upon the acts. Whether such retribution entirely satisfies the claims of justice, or a further visitation of judgment is to take place beyond this life matters not. Such acts are exceptional in the divine administration.
It is the prerogative of Jesus Christ FN to judge mankind, and He will do it as His own purposes, which are the purposes of His Father, may be best served. John records the words of Christ: "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father." FN And Peter, while expounding the Gospel to the devout Gentile, Cornelius, declared concerning Jesus Christ, that "it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead." FN Of the fate of the wicked reserved for the judgment-day many prophets have borne record; FN and the presiding Judge of that awful tribunal has given in His own words descriptions FN so vivid and forceful as to leave no shadow of doubt that every living soul shall be called to acknowledge his record, and to accept the results of his acts. The Lord's words and those of His prophets are unequivocal -- that He is no respecter of persons, FN and that any species of favor foreign to justice is unknown to Him. This judgment none but the unrepentant wicked need fear; to the righteous it is to be a time of triumph. FN
Sin -- What is the nature of sin? To this question the Apostle John replies: "Sin is the transgression of the law." In the original language of the Biblical records, many words occur for which our single term sin is used, all, however, conveying the common idea of opposition to the divine will. FN As God is the embodiment of perfection, such opposition is rebellion against the principles of advancement and adherence to the practises that lead to degradation. Sin is any condition, whether omission of things required or in commission of acts forbidden, that tends to prevent or hinder the development of the human soul. As a righteous course leads to eternal life, so sin tends toward the darkness of the second death. Sin was introduced to the world by Satan; FN yet it is by divine permission that mankind are brought in contact with sin, the contrast between evil and good thus being learned by experience.
According to the technical definition of sin it consists in the violation of law, and in this strict sense sin may be committed inadvertently or in ignorance. It is plain, however, from the scriptural doctrine of human responsibility and the unerring justice of God, that in his transgressions as in his righteous deeds man will be judged according to his ability to comprehend and obey law. To him who has never been made acquainted with a higher law the requirements of that law do not apply in their fulness. For sins committed without knowledge -- that is, for laws violated in ignorance -- a propitiation has been provided in the atonement wrought through the sacrifice of the Savior; and sinners of this class do not stand condemned, but shall be given opportunity yet to learn and to accept or reject the principles of the Gospel.
Jacob taught this doctrine: "Where there is no law given there is no punishment; and where there is no punishment there is no condemnation; and where there is no condemnation the mercies of the Holy One of Israel have claim upon them, because of the atonement; for they are delivered by the power of him. For the atonement satisfieth the demands of his justice upon all those who have not the law given to them, that they are delivered from that awful monster, death and hell and the devil, and the lake of fire and brimstone which is endless torment; and they are restored to that God who gave them breath, which is the Holy One of Israel." And then, in contrast, the prophet adds:. "But wo unto him that has the law given, yea, that has all the commandments of God, like unto us, and that transgresseth them, and that wasteth the days of his probation, for awful is his state!" FN This is in strict agreement with the teachings of Paul to the Romans, "For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law." FN And the word of modern scripture is to the same effect, for we are told, through recent revelation to the Church, that among those who are to receive the blessings of redemption are "they who died without law." FN These will include the heathen nations, whose redemption is promised with the added declaration that "they that knew no law shall have part in the first resurrection." FN
Punishment for Sin -- As rewards for righteous deeds are proportionate to deserving acts, so the punishment prescribed for sin is made adequate to the offense. FN But, be it remembered, both rewards and punishments are natural consequences. Punishment is inflicted upon the sinner for disciplinary and reformatory purposes and in accordance with justice. There is nothing of vindictiveness or of desire to cause suffering manifest in the divine nature; on the contrary, our Father is cognizant of every pang, and permits such to afflict for beneficent purposes only. God's mercy is declared in the retributive pains that He allows, as in the blessings of peace that issue from Him. It is scarcely profitable to speculate as to the exact nature of the spiritual suffering imposed as punishment for sin. Comparison with physical pain, FN such as the tortures of fire in a sulphurous lake, serve to show that the human mind is incapable of comprehending the extent of these penalties. The sufferings entailed by the fate of condemnation are more to be feared than are any possible inflictions of physical torture; the mind, the spirit, the whole soul is doomed to suffer, and the torment is known by none in the flesh.
