Man Standing in Woods

Why Choice Matters

In order to more fully experience joy in this world, we must choose to live the gospel and follow Christ.

In today’s world, it’s easy to prioritize choices that will help us either fit in or avoid notice, but that’s not what living the gospel is really about. As Elder D. Todd Christofferson explains in his BYU commencement address “Preserving and Promoting Agency,” when we choose to live by the moral truths found in the light of the gospel, we receive joy, peace, and ultimately eternal life. But it’s not just about doing good things; to really reap the fullness of benefits in store for us, we must make an actual, conscious choice to follow Christ and live his gospel. While we will always receive some blessings for doing good, totally committing to the Savior is what will bring a fullness of blessings into our lives.

Silhouette of road sign during golden hour

Photo by Javier Allegue Barros

As followers of Christ, we cannot simply try to avoid using our agency in ways that might not be popular with others. We are to be a light unto the world (see 3 Nephi 18:24) and to help spread the gospel, and we can’t do that by only making choices that won’t draw any attention to us; people will inevitably notice when we live the gospel. In order to receive all the blessings and joy from Christ’s gospel, we must choose what is right, even if it is not popular.

Elder Christofferson also shares that many people in today’s world, especially young adults, underappreciate the importance and value of agency and accountability. I think part of this is due to our desire to make choices that will help us fit in. But if we choose only what’s popular within our peer group, rather than making an independent decision, we become subject to the whims of the group, which limits our agency. In contrast, consciously choosing to follow Christ and his gospel empowers us by giving us more freedom to choose. That is why agency matters so much; when we truly use it, especially to make good choices and to choose moral truths, we will experience not only greater joy and peace, but also greater freedom. When we base our choices on either going with the crowd or avoiding notice, we are stifling the joy and freedom that God has in store for us.

Read more about the power of choice and how it can help you feel more joy by reading “Preserving and Promoting Agency” by D. Todd Christofferson.

Source: BYU Speeches

—Parker Cook, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights 

If you enjoyed this article, read more about choosing to follow Christ in order to have a fullness of joy in “Seasons of Choice,” by Randall W. Boothe.

Gain more insights about the importance of choice and how it can impact our lives by reading “Agency and Context,” by Claudia J. Clayton


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