The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns the ultimate freedom. There is one freedom that far outreaches any other freedom. This freedom is found in gospel of Jesus Christ. Elder F. Enzio Busche (“Freedom ‘from’ or Freedom ‘to’,” Ensign, January 2001) emeritus member of the Seventy, discussed what it means to be free.
My dear brothers and sisters, in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, many new members, specifically when they come from countries other than the United States, learn for the first time the true dimension of the word freedom. Freedom for most people of the world means “freedom from” the absence of malice or pain or suppression. But the freedom that God means when He deals with us goes one step further. He means “freedom to” – the freedom to act in the dignity of our own choice.
What then does it mean to be free? Freedom means to have matured to the full knowledge of our dangerously many responsibilities as a human being. We have learned that everything we do, and even say or think, has consequences. We realize that [for] too long we have believed that we were victims of circumstances. In the Gospel of John, 8:32, we read the following: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
As we open our hearts to the message of God’s truth, as it was restored in our time, we begin to understand why there was, and still is, so much misery, pain, suffering, and even starvation. In the same dimension as we are learning to accept the revealed truth in our own life, our faith in the living Son of God will grow, and therefore we will receive spiritual gifts of heretofore unknown capacity. We will learn that nothing is impossible for those who believe in Jesus Christ. False bondages will be loosened. Narrow thinking born in tragedies of false traditions will disappear.
The more our understanding of the vastness and the completeness of the plan of salvation is developing, the more we see ourselves in our smallness, in our incompleteness. And seeing ourselves in that humility, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, will let us understand and finally accept this most sacred covenant with our Heavenly Father in the form of baptism.
We gladly will submit ourselves into this covenant, knowing that there is a big difference between mere desire and covenant. When we just desire something, we will work towards achieving it only when convenient. But when we are bound by a sacred covenant, like baptism, we are learning to overcome all obstacles through obedience, and in so doing we will be blessed with the presence of the Spirit and therefore eventually with achievement. We are beginning to become alive as we take, knowingly, full responsibility for our own life and as we stop blaming circumstances….
Jesus Christ wants to empower our lives, according to our own righteous choices, to that dimension that, through our faith and our doings, the circumstances whose prisoners we were in the past will eventually change….
In this freedom that we have received in our time, through our understanding of His divine plan for us, we stand in our full responsibility….