Every church leader or parent has been confronted with the same basic argument—
“You can’t make me put my phone away! What ever happened to agency?”
“I can date before I’m 16 if I want to because I have agency!”
“You can’t tell me to wear a mask at church. I have my agency!”
“The Church’s stance on abortion is inconsistent with agency.”
“Why is the Church opposed to same sex marriage? Don’t we believe in agency?”
Partly because we place such a high doctrinal value on agency, Latter-day Saints are often poorly equipped to deal with these criticisms.
Before the world began, Lucifer “rebelled against [God], and sought to destroy the agency of man” (Moses 4:3). Satan and his followers lost the ensuing war and were cast out, but they continue to “rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up in anger against that which is good” (2 Nephi 28:20). Satan has never conceded his loss; He persists in trying to “destroy the agency of man.”