Lately, something has been consuming my mind. Many people in the city that I serve in, are not happy. We come into their life, and we are able to help them have hope. But some do not act upon it, allowing themselves to passively fall into misery, and a mindframe of hopelessness.
I have seen people who are totally reliant upon welfare, and upon others to do everything for them, who give their agency away freely because of a lack of desire to work.
Jesus Christ suffered and died so that we would be able to choose for ourselves what kind of life we can live.
In a talk given by President James E. Faust, entitled "Acting for ourselves and Not being acted upon" President Faust quotes from the Book of Mormon, "And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon.” and then he says this, "Being acted upon means somebody else is pulling the strings. We live in a time when many want to avoid the responsibility for their acts." and then he shares this story
"When I was a young lawyer, I was appointed by the judges to defend persons who were charged with infractions of the law. One time I was assigned to represent a young man. As we approached the bench, the venerable old federal judge looked down at both of us and asked, “Which one of you is the accused?” From these experiences, I learned that some individuals did not think they were responsible or guilty in any way even though they had violated a law. They felt they were not to be blamed. They had abdicated their consciences. They may have committed the wrongful act, but they felt it was really their parents’ fault because they were not properly taught, or it was society’s fault because they were never given a chance in life. So often they had some reason or excuse for blaming their actions on someone or something else rather than accepting the responsibility for their own actions. They did not act for themselves but were acted upon."
May we all take account of our own actions, may we be less critical of others, or our circumstances, and do as the Prince of Pop suggests, and look at the Man in the Mirror. I know that as we do that, we will, will have greater joy. We will have greater control in our lives, and we will be able to help others who need it.