Consider the word of the Lord regarding those whose sin is the unpardonable one, whose transgression has carried them beyond the present horizon of possible redemption; those who have sunk so low in their wickedness as to have lost the power and even the desire to attempt reformation. FN Sons of Perdition they are called. These are they who, having learned the power of God afterward renounce it; those who sin wilfully in the light of knowledge; those who open their hearts to the Holy Spirit and then put the Lord to a mockery and a shame by denying it; and those who commit murder wherein they shed innocent blood; FN these are they of whom the Savior has declared that it would be better for them had they never been born. FN These are to share the punishment of the devil and his angels -- punishment so terrible that the knowledge is withheld from all except those who are consigned to this doom, though a temporary view of the picture is permitted to some. FN These sinners are the only ones over whom the second death hath power: "Yea, verily, the only ones who shall not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord." FN
The Duration of punishment -- As to the duration of punishment, we may take assurance that it will be graded according to the sin; and that the conception of every sentence for misdeeds being interminable is false. FN Great as is the effect of this life upon the hereafter, and certain as is the responsibility of opportunities lost for repentance, God holds the power to pardon beyond the grave. Yet the scriptures speak of eternal and endless punishment. Any punishment ordained of God is eternal, for He is eternal. FN His is a system of endless punishment, for it will always exist as a place or condition prepared for disobedient spirits; yet the infliction of the penalty will have an end in every case of acceptable repentance and reparation. And repentance is not impossible in the spirit world. FN However, as seen, there are some sins so great that their consequent punishments are not made known to man; FN these extreme penalties are reserved for the sons of Perdition.
The false doctrine that the punishment to be visited upon erring souls is endless, that every sentence for sin is of Interminable duration, must be regarded as one of the most pernicious results of misapprehension of scripture. It is but a dogma of unauthorized and erring sectaries, at once unscriptural, unreasonable, and revolting to one who loves mercy and honors justice. True, the scriptures speak of everlasting burnings, eternal damnation, and the vengeance of eternal fire, FN as characteristics of the judgment provided for the wicked; yet in no instance is there justification for the inference that the individual sinner will have to suffer the wrath of offended justice forever and ever. The punishment in any case is sufficiently severe without the added and supreme horror of unending continuation. Justice must have her due; but when "the uttermost farthing" is paid, the prison doors shall open and the captive be free. But the prison remains, and the law prescribing punishment for offenses is not to be repealed.
So general were the ill effects of the commonly accepted doctrine, unscriptural and untrue though it was, regarding the endless torment awaiting every sinner, that even before the Church had been formally organized in the present dispensation, the Lord gave a revelation through the Prophet Joseph Smith touching this matter, in which we read: "And surely every man must repent or suffer; for I, God, am endless. Wherefore, I revoke not the judgments which I shall pass, but woes shall go forth, weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, yea, to those who are found on my left hand. Nevertheless, it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written endless torment. Again, it is written eternal damnation. * * * For behold, I am endless, and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless punishment, for Endless is my name. Wherefore, Eternal punishment is God's punishment. Endless punishment is God's punishment." FN
Satan -- We have had occasion to refer frequently to the author of evil among men. This is Satan, FN the adversary or opponent of the Lord, the chief of evil spirits, called also the Devil, FN Beelzebub, FN or the Prince of Devils, Perdition, FN and Belial. FN The figurative appellations dragon and serpent are applied to Satan when reference is made to his fall. FN We learn from the revealed word FN that Satan was once an angel of light, then known as Lucifer, a Son of the Morning; but his selfish ambition led him to aspire to the glory and power of the Father, to secure which he made the pernicious proposition to redeem the human family by compulsion; and, failing in this purpose, he headed an open rebellion against the Father and the Son, drawing a third of the hosts of heaven into his impious league. These rebellious spirits were expelled from heaven, and have since followed the impulses of their wicked natures by seeking to lead human souls into their own condition of darkness. They are the devil and his angels. The right of free agency, maintained and vindicated by the war in heaven, prevents the possibility of compulsion being employed in this fiendish work of degradation; but the powers of these malignant spirits to tempt and persuade are used to the utmost. Satan tempted Eve to transgress the law of God; FN it was he who imparted the secret of murder for gain to the fratricide, Cain. FN
