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Home Scripture Controversial beliefs FAITH AND FREE AGENCY


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Faith seems to be a principle, not only for this life, but was also connected with the battle we fought in the preexistence over our right to exercise free agency. How? We will see.

We can't exercise our faith without the freedom to chose, and the priesthood (God's divine power) has no power if those who use it or have it acting upon them have no faith. Do you remember when the disciples of Jesus couldn't perform miracles? Or when Jesus himself couldn't perform any miracles because the people didn't have faith in Him? Do you remember how many times Jesus asked, "Do you believe that I can do this?" or said, "Be it done according to your faith?"

The Ten Commandments were given to help us develop our faith, but Satan, on the other hand, obviously tries to undermine our faith through the use of false churches and false ideologies. If he can't completely destroy our faith, then he will at least try to weaken it.

In the celestial council, held before the world was framed, we accepted, by faith, the choice of Jesus Christ to be our Savior. This plan was based on man having his free agency. Satan proposed a different plan, one which denied us the freedom to chose, but was based on us having faith on him.

A third of our Father's spirit children accepted Satan's plan. (Obviously, they didn't have any faith in the Lord Jehovah.) However, in rejecting Jesus, they exercised their right to chose Satan. As a result of that decision, they were cast out from Heaven. The Devil was angry, and ever since then, his purpose in this life is to show the rest of our Father's children that he was right.  Therefore, he is still trying to destroy our Father's plan by getting us to follow his plan. How does he intend to do this? With God, there is only one true church of His on the earth. In comparison, Satan has many different churches. And the purpose of these churches is to destroy the free agency of man. Let's analyze some doctrines of a few churches.

Baptism of Children: Can children exercise faith on the Lord Jesus? Can they exercise the freedom to chose? Not at all. They are too young to do either. So this doctrine is a denial of both principles.

Saying written prayers: Where is the faith needed in this? And how does saying someone else's prayer allow us to use our free agency?

Saying the Rosary: Counting prayers is a way to weaken our faith and our free agency because the number of prayers you have to count has been determined by someone else. How is that allowing us our freedom to choose?

Praying to Mary, Joseph, or the saints: Is that having faith in Jesus? Not at all. Instead, it actually destroys one's faith in Jesus by relying on others to answer our prayers.

Paying money to be forgiven of your sins: This destroys the Atonement, and without the atonement, there is no need for faith in Christ.

Priests can't marry: this destroys the family and the first commandment given to the man.

When Satan tempted the Lord in the wilderness, he always prefaced his questions with the word "If." Why? Because he was trying to destroy the Lord's self-confidence. The basis for faith come from believing in yourself. If you don't have this, you can't believe in anyone else.

Salvation by grace: It is true that salvation by grace is based on faith in Jesus, but it destroys man's free agency because it relieves man of any responsibility to do anything. The whole premise of "salvation by grace" is based on the idea that man is incapable of making the right decisions and that God, therefore, has to do it for him. THIS IS THE SAME PLAN OF SATAN!  He was going to do everything, and we would give all the glory to him. This is a sophisticated disguise, in which the Devil makes us think we are following God's plan for salvation, when, in
reality, we are following his plan of destruction.

By not allowing us to do any work, and thereby make any decisions of our own, he had removed the keystone of the whole structure. In this case, if you remove free agency, you destroy an entire plan. And this keystone is the very same one for which we fought in heaven to preserve. Without free agency, faith can't be exercised.

But this is only one way Satan tries to destroy God's plan. Through politics and philosophy the Devil has sought to create government systems, such as Communism, that denies a faith in God and takes away man's free agency. But has this been his endeavor from the beginning? Let's take a look at the scriptures.

The firstborn of Adam was Cain. We know how Satan got to Cain, but why him and not Adam? Because, Adam had a perfect knowledge of God. He had talked with God face to face in the garden of Eden. He knew God. Furthermore, Adam had made a covenant with God and had received the garment of the holy priesthood. Therefore, once his eyes had been opened by partaking of the forbidden fruit, and having first hand experience with the lies of Satan, he could
no longer be deceived by the Devil.

