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July 3, 2020 - Chains that bind us

When we obey Satan, we give him power. When we obey God, He gives us power. This is not the message we get from the world, but it is the truth. Real power, the power to become like the Savior, is only found in obedience. Real freedom is found in obedience—in subjecting ourselves to God’s will rather than to the will of the flesh or the will of the devil. Freedom through obedience: this sounds like a paradox, but those who have lived this way can testify it is true. Obedience brings power, freedom, joy, peace, and hope.

Elder Paul V. Johnson, "Free to Choose Liberty or Captivity", BYU Speeches, November 6, 2012

The war in heaven was fought over agency. Lucifer wanted to take that away. He was kicked out. He still wants to take it away. But he can't.

Unless we give it to him. The only way he has power over us is if we give it to him. Think about that for a second. When we make a mistake or sin, we are handing him the very chains he uses to bind us. Then the more mistakes we make, the tighter those chains become.

Only the Atonement of Christ can remove those chains. Depending on our circumstances, those chains can be removed immediately, or loosened over time until they fall off. Either way, we are free!

It seems like an oxymoron that freedom only comes through obedience. Society will tell you that being subject to any one or any thing is not freedom. That obeying someone is tantamount to servitude. Society says to do what you want. But chances are we will want do the things that will give away our agency, the things of the carnal, natural man, thereby making us not free. Can we see the irony there?

Living how society and the natural man (and woman) tell us to live will bind us until, eventually, we are no longer free. We are making Satan stronger doing that. But living as Heavenly Father teaches us to live, by obedience to the truth, will give us freedom untold. The more obedient we are, the more freedom we'll experience. Doing this, Heavenly Father is making us stronger.

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