As you may have noticed from the majority of the posts I have written for this blog, I've been thinking a lot about the Atonement. Another topic which I've been pondering about a lot recently is life. I know that that is a pretty specific topic, but one which I believe that holds a small amount of attention. When I'm speaking of life, I'm not just talking of birth to death, rather I'm thinking about pre-mortal and post-mortal existence and they way in which the three parts fit together. I'm currently working on a theoretical analogy of all existence comparing it to a university. There are still several holes in my thoughts, but I think it works. I may even share it at some point when I get it fleshed out a bit more. I would just like to point out that many of my thoughts on this subject are just that, my thoughts. It may not necessarily represent Church doctrine, some have some basis in the scriptures, but most come from my trying to understand as best as I can. There are many things which I hope to learn whether it happens when I go through the temple or when I pass beyond the veil. Unfortunately I find that I'm quite ignorant about many things on the subject. Unfortunately, I'm not Brother Salmond and Moroni doesn't regularly visit me.
One of the things which is ever-present in life is the idea of agency. As I have been studying and pondering upon life, I have found that agency is really one of the biggest laws in action throughout the process. As I think about it, Satan used his agency in the Grand Council of Heaven. Those who followed him also exercised their agency. I can see that God told them that Lucifer's plan wouldn't work, and Lucifer would rather leave God's presence than live by His plan. I don't know if they fully understood the consequences which would result from their choice, but they made it all the same.
In the same thought, we made the choice to come to Earth so that we could progress to become like Him. We had to actively make a choice to follow God's plan, and as a result we came to Earth to be tested. I know that we have missions in this life, something for which we were foreordained to accomplish. I believe that we actually made an active decision as to what we wanted to accomplish while we are in mortality. I think we made this decision, but we did receive guidance from God as to what our mission is.
Of course we have agency in this life. We choose daily those things which we do. Some of the things which we choose has a major bearing on our lives, others not so much. All of these decisions come with their own set of consequences, again many of these decisions have little impact on our eternal salvation.
I believe that one of the biggest exercises of agency will come on Judgement Day. I'm currently reading "The Continuous Atonement" by Brad Wilcox. I really like this book because it states many of my beliefs about the Atonement. One of the thoughts which I have had that was also stated in the book talks about agency in Kingdom placement. I used to think, especially when I was wrapped up in my addiction, that we would be judged according to our works against some type of bank account which accounts for everything good and bad thing we've done would sum up. The final balance would then determine which Degree of Glory we are assigned to. Lately though, I've been thinking that instead we will be able to use our agency to choose where we end up in the end. I think that when we come before the judgement seat, we will decide for ourselves based on our actions and learning where we should be. In this case, Christ wants us to come to be with Him, but some will make the decision not to do so. I've been reading the Book of Mormon, and there is a chapter in 2 Nephi ( I think) which talks about this. There will be those who in that day will see the Savior and actively turn from Him. My heart ached when I read that. I wasn't sure how someone could do that. (I will update this post when I find the reference).
The more I learn about life and agency, the more glad I am about the existence of this law to govern us by (although some people don't use it correctly). It helps us to grow and develop in this life to get to be like God is. Something for you to chew on anyway.