Sunday, February 16, 2014

February Sharing Time - Agency is the Gift to Choose for Myself

We often talk about agency simply as the gift to choose.  It is so much more and, also, maybe a little less.

No matter what happens around us, what country or laws we must live with, we CHOOSE who we are.  It is such an awesome blessing.

It isn't that it's less really, but even though I know better, I find myself equating the gift to choose with more than just making a choice.  Somehow, I sometimes feel that when I make choices, I'm also choosing the result or consequence of that choice.  That's not possible.  We do not, ever, get to choose the consequence of our choices.  That's not to say that some choices have a better probability of certain consequences, but because we aren't omniscient, we can't tell exactly how things will ripple out...or back in.

Elder Robert D. Hales said that "agency is to act with accountability and responsibility for our actions."  I love it.  Agency isn't just making a choice, it's accepting the consequences of those choices and continuing to choose well no matter what.

He also said, "By our righteous choices and actions, we liberate [ourselves] from darkness by increasing [our] ability to walk in the light."  Our choices don't just eliminate darkness, they ALLOW us to walk in the light, to leave the darkness behind.  Awesome.

I like the introductory object lesson with one small addition.  It does introduce choices as a parrallel to agency, but I think it's important to note that some choices matter and others...don't.

2 Nephi 2:27 says we are free to choose one of two things, "liberty and eternal life" or "captivity and death."  Stated like that it's the simplest of choices, unfortunately most of our choices don't feel like that.  That's one reason I really like the idea of having the kids work their way through a variety of choices and consequences.  I think we could all use some practice.

I found a few different activities aside from the role playing mentioned in the Sharing Time Outline to give you a few options.

This first idea is my favorite.  And it's my favorite because of the consequences, or how the way the consequences are given is just like real life.  I found this great idea on Primary In Zion and another thing I like about it is how simple it is.  After setting out the word strips you've made (or the ones I've made, either Microsoft Word or PDF) containing a variety of different choices, have two children come up to the front of the room.

One child gets to choose the choice (just like we each get to make our own choices everyday) and the other child gets to decide what they think the consequence will be (just like we don't get to choose what will happen after we make our choice).  I love how it brings home the idea that consequences come along with every single choice we make AND we don't get to choose them.

The last two ideas are similar in that they both use a game board.   One of them (found on Little LDS Ideas) uses a path moving straight toward eternal life and along the path there are places where you have to stop in order to make a choice.  If a good choice is made, you get to continue on the straight and narrow.  If a poor choice is made, you are off on a detour.  It would be easiest to draw a pathway on a chalkboard or white board, but if you'd prefer I sort of made one...on accident.  I wanted a picture for the top of my post and ended up making this whole entire gameboard (with the very talented Susan Fitch's primary children).  So, I have it both as a jpg (so you can make it any size you want) and a pdf (preset to a 20x20 size)

My favorite part is that after making a wrong choice, in order to get back onto the path, the kids have to decide what they've done wrong, how they can fix it and how they could've made a better choice in the first place.  This pathway could use the very same word strip choices I mentioned in the above example, they're just presented in a different way.

The last idea is a take on Chutes and Ladders and it's also done by the talented artist Susan Fitch.  Her pictures give you the choices made and as you progress through the board, you can take the time to talk about each one.  All you have to do is print it out.  Easy peasy (as my kids would say).

In that same talk (it's a really great one!) by Elder Hales, he testifies "...that by making the same choice to follow the Savior now, while we are here on earth, we will obtain an even greater blessing in the eternities.  But let it be known: we must continue to choose to follow the Savior.  Eternity is at stake, and our wise use of agency and our actions are essential that we might have eternal life."

I know that agency is a gift and a great blessing.  Possibly the greatest.  I also know that with great blessing comes great responsibility.  I am a little overwhelmed as I think about it, but I'm more inspired by the confidence that our Heavenly Father places in each of us.  Of course we will all make poor choices, but that doesn't mean that we can't dust ourselves off, remember His unending love, and keep trying to do a better job. 



  1. "I wanted a picture for the top of my post and ended up making this whole entire gameboard (with the very talented Susan Fitch's primary children). So, I have it both as a jpg (so you can make it any size you want) and a pdf (preset to a 20x20 size)."
    What do you do with this game.

    1. It's the game I mentioned above where you can draw your own gameboard on a chalk board. The kids move from question mark to question mark and each time they move, they are presented with a choice that has been made. If it's a good one, they can keep moving to the next choice, if not, they'll go down the short detour where you have them talk about how they got there, how they could have made a different choice and then you can move to the next choice.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...