What the Church Teaches about Agency

Thomas S. Monson, “Choices,” Apr. 2016 general conference

May we ever choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong.

“The Fulness of the Gospel: Agency,” Ensign or Liahona, Mar. 2006

“A basic tenet of Christianity is that God has given His children free will, the ability and privilege to choose. But the concept of agency, taught in the Book of Mormon and by latter-day prophets and apostles in concert with other gospel truths, is a doctrine rich in power and eternal in its implications.”

“Agency Is Essential to Our Eternal Progress,” Ensign or Liahona, June 2010

“Our Heavenly Father has given us agency. This ability to choose for ourselves is an essential part of the plan of salvation.”

Robert D. Hales, “Agency: Essential to the Plan of Life,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010

“Agency is to act with accountability and responsibility for our actions. Our agency is essential to the plan of salvation. With it we are 'free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil.' ”

Robert D. Hales, “To Act for Ourselves: The Gift and Blessings of Agency,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2006

“Agency used righteously allows light to dispel the darkness and enables us to live with joy and happiness.”

Wolfgang H. Paul, “The Gift of Agency,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2006

“As we obey our Heavenly Father’s commandments, our faith increases, we grow in wisdom and spiritual strength, and it becomes easier for us to make right choices.”

“Agency and Accountability,” in For the Strength of Youth

“Your Heavenly Father has given you agency, the ability to choose right from wrong and to act for yourself. You have been given the Holy Ghost to help you know good from evil. While you are here on earth, you are being proven to see if you will use your agency to show your love for God by keeping His commandments.”

“Freedom to Choose,” in Gospel Principles Manual

Chapter 4 in the Gospel Principles manual provides a basic overview of the principle of agency.

Donald L. Hallstrom, “Using Agency Wisely,” Ensign or Liahona, Jan. 2006

“Moral agency, the ability to choose for oneself, is fundamental to our Heavenly Father’s great plan of happiness. As the Lord told Adam, 'It is given unto [thy children] to know good from evil; wherefore they are agents unto themselves' (Moses 6:56).”

Charles W. Dahlquist II, “18 Ways to Stand Strong,” Ensign or Liahona, Oct. 2008

“Choose righteousness and happiness, no matter what your circumstances. Take responsibility for the choices you make. Develop your abilities and talents, and use them for good. Avoid idleness and be willing to work hard.”

M. Russell Ballard, “O That Cunning Plan of the Evil One,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010

“The battle over man’s God-given agency continues today.”

Thomas S. Monson, “Choose You This Day,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2004

“The choices we make determine our destiny.”

James E. Faust, “The Forces That Will Save Us,” Ensign or Liahona, Jan. 2007

“Our agency, given us through the plan of our Father, is the great alternative to Satan’s plan of force. With this sublime gift, we can grow, improve, progress, and seek perfection. Without agency, none of us could grow and develop by learning from our mistakes and errors and those of others.”

David A. Bednar, “Did You Know?” Ensign or Liahona, Sept. 2009

“The fundamental purposes for the gift of agency were to love one another and to choose God.”

M. Russell Ballard, “Be Wise,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2006

“Because the eternal principle of agency gives us the freedom to choose and think for ourselves, we should become increasingly able to solve problems. We may make the occasional mistake, but as long as we are following gospel principles and guidelines, we can learn from those mistakes and become more understanding of others and more effective in serving them.”

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “On the Wings of Eagles,” Ensign or Liahona, July 2006

“You have agency, and you are free to choose. But there is actually no free agency. Agency has its price. You have to pay the consequences of your choices.”