A familiar Mormon expression is, “Choose the Right”. Where I live, it is common to see the initials CTR (Choose the Right) on rings and other forms of jewelry. This is a popular way of expressing Mormonism’s teaching of agency, that God has given the people the right and ability to make right choices. The teaching of agency is one of the foundational teachings of Mormonism. On it Mormonism builds its whole idea that man has the ability and thus the responsibility to participate in their salvation. “Agency is essential to the plan of salvation. Without it, you would not be able to learn or progress or follow the Savior.” (True to the Faith, p.12)
This teaching, like many of the teachings of Mormonism, not only has no biblical support, but goes contrary to biblical teaching. In various ways the Bible describes the utter inability of natural man to do anything right – including making wise choices. “There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Romans 3:11-12) That’s pretty clear. That doesn’t leave room for exceptions. No one understands. No one seeks God. No one does good. The premise that we have the ability to choose the right would imply that we understood what was right – that we would be seeking God. By choosing the right we would have done good. Talk about being on the opposite side of the issue! Mormonism teaches the direct opposite of what the Bible teaches.
Salvation is totally the work of God. Jesus paid for all our sins. Jesus fulfilled all the requirements of the law for us. The Holy Spirit creates faith in people’s heart to believe that good news. There’s no agency – a word or concept that is not found in the Bible.
Rather it is all about grace – a word and concept that fills the pages of the Bible.