January 25th, 2007

To Trample Under Our Feet

Mosh pit

This past Sunday in Sacrament Meeting, the High Councilor gave an excellent talk on the law of chastity. As part of the talk he related an experience he had as a teenager attending an AC/DC concert in Salt Lake City.

The crowd was very large, hundreds and hundreds of pumped-up teenagers and miscreants ready to rock. They waited in anticipation for the doors to open, ready to pounce and run to get a good spot on the floor, as close to the stage as possible. People began to push and shove, inching their way forward bit by bit.

And then the doors opened.

The rush of people seemed as if a vacuum had been created inside the building, drawing people from outside the doors at an accelerated pace, sucking them through the bottleneck of the double door. The push from behind was so forceful, and the number of people so high, that an interesting thing happened: people couldn’t move.

Those in the crowd literally lost the ability to move where they wished. There was not even room to raise your arms. Instead, with your arms at your side, you were pushed up amongst smelly strangers and forced in the direction of the crowd. Your free agency went out the window. Screaming for the crowd to stop was futile. You shouted for help, but nobody heard you because everybody was screaming.

And then a girl somehow tripped, falling to the ground. Eager to get their prime location on the floor, people walked right over her. You wanted to help, but you couldn’t bend down or stop the forward motion. Dozens of people walked on top of the helpless girl, who, sobbing, had curled up into the fetal position on the ground, waiting for the ordeal to pass.

You wanted to help, but you couldn’t. You trampled her under your feet as well.

Now, in context of that intriguing story, I invite you to read the following verse with perhaps some new perspective:

For the things which some men esteem to be of great worth, both to the body and soul, others set at naught and trample under their feet. Yea, even the very God of Israel do men trample under their feet; I say, trample under their feet but I would speak in other words—they set him at naught, and hearken not to the voice of his counsels. (1 Nephi 19:7)

How many times have we become trapped in a crowd that leads us to trample God under our feet? While voluntarily placing ourselves in such situations, we eventually lose our free agency and trample right over our God. Only through continual repentance can we remain able to act and not be acted upon, allowing us to retain our God-given agency and do as we wish.

Read quotes about “agency” on Quoty

13 Responses to “To Trample Under Our Feet”

  1. Chris
    January 25, 2007 at 3:20 pm #

    Was that the 2001 concert at the eCenter?

    I was there and dude – IT ROCKED.

  2. Connor
    January 25, 2007 at 3:24 pm #

    Haha, no, he said it was back in the 80s…

  3. Curtis
    January 25, 2007 at 4:25 pm #

    Here’s a question I have. Can a person literally lose his God-given free agency? You can lose your ability to determine the consequences of your actions after the action is done, but can you lose your agency?
    I once heard a definition of agency which said that it consists of people being able to represent their premortal selves. People are their own agents, acting in behalf of the person they were in the pre-mortal existence when they chose to come to the earth and follow God’s plan.
    Can that agency be lost? I suppose that depends on one’s definition of agency. I sort of think that agency can’t be lost. Am I wrong?

  4. Michelle
    January 25, 2007 at 6:20 pm #

    Wow. What an image for that scripture.

    I believe we can lose our agency. The veil makes it that we forget that pre-mortal person to a great degree, and it’s only when we choose light that we can thin the veil. If we continually choose darkness, we can diminish our agency and eventually even lose it.

    Consider, for example, this from Elder Hales:

    The promptings that come to us to flee evil reflect our Heavenly Father’s understanding of our particular strengths and weaknesses and His awareness of the unforeseen circumstances of our lives. When these promptings come, they will not generally stop us in our tracks, for the Spirit of God does not speak with a voice of thunder. The voice will be as soft as a whisper, coming as a thought to our minds or a feeling in our hearts. By heeding its gentle promptings, we will be protected from the destructive consequences of sin.

    But if we ignore those promptings, the light of the Spirit will fade. Our agency will be limited or lost, and we will lose the confidence and ability to act. We will be “walking in [spiritual] darkness at noon-day.” 22 Then how easy it is to wander into strange paths and become lost! How quickly we are bound in the chains of sin spoken of by Lehi to his rebellious sons.

  5. Curtis
    January 25, 2007 at 8:35 pm #

    Thanks Michelle. That was a good quote.

  6. Michelle
    January 25, 2007 at 11:22 pm #

    No problem. :) That whole talk is well worth the read…awesome stuff.

  7. Lucia
    January 26, 2007 at 1:29 pm #

    but how can agency be lost if that is supposedly the only thing that belongs to us?

    It seems like a contradiction there.

  8. Connor
    January 26, 2007 at 1:39 pm #

    Lucia,

    Think of it like being in prison. You are no longer free to run to the supermarket, go see a movie at the theater, or do anything you wish. Instead of being able to “act”, you are “acted upon” (see 2 Nephi 2:14).

    Likewise, we can forfeit certain aspects of our agency through sinful behavior. By going into debt, we lose the agency to use our money how we wish. By choosing to smoke, we lose the agency to seek a temple recommend. By choosing to follow Satan, a third of the host of heaven lost the agency to continue progression through God’s plan. I could go on, but I hope the point has become clear. Through disobedience we can lose our God-given agency and be placed in bondage.

  9. Michelle
    January 26, 2007 at 1:59 pm #

    I think agency is designed to allow us to choose light. If we don’t, we can relinquish that agency. If we exercise our will to choose darkness, we can, by degrees, lose that gift we have to give. Alma 12:9-11 describes how we can arrive in bondage in the “chains of hell” if we don’t choose light and accept the light God wants us to enjoy.

    Satan wanted to destroy agency, as the PoGP says. I think he still gets his thrills from doing that now. Choosing to heed to his temptations gets us more and more in his power, and less and less “free.” 2 Ne. 2 also talks about this…we are free to choose liberty and eternal life, or to choose captivity (bondage, like Connor said) and death.

    Think of addictions as another example. If people become addicted, those addictions overpower will and require intensive work and repentance and help to overcome to the point of being able to freely act and choose at a “normal” level.

    I think the point is that our wills are uniquely ours, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be restricted and limited and even taken away by our very choices. Elder Maxwell said that my will is the only unique thing I have to give over to God, but I don’t think he ever said it can’t be lost or reduced in its ability.

  10. James Carroll
    January 26, 2007 at 8:58 pm #

    Did she die?

  11. Connor
    January 26, 2007 at 9:20 pm #

    Did she die?

    He didn’t say anything else about her, but I doubt she did. Probably just got pretty banged up…

  12. Curtis
    January 26, 2007 at 11:24 pm #

    Connor,

    Nice blog.

    Curt

  13. matt
    August 25, 2007 at 6:51 pm #

    This story this person talks about is just that a story… i was at that concert in 1991 at the salt palace. i watched those three teens pulled from the GA area. I watched them do CPR on one of the boys and watched him carted off dead. I was not a “pumped-up teenagers and miscreants ready to rock” i was and still am a good person who wanted to see a rock show. These teens did nothing wrong the promoters and the management of the salt palace at the time over sold a concert out of greed and nothing more. The teens did not rush the stage when the doors opened – it was into the show when this all went on after all of the teens were packed into the GA area that was over sold by the promotors of the show. the band was not to blame they stopped playing three times asking people to step back. the greed of these adults at the time were to blame. this person trying to use this tragedy to hock his story of faith is sick and disgusting. he should be ashamed. NICE JOB MAKING MORMONS LOOK BAD YOU DOLT.

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