A knowledge of good and evil is the third element of agency. The first is choice, which is obtained by having two or more options. The second is freedom, which is obtained by having different results from the options. Agency is having choice with freedom as is provided by different results, and then having a knowledge of those results.
Some people perceive laws to be restrictive. However, laws do not restrict. They simply designate what is good and evil; what is permitted and not permitted; what is legal and illegal; what is possible and impossible. Laws attach consequences to decisions. Without laws, different decisions could not result in different consquences, resulting in no freedom. If a man insists that some laws restrict him, then he must also admit that other laws enable him. All things that are invented or created are accomplished only because laws make them possible. All things are goverrned and accomplished by laws, whether physical, social, or spiritual. Freedom, therefore, cannot be a place or condition without law. The fact is laws do not limit freedom. Laws actualy make possible the condition of freedom. It is law that makes us free: "I, the Lord God, make you free, therefore ye are free indeed; and the law also maketh you free".
"Now we see coming into focus the responsibility to choose, that inevitable crisis at the crossroads of life. He who would lead you down waits patiently for a dark night, a wavering will, a confused conscience, a mixed-up mind. Are you prepared to make the decisions at the crossroads? I can't stress too strongly that decisions determine destiny. You can't make eternal decisions without eternal consequences."
We do not go to Sabbath meetings to be entertained or even solely to be instructed. We go to worship the Lord. It is an individual responsibility, and regardless of what is said from the pulpit, if one wishes to worship the Lord in spirit and truth, he may do so by attending his meetings, partaking of the sacrament, and contemplating the beauties of the gospel. If the service is a failure to you, you have failed. No one can worship for you.
Faith is not only a feeling; it is a decision.
It was ever thus. The price of leadership is loneliness. The price of adherence to conscience is loneliness. The price of adherence to principle is loneliness. I think it is inescapable. The Savior of the world was a Man who walked in loneliness. I do not know of any statement more underlined with the pathos of loneliness than His statement: “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20).
There is no lonelier picture in history than of the Savior upon the cross, alone, the Redeemer of mankind, the Savior of the world, bringing to pass the Atonement, the Son of God suffering for the sins of mankind. As I think of that, I reflect on a statement made by Channing Pollock:
Judas with his thirty pieces of silver was a failure. Christ on the cross was the greatest figure of time and eternity.
Before you joined this Church you stood on neutral ground. When the gospel was preached good and evil were set before you. You could choose either or neither. There were two opposite masters inviting you to serve them. When you joined this Church you enlisted to serve God. When you did that you left the neutral ground, and you never can get back on to it. Should you forsake the Master you enlisted to serve, it will be by the instigations of the evil one, and you will follow his dictation and be his servant.
At the first organization in heaven we were all present and saw the Savior chosen and appointed and the plan of salvation made, and we sanctioned it.
We also know that any commandment by God involves agency. We can obey or disobey, but there is always a choice. When the Lord uses the command form of the verb love in "Thou shalt love thy wife with all they heart, and shall cleave unto her and none else" (D&C 42:22), He is not leaving this love in Cupid's hands. His commandment is a directive, not to the heart, but with the heart, and to the mind with an expectation of thought, reasoning, decision making and obedience--you can't fall out of love if it's a commandment to stay in love.