Satan exerts a mastery over the spirits that have been corrupted by his practises; he is the foremost of the angels who were thrust down, and the instigator of the ruin of those who fall in this life; he seeks to molest and hinder mankind in good efforts, by tempting to sin; or it may be by imposing sickness, FN or possibly death. Yet in all these malignant doings, he can go no farther than the transgressions of the victim may enable him, or the wisdom of God may permit; and at any time he may be checked by the superior power. Indeed, even the operations of his utmost malice may be turned to the accomplishment of divine purposes. The scriptures prove to us that the days of Satan's power are numbered; FN his doom has been pronounced, and in the Lord's own time he will be completely overcome. He is to be bound during the millennial reign, FN and after that thousand years of peace he will be loosed for a little season; then his defeat will be made complete, and his power over the children of God will be destroyed.
Our First parents in Eden FN -- The crowning scene of the great drama of creation was the forming of man in the image of his spiritual Father, God. FN For the reception of the first man the Creator had especially prepared a choice region of earth, and had embellished it with natural beauties to gladden the heart of its possessor. "The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; FN and there he put the man whom he had formed." FN Soon after man's advent upon the earth the Lord created a companion or help meet for him, declaring that it was not good that man should be alone. FN Thus, male and female, Adam and his wife Eve were placed in the garden. They had been given dominion "over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." FN With this great power were associated certain commandments, the first of which in point of importance was that they "be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it"; then, that they refrain from eating or even touching the fruit of a certain tree, the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which grew in the midst of the garden; though of all other fruits they were at liberty to freely partake. The words of God concerning this command and the penalty for its violation are: "And I, the Lord God, commanded the man, saying: Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." FN
The Temptation to disobey this injunction soon came. Satan presented himself before Eve in the garden, and, speaking by the mouth of the serpent, questioned her about the commandments that God had given respecting the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Eve answered that they were forbidden even to touch the fruit of that tree, under penalty of death. Satan then sought to beguile the woman, contradicting the Lord's statement and declaring that death would not follow a violation of the divine injunction; but that, on the other hand, by doing that which the Lord had forbidden she and her husband would become like unto the gods, knowing good and evil for themselves. The woman was captivated by these representations; and, being eager to possess the advantages pictured by Satan, she disobeyed the command of the Lord, and partook of the fruit forbidden. She feared no evil, for she knew it not. Then, telling Adam what she had done, she urged him to eat of the fruit also.
Adam found himself in a position that made it impossible for him to obey both of the specific commandments given by the Lord. He and his wife had been commanded to multiply and replenish the earth. Adam had not yet fallen to the state of mortality, but Eve already had; and in such dissimilar conditions the two could not remain together, and therefore could not fulfil the divine requirement as to procreation. On the other hand, Adam would be disobeying another commandment by yielding to Eve's request. He deliberately and wisely decided to stand by the first and greater commandment; and, therefore, with understanding of the nature of his act, he also partook of the fruit that grew on the tree of knowledge. The fact that Adam acted understandingly in this matter is affirmed by scripture. Paul, in writing to Timothy, explained that "Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." FN The prophet Lehi, in expounding the scriptures to his sons, declared: "Adam fell that men might be; and men are that they might have joy." FN
The Tree of Life -- There was another tree of special virtues in Eden; its fruit assured life to those who ate of it. While Adam and Eve lived in innocence, immune to death, this tree had not been forbidden them. Now that they had transgressed, however, now that the divine decree had issued fixing death as their lot, it was necessary that the fruit of the tree of life be no longer within their reach. They were, therefore, expelled from the garden, and cherubim with a flaming sword guarded the way, that man might not return in an unregenerate state. By transgression our first parents acquired a knowledge, which in their condition of pristine innocence they had not possessed -- the experimental knowledge of good and evil. The result of their fall could have been of none but ill effect had they been immediately brought to a condition of immortality, without repentance, without atonement. In the despair following their realization of the great change that had come upon them, and in the light of the knowledge they had gained at such cost as to the virtues of the tree of life, it would have been natural for them to seek the seeming advantage of an immediate escape by partaking of the immortalizing food. In mercy they were prevented from so doing.
