Free agency is the greatest blessing God has given us (next to the Atonement of course). By and through it we are able to learn, grow, and (if used righteously) go back to live with our Father in Heaven. President Brigham Young, speaking of our agency, taught: “This is a law which has always existed from all eternity, and will continue to exist throughout all the eternities to come. Every intelligent being must have the power of choice.”
“This agency,” said President Wilford Woodruff, “has always been the heritage of man under the rule and government of God. He possessed it in the heaven of heavens before the world was, and the Lord maintained and defended it there against the aggression of Lucifer and those that took sides with him. … By virtue of this agency you and I and all mankind are made responsible beings, responsible for the course we pursue, the lives we live, and deeds we do”
The greatest use of our agency is choosing between good and evil. The Lord knows that we can be influenced by both good and evil in making choices. Without the conflict between these two forces, we would not have choices to make—we would not have agency. Therefore, the Lord gives us principles, laws, and commandments to follow, and Satan tempts us to disobey them.
We are free to act, but we will be held accountable for our actions. One day each of us will stand before God and give an accounting of how we used our agency. Then God will judge us. His judgments will be both just and merciful, based on His love and the laws of heaven.
I believe that we live in a society today that does not want to be held accountable for their actions. They do not want to hear about "good" or "bad." It is important to make choices that will allow us to have the Spirit with us to guide us and—when we fall of the road it is important to get right back on.
My father had a neat idea he shared with my sister and I a few weeks ago. We have personal trials and that involves temptations. (Who Knew?!) We become stronger by overcoming those temptations. We should not be negative or try to bring others down because they have certain trials; at the same I claim the right to not receive emails telling me that I am not "accepting" enough. I thank Gma for her wonderful blog post. At the end of A Wrinkle in Time Meg is able to save her brother, who had willingly succumbed to IT, by loving him. We should not accept sin, but we should not be negative or judge (judging is for God only). We cannot tell others how to use their agency. Instead we should follow Meg's example by loving and praying for them.
One of the emails was a letter written by a man in 1999 to Elder Boyd K Packer asking him to renounce a general conference talk. JC and I then later read from D&C section 28. In it the Lord rebukes Oliver Cowdery for trying to command Joseph Smith. At conference, the general authorities are not giving a sermon based on their personal opinions. They are sharing what the Lord has commanded them to share.
I am grateful for goodly parents who taught me by example how to make righteous choices. I am grateful for the opportunity to live forever with my family. I am grateful for the righteous choices I have made that allowed me to be married in the temple to my companion. I am not perfect. God knew we would not be perfect. That is why He gave is son, even Jesus Christ, so that when we take His name upon us we are made perfect through Him. It is by grace we are save after ALL that WE DO.