By Utah National Parks Council
Dec 19, 2013

Twelve Days of Christmas: Day 6 – A Scout is Obedient

The seventh attribute in the Scout Law is to be obedient.

A Scout is obedient. He is dutiful. He is faithful. He is law-abiding.

Obedience is a choice! It is not something that should be forced on anyone.

fearFear and paranoia are used as tools of the adversary to deceive the hearts of parents. Men in particular use unrighteousness dominion to ensure the safety and salvation of their family.This is exhibited through control of their children and spouses. As with all temptation the control begins in small ways with the parent convinced that they are protecting their children from the evil influences of the world. It soon begins to appear effective and the control grows and sprouts until every aspect of the children and spouse become submerged and suppressed.

In the premortal state Satan presented a plan where not one soul would be lost. Satan informed the Father that through control all children would return to the Father and as his reward he wanted the glory and power.

Many believe that Satan’s plan had one great attribute- that not one soul would be lost. They fantasize of the joy of returning and not being lost. But as with everything the adversary proposes this plan was a lie and a deception. “And whatsoever is more or less than this [the plan of salvation] is the spirit of that wicked one who was a liar from the beginning.” (D&C 93:25). Under Satan’s plan every soul returned to the Father would have been lost.

Agency is a central feature of the soul in order for the soul to receive light. Without light the soul will die and whither away into nothing.

“Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.  All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence. Behold, here is the agency of man…” [1]

Indeed, agency is a law in heaven. Without it God cannot exist.

The War in Heaven continues to be fought. The battle continues between control or agency. Men who exercise control over their families are being deceived into thinking that they are saving the souls of their children. Instead, they are promulgating the plan of the adversary and destroying the souls of their children. For Satan taketh away light and truth. [2]

The Lord has commanded us to bring up our children in light and truth. [3]  It is light and truth that drives out the adversary. [4] Children and women who are not allowed to exercise their agency dwell in darkness. They are unable to grow in intelligence.

Moreover, men who exercise unrighteous dominion succeed only in weakening the spirits of their wives and children so that they are ill prepared to face the difficult challenges that will be thrown at them. Our spirits were not created to be controlled and another’s will forced upon us. We are to act, not to be acted upon. [5]

obedience 2From the beginning, in the premortal existence a Savior stepped forward and offered himself as a sacrifice to atone for the mistakes the Father knew we would make. A way was prepared for us to learn good from evil and to be given an opportunity to choose for ourselves. So important was our agency that a third of the Father’s children were lost before a single spirit came to this earth. And He did not stop them although He had the power to do so.

It is the Atonement that grants us our agency. The Atonement is not just for the sinner. It was a complete sacrifice that allows us to make choices. It protects our children from the wrong choices they make. As a parent, we want to protect our children from harm, from sin. But we cannot do so at the price of destroying their spirits. The Savior sacrificed himself and gave himself as an offering to satisfy the demands of justice. He stepped in to save us and our children from sin. His is the only name whereby we can be saved.

And when a child sins, as parents we need to reach out in love and support and help them go through the repentance process and get back on the path that will lead them to salvation. Children have the right to be born to righteous parents who teach them correct principles and allow them to choose the Savior’s plan. The decision we made in the premortal world to follow the Savior is a decision that we repeat every day of our lives.

This is the plan we chose. As parents we can teach, support, pray, love, and never give up on our children. We can bring light into their lives but we cannot save them. Only the atonement can save them if they choose it.

On the sixth day of Christmas a Scout celebrates his agency, his right to choose to be obedient. He recognizes the joy that comes from making his own choices and never seeks to take away the agency of others.

Merry Christmas!

Author: Heidi Sanders | Marketing & PR Director, Utah National Parks Council

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References

1. See D&C 93:29-31.

2. See D&C 93: 39.

3. See D&C 93: 40.

4. See D&C 93:37.

5. See 2 Nephi 2:26.

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