Agency

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Is Agency a Negative Concept?

A few days ago I heard someone at church talk about agency as a “gift” but that got me thinking if it really was or not. Perhaps you are thinking, “Well, of course it’s a gift, doesn’t everything good come from God?” That’s one way of looking at it but let me share a quote from Frédéric Bastiat that slipped into my mind at that moment that got me thinking about it differently.

As a friend of mine once remarked, this negative concept of law is so true that the statement, the purpose of the law is to cause justice to reign, is not a rigorously accurate statement. It ought to be stated that the purpose of the law is to prevent injustice from reigning. In fact, it is injustice, instead of justice, that has an existence of its own. Justice is achieved only when injustice is absent. (Bastiat, The Law)

I’m going to change that up a little and substitute God for the word law, agency for justice and captivity for injustice and we’ll see how it reads.Read Full Post

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Choice & Continuums

agency-continuum-1

A couple of years ago I wrote a post about something that I dubbed the “Agency Continuum” where the choices that you make are part of a connected cycle.

I’d like to take the model I presented in that post, particularly the figure eight shape, and point out a few things in light of the word “continuum.” First off, let’s define the word itself:

Continuum: a continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, although the extremes are quite distinct. (Oxford advanced learner’s dictionary)

Often the choices that lay before us are not perceptibly different and it isn’t until theRead Full Post

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2013 Interpreter Symposium on Science & Mormonism: Cosmos, Earth & Man

I watched this conference as soon as the videos were published and I enjoyed it quite  bit. However, when I was looking for one of these videos on my site the other day, I couldn’t find it. I thought I had posted these videos but apparently I didn’t so here they are! There’s some great food for though and interesting things to ponder.


The Interpreter Foundation sponsored a conference on November 9, 2013, entitled “Science & Mormonism: Cosmos, Earth & Man” in Provo, Utah.  It was filmed.  Videos of each of the presentations are now available for free viewing on The Interpreter Foundation’s YouTube channel, or here on MormonInterpreter.com embedded below.

Daniel C. Peterson introductory remarks at Science & Mormonism Conference

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Room For Doubt Respects Agency

I recently started the Book of Mormon over again in audio form while I’m at work. Chapter 6 of 1 Nephi caught my attention and led to some significant thoughts about agency.

And it mattereth not to me that I am particular to give a full account of all the things of my father, for they cannot be written upon these plates, for I desire the room that I may write of the things of God.

For the fulness of mine intent is that I may persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved.

Wherefore, the things which are pleasing unto the world I do not write, but the things which are pleasing unto God and unto those who are not of the world.

Wherefore, I shall give commandment unto my seed, that they shall not occupy these plates with things which are not of worth unto the children of men. (1 Nephi 6:3-6)

The limited resources Nephi had forced him to focus on what was most important. He desired to record “the things of God” over things that were pleasing unto the world; think about that. What types of things wouldRead Full Post

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