Being Left to Choose – Alma 13:3-5

3 And this is the manner after which they were ordained–being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling, yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such.

4 And thus they have been called to this holy calling on account of their faith, while others would reject the Spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds, while, if it had not been for this they might have had as great privilege as their brethren.
5 Or in fine, in the first place they were on the same standing with their brethren; thus this holy calling being prepared from the foundation of the world for such as would not harden their hearts, being in and through the atonement of the Only Begotten Son, who was prepared–

As we discussed in yesterday’s post, we were likely all foreordained to fulfill specific responsibilities in this life. However, those assignments don’t come to us automatically. As Alma teaches in the passage above, we are first “left to choose good or evil.” Only after we choose good and exercise faith do we receive the callings which we were previously ordained to receive. As Neal A. Maxwell taught:

Foreordination is like any other blessing—it is a conditional bestowal subject to our faithfulness. Prophecies foreshadow events without determining the outcome, because of a divine foreseeing of outcomes. So foreordination is a conditional bestowal of a role, a responsibility, or a blessing which, likewise, foresees but does not fix the outcome (“A More Determined Discipleship,” BYU Speeches, 10 October 1978).

Today, I will remember that my righteous decisions may qualify me to fulfill responsibilities which my Father in Heaven gave me before I was born. Even though He may have known that I would successfully fulfill those assignments, my ability to do so depends upon the choices I make here and now.

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