Choose righteousness and happiness, no matter what your circumstances. Take responsibility for the choices you make. Develop your abilities and talents, and use them for good. Avoid idleness and be willing to work hard. Check out this great family home evening lesson on Agency! Scripture: Moses 3:17 Hymn: Choose the Right Lesson: Agency Treat: Chocolate Mug Cake or Candied Almonds Activity: Bound Together, or choose your own! •View entire lesson...

Agency

FHE Scripture

Scripture

Moses 3:17

17- “Thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee.”

FHE Lesson Hymn

Hymn

Choose The Right– Hymn #7

1. Choose the right when a choice is placed before you.
In the right the Holy Spirit guides;
And its light is forever shining o’er you,
When in the right your heart confides.

(Chorus)
Choose the right! Choose the right!
Let wisdom mark the way before.
In its light, choose the right!
And God will bless you evermore.

2. Choose the right! Let no spirit of digression
Overcome you in the evil hour.
There’s the right and the wrong to ev’ry question;
Be safe thru inspiration’s pow’r.

3. Choose the right! There is peace in righteous doing.
Choose the right! There’s safety for the soul.
Choose the right in all labors you’re pursuing;
Let God and heaven be your goal.

 

FHE Lesson

Lesson

*For All Family Members* Read or summarize “The Fulness of the Gospel: Agency”  (taken from the Mar. 2006 Liahona). Testify of the importance of Agency and the choices we make every day. 

A basic tenet of Christianity is that God has given His children free will, the ability and privilege to choose. But the concept of agency, taught in the Book of Mormon and by latter-day prophets and apostles in concert with other gospel truths, is a doctrine rich in power and eternal in its implications.

An Eternal Principle

Agency is essential to Heavenly Father’s plan for His children, for without it we cannot become as He is. Agency is an eternal attribute of all intelligent beings. It did not begin with mortal birth. We possessed agency in our premortal existence. As the Lord revealed:

“Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.

“All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.

“Behold, here is the agency of man” (D&C 93:29–31).

We do not believe in a deterministic God—that is, one who determines in advance the eventual fate of His children. Rather, we believe in a God who has perfect foreknowledge of the choices His children will make. He may use this foreknowledge to guide us or even to warn us, but He does not use it to preempt our agency. He allows us to become what we truly desire to become. As Elder James E. Talmage (1862–1933) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote: “[God] knows what each will do under given conditions, and sees the end from the beginning. His foreknowledge is based on intelligence and reason. He foresees the future as a state which naturally and surely will be; not as one which must be because He has arbitrarily willed that it shall be.” 1

Most Christian churches believe God created His children ex nihilo—out of nothing. If this were true, then God might be held accountable for any evil we would do because He created us with flaws and weaknesses. But we know our Heavenly Father did not create us out of nothing, and He is not responsible for our weaknesses or sins. He merely places us, His spirit children, in spheres where we can learn and grow by exercising our agency, if we employ it correctly.

Conditions Required for Agency

Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–85) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that agency requires four conditions:

1. Laws ordained by an omnipotent power must exist, laws we can either obey or disobey.
2. There must be opposites—good and evil, right and wrong.
3. We must have knowledge of good and evil; we must know the difference between the opposites.
4. We must possess an unfettered power of choice. 2

We must also be accountable for our choices if we are to enjoy agency fully. The laws that exist must bring consequences—and not just the natural consequences resulting from our actions, such as losing people’s respect if we lie and cheat. The laws must also bring blessings from God if we obey them and punishments if we do not.

Satan’s Attack on Agency

Of the premortal existence, the Lord says, “Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man” (Moses 4:3). For his rebellion Lucifer was cast out of heaven, but here on earth he continues to undermine our agency. He does this in many ways, two of which are:

Disobedience. “Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light. … And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men” (D&C 93:31, 39). Disobedience damages our agency in two ways. First, when we lose light and truth, we become blind to many opportunities to do good; and second, some forms of disobedience are addictive—we become entrapped in behaviors that are extremely difficult to forsake. We may even hurt others and damage their agency.

