At 01:41 PM 10/3/2002, you wrote:
>Marc, in amongst some other stuff, said the following:
>
> > We have free agency but limited options, which is usually how life
> > works.
>
>This reminded me of a topic I wanted to discuss. In the Book of Mormon I
>seem to recall several places where the idea of being able to act or to
>be acted upon is presented. It seems to me, that the idea here, is that
>we are given the ability to act, and our actions determine in large part
>how well we retain that ability or are degarded to a state of being acted
>upon.
>
>I get the destinct impression that one of the consequenses of sin is to
>move you more and more to the state of being acted upon.
>
>There is a strong resonance for me here. Partly, I think, because I have
>a strong beleif in teaching my children about consequences. Partly,
>however, it seems to strike a very strong and familiar chord with my
>spirit.
>
>Have any of you ever pondered this topic, or wish to discuss it now?
>
>Scott

I've often wondered about the difference. I'm not sure whether one can 
become degenerated so far as to lose the ability to act but as least as far 
as our ability to "act" is concerned, it seems that obedience to God's laws 
and commandments will enhance our capability to act. If this ability to act 
is analyzed one can come to the conclusion that this ability to act 
actually increases ones freedom, and freedom can be broken down into at 
least four heads--life, liberty, property and knowledge or truth. President 
David O. McKay once said President David O. Mckay said that freedom or free 
agency is a "measuring rod" to judge all the actions of men:

<Quote>
I refer to the fundamental principle of the gospel, free agency, references 
in the scriptures show that it is essential to man's salvation and may be a 
measuring rod by which the actions of men, of organizations and of Nations 
may be judged. (David O. McKay, Conference Report, April 1940)
</Quote>

If freedom is a measuring rod to judge actions, then actions which are good 
or evil are determined by their effect on freedom or its constituent 
elements-life, liberty, property and truth.  Those actions which are good 
tend to: 1. Preserve, increase and enhance a persons health, strength and 
vitality, or to act as a co-creator with God in lawful marriage to bring 
about "new" life; 2. To protect, enhance or otherwise ensure one's own or 
another's liberty; 3. To protect or increase one's own or another's 
property; 4. To increase or enhance one's knowledge of the Truth or to act 
to promote knowledge in others. Here are a few concrete examples from the 
scriptures to show what I mean about actions being either good or evil and 
their effect on life, liberty, property and truth:

Murder: The destruction of Life. (Exodus 20:13)
Being a Good Samaritan: Preserves and enhances life (Luke 10: 25-37)

Abortion: The prohibiting of "New Life" (D&C 59:6)
Lawful Marriage: Makes possible procreation which provides for "New" Life 
(D&C 132:19)

Sexual Sin: Prostitutes the "powers of Life" and is next to murder in 
seriousness (Alma 39:5-6)
Chastity and Virtue: Protects the "powers of Life" (D&C 121 :45-46)

The Unpardonable Sin: Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost; spiritual suicide 
whereby you crucify Christ unto yourself (D&C 76:35)
Obedience to the Word of wisdom: Protects and enhances one's health (D&C 89)

Slavery: Prohibits full use of one's faculties and Liberty (D&C 101:79)
Liberating the Captive: Assisting in "freeing" others (Jacob 2:19)

Theft: Prevents use of property (Exodus 20:15)
Work: The production of useful property: By applying labor to the Earth's 
resources man can "create" property

Robbery: The taking of property by force. Prevents use of property (D&C 134:8)
Charity: Helps the poor and needy to acquire the necessities of life

Arson or Vandalism: Destroys property
Military and Police Forces: A positive good if used correctly in defense of 
private property

Lies and Deception: Prevents and distorts truth (2 Nephi 9:34)
Honesty and Integrity: Always adheres to the truth (Proverbs 12:22; Job 2:3)

Slander: Colors the Truth (Titus 3:2)
Teaching: Spreads the truth (Ephesians 4:11)

