Monday, October 24, 2011

The Book of Mormon will answer your questions - part 4.

Most of us have some hard questions in the back of our minds – the kind no one else can really answer for us.  Some are far-reaching questions about the nature of our existence …  

Do you believe we are accountable for our choices or actions, and to what extent?

I posted this question on Facebook.  My Dad messaged me his answer: “Yes.  Lots.”

Accountability – being held responsible for your actions – is an eternal principle.  That is, it’s been around since the beginning.

Take Adam, for example.  He did a few booboos in the Garden of Eden, like eating some forbidden fruit.  He then hid from God.  Now God, of course, knew the fruit had been eaten and by whom.  God also knew which bush Adam was hiding behind.  But God still had to ask: Where art thou? (Genesis 3:9); Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? (Genesis 3:11) God then asked Eve: What is this that thou hast done?

God made Adam and Eve accountable for their actions; they were given opportunity to explain themselves.

And so it will be with us.

The Book of Mormon does teach us that every can be saved.  It also confirms what the Bible teaches us - that Jesus Christ is our Saviour, and that Jesus Christ “will never cease his work until all [mankind] are brought up to the enjoyment of a kingdom in the mansions of his Father…” [1]

And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam. (2 Nephi 9:21)

The Book of Mormon then goes on to remind us that Christ commanded all men to repent, be baptised in His name, and exercise faith in Him.   You cannot claim Jesus as your Saviour, and then not act on His teachings.
And if they will not repent and believe on his name, and be baptised in his name, and endure to the end, they must be damned; for the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has spoken it. Wherefore, he has given a law; and where there is no law given there is no punishment; and where there is no punishment there is no condemnation; and where there is no condemnation the mercies of the Holy One of Israel have claim upon then, because of the atonement … (2 Nephi 9:23-25)

This is brilliant stuff.  The Book of Mormon is teaching us in depth about our accountability – and that we will be held accountable, so far as we know.  “To him who has never been made acquainted with a higher law, the requirements of that law do not apply in their fullness. For sin committed without knowledge – that is, for laws violated in ignorance – a propitiation has been provided in the atonement wrought through the sacrifice of the Saviour; and sinners of this class do not stand condemned, but shall be given opportunity yet to learn and to accept or reject the principles of the Gospel.” [2]

Everyone has the freedom to make their own choices.  We can live and worship “how, where or what we may” (see our eleventh Article of Faith).  We can listen to the words of Christ and not accept them.  We can try our upmost and have faith that Christ will help us, after all we can do.

Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, accordingly to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.  (2 Nephi 2:27)

We are free to choose.  And we are accountable for our choices.

The Book of Mormon teaches us the key:

And now remember, remember, my brethren, that whosoever perisheth, perisheth unto himself; and whosoever doeth iniquity, doeth it unto himself; for behold, ye are free; ye are permitted to act for yourselves; for behold, God hath given unto you a knowledge and he hath made you free.

He hath given unto you that ye might know good from evil, and he hath given unto you that ye might choose life or death; and ye can do good and be restored unto that which is good, or have that which is good restored unto you; or ye can do evil, and have that which is evil restored unto you.
(Helaman 14:30-31)

The Book of Mormon Forum

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[1] Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [1954], 56
[2] James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, 12th ed. [1924], 58

1 comment:

  1. All I can say is, thank goodness for the Atonement.. (wipes forehead)


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