Applying the scriptures: Man can choose path but not consequences

"When others give you advice, have you ever said, `I just don't believe the way you do. Those are your standards and your principles. I have my own'?" asked Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve at the October 1992 general conference.

"Please understand that no one can change truth. Rationalization, overpowering self-interest, all of the arguments of

men, anger, or self-will cannot change truth. Satan knows that, so he tries to create an atmosphere where one unwittingly begins to feel that he can not only choose what to do, but can determine what is right to do. Satan strives to persuade us to live outside truth by rationalizing our actions as the right of choice.

"But our Eternal Father defined truth and established what is right and wrong before the creation of this earth. He also fixed the consequences of obedience and disobedience to those truths. He defended our right to choose our path in life so that we would grow, develop, and be happy, but we do not have the right to choose the consequences of our acts. Those who willfully, consistently disobey His commandments will inevitably learn that truth. Joseph Smith was inspired to record, `When we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.' (D&C 130:21.)

"Please understand, no one has the privilege to choose what is right. God reserved that prerogative to Himself. Our agency does allow us to choose among alternate paths, but then we are bound to the consequence God has decreed. Later, if we don't like where the path takes us, the only out is through repentance.

"Our Heavenly Father gave us truth, some as statements of cause and effect. We call them commandments. They guide our life to happiness. He knew that Satan would try to persuade some to live without fixed standards in life so that decisions would be based on current circumstances, what appears convenient, or what provides the greatest personal return. In this way, Satan removes the power of truth from one's life so he can take that soul captive."

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