Life Without Agency


“Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down; and he became Satan, yea, the father of all lies…” (Moses 4:3-4)

It is not unusual to hear someone complain after a tragedy, “If there was a God, he never would have allowed this to happen!” And in the extremity of his suffering even Job cursed the day he was born. (Job 3:1-3) It’s a fairly natural feeling to have when tragedy strikes. Or one sees so much injustice in the world that it is easy to forget, during difficult times, the plan of salvation or “the plan of happiness.” (Alma 42:8) I guess it’s so natural to lose sight of the “plan” because there doesn’t seem to be  much “happiness” in it at the time we are suffering. Yet, this plan, “the plan of happiness”,  is what we need to remember and hold onto in our darkest hours. Satan’s plan could have spared us some of these temporary “setbacks” and “trials”, but you and I rejected that plan, as evidence of our being here on earth. We “selected” this plan. We used our agency to come down to this mortal life because we knew that, though the path might be rocky, the reward was worth it. The reward is not only to live again with our Father, but to become like him.

The “end” game, so to speak, is not when we leave this world, as many seem to think.  Eternity goes on and so does our progression.  Happiness “is” the ability to progress and to learn. I recall an exchange between two characters in a comedy movie years ago. One of the characters was getting a new job and was being “oriented” on it.

“Oh, films! Will I be introducing these movies on air?”

“Not exactly”

“What do I do?”

“You take all these cans. You box ’em and you ship ’em. Then you box those cans over there. Ship them. Then more will come in. You box those, you ship those. Any questions?”

“After you box ’em…?”

“You ship ’em? Lots of luck, smart A” (Mrs. Doubtfire)

Everyone of us has had a “dead-end” job like the one described above. A job that was not stimulating in the least. Imagine an eternity living in a dead-end life. In order to progress, we need to be tested and develop character traits like our Heavenly Father’s. The “Plan of Salvation” truly is the “plan of happiness” described aptly by Alma. Let us take comfort in the fact that we know of this plan and it’s purpose. By so doing we will not curse God during our times of pain and agony, but we will rejoice in the knowledge that eternal happiness will be our ultimate reward. We can be grateful that the Lord has provided a way for us to live eternal lives of excitement and fulfillment. I can’t think of a greater hell than a dead-end “box’ em and ship’ em” type of eternity.

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