No accountability. Satan whispers in our ears, telling us, “Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; … and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God” (2 Ne. 28:8). Some mistakenly believe that once we have “confessed Christ” and have been “saved by grace,” it doesn’t matter what we do—we are saved. This doctrine is a subtle manifestation of Satan’s ongoing deception that we are not accountable for our sins and that there are no consequences for them.

Blessings of Agency

When we use our agency to choose righteousness, God not only blesses us, but our agency is strengthened and enhanced. When our Heavenly Father sees that He can trust us to make correct decisions, He does as any loving parent would do: He blesses us with new opportunities and more responsibility. Thus, if we use our agency wisely, the possibilities for doing good and blessing others become infinite. Obedience always leads to greater agency and increasing possibilities. It is sin that shrinks our options.

Testify of the importance of Agency and the choices we make every day. 

 

*For Younger Children* Read or summarize “Agency And Accountability” by (taken from the For the Strength of Youth manual). Testify of the importance of Agency and the choices we make every day. 

Heavenly Father has given you agency, the ability to choose right from wrong and to act for yourself. Next to the bestowal of life itself, the right to direct your life is one of God’s greatest gifts to you. While here on earth, you are being proven to see if you will use your agency to show your love for God by keeping His commandments. The Holy Ghost can guide you in using your agency righteously.

 

You are responsible for the choices you make. God is mindful of you and will help you make good choices, even if your family and friends use their agency in ways that are not right. Have the moral courage to stand firm in obeying God’s will, even if you have to stand alone. As you do this, you set an example for others to follow.

While you are free to choose your course of action, you are not free to choose the consequences. Whether for good or bad, consequences follow as a natural result of the choices you make. Some sinful behavior may bring temporary, worldly pleasure, but such choices delay your progress and lead to heartache and misery. Righteous choices lead to lasting happiness and eternal life. Remember, true freedom comes from using your agency to choose obedience; loss of freedom comes from choosing disobedience.

You are also responsible for developing the talents and abilities Heavenly Father has given you. You are accountable to Him for what you do with your talents and how you spend your time. Choose to do many good things of your own free will.

Testify of the importance of Agency and the choices we make every day. 

 

*For Teenagers or Young Adults*  Read or summarize this excerpt from “Agency and Accountability: Above the Clouds” by Charles W. Dahlquist II (taken from the Oct. 2008 Liahona).  Testify of the importance of Agency and the choices we make every day. 

Choose righteousness and happiness, no matter what your circumstances. Take responsibility for the choices you make. Develop your abilities and talents, and use them for good. Avoid idleness and be willing to work hard.

Above the Clouds

Not long ago I had the opportunity to fly in a small plane. As we were preparing to board, one of the passengers asked the pilot at what altitude we would be flying. He indicated that we would be flying at 9,500 feet (2,900 m). He said, “That will get us just above the clouds.” Then he explained, “If we fly below the clouds, the ride will be fairly rocky. However, if we can get through the clouds and up on top, we will have a much smoother ride.”

It was a concept that proved prophetic. For us in that airplane, it took a little bit more effort, a little bit more fuel, and a little turbulence to get through the clouds. However, once we were above the turbulence, the ride was, for the most part, smooth sailing. Although there was some brief turbulence and the need for the pilot to always be mindful of the flight conditions, the flight was much more comfortable.

Later I thought about the pilot’s words: “If we can get through the clouds and up on top, we will have a much smoother ride.” I thought about how much that applies to life itself. As we live in a mortal existence, there is much of the ugly and the base and the evil that we have to move above if we are to live the life of a Latter-day Saint. Then we can have the Spirit with us and feel the peace that is there for us to enjoy. It takes effort, it takes willpower, it takes courage, and it takes making correct choices for us to get above the turbulence around us. That turbulence includes the filth that surrounds us in the media. It includes discouragement, despair, and all the challenges of the “natural man” (Mosiah 3:19).

