We can bring the greatest of all liberties into our individual lives by living true and correct principles. This liberty comes to us as we learn to live as though Jesus Christ were walking beside us. We gain this freedom as we invite the Holy Ghost into our lives.
The liberty principle for today is number twenty in a series of true principles suggested by Elder Richard G. Scott in his book
21 Principles – Divine Truths to Help You Live by the Spirit. I will merely introduce the principle and suggest that you obtain Elder Scott’s book in order to truly understand this principle. Elder Scott explained that principles “are concentrated truth, packaged for application to a wide variety of circumstances. A true principle makes decisions clear even under the most confusing and challenging circumstances.” You can see principle #1 “True Principles of Freedom” here.
Principle #20 is the simple fact that forced obedience does not aid anyone. This is the reason that Heavenly Father and the Savior are so patient with us and so willing to help us understand Their messages. They are “willing to entreat, to prompt, to encourage, and to patiently wait for us to recognize precious spiritual guidance from Them.”
Elder Scott stated, “I have come to know that there are currents of divine influence in our life that will lead each of us along the individual plan the Lord would have us follow while on earth. They are identified through the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. Seek through that Spirit to identify that plan and carefully follow the direction the Lord will provide. It will come through answers to prayers and pondering or the counsel of others who are worthy mentors. Align yourself with it. Choose, willingly, to exercise your agency to follow it. Do not be overcome by concentrating solely on today, its challenges, difficulties, and opportunities. Those things are the relatively insignificant surface winds and waves of today. Such preoccupations must not totally capture your interest and attention so as to consume your life.
“The more closely you follow the current of divine guidance, the greater will be your happiness here and for eternity. Moreover, your capacity to progress and serve will be greater. I do not understand entirely how it is done, but this divine current does not take away your moral agency. However, I do know that as you seek to know the will of the Lord in your life, you will more easily discern that divine current. The right of moral agency is so important to our Father in Heaven that He was willing to lose one-third of His spirit children so that it would be preserved. No enduring improvement can occur without righteous exercise of agency.
“The Lord will not force you to learn. You must exercise your agency to authorize the Spirit to teach you. As you make this a practice in your life, you will be more perceptive to the feelings that come with spiritual guidance. Then, when that guidance comes, sometimes when you least expect it, you will recognize it more easily” (pp. 95-96).
Heavenly Father gave us our agency because He knew we could not progress without it. He knew that we needed the ability to choose the path we would take in order for us to grow and develop. He wants us to follow the path that He laid out for us, but He allows us to take which ever path we choose. I really appreciate the freedom to choose because I am one person who does not enjoy being told what to do. I appreciate having a choice, and I believe that most, if not all, people also desire the opportunity to choose for themselves.
I know that we are here on earth to be tested and to be tried. I know that the choices we make as we pass through the trials of life will determine where and how we spend eternity. I know that we can travel His path safely and eventually return to His presence if we listen to the counsel of our loving Heavenly Father. I truly enjoy feeling the confirmation of the Spirit when I make right choices. I encourage you to put your trust in Heavenly Father and learn to follow His promptings because I know He will lead you safely to your heavenly home.