This blog shares my ongoing study of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and my studies draw from the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price, as well as teachings of LDS Church leaders past and present, many of which are prophets and apostles. This site is not an official representation of Latter-day Saint doctrine and practice. For official sites, please visit or

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Great Gift of Choice

I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor. (Henry David Thoreau)

I marvel at the great gift of choice which God has given us and how very much we underestimate it. "Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself...[a]nd because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon..." 

I had a bishop who told us that if we weren't satisfied with our current situation - our job, our education, etc. - that he firmly believed God gave us the power to improve it. I believe that our Father in heaven even expects us to improve it. We are His children and He wants us to be happy. If we leave ourselves in an unhappy situation by our own choosing, surely we are not meeting the purpose of our creation and are burying the talents or opportunities He has given us.

I further believe that when we boldly pursue the things we righteously desire, the heavens acknowledge our efforts and magnify them. A good friend of mine was dissatisfied with his engineering job a few years ago and decided to leave despite no assurance of other employment, and in the midst of a recession. Shortly thereafter he was offered his dream job in Colorado working on dams. He left Salt Lake single and found a wonderful young woman in Denver and is now very happily married and enjoying his job. He exercised the great gift of choice and improved his situation many fold.

I know that our Father loves us and believes in us. Were it not so, He would never have given us the power to choose - to act for ourselves. He knows we can improve our lives through the use of this gift and must watch anxiously for us to do so that He might bless us.

See also "To Act for Ourselves: The Gift and Blessings of Agency," Elder Robert D. Hales, April 2006 Conference Addresses.

(Please feel free to respond to these thoughts in the comments section.)