However, if we exercise our agency appropriately, if we live the standards given to us by the First Presidency in For the Strength of Youth,and if we make conscious efforts day by day to rise above the things of the world, our ride in this life will be much more pleasant. We will be able to feel peace along the way, and we will be able to arrive safely at our journey’s end.

It is not that the ride will be uneventful and completely peaceful. That was never promised, for there will be challenges along the way, and there will be a need for continued vigilance and alertness all along the way. However, by choosing to be on the Lord’s side, we can rise above the temptations of our mortal existence, and that will guarantee us peace and happiness in this life as well as in the life to come.

Testify of the importance of Agency and the choices we make every day. 

 

FHE Treat

Treat

Chocolate Mug Cake or Candied Almonds

Chocolate Mug Cake

IngredientsChocolate Mug Cake

2 tablespoons flour (I often use 1 T AP and 1 T barley flour)
1/2 teaspoon of sugar (or to taste)
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt
2 tablespoons milk (or almond milk, my fav.)
1 tablespoon oil
handful of mini chocolate chips
1 Tbs peanut butter (or caramel, jam, nutella, almond butter, etc)

Instructions:

STEP 1: In your mug, stir together the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, and a pinch of salt). Make sure there are no clumps.

STEP 2: Stir in the vegetable oil and milk until the mixture is smooth. Drop a tablespoon of peanut butter into the center and push it down into the batter.

STEP 3: Microwave on high for one minute and then enjoy!

(Microwave power varies slightly, so you may want to experiment with the cooking time, give or take 5-10 seconds. One minute is a good place to start).

(Taken from Budget Bytes)

 

Candied Almonds

Ingredients:Candied Almonds above

1lb Shelled almonds
1/3 cup Brown sugar
1/3 cup White sugar
1tsp cinnamon
1/2tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, and salt until well mixed.

STEP 2: Separate the egg white from the yolk. Place the white in a large glass or metal bowl and whisk until light and frothy, but it is not yet forming peaks (no clear liquid should remain in the bottom of the bowl). Add the vanilla extract and whisk again until incorporated.

STEP 3: Add the almonds to the egg whites and stir to coat. Add the cinnamon and sugar and stir to coat again.

STEP 4: Spread the sugar coated almonds out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil coated with non-stick spray. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring once half way through. After baking, allow the almonds to cool, during which time coating will solidify into a crunchy candy shell.

(Taken from Budget Bytes)

 

FHE Game / Activity

Activity

1- Play “Bound Together” as a family.

Bring several family members close together and wrap a long rope or string loosely around them so they can still move but they are bound together.  Now have them play “follow the leader” with you around the room doing various things that are difficult to do being tied into a group – things like follow you around chairs, under tables, over obstacles, hopping on one foot, etc.  (You could even have one of the girls be the leader rather than yourself).

Application:  Ask if the experience was difficult.  Ask them why they stayed in a tied-up bundle?  You never said they had to stay as a group – that was their choice.  They could have easily gotten out of the string.  Would the tasks have been easier outside the string?  What is peer pressure:  Why should we make our own wise choices in life?  Why should we choose friends who uplift us and not those who don’t support our ideals and standards?

2- Have the family choose their own activity!

Comments

comments

Free General Conference Activity Packet

About Aleah Ingram

Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and is loves organic milk, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

2 comments

  1. Avatar

    this was awesome!!!!!!!!!!! My kids loved it they thought it was cool.

  2. Avatar

    I will be doing this lesson for tonight’s FHE ! even though i haven’t actually done it yet, it sounds great ! Looking heaps forward to it. Great Job & Thanks ! 😀

Free LDS Daily Emails!
Get inspiring LDS messages, news, and events sent to your email inbox daily, weekly, or monthly!
No, thank you.