But Cain was different. He only knew about God through word of mouth from Adam, his father.  It's true that Cain did talk with God but still, he didn't know God like Adam did. And unlike Adam, Cain didn't want to do what God asked. In Genesis 4:7 we read, "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his  desire, and thou shalt rule over him."

But did Cain listen to God? "And it shall be said in time to come--That these abominations were had from Cain; for he rejected the greater counsel which was had from God; and this is a cursing which I will put upon thee, except thou repent. And Cain was wroth, and listened not any more to the voice of the Lord, neither to Abel, his brother, who walked in holiness before the Lord.(Moses 5:25,26)

It was at this point that Cain completely and totally broke himself off from God.

"And Adam and his wife mourned before the Lord, because of Cain and his brethren. And it came to pass that Cain took one of his brothers' daughters to wife, and they loved Satan more than God.  And Satan said unto Cain: Swear unto me by thy throat, and if thou tell it thou shalt die; and swear thy brethren by their heads, and by the living God, that they tell it not; for if they tell it, they shall surely die; and this that thy father may not know it; and this day I will deliver thy
brother Abel into thine hands" (Moses 5:27-29).

In other words, Cain entered into a covenant with Satan. Satan must have been very happy to have found so quickly somebody who had faith in him. Thus, Satan begun to serve Cain by delivering to him his brother Abel. Did I make a mistake when I said that Satan served Cain?  Not at all. Consider this: How does Jesus get us to have faith in Him? By serving us. And so we see that the Devil serves us in hopes of gaining our faith. But unlike Jesus, "the devil will not support his children at the last day, but doth speedily drag them down to hell" (Alma 30:60).

"And Satan sware unto Cain that he would do according to his commands. And all these things were done in secret. And Cain said: Truly I am Mahan, the master of this great secret, that I may murder and get gain. Wherefore Cain was called Master Mahan, and he gloried in his wickedness" (Moses 5:30,31).

Let's look at the name Cain chose for himself: Mahan, master Mahan. Who is our Master? Jesus.  And what is one of His names? Ahman! (D&C 78:20, 95:17). Cain took a name that was in clear opposition to the Savior. Instead of our Master, Ahman, he called himself Master Mahan. Our Lord freely gave his life to save all of his brothers. Cain took the life his brother to obtain all his brother had. Thus, Cain was the first true antichrist.

So the Devil plays his game, trying to destroy what God builds up. Unfortunately for him, when Christ performed the Atonement, Satan was checkmated. The game was over for him, or at least his destiny. But the game is not over for us. We have to exercise our faith in the Lord Jesus through the use of our free agency, and that means to freely and unconditionally choose to obey the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

But what is true faith? It seems strange but true faith is based on spontaneously giving back to the Lord our free gift of agency. Consider the Atonement of Jesus in the Gethsemane when He said, "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done" (Luke 22:42).

Paul explained, "Who, being in very nature [1] God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature [2] of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name" (Philippians 2:6-9).

It is pretty clear to me that the greatest gift we can give to the Lord is to lay at His feet our free agency. There is no example more perfect, neither a more perfect connection between faith and our freedom to chose. This is the supreme form of love, respect and obedience, and above all, total faith. When this concept is realized, miracles are the natural results. Faith is like a muscle. If it isn't exercised, it will atrophy. But if it is used, it will develop. Since God works for our spiritual salvation, He gives us trials, and trials and troubles are blessings to help us produce the faith necessary for our own personal salvation.

The Natural man says:" God tell me why you want this from me and I will do it." God answers:"Do it and you will know why"

Genesis 15:6 "And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness."

Hebrew 11:8-13 "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him
faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth."

Not knowing whither he went, and not having received the promise, still Abraham did as the Lord God commanded him. See How great Abraham was?

I had a great experience 10 years ago, and, without going into it at this time, what I personally learned from my trial was, that, when I don't understand what is going on, just like Abraham, we should not question God's word. In the same way each of us should obey God through faith. It is in this way that we can have the blessings that come from obedience, and then afterward God will make everything right for us, just as He did for Abraham.

Last Updated on Monday, 17 May 2010 10:40  

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