My wife shared an interesting thought with me this week. Heavenly Father loves ALL His children and yet He was willing to give up one-third of the children He loved just as much as the other two-thirds because He wanted us to have agency (freedom of choice). To bring her point home, she asked me to imagine us having three children, and that I had to give up our son Jackson so that the other two could have their freedom to choose.
My mind can’t even weigh the option! The love I have for my son is deeper than words or emotions can express. How can I possibly begin to comprehend, let alone understand the love that God has for all of HIs children, and the pain He felt the day Lucifer took a third of His posterity away forever.
There are two extremely important doctrines here — A cause and effect if you will.
The Cause — Sacrifice
The words of a popular LDS hymn set the stage. “Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven.” God has been sacrificing for us since the beginning. As stated before, He sacrificed a third of His children so that we could freely choose forever. He sacrificed His Son to pay the price for our sins. Sacrifice is an eternal principle that instinctively lives within us. We sacrifice for others, for our children, for God. When members of the Church attend the temple, they make solemn promises to sacrifice all that they can for the kingdom of God. There are deep and eternal blessings that come from sacrificing our lives for the service and purposes of God.
The Effect – Agency
Freedom. It’s what we all enjoy as God’s children. We are free to choose. God will not force anything on us. He will always give us a choice. Though one option might prove to be better than the other, the option to choose is a gift never to be taken away from us. Consequently we learn from the choices we make, whether they be good or bad, allowing us to ultimately become closer to our Father in Heaven.
But such a gift didn’t come easy. As is often said, “Freedom isn’t free.” In fact, nothing is really free. We must be willing to sacrifice.
Being a father helps me better understand who God is. I would do anything for my son to have everything he needs. Never will that little boy go without. He will always have food to eat, clothes, diapers, etc. because my wife and I love him so deeply that we would sacrifice anything for his needs to be fulfilled.
God loves us in a similar, but a far more deeper way. What more reason do we need to love Him?
My choice to serve God is a choice I make daily, and I’ve never regretted it.
“…choose you this day whom ye will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” -Joshua 24:15