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Agency emphasized at devotional

February 17, 2010

Writer: Writer: J. Rebecca Smith

Kevin Worthen, advancement vice president for Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, spoke about four pillars of agency during Tuesday's devotional: alternatives to choose among, knowledge, the freedom to make choices, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He stated that Satan can undermine people's agency by enticing them to engage in potentially addictive behaviors.


Worthen listed obvious addictive behaviors, such as pornography and drugs, while also cautioning against more discrete addictions, such as procrastination and the improper use of language.


Using a personal experience to demonstrate, Worthen cautioned against anger as a destructive and agency-limiting influence as well. When speaking about driving the long and traffic-packed commute to his law firm in Arizona, he said, "After a few months, I began to notice that my mood for the day was determined largely by how long the commute took and how aggravated I was with the drivers who I thought were causing the problems."


The realization soon came that the problem was not with the other drivers, but with him. He was free to choose his attitude and to act for himself, but was surrendering the freedom by succumbing to Satan's temptation to become angry.


Worthen concluded by stating that the best way to combat Satan and retain agency is to find the strength to choose faith in Christ. He ended by sharing his personal witness of the Savior: "... His promises are sure. He has overcome Lucifer and has thereby preserved our agency."