Monday, May 13, 2019

Mosiah 29:39 -- On Rejoicing in Freedom

"Therefore, it came to pass that they assembled themselves together in bodies throughout the land, to cast in their voices concerning who should be their judges, to judge them according to the law which had been given them; and they were exceedingly rejoiced because of the liberty which had been granted unto them."
Mosiah 29:39

This is a great story.  Mosiah (the king) tells them that they probably shouldn't have a king and that they should vote for judges instead, and explains why.  A king voluntarily changing the government. :)  What I like about this particular verse is how much they were "exceedingly rejoiced" at their new-found freedom.

The opportunity to choose is an amazingly cool thing that we all have, in all aspects of our lives.  In some, choices can be extremely limited, but even in those cases, we have the freedom to do something, for instance to look at our circumstances positively or negatively, to turn to God or not, or to choose whether to use the situation to learn and grow or to become hardened.

Sometimes freedom can feel like a burden, and we want people to limit our choices or to tell us what to do.  We feel overwhelmed with the responsibility that freedom brings, and unlike the people in this verse, we at least figuratively would rather have a king.  I think this is understandable, but freedom and figuring out who we are, what we want, and making choices is a large part of why we are here in life.  We have to choose between good and bad, which is sometimes tough, but it isn't all burdensome.  We also get to discover our opinions.  We get to choose what kinds of music we like, what colors we like, where we like to live.  We get to choose and participate in hobbies and pastimes and to learn and get better at a myriad of skills and interests.

God tells us "And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come" (D&C 130:19), not because it is a competition, but because we will be closer to what we *can* be... to fulfilling our potential.

Today, let's remember these people of Mosiah and let's also rejoice in our freedom, stretching out before us with endless possibilities.  Let's work to look at choice as an opportunity rather than a burden, and try to enjoy learning about ourselves and about the world, and about God.  Let's turn to him when we feel overwhelmed, and ask him to show us the cool side of freedom when we forget. :)

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