The words of the Creator are unmistakable as to the necessity of banishing Adam and Eve from Eden: "And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." FN
Alma, the Nephite prophet, comprehended the result that would have followed had Adam and his wife eaten of the tree of life; he thus explained the matter: "Now, we see that the man had become as God, knowing good and evil; and lest he should put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live forever, the Lord God placed cherubim and the flaming sword, that he should not partake of the fruit -- And thus we see, that there was a time granted unto man to repent, yea, a probationary time, a time to repent and serve God. For behold, if Adam had put forth his hand immediately, and partaken of the tree of life, he would have lived forever, according to the word of God, having no space for repentance; yea, and also the word of God would have been void, and the great plan of salvation would have been frustrated." FN
The Immediate Result of the Fall was the substitution of mortality, with all its attendant frailties, for the vigor of the primeval deathless state. Adam felt directly the effects of transgression in finding a barren and dreary earth, with a relatively sterile soil, instead of the beauty and fruitfulness of Eden. In place of pleasing and useful plants, thorns and thistles sprang up; and the man had to labor arduously, under the conditions of physical fatigue and suffering, to cultivate the soil that he might obtain necessary food. Upon Eve fell the penalty of bodily infirmity; pains and sorrows, which since have been regarded as the natural lot of womankind, came upon her, and she was made subject to her husband's authority. Having lost their sense of former innocence they became ashamed of their nakedness, and the Lord made for them garments of skins. Upon both the man and the woman was visited the penalty of spiritual death; for in that very day they were banished from Eden and cast out from the presence of the Lord. The serpent, having served the purposes of Satan, was made a subject of divine displeasure, being doomed to crawl forever in the dust, and to suffer from the enmity which it was decreed should be placed in the hearts of Eve's children.
Atonement provided for -- God did not leave His now mortal children without hope. He gave other commandments to Adam, requiring him to offer sacrifices in the name of the Only Begotten Son, and promising redemption unto him and all his descendants who would comply with the conditions prescribed. The opportunity of winning the victor's reward by overcoming evil was explained to our parents, and they rejoiced. Adam said: "Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God." Eve was glad and declared: "Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient." FN
The Fall came not by Chance -- It would be unreasonable to suppose that the transgression of Eve and Adam came as a surprise to the Creator. By His infinite foreknowledge, God knew what would be the result of Satan's temptation to Eve, and what Adam would do under the resulting conditions. Further, it is evident that the fall was foreseen to be a means whereby man could be brought into direct experience with both good and evil, so that of his own agency he might elect the one or the other, and thus be prepared by the experiences of a mortal probation for the exaltation provided in the beneficent plan of his creation: "For behold, this is my work and my glory -- to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" FN spake the Lord unto Moses. It was the purpose of God to place within the reach of the spirits begotten by Him in the heavens the means of individual effort, and the opportunity of winning not merely redemption from death but also salvation and even exaltation, with the powers of eternal progression and increase. Hence it was necessary that the spiritual offspring of God should leave the scenes of their primeval childhood and enter the school of mortal experience, meeting, contending with, and overcoming evil, according to their several degrees of faith and strength. Adam and Eve could never have been the parents of a mortal posterity had they not themselves become mortal; mortality was an essential element in the divine plan respecting the earth and its appointed inhabitants; and, as a means of introducing mortality, the Lord placed before the progenitors of the race a law, knowing what would follow.
