“A basic tenet of Christianity is that God has given His children free will, the ability and privilege to choose. But the concept of agency, taught in the Book of Mormon and by latter-day prophets and apostles in concert with other gospel truths, is a doctrine rich in power and eternal in its implications.”
“Agency is to act with accountability and responsibility for our actions. Our agency is essential to the plan of salvation. With it we are 'free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil.' ” -- Robert D. Hales
“Agency used righteously allows light to dispel the darkness and enables us to live with joy and happiness.” -- Robert D. Hales
“Your Heavenly Father has given you agency, the ability to choose right from wrong and to act for yourself. You have been given the Holy Ghost to help you know good from evil. While you are here on earth, you are being proven to see if you will use your agency to show your love for God by keeping His commandments.”
“Moral agency, the ability to choose for oneself, is fundamental to our Heavenly Father’s great plan of happiness. As the Lord told Adam, 'It is given unto [thy children] to know good from evil; wherefore they are agents unto themselves'."
“Our agency, given us through the plan of our Father, is the great alternative to Satan’s plan of force. With this sublime gift, we can grow, improve, progress, and seek perfection. Without agency, none of us could grow and develop by learning from our mistakes and errors and those of others.” -- James E. Faust
“Because the eternal principle of agency gives us the freedom to choose and think for ourselves, we should become increasingly able to solve problems. We may make the occasional mistake, but as long as we are following gospel principles and guidelines, we can learn from those mistakes and become more understanding of others and more effective in serving them.” -- M. Russell Ballard
“You have agency, and you are free to choose. But there is actually no free agency. Agency has its price. You have to pay the consequences of your choices.” -- Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Eons of time ago, when we were all in the presence of our Father in Heaven, there was a Grand Council held. In that council our Father, desiring that we have the same joy and happiness that He enjoys, presented His plan whereby we could come to this earth, gain a physical body, and experience the bitter and the sweet of this life. We could choose to keep His commandments and become like Him or choose not to keep His commandments and deny ourselves of the joy and blessings He promises.
A central part of our Father’s plan was that we would be free to choose. This gift is called agency, the power to choose. The companion of agency is always accountability. We are individually responsible for the choices we make.
When Heavenly Father asked who would carry out the plan, Lucifer offered to redeem all mankind under his conditions, where agency would be denied and he would receive all the glory. This would frustrate God’s eternal plan of happiness.
Jesus Christ offered Himself to be the Savior in the Father’s plan. He chose to submit to the plan of the Father. We put our faith in our elder brother Jesus Christ, knowing that His mission was essential to our being able to return to our Father’s kingdom.What then is the purpose of life on this earth? One key purpose is to prove our faithfulness. We have the ability to know right from wrong. We have the power given to us from God “to act … and not to be acted upon”. Ultimately, we will receive the kingdom that we desire according to the commandments we obey, the ordinances we receive, and the covenants we keep.