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Updated: Mar 28, 2021

Prized freedom. Power to choose our own way. Yet often held to ransom by life and the freedom of others. While striving for independence, we still cannot shrug the terms and conditions. Our providence, location, upbringing, race, gender, neighbours, society, ability, disability, knowledge, prejudice, love, hope or despair all clamber like vines and by the middle of life we may wonder, what have I become?

How can God champion individuality and yet set the terms? Well, 'listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him—Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified; Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life.' Doctrine & Covenants 45:3-5

One profound choice can liberate us. By submitting our will to Him who overcame all things, who transformed terror into triumph, we can become free. 'Whosoever commiteth sin is the servant of sin, and the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed' (John 8:34-36). Continuing belligerently by our own gifts, obediently abiding by the 'natural' way will never shake the ensuing entropy. Even the most hardworking servant finds eventually all effort ultimately served another. Alternatively, choosing to serve and follow Jesus, our desires, work and effort become everlasting treasures. We are no longer servant, but master of our own house and destiny, with Christ as our advocate. We are no longer held to ransom by darkness, death and decay. All these were overcome by our Eternal Friend.

Reverently and meekly now, Let thy head most humbly bow. Think of me, thou ransomed one; Think what I for thee have done. With my blood that dripped like rain, Sweat in agony of pain, With my body on the tree I have ransomed even thee.

In this bread now blest for thee, Emblem of my body see; In this water or this wine, Emblem of my blood divine. Oh, remember what was done That the sinner might be won. On the cross of Calvary I have suffered death for thee.

Bid thine heart all strife to cease; With thy brethren be at peace. Oh, forgive as thou wouldst be E’en forgiven now by me. In the solemn faith of prayer Cast upon me all thy care, And my Spirit’s grace shall be Like a fountain unto thee.

At the throne I intercede; For thee ever do I plead. I have loved thee as thy friend, With a love that cannot end. Be obedient, I implore, Prayerful, watchful evermore, And be constant unto me, That thy Savior I may be.

Text: Joseph L. Townsend, 1849–1942

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