Selected Teachings on
Agency Is Given Us to Choose God's Will

Harold B. Lee (President)

We are an independent free agent and some people think to do as we please, but that isn’t quite correct. (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church, Harold B. Lee, 13)

Richard G. Scott (Quorum of the Twelve)

Your agency… is not given so that you can get whatever you want. This gift is provided so that you will choose what your Heavenly Father wants for you. That way He can lead you to become all that He intends you to be (Ensign, May ’01, 6).

David A. Bednar (Quorum of the Seventy)

I have been frankly puzzled as I have listened to members of the Church say: "I have my agency. I don't have to live the law of tithing or the Word of Wisdom. I don't have to be chaste." I would suggest such individuals do not understand the doctrine of agency. You and I exercise agency in the making of a covenant. When we enter into a covenant with God, we voluntarily surrender a portion of our agency. And the consequences that come from violating the covenant are not within our control. It is not simply a matter of freedom to choose; rather, it is a matter of becoming covenant breakers. Think of the song Choose the Right. It does not say, "Choose what you want when you will." Agency is linked to a course of choosing the right. That is why we have agency. What did the Father say in the premortal council? "And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all [emphasis added] things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them" (Abraham 3:25). Agency is to be used in choosing the right. ("Gain Spiritual Intelligence," Ricks College Devotional, September 9, 1997)