A few weeks ago, I started a personal challenge to share one of the 21 principles as covered in the book by Richard G. Scott. This book has really touched my heart and I have felt impressed to share it with you and my own feelings about each of the principles. You can read about the other principles I have covered here. If you would like your own copy of this book, you can purchase it here. This is NOT an affiliate link, even though I do have an affiliate account with Amazon. I have chosen NOT to use an affiliate link as I don’t feel right about it in this circumstance.
“As you seek spiritual knowledge, search for principles,” counsels Elder Richard G. Scott. “Principles are concentrated truth, packaged for application to a wide variety of circumstances.”
“A true principle makes decisions clear even under the most confusing and challenging circumstances.”
I really like this principle. It is really a very simple principle that a lot of people just don’t really understand. And that is unfortunate, as no matter how hard we may try to change certain things, truth is eternal. Let me see if I can explain this a little.
We all are free to make our own choices in this life. Some of those choices will make us happy and other choices will cause us unhappiness. If we willfully make a choice that goes against the laws of God, we may justify and rationalize that this choice makes us happy. But while we have had the freedom to make that choice for ourselves, we cannot choose the consequence for our actions. From the beginning of time, every action that we choose has a consequence attached to it. There is not a way around it, and we cannot choose to do whatever we want and not pay the price for our actions. Some consequences are good. Some are bad. Our freedom to choose comes in that we can decide how we will act in any given circumstance. We cannot choose what will happen because of our actions. Confused? How about a very simple example…
Suppose your child has a specific school assignment that they need to complete. They have the freedom to choose to do the assignment or to not do the assignment. Choosing to do the assignment means they will be learning and they have the opportunity to get a good grade. They will be able to understand future assignments more easily because of the work they did on this one. That is the consequence for making the choice to act and do the assignment. Now let’s say that instead, they make the choice to NOT do the assignment. They choose instead to play a computer game or with a friend. The consequence of that choice and action is that they don’t learn anything new, and they will get a bad grade, most likely a “F”. They also might not understand future assignments because they didn’t complete this one. In turn, they get a bad grade for the whole course. You see, they had the freedom to choose how they would act. But they did not have the capability to choose the consequence for their actions. They couldn’t choose to NOT do the assignment and still get an “A” on it and all future assignments.
It’s the same thing for every single choice we make during our lives. We can choose how we are going to live. We cannot choose the consequences though. Just as we make rules for our children and have consequences for not following the rules, we also have rules and laws from our Heavenly Father. We can learn about those rules and what happens when we choose NOT to follow them in the scriptures. We may choose not to listen and obey. But we cannot choose the ending consequence for the choices we make.