Friday, May 6, 2011

We Believe: Agency and Accountability

"We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression." (Articles of Faith 1:2)

Each of us has the God-given gift of Agency.  This means that we are free to make our own decisions in this life.  However, we do not choose the consequences of those decisions.
   We will receive true happiness and joy as we follow the Lord and live His commandments.  Eventually, righteous living will lead us back to our Heavenly Father and we will be able to have a "fulness of joy" in His presence. (Psalms 16:11)
   Opposite of righteousness is sin.  Sin is disobeying God's commandments.  This course of action will eventually lead to only misery and heartache. 

We are responsible for own sins and we will not be eternally punished for the choices of anyone else.  The actions of others may affect us, but they do not determine our salvation.  Our own choices and how we choose to react to the choices of others determine our personal salvation. (see Ezekiel 18:20)
   Because of this, we are not born into sin.  Little children are inocent and unable to sin.  They do not know enough to be fully accountable for their actions. (see Moroni 8)

"Choose you this day whom ye will serve... but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." -Joshua 24:15

Christ is the way. Choosing to follow Him brings peace and joy. When we sin, we can change and return to Him and be made whole through His Atonement.