Agency as defined by Meriam Webster, I have highlighted the use relevant to this post in red:
“1a : the office or function of an agentb : the relationship between a principal and that person’s agent
2: the capacity, condition, or state of acting or of exerting power : operation
3: a person or thing through which power is exerted or an end is achieved : instrumentality<communicated through the agency of the ambassador>
4: an establishment engaged in doing business for another <an advertising agency>
5: an administrative division (as of a government) <the agency for consumer protection>
The definition I prefer is “Agency is the ability and privilege God gives us to choose and to act for ourselves. Agency is essential in the plan of salvation. Without agency, we would not be able to learn or progress or follow the Savior. With it, we are “free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil” ( 2 Nephi 2:27).” This was pulled from LDS.org. This is the kind of agency I am referring to in this post.
The Lord has given each of us the supreme opportunity to act and choose for ourselves. This is called Agency. The Lord loves us enough to let us explore this life, learn and choose what we are going to do. He doesn’t force things on us, he doesn’t make us choose the Gospel. He allows us to be free agents. If you want to drink, drink. If you want to smoke, smoke. If you want to steal a car, steal a car. Pretty simple right? Well, with all of that legit agency comes the wonderful gift of consequence. What is a consequence? Dictionary.com told me that it means:
If you chose to light up the cigarette, then its likely that you will form a dependence. That’s a consequence. If you form the dependence, its likely you will severely harm your health, another consequence.
If you choose to steal a car, you’ll end up with a record and behind bars. YA, super worth it…
10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
I highly recommend reading the rest of the chapter here. This was taken from John 8 in the King James Version of the Bible. So why did I share that story? Because her consequence should have been being stoned to death. Christ was there and taught that lesson, forgave the woman of her sin and let her go on her way to a better life.
Our consequences don’t have to be life sentences. They can be temporary and turn into a good lesson learned and tool in your agency toolbox. I bet you were wondering when the title of the blog was going to come into play. Well here it is. Every time you make a choice or are presented with a consequence you discover a tool in your Agency Toolbox. I feel like our Agency Toolbox is much like a Mary Poppins bag. N.E.V.E.R ending. There are new tools coming up all the time. Some tools you may never use again. Other tools you will use ALL.THE.TIME. Be mindful, some of these tools can get you in serious doo-doo.
Think of every choice you have ever made. Okay, that’s far fetched, but think of the choice you made from the time you woke up until the time you ate lunch. I woke up, looked at my phone, got up, walked to the bathroom (more like shuffled), pull my hair up, got in my exercise clothes, ate some breakfast, sat at my computer and here I still sit. I will exercise eventually… 😛 I chose to do all those things, they were second nature and my auto-pilot kicked in and I went mindlessly through my routine. To me those are the nails, bolts and screws in my toolbox. They are the tiny choices each day.
Now think of your decision to be baptized, to be confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. That is definitely considered more of a bigger tool in my toolbox. Its a choice that I need to be aware of all the time. I renew my baptismal covenants every Sunday because of that decision. So for me that is my Hammer. I feel like Hammers are the most commonly used tool. Then your decision to go to Seminary, that’s a rather large decision because it make getting all of you High School credits slightly more challenging, however still do-able. That could be a Saw. “Sawing your way through High School” haha punny… Then there is the decision to go on a mission, receive your endowments, get sealed to a spouse. Those are LARGE tools, those are tools you can pull out again and again to help you through situations and you exercised your agency in such a way that it brought you great blessings. I would say that the medium tools are the things like going to ward activities, going to church, reading your scriptures, serving others, etc.. I don’t know if this makes sense to anyone, its just whats in my head. Some of you may have yet to make some or all of these choices, or you are choosing not to. Its up to you. Its YOUR choice.
I have taken all of these choices and consequences and used them with trials, burdens, struggles, discussions with others, etc. I look back on these things and see that I, myself, chose to make those choice, I am responsible to continue to make choices. The Lord wants us to properly educated in making these choices. Thats why we have parents, friends, neighbors, ward families, seminary teachers, companions, etc. They are here to help us on the journey. They are here to offer comfort in trials and share joy in successes.
I chose to divorce 3 years ago. It was the hardest DECISION/CHOICE I have ever made. I chose to seek counseling by an individual recommended by LDS Family Services. I chose to go weekly. I chose to allow myself to heal from the burdens and deep gaping wounds of divorce. I chose to date again. I chose to marry again. I chose Mr. A. He is the hardest working, sweetest, kindest, and most selfless man. The consequences of these choices have brought me more joy than I have ever known. So were the consequences of divorce hard? Yep. Where they worth the knowledge I now have? Yep. Was it all worth the bitter, stinging, terrifying pain that I chose to put myself through? Absolutely. Why you ask? Because I knew that the Lords plan for me was not to sit in a marriage where I would be treated like dirt. Because I chose to be faithful and active in the LDS Church, I was taught in my youth that I am the Daughter of A King. I have Divine Nature and Individual Worth. I have Choice and Accountability. I am worth more than being treated like dirt, I am worth more than obligatory hugs and empty compliments. I am worth more than rubies. That is why I made my choice. When I tried to make it work. I did everything I could. Unequally yoked oxen can seriously damage the other ox when they are not working together. I was the ruby in glass filled mud. I pulled my self out, cleaned my self up, and started buffing out imperfections. Buffing out imperfections will be a life long pursuit.
All of this is based on choosing for yourself how you will live, how you will let others treat you. What choices will you allow to become tools in your agency toolbox? What tools will you look back on and use as a tool for good?
People can think what they want and have opinions on how you use YOUR Agency Toolbox, but in the end its up to you and the Lord.
Again, I don’t know if any of this makes sense, however its whats in my head 🙂
Until next time,