Tuesday, January 9, 2018

He Plays Chess

While it may be true that, as Einstein put it, "God does not play dice with the universe," there is another game that God analogously plays, according to Elder Rasband: Chess.

Elder Rasband said, "Our lives are like a chessboard, and the Lord moves us from one place to another—if we are responsive to spiritual promptings." In God's grand design, we are all pieces that, if willing, are moved around by the hand of God.

Personally, I'm very thankful for the inclusion of those "if"s. It may be some rebellious part of my nature, but I don't want to be a pawn in anyone's schemes, even God's. While there have been times when I thought that life (specifically, living a righteous life) would be easier if I let God make all my decisions for me, I don't actually want God to take that level of control over my life. I don't want anyone to have that level of control over me.

Thankfully, God respects our agency, so even while He has a perfect plan for our ultimate happiness, He lets us decide if we're going to follow that plan, and how closely. So, while He might issue a command like "Pawn to A5," that "pawn" can still decide whether to make that move or not.

Of course, not everyone respects our agency as much as God does. Satan, and even other people, can and do try to control us without any regard for what we want. That is why it's so ironically important to follow God's directions. He wants to protect our agency, so many of His directions lead us away from situations that might compromise it, such as drunkenness, addiction, and temptation. God can't force us to avoid traps and pitfalls -- we can go where we want -- but He frequently warns us of those traps and urges us to avoid them.

So if we follow God's commands, we will avoid situations that would rob us of our agency. Ironically, the best way to preserve our right to choose what to do is by choosing to do whatever God tells us to do. If we let God direct our actions, all the pieces in His plan for us will fall into place, and we will make it through life with our agency intact.

I'm glad God has a plan for me, and I'm glad that His plan involves me retaining my freedom. Now, I just hope I can gain enough wisdom to use my freedom to choose to follow God's plan.

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