Choice 102

Blog #33 July 02,2022

Early on in my blogging experience I shared with you our freedom to choose. Since that time God has made my understandings both wider and deeper. God has chosen to show me what I feel is the very essence of choice and how it can cause us to appreciate fully all that is God and all that is, of God. Grow with me today in the offering I share.

Genesis 2:19-22
2:19 And I, the Lord God, commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat;
2:20 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it;
2:21 Nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but remember that I forbid it;
2:22 For in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Adam was made aware of our need to choose, by God while still in the Garden, but not all of humanity is even aware of this God given talent/responsibility. Over the ages this direct statement from God to man has been eliminated from accepted scriptures. If you depend on the King James Version of the Bible or any of the popular translations of this version our freedom to choose is an obscure overlooked talent/responsibility. It is a most important "plain and precious truth" that has been denied the Protestant world.

For the Catholic world I could find nothing to equal the direct statement I have quoted, but it was a subject important enough to be approached and discussed.

From a homily by Saint Paul II cited in the section on the Moral Life in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
All things are subject to change and becoming never remain constant, but continually pass from one state to another, for better or for worse. Now human life is always subject to change; it needs to be born ever anew. But here birth does not come about by a foreign intervention, as is the case with bodily beings; it is the result of free choice. Thus we are, in a certain sense, our own parents, creating ourselves as we will, by our decisions".

In the Christian world the importance of humanity's ability to choose and the importance of his need to grow in that ability has been grossly set aside as less than important. I disagree. Our need to decide creates within us a need to fellowship with the Father through the Spirit. It creates a need within us for the oneness that God seeks for all of us. This ability needs to be nurtured and allowed to grow or we will forever fall short of the purity we need, the ability to be bold in our testimony, and Kingdom we seek.

Proverbs 31:6-7
31:6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
31:7 Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.

Consider what is being said here. Throughout the ages the use of alcohol (strong drink) has been devastating to people, families, and in some instances a major cause for the downfall of societies, and nations. Yet, God is telling us here that by His design, it has a very valuable use? Is this wrong or are we to believe that alcohol was an integral part of God's perfect creation. Do we now have to accept the idea that the good or the bad in any part of God's creation is determined by the decisions we make and the actions we take? The Apostle Paul opened our eyes to a difficult concept.

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that everyone may receive a reward of the deeds done in the body; things according to what he hath done, whether good or bad.

Paul is bringing to us the concept that our decisions determine the value and the very nature of situations we are faced with. He seems to be saying that the difference between a virtuous act and a corrupt outcome can be determined by our choice. Are we in truth at the center of a creation that challenges us with possibilities we must choose between and decisions we must make? Nephi the son of Lehi offered this concept in his dissertation on the nature of opposition in the world and how it is used by God to redeem man. The conflict begins with the rebellion of Adam and Eve and is resolved in the sacrifice of Christ.


2 Nephi 1:115-120 
1:115 Adam fell, that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
1:116 And the Messiah cometh in the fullness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall.
1:117 And because that they are redeemed from the fall, they have become free for ever, knowing good from evil;
1:118 To act for themselves, and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the Lord, at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.
1:119 Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man.
1:120 And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great mediation of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil:

Understand the importance of all that is written and what it means to us as God's children. Experience truly is the best teacher, because it gives us an intimate knowledge of what we are trying to learn. Though I might not understand starving to death, the pain of hunger is something we have all experienced. In that knowledge we begin to see the true nature of opposition in the world. As we experience fear we gain knowledge of the concept of security. Joy helps me understand sorrow. Like it or not our mistakes very often lead us to the right choice we should have made. Remember, God created us with the ability to decide and a decision to make. That is man's designed nature and the very reason God brought us into a world featuring an opposition in all things. We seek to know the truth within the wisdom of God. It is opposition that allows us to recognize and appreciate truths we might not otherwise understand. We must learn how to choose the truth of God over the lust of the world. We must bring to light by both word and deed the proper use of this talent, to those that seek God.   

2 Nephi 1:122-125 
1:122 And now, my sons, I would that ye should look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments;
1:123 And be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit,
1:124 And not choose eternal death, according to the will of the flesh and the evil which is therein,
1:125 Which giveth the spirit of the devil power to captivate, to bring you down to hell, that he may reign over you in his own kingdom.

There is no doubt that opposition to all things exists in this world. We must understand that to grow in the wisdom of God and righteousness we must learn how to recognize truth and virtue. Does the presence of opposition make our labor hopeless, or did God create this challenge that it might be used as a testimony of God and His Kingdom. Is opposition a necessary tool for our covenant labor, and if so how are we to use it? Is it necessary that we experience all the oppositions of life to gain understanding, or has God given another way? 