Eve was fulfilling the foreseen purposes of God by the part she took in the great drama of the fall; yet she did not partake of the forbidden fruit with that object in view, but with intent to act contrary to the divine command, being deceived by the sophistries of Satan, who also, for that matter, furthered the purposes of the Creator by tempting Eve; yet his design was to thwart the Lord's plan. We are definitely told that "he knew not the mind of God, wherefore he sought to destroy the world." FN Yet his diabolical effort, far from being the initiatory step toward destruction, contributed to the plan of man's eternal progression. Adam's part in the great event was essentially different from that of his wife; he was not deceived; on the contrary he deliberately decided to do as Eve desired, that he might carry out the purposes of his Maker with respect to the race of men, whose first patriarch he was ordained to be.
Even the transgressions of men may be turned to the accomplishment of high purposes. The sacrificial death of Christ was ordained from before the foundation of the world, yet Judas who betrayed, and the Jews who brought about the crucifixion of the Son of God, are none the less guilty of the awful crime.
It has become a common practise with mankind to heap reproaches upon the progenitors of the family, and to picture the supposedly blessed state in which we would be living but for the fall; whereas our first parents are entitled to our deepest gratitude for their legacy to posterity -- the means of winning title to glory, exaltation, and eternal lives. But for the opportunity thus given, the spirits of God's offspring would have remained forever in a state of innocent childhood, sinless through no effort of their own; negatively saved, not from sin, but from the opportunity of meeting sin; incapable of winning the honors of victory because prevented from taking part in the conflict. As it is, they are heirs to the birthright of Adam's descendants -- mortality, with its immeasurable possibilities and its God-given freedom of action. From Father Adam we have inherited all the ills to which flesh is heir; but such are necessarily incident to a knowledge of good and evil, by the proper use of which knowledge man may become even as the Gods. FN
The Lord God gave Adam commandment and prescribed the penalty for disobedience -- Gen. 2: 16, 17.
Thou shalt not eat of it, nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee -- Moses 3: 17.
And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them -- Abraham 3:25.
If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? -- Gen. 4:7.
Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse -- Deut. 11:26; see also 30:15.
If thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God -- Deut. 28:1; see also 1 Kings 3:14.
Choose you this day whom ye will serve -- Josh. 24: 15.
How long halt ye between two opinions? -- 1 Kings 18:21.
Death may be chosen rather than life -- Jer. 8:3.
The Lord gave unto man to act for himself -- 2 Nephi 2: 16.
Men free to choose the way of everlasting death, or the way of eternal life -- 2 Nephi 10:23.
Wo upon him who listeth to obey the evil spirit -- Mosiah 2:33.
To reap eternal happiness or eternal misery according to the spirit they listed to obey -- Alma 3:26, 27.
Men in a state to act according to their wills and pleasures, to do evil or good -- Alma 12:31.
Even those called from the foundation of the world were left to choose evil or good -- Alma 13:3.
God granteth to men according to their desire, and allotteth to them according to their wills -- Alma 29:4.
Man's privilege to serve God -- Alma 30:9.
Ye are free, ye are permitted to act for yourselves -- Helaman 14:30. Adam was an agent unto himself -- D&C 29:35.
A third part of the hosts of heaven were turned to evil through their agency -- D&C 29:36.
Temptation necessary to test men's agency -- D&C 29:39.
Power in men whereas they are agents unto themselves -- D&C 58:28; see also 104:17.
Satan sought to destroy agency of men -- Moses 4:3.
Given to men to know good and evil and thus be agents unto themselves -- Moses 6:56.
Needs be that there be opposition in all things -- 2 Nephi 2: 11, 15.
Man's Accountability -- the Judgment
Sin is the transgression of the law -- 1 John 3:4; also 5: 17.
For all these things God will bring thee into judgment -- Eccl. 11:9; also 12: 14. The Lord to punish for iniquity -- Isa. 26:21.
According to their deeds will he repay -- Isa. 59: 18.
Everyone shall die for his own iniquity -- Jer. 31:30.
With what judgment ye judge ye shall be judged -- Matt. 7:2.
