I am not a perfect person. I will admit that right now to you the reader. The reason that I am not a perfect person is because I have made poor decisions in my life. But it’s those decisions that are an essential part of the plan of salvation. God sent his children to the earth, to learn and to grow. The biggest part of growing in every one’s lives is choosing the right. Another word for this is agency. It is our agency that makes us who we are, it gives us the ability to choose, the ability to grow from every choice, good or bad.
Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down (Moses 4:3).
What will we do with that agency? That’s simple, we will make mistakes and we will learn from them, as well as make right decisions and learn from those as well. What we decide to do with that agency will bring us closer or further from the Lord.
When I was in Army, choosing to do what was right was not always the easiest choice. It prevented me from forming friendships with others, made me a sort of outcast in some groups, and set me at a higher standard than others. Many of the females in my unit tried to get me to drink on more than one occasion. Their view was that since I was goofy sober, I would be the funniest drunk they had ever seen. My choice to not do as they asked me was difficult, because they believed that I was saying no, because I was scared. My choice lowered and raised my reputation in different ways. I was seen as the “Molly Mormon” and therefore was shunned by many of my peers, because they believed that I was going to judge them or report their actions to the sergeants. At the same time, I was an example to some, and was respected for sticking to my convictions, as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
There was a time in my training that I made the wrong decision and will forever regret it. My friends and I went to the movies, looking to see a certain movie we had talked about for a few weeks. When we got to the theater, the movie was sold out. We didn’t want to go back to the barracks, so we decided to watch another movie called “Hostage.” We didn’t know what the movie was about, but I did know that it was rated R. The Mormon Church advices to not watch rated R movies, because of the content in them. The content that is in rated R movies can diminish the spirit. My first bad decision was to watch the movie, despite its rating. The beginning part of the movie had an excess of pornographic material in it, followed by graphic and horrific scenes. My second bad decision, was to stay in the theater, even though I could feel the spirit diminish around me. I didn’t want to leave my friends, and I didn’t want to seem like I was scared, so I stayed in my seat, eyes closed and covered for most of the movie.
The content of that movie has stuck with me for many years after my training. I regret my decision to not speak up when I knew that watching an R movie would not be a good idea, and I regret that I was not strong enough to walk out of the theater when I saw the content. But I don’t regret the lessons that I learned from that night. I don’t regret that I became stronger and was able to say no to other things in my future dealings with my fellow comrades. We learn from our choices, whether they are good or bad. Everything that we do with our agency, determines where we end up after we have completed our time here on earth. We learn from our mistakes, learn from the right choices that we make. We study and grow in knowledge that will help us make the right decisions in the future.