I Choose the Good, But Not Because God Wants Me To
One of my two favorite musical groups is Rush. Why they are not in the rock and roll hall of fame yet, I'll never know. Nearly every one of their songs is a sermon. On of the best of their sermons is entitled "Free Will". Part of it goes like this:
You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice.For sure, God, the "celestial voice," wants us to use our free will to choose good. But if we choose good because he wants us to, we're not completely using our free will, or what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints calls our "agency".
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.
You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill;
I will choose a path that's clear
I will choose freewill.
Heber C Kimball, an apostle in the LDS Church, taught:
The time will come when no man nor woman will be able to endure on borrowed light. Each will have to be guided by the light within himself. If you do not have it, how can you stand?
For a time it's okay for us to rely on the testimonies of our parents and church leaders as to the truthfulness of the LDS Church and gospel. But if that's all we ever do, we'll never reach our full potential.
LDS Church president John Taylor once said that "As man is God once was. As God is, man may become."
Joseph Smith taught this doctrine in greater detail:
[God] was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ Himself did... Here, then, is eternal life: to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, the same as all Gods have done before you-namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace...
To become Gods ourselves, we can't choose the good simply because God wants us to. We have to choose it because the potential God within us wants to. That's why I choose free will.