Gossip: Spreads lies or distortions of the truth (Leviticus 19:16)
Humility: Being Teachable (Matthew 22:12)

Ignorance: Incapacitates the use of truth (Isaiah 5:13)
Seeker of Truth: Acquires knowledge for good

Likewise, our ability to "act" by using our life, liberty, property or 
truth can be either enhanced or decreased depending on our obedience to 
God.  As before here are some examples from the scriptures showing how our 
life, liberty, property and knowledge are affected by either obedience or 
disobedience:

Miriam was stricken with leprosy seven days for complaining against Moses. 
Which disease debilitated the body and prevented Miriam from exercising or 
enjoying her full use of the attribute of Life (Numbers 12:1-16)
Naaman in obedience to the word of the Lord, dipped himself in the River 
Jordan seven times and was healed of leprosy and thus able to exercise life 
more fully (2 Kings 5:14) also, Saints who obey the Word of Wisdom are 
promised health (D&C 89:18)

Uzza was slain for "touching" the Ark (2 Samuel 6:6)
Those who have "faith to be healed. . . shall be healed (D&C 42:48)

Under the law of Moses the death penalty was prescribed for murder (Genesis 
9:5-6)
Those who magnify their callings are sanctified by the Spirit unto the 
renewing of their bodies (D&C 84:33)

Because of a hardness of heart among the Israelites the Lord sent fiery 
serpents among the people and many died (Numbers 21:6)
Lazarus was raised from the dead (John 11:41-44)

He that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death (Proverbs 11:19)
Righteousness tendeth to life (Proverbs 11:19) and the law of the Lord is 
life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh (Proverbs 4:22)

The Lord's people under Limhi came into bondage through failure to repent 
(Mosiah 11:21; 12:2)
Israel was led out of bondage by hearkening to the word of the Lord through 
his Prophet Moses (Exodus 4-14)

King Noah and his people "because of iniquity were brought into bondage" 
(Mosiah 29:18)
Alma and his people were delivered out of bondage by their righteousness 
(Mosiah 24:16-17)

The people of the Lord were delivered out of bondage (Mosiah 29:19-20; Alma 
5:5)

Because of iniquity among the Nephites their "treasures . . . became 
slippery, because the Lord
had cursed the land, that they could not hold them, nor retain them" 
(Mormon 1:18)
Obedience to the Law of Tithing brings material blessings (Malachi 3:10-12)

If Israel was disobedient her property was cursed (Deuteronomy 28:16-18)
If Israel was obedient she was blessed with increased property (Deuteronomy 
28:3-5, 8)

Those who are faithful in all things receive a fulness of inheritance (D&C 
93:20)

"And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth through 
disobedience (D&C 93:39)
Righteous artisans were filled with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in 
understanding, and in knowledge (Exodus 31:3-6)

"Your minds in times past darkened because of unbelief, and because you 
have treated lightly the things you have received" [the Book of Mormon] 
(D&C 84:54)
Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery upon being baptized have their minds 
enlightened and the scriptures laid open to their understandings (Joseph 
Smith- History 1:74)

The Lord's comment that his people were "destroyed for lack of knowledge" 
(Hosea 4:6)
Joseph F. Smith's having the "eyes of [his] understanding opened" by 
pondering the scriptures (D&C 138:11)

"They that harden their hearts are given a lesser portion of the word until 
eventual destruction (Alma 12:11)
"But the path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and 
more until the perfect day" (Proverbs 4:18)

". . . the way of the wicked is as darkness, they know not at what they 
stumble" (Proverbs 4:18)
"He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is 
glorified in truth and knoweth all things (D&C 93:28)

"The Spirit enlighteneth every man. . . that hearkeneth to the voice of the 
Spirit" (D&C 84:46)

"And if your eye be single to my glory your whole bodies shall be filled 
with light, and there shall be no darkness in you, and that body which is 
filled with light comprehendeth all things" (D&C 88:67)


--
Steven Montgomery
[EMAIL PROTECTED]

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