Sunday, October 24, 2010
Agency and Choice
In the pre-mortal world of spirits, the great Michael was chosen to come and represent all of us, and by our signing onto the plan, Michael represented each of us vicariously.
In Hebrew, Adam (אדם) means “man” and means “human.”<1> We are all Adams, following the path of the fall and redemption of our father Adam. In Hebrew the phrase “the man” is the word “the Adam” (חאדם). Michael’s spirit was breathed into a body on earth, and his earthly name was Adam. This was true with Adam with his mate Eve. They were introduced into a garden that represented a Terrestrial Glory.
Pursuant to the Covenant of Creation Adam and Eve were given their agency, “...in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency.” (Moses 7:32) God gave this agency specifically to Adam and Eve, and that gift extended to all humanity since they represented all men and women.
Agency is not the same as free choice. The concept of free choice implies a choice without repercussions. If a person meets a beggar on the street and is asked for charity the person may choose to give or not give, but if the possible donor has made a covenant to give to the poor, he is an agent of that covenant and can’t withhold charity without a violation of the covenant.
God deals with man, and builds a relationship with man, by covenants, one covenant upon another, till a full reconciliation is achieved. Adam and the rest of humanity were never given “free choice,” we were given agency, and the choice to choose to keep our covenants, or turn away from them.
We all entered into the Covenant of Creation, and thereby accepted Adam as our representatives before God in the garden. This was a family event, our father Adam and his children. Adam was given commandments that defined the limits of his agency. Adam and Eve received the two commandments, one that Adam and Eve remain together, and second, that they do not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
A part of true agency is choice. Within the garden humanity was given agency and the choice to keep the agency or turn away from it. Without the choice to keep our agency or not, the purposes of the Covenant of Creation can not be met. “And to bring about his eternal [Covenant of Creation] purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter.” “Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself.
Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.” (2 Nephi 2:15 & 16)
In this life we have choice and agency, and we should understand each.
<1> Strongs Hebrew #120