Personal Accountability


Good morning brothers and sisters. The topic I was given is Accountability- Personal Responsibility.

In a talk titled Agency and Accountability, Shayne M. Bowen shares a story of an old Cherokee teaching his grandson about life.

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One is evil: he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued, “The other is good: he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

So as I speak to you about being personally responsible, I want you to think about which wolf you will feed, especially as we start off this new year.

The scripture I was asked to speak about is D&C 101:78 which says “That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.”

Towards the end of this past year, we focused a lot on Spiritual Self Reliance in Sunday School and Young Womens. We discussed the importance of gaining our own testimonies and doing things of our own free wills.

Because I am a senior in high school and I will be leaving for college next year, I’ve been starting to realize how crucial this last year at home really is in regards to preparing for my future. In two years I will be on my mission, and the only thing I’ll have to rely on is my testimony.

Seminary has been a huge blessing in my life because I’ve had to wake myself up every morning and ensure that I’m there on time, no one is making me go. Same with my personal scripture study, I write in my journal and read my scriptures every night because I’ve seen how it blesses me and my day just doesn’t feel complete when I don’t do those things. It’s little steps like these that are making me an agent unto myself, I can’t rely on the testimonies of others, at some point we each need to decide to exercise our agency and take our futures into our own hands.

I want to share 2 Nephi Chapter 2, verse 27 which reads “Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.”2

I pray that we all choose not to feed the evil wolf inside of us, but to allow the light of Christ to grow in us and strengthen our individual testimonies. No matter what stage we’re at in our lives, there is always room for improvement. We need to ensure that we are making the right decisions now because we will be held accountable in the day of judgment.

Youth Age 17

Aliso Viejo

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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