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|Title||"Wherefore, Ye Are Free": How the Plan of Salvation Ensures Perfect Agency and Accountability|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2015|
|Authors||Sherry, Thomas E.|
|Journal||Religious Educator: Perspectives on the Restored Gospel|
|Keywords||Agency; Doctrine and Covenants 93:30-31; Eternal Life; Knowledge; Opposition; Plan of Happiness; Plan of Salvation|
Essential to God’s “great plan of happiness” that enables the glorious possibility of life eternal in his presence is both the necessity and assurance of absolute freedom to choose our eternal fate, and thus from the very beginning God placed us in a “sphere to act for ourselves” in the great saga of eternal progression (see D&C 93:30-31). In the heavenly plan, “agency is absolutely central to our ability to learn and to make correct choices, making it possible to return to our Heavenly Father.” How did God ensure unfettered agency and thus create an equitable sphere for us to act in as we choose our eternal destiny? We are especially grateful for the Book of Mormon's contribution on this critical subject, as it describes the key elements needed to have moral agency: knowledge, opposition, enticement, time, and accountability. This paper explores each of these elements and why all are necessary in God's plan of salvation.
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