He shall reward every man according to his works -- Matt. 16:27. Day appointed for judgment of the world -- Acts 17:31. Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap -- Gal. 6:7; see also D&C 6:33.
Day appointed for judgment of the world -- Acts 17:31
Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap -- Gal. 6:7; see also D&C 6:33.
I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be -- Rev. 22: 12.
Requisite with justice of God that men be judged according to their works -- Alma 41:3; also verse 4.
The reward of their hands shall be upon them -- 2 Nephi 13: 11. To be judged of their works whether good or evil -- 3 Nephi 26:4; also verse 5. Which words shall judge them at the last day -- 2 Nephi 25: 18.
All shall rise from the dead and be judged -- Alma 11:41.
To stand before God to be judged of their works -- 1 Nephi 15:33; also Alma 5:15 and 11:41.
Judging every man according to his works -- D&C 19:3.
Every man accountable for his own sins -- D&C 101:78.
The Lord shall come, his recompense with him, and shall reward every man -- D&C 56:19.
The righteous and the wicked shall be separated -- D&C 29:27. To reward every man according as his work shall be -- D&C 101:65. They who keep their first estate shall be added upon -- Abraham 3:26.
The great dragon was cast out into the earth, called also that old serpent, the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world -- Rev. 12:9; see also Luke 10:18.
Lucifer, son of the morning, his wicked ambition and fate -- Isa. 14: 12 and succeeding verses; see also D&C 76:25-28.
Called also Perdition; and those who sin beyond redemption are called sons of Perdition -- D&C 76:26, 32, 43.
Tempted Eve and brought about the fall -- Gen. chap. 3; Moses chap. 4; D&C 29:40.
A sinner from the beginning -- 1 John 3:8; Moses 4: 1-4.
The father of lies; a liar from the beginning -- John 8:44; D&C 93:25, 37; 2 Nephi 2:18.
Tempted Cain and taught him murder -- Moses 5: 16-24.
Came with others who presented themselves before the Lord -- Job 1:6-12. Tempted Christ -- Matt. 4: 1-11.
Tempted Judas Iscariot to betray Christ -- John 13:2.
To be restrained during the Millennium -- Rev. 20: 1-3.
His doom decreed -- Rev. 20:7-10; see also Matt. 25:41.
Fallen from heaven and miserable he sought the misery of mankind -- 2 Nephi 2:18, 27.
He that committeth sin is of the devil -- 1 John 3:8.
Resist the devil and he will flee from you -- Jas. 4:7.
Adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour -- 1 Peter 5:8.
Led according to will and captivity of the devil -- 2 Nephi 1: 18. That which is evil cometh of the devil -- Moroni 7: 12.
Satan desireth to have you -- 3 Nephi 18: 18.
Devil shall have power over his own dominion -- D&C 1:35.
Stirs up to contention over doctrine -- D&C 10:63; see also 3 Nephi 11:28, 29. Devil will rage in hearts of men and stir them up to anger; and pacify others, leading them gently -- 2 Nephi 28: 19-23.
Temptation of Adam and Eve -- Gen. chap. 3; Moses chap. 4; D&C 29:40; see also 2 Cor. 11:3.
By one man sin entered the world -- Rom. 5: 12, 18.
Fall brought upon mankind spiritual death as well as temporal -- Alma 42:9. Lehi's discourse on the fall and its consequences -- 2 Nephi 2: 14-27. By Adam's fall mankind became a fallen people -- Alma 12:20-24; see also
Adam fell that men might be and men are that they might have joy -- 2 Nephi 2:25.
The resurrection comes by reason of the fall -- 2 Nephi 9:6. Christ's blood atoneth for those who have fallen by the transgression of Adam -- Mosiah 3:11.
Every spirit of man innocent in the beginning -- D&C 93:38. Adam rejoiced in the blessings following his transgression -- Moses 5: 10, 11. Because that Adam fell, we are; and by his fall came death -- Moses 6:48. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive -- 1 Cor. 15:21,
22; see also Rom. 5:11-19.