God’s ‘magnificent gift’

PROVO, Utah — Sisters of the Church can use their agency to arise as women of God, Sharon G. Larsen declared at the closing session of the 2000 BYU Women's Conference April 28 at the Marriott Center. Sister Larsen, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, was the keynote speaker along with her sister, Ardeth G. Kapp, former Young Women general president. (See related article.)

Sister Larsen explained that agency is a "magnificent gift from God" that "comes with endless opportunities, accompanied by responsibility and consequences. Making good choices and acting on them increases our capacity to exercise our agency. Making bad choices and acting on them limits that capacity, even though we still possess our agency. But agency is not free! We are responsible for the choices we make and the consequences are inseparably connected."

Continuing, she explained: "The cycle of choice, action, consequences; choice, action, consequences affects our character and our life experiences. Every day and every decision determines the next. It is being able to choose righteously that helps us to grow up. Using agency, in harmony with God's will, helps us learn about ourselves. It teaches us what the Lord already knows about us.

"Have you noticed through the chain of life's choices, actions and consequences that either consciously or subconsciously you are choosing to become the victim? Either because of a rebellious family member or other circumstances beyond your control or your own guilt, you are feeling like a victim of some misdeeds.

"As difficult as it might be, we never have to be the victims. As sisters in Zion, we are not only choosing for ourselves. How good are our choices for someone else? We shape the world in more ways than we know when we see the possibilities in the ordinariness of the present."

Toward the conclusion of her address, Sister Larsen added: "I testify that He will make you strong to carry the weight placed upon you. Let Him heal your broken heart and broken dreams."