ye shall overcome...

23 MAY 2017


Chapter 9

Believe It Not

One of the techniques of Satan is simply to call someone a lier. Sow the seed of doubt in the faith of something, saying that truth is not truth.

A lie is a type of deception in the form of an untruthful statement with the intention to deceive, often with the further intention to maintain a secret, a reputation, to avoid punishment or to gain control (authority) over someone. The gaining of control or taking away your agency by another is usually the claim of Satan when associated with the "Believe It Not" statement.

2 Nephi 5:2
Yea, they did murmur againse me, saying: Our younger brother thinks to rule over us;... for it belongs to us, who are the elder brothern, to rule over this people.

Alma 30:23
... And Korihor said unto him: Because I do not teach the foolish traditions of your fathers, and because I do not teach this people to bind themselves down under the foolish ordinances and performances which are laid down by ancient priests, to usurp power and authority over them,

2 Nephi 9:28
... When they are learned they think they are wise, and they harken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves...

The strange thing here is that Satan is claiming that those expressing God's rule want to eliminate your Agency, the very thing he wanted to do in the Great War... To force you into submission. Well, lets think about that. In the pre-existance we were "Valiant" in defending and choosing our agency. We rejected Satan's attempt for control. So he is using one of our strengths and desires for freedom to incite our rebellion against rule... The rule of God.

What Satan does here is imply that your agency is taken away if we choose to do good or follow religious laws. This simply is not true. You do not need to sin to show that you have or exhibit agency. Doing good, being obedient to parents and being obedient to laws is just as much a exercise of agency as sining. God has given you your agency and no one can take your agency away... though the consequences are drastically different.

At this point, someone will say,"Now, Wait a minute. They can put you in prison."

This is not the same. Putting you in prison does not take your agency, it limits your freedom. Freedom or Liberty and Agency are not the same. Agency is in your ability to choose and Freedom is the number of choices you have. In prision you have fewer choices, but, you still have choice. This is where consequences come in. As choices are made, consequences happen. Consequences is usually what we think of which results from bad behavior. Actually consequences is what happens which results from choices (agency), the good and the bad. Og Mandino in his book,"The Greatest Salesman in the World", explains this concept very well.

If you think of agency as the number of choices you have, then you might think of it this way, using your agency to make wrong choice limits your agency and making right choices expands your agency. I prefer to keep these concepts separate, i.e., agency is the ability to choose and freedom the number of choices I have. To dirve my point home, I remind you that the Statue Of Liberty representing agency and liberty stands on the eastern shore of this great nation and on the western shore under the Golden Gate is Alcatraz (representing consequence).

The Law of Unintended Consequences states that the unintended consequences of an action will overwhelm the intended ones. An example is the drug user, using drugs to indicate that he has the ability to choose or to escape from daily problems only to become "hooked" and adicting the body thus creating an additional daily problem and loosing the ability to choose.

We must discuss one final item associated with consequences. That fact is, you get to choose the action; YOU DON'T GET TO CHOOSE THE CONSEQUENCE. An action and a or several consequences are directly associated together... they are not independent of each other. The problem here is in our thinking. We want to be able to choose the action AND its associated consequence. And again, in many instances, we simply don't think in terms of consequences or we think of only one or two of the consequences and not ALL consequences associated with our choice. The next problem is that the consequence does not necessarily immediately follow. They are delayed thus we think to escape or lessen their effects.

My Conclusion:
The mental process of thinking involved with judging the merits of multiple options and consequences and then selecting one of them for action is a good thing and requires maturity and experience in consequences. Thus, our society has an age limit for being an adult. The illusion that choosing an option or a course leads to your control of that object is immature. Immaturity does not consider the limitations. 

God has given us our agency. Whether we do good or evil depends upon our choice but do not limit our agency... consequences follow. Following laws and being obedient to God does not limit our agency. That which is good comes from God, That which is evil comes from Satan. Satan would limit your agency, God will not.