Life, with its many choices, is kind of like that. The truth is, the more information we know about how a specific choice could likely affect us, the better decision we tend to make. The problems begin when we choose to not think about consequences before we act. Teenagers tend to do this -- a lot. That's why they tend to have so many problems. And of course, the rest of us are not immune to this behavior either.
In the raising of my five children, I had one in particular, who was determined for a season, to live life ignoring that there are consequences for choices. I barely survived. For most of us, at least I think, we generally accept this principle and in making a negative choice, pretty much accept that we're walking on thin ice, so to speak. Not my child. Later, as a responsible adult, this child confessed to me that a conscience choice was made, at the time, to completely disregard and ignore all possible consequences to behavior. The theory followed -- that if considered, the choice to have "fun" in the moment would not have been made. And fun was the objective.
At first thought, we might be surprised at such a blatant decision. At the time, I was. But then again, am I not doing the same thing when I order that cheeseburger, knowing full well that I will most likely gain weight? In a strange kind of way, this process of learning through our choices, good or bad, causes me to feel gratitude. The point being, that through our own choices, we come to learn what is good and what is not good. Another wonderful result of this process, and probably the most important of all, is that eventually, we learn to trust God.
Eve, expressed similar feelings about what her and Adam had learned, through their life's experiences in choice making...
"Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient." (Moses 5:11)
Returning to my child... When very small, I taught the principle of agency with clarity. Perhaps a little too well. This child had a clear understanding that the right to make personal choices was God-given -- not mom given. As a young mother, I recognized how empowering this was to this particular child -- who on occasion, used this knowledge against me. I was often reminded that choice belonged to the child. Little did I fully understand at the time, but that the consequences of those choices, of which involved much learning for all of us -- would ultimately be what brought that wayward child running straight back into the arms of God!
Learning to exercise our faith, and trust God, is a sign of spiritual maturity. There is nothing blind about it. God's ways are proven. If we desire happiness in our lives, then we must make choices that result in happiness. It is impossible to have joy and happiness in this life, if our choices are contrary to God's commandments. We may experience temporary "fun" and even enjoy what we are doing for a time, but the natural consequences of poor choices will always find there way into our lives --- regardless of immediate distortions of what happiness is.
As we learn to trust God, we are more inclined to listen and follow His Prophets. As members of His Church, Mormons accept the inspired and loving counsel from living prophets. Their messages are timely for our day and are meant to lead us in the path of righteousness.
Mormon Messages newest video, features strong counsel about the consequences of pornography, from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's talk Place No More for the Enemy of My Soul.
Watch Your Step