"Freedom to Choose"
Our freedom to choose is so important. We are told through the scriptures that Agency has been given to us from the very beginning. We were able to choose to come down to earth and to get a body or to follow the plan that Satan had proposed in our pre-earth life. Agency was the principle issue that we fought over in our pre-earth life. Satan's plan was to take away our agency from the beginning and to force us to return to live with God again. Agency is the thing that makes this life a time of testing. It is what allows us to make choices and to either follow what Christ would have us do or to follow what Satan would have us do. An analogy that I really like comes from the manual, it says, "When we follow the temptations of Satan, we limit our choices. The following example suggests how this works. Imagine seeing a sign on the seashore that reads: 'Danger—whirlpool. No swimming allowed here.' We might think that is a restriction. But is it? We still have many choices. We are free to swim somewhere else. We are free to walk along the beach and pick up seashells. We are free to watch the sunset. We are free to go home. We are also free to ignore the sign and swim in the dangerous place. But once the whirlpool has us in its grasp and we are pulled under, we have very few choices. We can try to escape, or we can call for help, but we may drown." We are told how to escape the grasp of Satan many times in the scriptures. We are told to "watch and pray continually," as we do that we will be able to overcome the temptations of Satan and be able to make correct choices.