Tuesday, October 11, 2011

the ability to choose

I always thought our ability to choose came as a result of the fall, that because adam and eve partook of the fuit, their fall brought sin/evil into the world, and therefor a choice between evil and good since knowing good from evil -- "the eyes of them both were opened" (gen. 3:7) made choosing evil possible. And I still think this is true, but what I had never considered before today was that, yes, without the fall there would be no choice, BUT WITHOUT THE ATONEMENT THERE WOULD BE NO CHOICE EITHER.

In The Infinite Atonement, Tad Callister states "Were it not for the Atonement, there would have been no choice between eternal life and eternal damnation. The Fall would have opened the gate to one road and one road only. 'Our flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to tis mother earth to rise no more... Our spiritus must become subject to...the devil to rise no more' (2 Nephi 9:7-8) -- a bleak picture, to say the least. Without the Atonement everyone would be compelled to participate in this no-option program. The Fall, without the Atonement, would lead us to a downhill plunge from which there was no escape" (254).

This is why the prophets so often remind us to be at peace/happy because we are FREE -- we are free, from death and hell, because WE CAN CHOOSE to escape them through the Atonement which has overcome them. We can choose between good and evil because of the Atonement, which offers us the opportunity to choose good as opposed to the inevitable, it offers "another road, another choice, another option" (Callister 255).

The atonement not only gives us the option to choose good, it is also what gives us the power to choose good. But that is a topic for another post!


  1. This post reminded me of something I used to think about. In Moroni 7:24 it says, "...all things which are good cometh of Christ; otherwise men were fallen, and there could no good thing come unto them." Then there is a footnote to 2 Nephi 2:5 where I like the wording, "Yea by the temporal law they were cut off; and by the spiritual law they perish from that which is good."

    Imagine the situation we would be in if no Atonement had been made. We say we are out of God's presence now, but we enjoy to some degree the gifts of the Spirit and the gift of the Holy Ghost. However, if no atonement had been made the Holy Ghost would have no place in us.

    Think of all the gifts of the spirit: Patience, kindness, love, peace, joy, sympathy, empathy, faith, understanding, concern, trust, hope. We would be lost to paranoia, fear, anxiety, hatred, bitterness, pride,jealousy, confusion, insanity.

    Under those conditions who could choose to do good?

  2. very true!

    which AGAIN is showing that it is ONLY BY the GRACE of Christ, through his Atonement, that we are even ABLE to do good/be saved. It's not what we do, it's what He did. thanks for the comment/reminder.