You are watching: To act and not be acted upon
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was freshly in the Africa Southeastern Area and on one occasion, while speaking to a group of young single adults, he organized up his scriptures. “These scriptures are a things,” he sassist. “They have no capacity to relocate on their very own unless I move them.” He lifted them up to present the congregation. “You and also I, however, are agents. We have actually the power in us to act, not sindicate to be acted upon.” In this straightforward example, Elder Bednar taught us all that we have the right to act; we deserve to select. We have the power to do for ourselves what we select to execute.
This principle of activity or agency, dubbed “ethical agency” in the Doctrine and also Covenants (check out D&C 101:78), is main to the brought back gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the structure for God’s setup for His youngsters, the plan of salvation. In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Lehi taught, “
“… And because that
In our day, the Lord asserted via the Prophet Joseph Smith that “men need to be anxiously engaged in an excellent cause, and perform many kind of points of their very own free will certainly, and bring to pass much righteousness;
“For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves” (D&C 58:27–28; emphasis added). Think around that statement: We are empowered agents, anxiously involved. We have actually the power to act for ourselves.
While on a mission tour newly, I met a young missionary by the name of Elder Tshiambwe. He came from a tiny village in a remote component of Africa. He wanted to serve a mission yet was unable to afford even the standard requirements, such as a passport, essential to prepare for a speak to to serve. He and his father came up via a setup. Using his bicycle, Elder Tshiambwe would certainly move bananas from the many type of small banana growers in the region to the markets in the larger villperiods. His banana transport business earned him a small however stable revenue from which he was able to conserve for his mission. For several years he saved and planned for his mission. When he was lastly prepared, he obtained a speak to from the President of the Church to serve in his aboriginal nation. He is currently returned from his mission, but it is no surpclimb that he offered via honor and also difference. He had actually learned in his youth that he was an agent, not an item. He had the ability to act, not ssuggest be acted upon. Elder Tshiambwe was an agent through power to act and also to take regulate of his life. I am confident that he will certainly go forward and do many excellent points in his life as an outcome of these lessons learned.
I was in one more country not long back holding a fireside for young adults. Throughout the question-and-answer percent of the meeting, a young brother elevated his hand and also asked when the Church would certainly carry out even more financial assistance for young adults to help them come to be self-reliant. I believed about this for a minute and also then felt impressed to ask him if he had served a mission. He replied that he had actually. I asked him if he had learned to collection goals while on his mission, to plan, to exercise faith, and also to occupational diligently. He was good-natured about it and also smiled as he responded that he had in truth learned those life skills. I then said to him, “You are an agent, not an item. You have the capacity to act and to do whatever before it is that you select to do. You have been taught whatever that you need to be successful in life. Now it is up to you to go forward in confidence and to act, quite than to sit ago and wait to be acted upon.” I hoped that he felt my love for him and also that somehow this exreadjust aided him to reorient his vision for himself.
Even in the beforehand days of the Church, when the new converts were struggling to fully comprehend all that the God had ready for them, the Lord instructed the Prophet Joseph Smith that they necessary to learn to be independent, to be agents rather than objects. “Notwithstanding the tribulation which shall descend upon you, that the church may stand also independent over all various other creatures” (D&C 78:14). As His Church stands independent of all points, so too need to we, His youngsters, learn to be independent. “The power is in them,” the scripture claims (D&C 58:28). We are agents, not objects. We deserve to act and not simply be acted upon.
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I testify that each of us “is a beloved heart boy or daughter of heavenly parental fees, and also, as such, each has actually a divine nature and destiny” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Liahona, May 2017, 145). Because of this, we have the God-provided potential to rise up out of our scenarios, whatever they may be, and stand also independently as agents not objects. We have actually been charged “to perform many points of