I've had a lot of questions about when the next lessons are up. I try to do one month ahead of time, however, I'm also a Mom of 5 kids 10 and under so it's not always that simple. Currently, I'm doing 1 a week with the new lessons posted on Monday or Tuesday. I'm also trying to get ahead at least one more week this weekend. Since I do 4 lesson helps a week plus the scripture studies, my time is pretty tight.. Know that I am trying my best though and if you email me, I'll put your request towards the top of the list. With that said, Ezra Taft Benson Chapter 3 made the jump to the top of my list since so many of you are already on that lesson.
Freedom of choice is one of the most valuable gifts we have been given yet there are some moments that we don't want it. We just want to be told what to do- the decision is too hard. Other times we want to give up our agency to avoid the consequences. How many times have we heard from a child, "He made me do it"?
"Usually the Lord gives us the overall objectives to be accomplished and some guidelines to follow, but He expects us to work out most of the details and methods."
The power is within us to make those choices that will lead to salvation (D&C 58:28). President Benson points out that God is mindful of us. He has given us commandments, voices of the Prophets, even prayer to help find our way. However, Satan is also mindful of us. "He is committed to our destruction." It is important to remember that both have a plan for us. Ignoring one doesn't make him go away. It is up to us to determine daily (or even hourly) which path to take and continually make course corrections.
"The biggest business of any life is making decisions. While one of the greatest gifts of God to man is... the right of choice, he has also given man responsibility for these choices. ...We put our own lives in the direction of success or failure."
The war in heaven is still going on today. There will be people willing to claim your agency for themselves and others that willingly give it up then wonder why they are so miserable. Some say the fact that bad things happen is evidence that there is no God. It is just the opposite- because good and bad happens we know there is a God. A God who gave us the freedom to make choices- even bad ones. Eventually all will receive their reward.
"Come Along, Come Along"- Hymn #244
"Know This That Every Soul is Free"- Hymn #240
"Who's on the Lord's Side?"- Hymn #260
Question to Ponder
- In what ways have you seen that the war in heaven is not yet over?
- What can we do to continue to stand for the principle of agency?
- Why does God allow evil to exist in the world?
- How can we help children and youth understand that our decisions now determine our happiness now and throughout eternity?
- What can we do to help them understand the impact of decisions they make?
- What have you learned abut combining prayer with diligent effort in making decisions?
- What does it mean to be "anxiously engaged in a good cause"?
- How does your life change when you choose good willingly instead of waiting to be commanded?
Click the image to print- includes two poster to print in two sizes
Study Schedule Idea
Ezra Taft Benson Chapter 3: Freedom of Choice, an Eternal Principle- As you go throughout the week and think of things or have questions, come back to write them in the comments or in our Private Facebook Group. Let's be a resource for each other.
"Choice" by President James E. Faust (past member of the First Presidency)
"The Three Rs of Choice" by President Thomas S. Monson (Prophet and President)
"Using Our Free Agency" by Elder Delbert L. Stapley (former apostle)
Read Chapter 3 again and see what new things pop out to you. As you've been pondering the lesson this week, what new insights have you gained about agency? Remember to share your thoughts in the comments or in our Private Facebook Group