The Scriptures* teach us that there was a "war in Heaven" and it was fought over agency and its inseparable twin, accountability.
The basic facts of this war are found in the above verses from Revelations in the NIV Bible.
Dave wrote this talk-which-became-booklet for everyone who is struggling with an addicted loved one.
Our love for our children and our efforts to do the very best thing for them is universal, no matter how we choose to worship. Our family are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and my talk was given in an LDS Church meeting so the material was geared to their understanding. Still it is a message applicable to anyone of any faith who is experiencing the horrors of addiction in a family member or other loved one.
*The Scriptures I reference are taken from the four standard works of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints: The King James Version of the Holy Bible; The Book of Mormon - Another Testament of Jesus Christ (a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. It is a record of God's dealing with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains, as does the Bible, the fullness of the everlasting gospel); The Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price.
In the book of the ancient prophet Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price the scene is set for the future and the pattern for all the spirits that existed.
24 And there stood one (Jesus Christ) among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;
25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them.
Jesus Christ was going to follow God's plan and allow each individual to have his own agency to choose between right and wrong. Jesus was giving God all of the glory.
Satan, on the other hand, wanted to FORCE every individual to return to the Father instead of giving them a choice and, Satan wanted all the glory.
Satan sought to destroy the agency of man, In my opinion I do not think Satan cared what we would do, whether we kept the commandments or not, if his plan would have been accepted. I don't think he cared if we sinned or didn't sin, he was going to haul us back to our Heavenly Father and there would have been no accountability. He just wanted the glory!
In enabling, regardless of our good intentions, are we destroying the agency of our loved ones?
Moving forward to what the Scriptures tell us about Agency in the Garden of Eden:
15 And I, the Lord God, took the man, and put him in the Garden of Eden, to dress it, and to keep it.
16 And I, the Lord God, commanded the man, saying: Of every tree in the garden thou mayest freely eat,
17 But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but, remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eatest thereof thous shalt surely die.
Enter Satan, he that was cast out with his followers, those who exercised their agency one last time when they chose to follow Satan. They chose to surrender their agency. Satan, the father of all lies comes to Eve to tempt her.
From the Bible:
Gen 3:1-4, Satan tells Eve . . .Thou shalt not surely die. . .
That was the lie that Satan told to Eve. That was the simple lie. What is the bigger lie? That there would be no accountability for her actions.
The lie was, there would be no accountability!
Freedom Isn't Free!
Lehi is a prophet in the Book of Mormon. Before his death he takes the opportunity to teach his children one last time. Among other things he teaches of the atonement and redemption and the necessity of opposition in the Eternal Plan. Included in that opposition is punishment. All men are to be judged in this plan or the plan is null and void. In fact opposition is a sign of the plan: for without it there is nothing.
We read in The Book of Mormon:
2 Nephi 2:10,11,13
10 And because of the intercession for all, all men come unto God; wherefore, they stand in the presence of Him, to be judged of Him according to the truth and holiness which is in Him. Wherefore, the ends of the law which the Holy One hath given, unto the inflicting of the punishment which is affixed. . .in opposition to that of the happiness which is affixed, to answer the needs of the atonement---
11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things: If not so, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. . .
13 And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.
The scriptures go on to tell us that men "...knowing good from evil..." are to act for themselves and by their actions they choose "liberty and eternal life" by obedience to the law or they choose captivity and death by disobeying the commandments. In other words, they experience the consequences of their actions. We call this process----
Agency and Accountability
Without personal responsibility agency could not operate. Without agency, there would be neither rewards nor punishments----no salvation or damnation.
So what does all of this have to do with us today?
How does it apply to our lives and the lives of our loved ones?
We will show you in next week's post.
Some of the things may offend or hurt initially but they are words that many need to hear.
To hurt or offend is definitely not the intent.
"What I hope happens is some of you will consider the things I have to say and perhaps recognize some changes which need to be made.
"Some of you may be tempted to think 'These things don't really apply to me' or 'My case is exceptional.' Think again. And think carefully before you say that.
"I want to reiterate at this point, I have been through some of the same situations I'm addressing. We have faced the same decisions and the same uncertainties and the same conflicted feeling I'll talk about. They are part of being a parent, and a part of being one of our Heavenly Father's children."