As the natural man we seem to have little choice in the way we learn. Experience seems to be the most effective teaching method.

Genesis 6:57 And the Lord spake unto Adam, saying, Inasmuch as thy children are conceived in sin, even so, when they begin to grow up sin conceiveth in their hearts, and they taste the bitter, that they may know to prize the good.

Our covenant with God through Jesus Christ opens a new path for growing and gaining wisdom. I am convinced that by taking on covenant with God and making the decision to become one of God's children we are given another way to grow in God and learn of His ways. Perhaps our oneness with Christ allows us to learn as He learned.

Isaiah 7: 14-15 
7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and shall bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
7:15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and to choose the good.

The opposition in all things still exists, but our faith in God and our trust in His promises give us both God's Holy Spirit to guide us and another path to walk. This concept gained a solid foundation with this promise God made this to His disciples as they reached out with the message of the Gospel. 

Matthew 5:3-4
5:3 Blessed are they who shall believe on me; and again, more blessed are they who shall believe on your words, when ye shall testify that ye have seen me and that I am.
5:4 Yea, blessed are they who shall believe on your words, and come down into the depth of humility, and be baptized in my name; for they shall be visited with fire and the Holy Ghost, and shall receive a remission of their sins.          

In ministering the Gospel to the world, words become all important and the opposition in all things takes on a whole new meaning. Our labor of bringing people to Christ begins as a labor of words. So I will begin there in using examples to open your mind to the resolution opposition can bring within ministry. 

Consider the words lust and virtue. In the world these two words are complete opposites, but in God lust to virtue becomes a path we walk. Now consider affliction and comfort. Some are afflicted by the need to attend church. Others find that same act to be one of comfort. We can begin to see their connection in God. Let's try justice and mercy. Without justice there would be no need for mercy, and without mercy redemption would be impossible and the purpose of God would be unattainable. 

Man in the world is forever beset by need, whereas the presence of God in man's world brings virtue to those condemned by lust, comfort to those burdened by affliction, and mercy for those lost to the demands of justice. Properly utilized this opposition in all things opens the eyes of both believers and unbelievers to God's authority, the authority God created within man, and the faith He has in humanities ability to use that authority correctly. In covenant with God we become a living testimony of God's power to oppose the lies of the adversary and the corruption they foster in the world around us. Each time we choose God's way we bring the light of truth to a world blinded by the darkness of fear and doubt. Our choice to allow the compassion within us to become acts of charity shows the world the true strength of the Spirit within us to overcome all that the adversary has accomplished. Each time we allow the Spirit of God to lead us and work within our lives we testify before the world of a way by which man's understanding can become equal to the demands of God's perfect creation. In fact, opposition creates hope for the restoration of all things. Understand the fullness we seek; opposition in all things creates hope for a world lost to sin. 

2 Nephi 1:114 But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.

We must realize that in our covenant labor we are to be the temporal hand of God. We are to speak His words that temporal man might hear them, and minister to the masses that they might be freed from their bondage to doubt and fear, and we must do it together. We must act in concert with others of like mind that through the Spirit of God we might undo what man has corrupted and open the door for God to reestablish His perfect creation. 

Philippians 2:2 Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

If our labor is to be effective we must offer the world an organized people of one heart, one mind, one purpose, and one God. We must lay aside the confusion of this world and accept into our hearts the concept of one truth that is given to all by the Spirit of God; for He is the one Spirit seeking to reside in the hearts of all who believe. In covenant with the Father, that same Spirit resides in the heart of all His children and brings to them a singular purpose that serves to create unity. The Spirit that resides in me is the same that resides in you, and is the same that resides in all who covenant with the Father. We must fast from our own self-reliance and allow the Spirit within to nourish us and sustain us in our efforts together. That in truth is our only path to the oneness, God seeks for His children.  

Isaiah 58:6-8 
58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
58:7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
58:8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward.

Understand all that is being given and you will praise God for the wisdom of opposition in all things. We do not battle opposition that we might become stronger within ourselves. We battle that we might create the unity of oneness. In oneness with each other, opposition ceases. In oneness with the Spirit we grow together and become hope for a world lost in a tangled web of many opinions, many laws, and many Gods. In oneness with the Father through His Spirit we become a sanctuary for those lost to the corruption of indecision, fear, and doubt. 

God truly did give us the ability to decide. Not only that, He gave us a decision to make. 

It's time for us to grow.


Leave a Reply