Wednesday, September 10, 2014

D&C 101:78 -- On Responsibility and Happiness

"That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment."
D&C 101:78

The idea that we are accountable for our own sins is made clear in many scriptures, and here and elsewhere it sounds like something that God carefully set up, almost like a gift to us.  We don't usually see it that way though... we like to think that sins are someone else's fault.  Someone taunted us into it, tempted us, society is set up that way, we were born with the gene or the inclination, or even the devil made us do it.  It couldn't actually be our responsibility, could it?  Except, from the scriptures, it sure seems to be.
Judgment belongs to God, and I definitely am not saying that I know where all the lines of responsibility are for all sins.  I just think maybe we try to deflect responsibility rather than accept it, probably too often.  If we take responsibility for our actions and our sins, it doesn't mean that we have to live in guilt and shame.  It *is* a gift in a lot of ways, because when we accept responsibility, then we know that it is also in our power to change.  To repent, to get God's help, and to lay down that burden of guilt and shame and start over as new people.  Christ's atonement can cleanse us, if we accept its power in our lives... and how do we accept it?  By taking responsibility, and by repenting, and changing our lives so that we are choosing not to sin.  As we take responsibility for our sins, we also take responsibility for our own happiness.  *We* have the power to choose to let go of the bad and to hang onto the good. :)
It's hard.  Life, and responsibility, and learning... but it is also wondrous and joyful and freeing when the atonement touches our lives.  And we can feel stronger and more confident in ourselves and in God's acceptance of our efforts.  Let's make the effort to crawl out of the holes that we have dug for ourselves.  Let's accept God's help in taking responsibility, repenting, and getting back on the path to happiness.

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