While teaching his son, Jacob, Lehi iterates some essential truths of the great Plan of Salvation. He shows us the need for opposition and Adam’s Fall. Along with these we explore the power of having a choice of trees to partake of give to Adam and Eve. This stands as a glorious metaphor to each of us. We all have the power of choice. This agency is given to all of us to empower us and help us to progress to our eternal reward.
Every day I wake up I am faced with an immediate decision, do I remain within the warm sheets of my bed and doze back off into a dreamland or do I act and get up and seize the day that lies ahead of me? Here, I am faced with an opportunity to act or be acted upon. It only begins here. The rest of my day is a manifestation of choices where I can either act or be acted upon.
Father Lehi teaches us that God created “both things to act and things to be acted upon” (2 Nephi 2:14). I can grab a stone and skip it across the lake and it can’t do anything about it. It was created to be acted upon. However, I am a man and “The Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself.” (2 Nephi 2:16) This is the agency of man. I have power to decide and act. With this God given trait I should never want to squander it away. I ought to wake up, get out of the covers and choose to do something more with my day.
We each have the power to be in control of our lives. If we give ourselves over to vices then we lose this ability to act. This is why we are counseled to be free from addictions. While under the influence of addiction it becomes difficult to make our own choices.
As we act and pursue good things through prayer, meditation, service) and wholesome choices we find freedom and power to act. We are much less susceptible to being influenced by our emotions. We are in control. I have experienced this in my own life.
Throughout my life I have struggled with controlling my temper and emotions at times. Too often I allowed myself to be acted upon. Over the years I have recognized this and made a concerted effort to act and learn to be in control of my thoughts and emotions. I have learned to find calm as I give myself to daily prayer, pondering of the scriptures, running, yoga, and meditation. I have learned to channel and control these things. I have learned to better act instead of being acted upon. I am working to teach my son the very same things as I witness his struggle to act at times.
As we learn to act then we are better humans. Draw upon the grace of Jesus Christ and His power to help you better act and stop letting the little things, and even the big, act upon you. Apply your agency and choose to act righteously.