Archive for August 26th, 2008

26
Aug
08

Does Everybody Have Agency?

 

     One of the many differences between what Mormonism teaches and what the Bible teaches is in the area of mankind’s natural condition.  A key LDS teaching is that of agency.  The “True to the Faith” manual states:  “Your Heavenly Father has given you agency, the ability to choose and to act for yourself.  Agency is essential in the plan of salvation.”  Boyd K Packer, an LDS apostle, wrote:  “It is critically important that you understand that you already know right from wrong, that you’re innately, inherently, and intuitively good.”

      The Bible, however, says that we were dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1).  After the Flood, we hear God saying:  “I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”  (Genesis 8:21).  What is so striking about that is that God said that after he had destroyed all the wicked in the Flood.  But, as this verse shows, that didn’t change man’s basic nature.  It remained evil – a very strong word.  And note that he didn’t say some men would be that way – or sometimes men would be that way.  No, the imagination – their inclinations – are evil.  Period.

      Paul, quoting the Psalms, wrote:  “There is none righteous, no, not one:  There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.  They are all gone out of the way, they have together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”  (Romans 3:10-12)  Again note how absolutely Paul talks.  None, not one, none, none, all, none, not one.  That is all-encompassing.  And note what “the none” do or don’t do.  None are righteous – none are seeking after God – all have gone out of the way.

     In these and similar such verses, the Bible does not just not teach that all people have agency, it rules it out.

      Rather these verses give the reason why Jesus had to do everything so that we could live eternally with Heavenly Father.  He had to do everything because we, by nature, were spiritually dead.  We were so corrupted that even our imaginations were evil.  We were so blind that we weren’t even seeking God.  “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace are ye saved).” (Ephesians 2:4-5)

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