No matter what age we are, decisions are constantly before us. Fortunately, we have a wonderful gift of agency. For those who don’t understand this term, agency is the freedom to choose. We are able to experience ‘…opposition in all things…’ (2 Nephi 2:27) of which allows us to make choices in order for us to learn and progress in this life.
I have learned through various talks that ultimately our choices fall into two categories: God with an eternal perspective that ultimately leads to freedom, or Satan with an earth life perspective that ultimately leads to captivity. But as President Monson said in the conference talk The three R’s of choice, ‘We cannot be neutral; there is no middle ground’. And with that how true, for Mark 3:25 says ‘a house divided against itself cannot stand’.
For myself I know which way I face, however it becomes more difficult when we replace Satan with man as he can actually be the influence of family or friends that we hold so close to our hearts. In saying that, I would like to focus on something, a weakness of my own which is that sometimes I really struggle with standing up for my morals, values and beliefs; and I don’t mean falling to the pressure of man but more so speaking up, standing up for my choices (being accountable). Not just expecting my presence to speak louder than words. Since I have been called to Young Women’s, I have become particularly aware of the was the YW motto and a oh so relevant paragraph, with the stand out line to being “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9). That really resonated with me as I realised that I am a disciple of Christ and that was my choice.
It’s a choice we all have in common; that we choose to be here, to come to church, to renew our covenants, ones that we all individually made with our Heavenly Father. And so with that, be proud of that, stand up for it, express to people that you went to church on Sunday. Explain our basic beliefs. Keep doing it no matter what age as you may soften someone’s heart and end up strengthening their life. I took responsibility for my choice, my choice of choosing God and with that, doesn’t that make me accountable ?
I have seen all over the church’s Facebook page the topic of courage and so I want to share with you two steps of courageous accountability. They are supposed to be used in business, but I thought they were relevant.
- Be an owner, not a renter. Be an owner of the results, even when they’re not what you–and others–had hoped they would be. Remember, it’s not an effort contest. If you put in a lot of effort, but you still can’t deliver what you promised, be accountable for those results. Own the results.
- Never make excuses. Don’t try to talk your way out of a commandment you’ve broken. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Own up to it and learn from it – whether as an individual leader or as a leader of others.
Accountability isn’t always easy and those hard times will always be there and it can be difficult to face the consequences – especially at times where we have a faced with many trials, when we are vulnerable. In those times, I assure you that Satan will always be there- but so will Christ. And Light always overcomes darkness.
So I’d like to leave you with hopefully the desire to hold yourself accountable for all the choices you make and remember who you are and what you stand for, as decisions can be made easier if you know your values. Victim or Victorious – Your choice !