What in the world is agency?! Elder Bednar taught that when you enter into your baptismal covenant you then use your moral agency to choose God. He then explained that the principle of moral agency is one of the least understood doctrines in the church. Here is the video to reference what I am talking about:
When I first watched this video I was like whoa!! So I wanted to learn more for myself. I went back to the basics similar to what Elder Bednar did in his discussion above. So my first question was, “What do we covenant at baptism?” and here are my answers:
1. Take upon you the name of Christ
2. Bear one another burdens
3. Stand as witnesses of God
4. Serve Him
5. Keep His commandments
(Mosiah 18: 8-10)
So when we covenant to use our moral agency given by God to do the things listed above. So my second question was what is a covenant? A covenant is an agreement between 2 people but please note this from the definition of covenant in The Bible Dictionary:
” It is important to notice that the 2 parties to the agreement do not stand in the relation of independent and equal contractors. God in His good pleasures fixes the terms, which man accepts…. The Gospel is so arranged that principles and ordinances are received by covenants, placing the recipient under strong obligation and responsibility to honor the commitment.“
With this in mind and what we know about covenants now, this is what we are using our moral agency to choose Jesus Christ by honoring covenants we have entered into. As mentioned in the last sentence we are under strong obligation to honor the commitment we made to God.
When we use our moral agency to “do what we want” and have entered into a covenant with God we are actually “breaking our covenants”. I believe this is the part that Elder Bednar was referring to as the least understood doctrine in the church. I wanted to reference D&C 1:15 “For they have strayed from mine ordinances, and have broken mine everlasting covenant.” This is the Lord addressing His people who break covenants or what most of understand as “doing what we want.” In a sense, yes you did do what you want but you also broke your covenants and the consequences of that will follow. You don’t get to pick the consequences of your actions or choices.
As I learned about moral agency more and understanding my covenants my testimony of the protection that The Gospel of Jesus Christ provides has increased. I know I am loved and a beloved child of God and thats why He sent me here to make covenants with Him so I could return to Him with my family.