LDS Quotes on Agency

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

Maya Angelou

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Elder Jeffery R. Holland of the LDS church

“Let us educate ourselves. Light is not the absence of darkness; rather, darkness is the absence of light. Light and truth exist independently. This being the case, the more light we have, the more independent we are, and the freer we are to choose. With truth lighting the way, we are able to see and make choices we otherwise couldn’t make.”

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland  |  "Broken Things to Mend"

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Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“You have agency, and you are free to choose. But there is actually no free agency. Agency has its price. You have to pay the consequences of your choices.”

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf  |  On the Wings of Eagles, BYU Devotional, July 2006

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Exercising agency in a setting that sometimes includes opposition and hardship is what makes life more than a simple multiple-choice test. God is interested in what we are becoming as a result of our choices. He is not satisfied if our exercise of moral agency is simply a robotic effort at keeping some rules. Our Savior wants us to become something, not just do some things. He is endeavoring to make us independently strong – more able to act for ourselves than perhaps those of any prior generation. We must be righteous, even when He withdraws His Spirit, or, as President Brigham Young said, even “in the dark.”

Elder D. Todd Christofferson  |  “Moral Agency” Ensign, June 2009, p. 53

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“Adam and Eve’s fall wasn’t down, rather, as I have heard it expressed, they fell forward.”

Brad Wilcox

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“The volition of [man] is free; this is a law of their existence, and the Lord cannot violate his own law; were he to do that, he would cease to be God. … This is a law which has always existed from all eternity, and will continue to exist throughout all the eternities to come. Every intelligent being must have the power of choice.”

Brigham Young  |  In Journal of Discourses, 11:272.


Thomas S. Monson

“It has been said by one, years ago, that history turns on small hinges, and so do people’s lives. Our lives will depend upon the decisions which we make—for decisions determine destiny.”

Thomas S. Monson  |  "Decisions Determine Destiny"

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“We want a script, and we find we stand before a blank canvas. We expect a road map, and we find we have only a compass. We have yet to learn, as the poet John Ciardi wrote, that ‘clean white paper, waiting under a pen, is a gift beyond human history and hurt and heaven.”

Terryl and Fiona Givens

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“Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.”

George Patton

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“As Joseph reminded his followers, ‘I believe that God foreknew everything, but did not foreordain everything.’ Exaltation, is within the reach of all, even if the journey toward that divine end is fraught with suffering. If we had insurance against a painful journey, one-third of the heavenly hosts would not have abandoned the enterprise. The risks are real. Or, in the language of the Book of Mormon, we cannot assume that our afflictions come from God, but we can know that ‘God shall consecrate [our] afflictions for [our] gain.'”

Terryl and Fiona Givens  |  "The Christ Who Heals"

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