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Poor exercising of agency leads to personal bondage

"Through the exercise of their agency more people have come to political, economic and personal bondage than to liberty," said President Marion G. Romney of the First Presidency at the October 1981 general conference.

"The Nephites, for example, at one time, by the exercise of their agency, brought themselves to such a state of affairs that their only course led to political bondage. This they did while living under a government providing for the freest exercise of agency."President Romney quoted Hel. 5:2: " . . . their laws and their governments were established by the voice of the people, and they who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good, therefore they were ripening for destruction, for the laws had become corrupted."

"Under these circumstances," President Romney said, "they chose as rulers wicked men, who would certainly destroy their political liberties, to replace righteous men who had in the past protected and preserved those liberties and would have continued to do so in the future."

He told of the Egyptians who, instead of using their agency to provide for themselves, depended upon the government. When famine came, they had to purchase food from the government, using their money, their livestock, and had to sell themselves into slavery. (See Gen. 41:54-56; 47:13-26.)

"The further one goes in the making of wrong decisions in the exercise of free agency, the more difficult it is for him to recover the lost ground. One can, by persisting long enough, reach the point of no return. He then becomes an abject slave. . . .

"Samuel the Lamanite prophet, speaking to those who so persisted, said: `In the days of your poverty, ye shall cry unto the Lord . . . O that we had remembered the Lord our God in the day that he gave us our riches. . . . ' " (Hel. 13:32-33.)

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