Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Free Agency

Dear Life,

When you think of free agency, what comes to mind?
As a Latter Day Saint, we have been taught this principle:

Agency, or the ability to choose, is one of God’s greatest gifts to His children.
Our eternal progression depends on how we use this gift. 
We must choose whether to follow Jesus Christ or follow Satan.

We teach our children right from wrong daily. 
Always tell the truth, don't steal, be kind, don't pull your sister's hair, etc. 
Our children learn there are consequences if they do not make good choices. 
Don't do your homework, you will get a bad grade and probably lose screen time. 
Give mom sass when asked to do something and you will probably gain extra chores. 

But we don't always teach our kids how to deal with the after effects of someone else's bad choice if it affects them directly. 
If someone drives under the influence and crashes into you, you have to deal with that, but it can make you angry. 
It wasn't your choice that put you there. 

I have been thinking a lot about my son, and the suffering he has faced for years because of the choices of another. 
How do we deal with this?
How do I teach him forgiveness, to move forward, when I am angry?
I mean I'm really angry. 
This person robbed my son of 4  years of his life. 
My boy's life will be altered forever. 
All because of someone else's agency. 

Then I think about God. 
He gave us the gift of agency. 
He probably wishes he could tap us on the shoulder when we are about to do something wrong and say " are you sure you want to do that?"
He loves us, and wants us to be happy. 
So why do bad things happen. 
Why does my son have to suffer. 
All I can think of is what I have been taught. 
As we teach our family the principles of the gospel, we can fall back on them to deal with difficult challenges. 
We can pray, often, read the words written in the scriptures, we can read talks from our leaders, we can forgive. 
We can love each other. 
And we can fight battles together. 

I wish my son never walked home that day long ago. 
I wish he would have been receptive to getting help earlier. 
All we can do now is be there for him, and rely on our God, and find comfort in His loving arms. 
We can learn to forgive, so that our son can forgive. 
We can take this awful experience and grow, get stronger, and become more refined. 

As victims, if we are faithful, we can take great comfort in knowing that God will compensate us for every injustice we experience. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin stated: “The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. … Every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.”

(The Healing Ointment of Forgiveness
By Elder Kevin R. Duncan
Of the Seventy
April 2016 Conference)

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