The Truth Shall Make You Free

“Therefore, my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge” (2 Nephi 15:13)
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Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught,
“It is knowledge of truth that makes us free to exercise our moral agency and freedom of choice.” – BYU Speeches – Aug. 22, 2006
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The people in Isaiah’s time had become so concerned with integrating with the people and societies around them that they lost the knowledge of the truths and covenants God had given them that provided their agency to choose freedom.
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One of my favorite seminary videos is “Act for Themselves”.
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/media/video/2012-08-1260-act-for-themselves
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In this timeless classic, a young man had fallen into the all-to-common error of believing that freedom and agency are the absence of rules, laws, expectations, and commandments.
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“In the real world,” the young man exclaims, “Agency is the freedom to do whatever I want! Being restricted by a rule, that’s captivity!”
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This young man is visited by his wiser alter-ego who teaches him that agency is a gift from God that allows us to choose between right (which leads to freedom) and wrong (which leads to captivity) and in order to have agency we must have:
1) Law
2) Knowledge of Good & Evil
3) Power to Choose
4) Opposition
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Perhaps the most common tactic Lucifer uses as he continues to “seek to destroy the agency of man” (Moses 4:3) and to bring us into captivity is to remove, confuse, or blur our knowledge of good & evil.
And perhaps his most common approach to removing our knowledge is to persuade us that any law, commandment, or rule that would invite us to change our behavior is unfair or divisive.
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“Be who you are” – “Don’t let anybody else tell you who you are, what to do, or how to think.” – A mantra for life in our society today … and the road to captivity.
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Jesus taught, “the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)
.. and that the only way to obtain a knowledge of truth is through the keeping of commandments (law).
… “He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things.” (D&C 93:28)
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Christ’s love is a love that invites us to become better, to change our behavior, to gradually eliminate those parts of ourselves that are not in harmony with our eternal potential and divine destiny, and make us truly free.
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“Come as you are,” a loving Father says to each of us, but He adds, “Don’t plan to stay as you are.” (Jeffrey R. Holland – “Songs Sung and Unsung”)
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May we each embrace the sources of truth (prophets, apostles, scriptures) and law that God has provided so that we may always be free to choose eternal life, and not be brought into captivity.

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