04 October 2014

We Choose. Always.

The story of the 116 pages is not a prototype of the Lord not allowing bad things to happen because of our weaknesses. The 116 pages could have been kept, had Joseph chosen differently, and we would have had twice as much scripture as we do now in the Book of Mormon. 

God gave Joseph a choice between 1000+ pages of the Book of Mormon, or 500+ pages. Joseph chose the latter, not realizing at the time what his choice really was.  That said, God doesn't tuck a set of "small plates" into every situation in our lives. We must be able to choose darkness and damnation, and reap the consequences, else this whole world, this whole life, is a farce. Yes, we each have our small plates situations . . . but they are the exception, not the rule, and they never contradict our agency.

Agency means nothing if we cannot chose evil, and actually receive evil in return. God doesn't "give people what they want". People CHOOSE what they want. He is, as a result, either constrained or enabled in people's lives. He gives no man or woman, or group of people, anything that they do not choose. Ever. Agency is supreme. God does not coerce, compel, or anything like unto it. He offers, entreats, persuades, instructs, gives commandments . . . but in all things, we choose.

Not keeping that truth at the forefront of our minds in all things, in all of this, is one of the most damning mistakes of all. What we receive from God really IS up to us. Each one of us, all the time.

Heaven help us.

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I welcome questions and concerns--they are most often what spur us closer to the truth. I only ask that we all give everyone the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible. A soft answer truly does turn away wrath, and an atmosphere of Jesus's love is the best for learning, no matter which side of a discussion you're on.

Thanks so much, and God bless you!