FHE: Agency

by | Mar. 07, 2011


Conference Talk:
For more information on this topic read "Agency: Essential to the Plan of Life", by Robert D. Hales, Ensign, Nov. 2010, 24–27.

Our agency—our ability to choose and act for ourselves—was an essential element of this plan. Without agency we would be unable to make right choices and progress. Yet with agency we could make wrong choices, commit sin, and lose the opportunity to be with Heavenly Father again.

(Robert D. Hales, "Agency: Essential to the Plan of Life", Ensign, Nov. 2010, 24–274.)

“Know This That Every Soul Is Free,” Hymns, #240

Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they 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; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself. (2 Nephi 2:27)

On a large sheet of paper, write the following statement by the Prophet Joseph Smith (see Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 181): “The devil has no _____ ____ __ ____ __ __ ______ ___.” Write the following words (the rest of the Joseph Smith statement) on separate strips of paper and mix them up: “power,” “over,” “us,” “only,” “as,” “we,” “permit,” “him.” Invite your family to reassemble the individual words in a way that they think best finishes the Prophet’s statement. Ask:
• What does this statement by Joseph Smith teach you about the excuse “The devil made me do it”?
• Why is it important to know we have power to act and choose for ourselves? (See 2 Nephi 2:27.)
• When have you seen Satan use peer pressure to get people today to make bad choices?
• How does allowing the devil such power affect our ability to make correct choices?

Challenge your family to think seriously about some of their recent choices and where they might lead. Have them think of ways they can prevent the devil from having power over them in their personal lives.

(Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Old Testament, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2009], p. 7.)

Safely in West Berlin
President Nathan Eldon Tanner

I should like to share with you an experience I had while in West Berlin which made me even more conscious of the contrast and appreciate more fully what our freedom and free agency mean. I met a young man, a member of the Church, who had his bandaged arm (an arm without a hand) in a sling. Through an interpreter I expressed my concern and sympathy, and this is his story:

While living in East Berlin with his wife and two children, and working in a factory in West Berlin his hand was so badly crushed that it had to be amputated. The shock and loss of blood before reaching the hospital almost cost him his life. While he was in this condition, they sent for his wife and children. At the time they were visiting him there, restrictions were imposed preventing any citizen's leaving East Berlin. This meant that he and his family were safely in West Berlin, where they planned to stay and make their home. He said, "To be out from under that domination and to be here where we can enjoy our freedom and be with the Church makes us feel that the loss of my hand was a blessing in disguise."

(Leon R. Hartshorn, Outstanding Stories by General Authorities, vol. 1, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 19706], p. 212.)

Give everyone a sheet of paper and have them make a paper airplane. See which ones fly the farthest, highest, loopiest, etc.


This is one classic candy that will never go out of style. This recipe is so easy and forgiving—it’s a great candy for those who might feel nervous about whipping out that candy thermometer.

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 cups light corn syrup
2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine butter, sugar, corn syrup, and 1 cup whipping cream in a large, heavy stockpot. cook over medium-low heat, stirring gently, until sugar dissolves.

Turn heat to medium and cook until candy thermometer reaches 224 degrees F., stirring occasionally. Stir in the remaining 1 cup whipping cream. Continue to cook over medium heat until thermometer registers 245 degrees F. (soft ball stage). Add vanilla.

Pour mixture into a greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Cool overnight and then cut into squares. Wrap individually in wax paper.

(Sara Wells and Kate Jones, Our Best Bites, [Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 2011] p. 253.)

*For a printable pdf, click here.
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