The Jews would be scourged by all people as prophesied.
I have no interest but to help you. Will you listen? I may challenge some of your fixed ideas, but please listen for a few minutes.
You may be tired of others trying to run your life—always telling you what to do. After all, you have the right to make your own choices. That is correct. You have that right. It is your agency. The secret to solve problems in your life will be found in understanding and using the eternally beneficial interaction of your agency and His truth.
“And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men.” (D&C 93:28, 37, 39; emphasis added.)
He also declared, “Every man may act in doctrine and principle, … according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable … in the day of judgment” (D&C 101:78; italics added).
These scriptures teach how to overcome the effects of wrong choices, whether they be lying, stealing, gambling, addiction to alcohol or drugs, immorality, inflicting abuse, or anything like it. Simply stated, one must use his agency to obey truth.
When others give you advice, have you ever said, “I just don’t believe the way you do. Those are your standards and your principles. I have my own”? Please understand that no one can change truth. Rationalization, overpowering self-interest, all of the arguments of men, anger, or self-will cannot change truth. Satan knows that, so he tries to create an atmosphere where one unwittingly begins to feel that he can not only choose what to do, but can determine what is right to do. Satan strives to persuade us to live outside truth by rationalizing our actions as the right of choice.
But our Eternal Father defined truth and established what is right and wrong before the creation of this earth. He also fixed the consequences of obedience and disobedience to those truths. He defended our right to choose our path in life so that we would grow, develop, and be happy, but we do not have the right to choose the consequences of our acts. Those who willfully, consistently disobey His commandments will inevitably learn that truth. Joseph Smith was inspired to record, “When we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.” (D&C 130:21.)
Please understand, no one has the privilege to choose what is right. God reserved that prerogative to Himself. Our agency does allow us to choose among alternate paths, but then we are bound to the consequence God has decreed. Later, if we don’t like where the path takes us, the only out is through repentance.
Our Heavenly Father gave us truth, some as statements of cause and effect. We call them commandments. They guide our life to happiness. He knew that Satan would try to persuade some to live without fixed standards in life so that decisions would be based on current circumstances, what appears convenient, or what provides the greatest personal return. In this way, Satan removes the power of truth from one’s life so he can take that soul captive.
If you are trapped and there seems to be no way out, remember If you are trapped and there seems to be no way out, remember what Robert Frost taught, “The best way out is always through.” (From “A Servant to Servants.”) You must face the challenge and conquer it. The way through is based on faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to His commandments. It is the only way to permanently cure damage to mind and spirit caused by unrighteous acts. It also provides healing, within the bounds of eternal law, to a body devastated by the effects of transgression.
It may be hard in your state of mind to understand that. Please believe me. He will help you when you do it His way. A prophet said, “For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?” (Mosiah 5:13; emphasis added.) Read and learn about the Savior until you know Him, then trust Him.
You may have found that change is hard. But know you can do it. You may wonder why you are not believed when you decide to change from a life of disobedience to one of integrity and compliance to truth. Recognize that it takes time to build a reputation that overcomes the effects of past deliberate decisions to deceive and to take advantage of others—but it is worth it.
You can fool others who want to believe you, but you cannot deceive the Lord. Because of His justice, He will one day have to confront you with the consequences of your unrepented acts. No one wants that to happen. Some transgressions are so powerful that it is unlikely that you will begin to overcome them without another’s help. Seek that help. In time, with the strength that comes from continued use of agency to live truth, you will be healed through the Savior. Please find someone you trust who is trustworthy, who understands agency and truth. You can begin anywhere—with a friend, a loved one, a competent professional, or a solid member. As you gain confidence, see your bishop. He has priesthood keys that will help you. Begin now and don’t stop until you understand and obey the teachings of the Savior and receive His healing power in your life. Otherwise, the cure will be incomplete.