I was reading a book the other day when I came across this passage:
“What’s the difference, being a pawn for the light or a pawn for the dark?”
“There is a great difference,” he said softly. “One difference is for the Dark, certainly, you are a pawn. For the light, you are a free human being, free to make mistakes, to do wrong, even. You are free to choose, whether or not you believe it.”
“Funny idea of freedom.”
“It is the difference between commitment and slavery.” He said. “Between working for what you hope for and believe in the depths of your heart, and what someone else forces you to do.”1
As soon as I finished reading it I just thought, wow! From this obscure fantasy novel, I had found a perfect summary of my recent thoughts, especially to why I choose to be an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Recently, I have been hearing and seeing a lot on social media or through friends that they don’t understand why anyone would go to church and do what “these old men” are telling us to do, claiming that we are being brainwashed or coerced, and I just want to say that that’s simply not true. By making my decision in the pre-mortal existence to come to this earth I had already fought the first battle of choosing freedom over slavery, and I am continuing to fight the battle against Satan every day here on earth. Every choice we make is either leading us towards better things or worse things, and once Satan has control of you, he is never going to let go, at least not easily.
I like what Joseph B. Wirthlin says,
“You are not free to choose the consequences. With absolute certainty, choices of good and right lead to happiness and peace, while choices of sin and evil eventually lead to unhappiness, sorrow, and misery.”
By following the gospel I have seen the many ways my life is better. By following the word of wisdom and other such guidance from church leaders and the Holy Ghost, I have saved myself from falling into the pains of addiction, self-harm, disease, and who knows what else. And yes, choosing to follow what the lord has told me to do is not always easy, and it’s a lot of times harder than other choices; however, the end results of making these choices, I know through personal experience and others, leads to an easier and happier life. A life that I will try to make good choices for every day.
The question I now have to ask myself is- how often am I yielding to the spirit to help make me make those best decisions. I choose happiness, I choose eternal life, and I choose to follow my church leaders and the savior, because I choose freedom.
1. The Naming by Alison Croggon