“In the Garden of Eden, Gave I unto Man His Agency”

Moses 7:32

32 The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency . . .

President Russell M. Nelson said:

“Why are you here on planet earth?

“One of the most important reasons is to receive a mortal body. Another is to be tested—to experience mortality—to determine what you will do with life’s challenging opportunities. Those opportunities require you to make choices, and choices depend on agency. A major reason for your mortal existence, therefore, is to test how you will exercise your agency [see 2 Nephi 2:15, 25].

“Agency is a divine gift to you. You are free to choose what you will be and what you will do. And you are not without help. Counsel with your parents is a privilege at any age. Prayer provides communication with your Heavenly Father and invites the promptings of personal revelation. And in certain circumstances, consultation with professional advisers and with your local leaders in the Church may be highly advisable, especially when very difficult decisions must be made. . . .

“That precious privilege of choice—man’s agency—was decreed before the world was created [see D&C 93:29–31]. It is a moral agency [see D&C 101:78]. Thus, it was opposed by Satan (see Moses 4:3), but affirmed by the Lord (see Moses 4:2) and reaffirmed through prophets in ancient and in modern times (see D&C 58:26–28; Moses 6:56; Moses 7:32).

“The proper exercise of moral agency requires faith. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel [see Articles of Faith 1:4]. Because of Him, you have your agency. He must be the very foundation of your faith, and the testing of that faith is a fundamental reason for your freedom to choose.

“You are free to develop and exercise faith in God and in His divine Son, faith in His word, faith in His Church, faith in His servants, and faith in His commandments.”

(“Choices,” Ensign, Nov. 1990, 74–75.)