16 Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.
(2 Nephi 2:16)
In order to act for ourselves, as Lehi teaches in the passage above, we need to have alternatives. When there is only one viable course of action, then following it isn’t really making a choice. But when we have multiple courses of action, then we are in a position to exercise our agency.
As Elder Dale G. Renlund has taught, we are subject to two fundamental influences in this life: the influence of the Savior and the influence of Satan. He explained that the Savior is our advocate, while Satan, or Lucifer, is our accuser and prosecutor. He described the contrast between the ways Satan and the Savior seek to influence us:
If Lucifer were teaching a child to walk and the child stumbled, he would scream at the child, punish him, and tell him to quit trying. Lucifer’s ways bring discouragement and despair–eventually and always. This father of lies is the ultimate purveyor of falsehood and cunningly works to deceive and distract us, “for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.”
If Christ were teaching a child to walk and the child stumbled, He would help the child get up and encourage the next steps. Christ is the helper and consoler. His ways bring joy and hope–eventually and always (“Choose You This Day,” General Conference, October 2018).
Today, I will choose the hope that is in Jesus Christ. When I have discouraging thoughts or when I find myself being distracted from the most important things, I will remember where those thoughts come from, and I will refuse to be “enticed” by them. I will actively seek to hear the Savior’s quiet voice of encouragement and joy. I will choose instead to be “enticed” by that voice.