2 Nephi 2:27 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.
When I was 10, I chose to disobey my mother and play with matches. When she came into the bathroom and saw the match sticks in the tub, and smelled the smoke, she knew what was going on. She asked me, "Steve, did you play with matches?"
I then made another bad choice. I looked into her eyes as innocently as I could and told her, "No, mom. I didn't."
Later that evening my brother fetched me from the neighbors house because my dad wanted to talk to me. I knew I was busted. I walked into the living room where he and my mom were sitting on the couch. He looked at me and said "I want the truth."
I immediately responded, "I did it dad."
I was old enough to know right from wrong and I knowingly chose to be disobedient. I also chose to compound the problem by choosing to lie about it. I was free to choose, and I chose poorly. I did not, however, get to choose my consequence.
My parents chose to teach me a valuable lesson, and as Halloween was fast approaching, they knew the proper punishment. That year I was not allowed to Trick-or-Treat with the family.
I remember looking from the window in my room, I may have even been crying, bemoaning my fate, as my brothers and sisters left to Trick-or-Treat. It didn't seem fair. I was a captive in my own room. The choices I made, to play with matches and to lie, removed future choices from me. As a captive, I was unable to choose to Trick-or-Treat, or eat yummy candy, or dress up in a costume.
Silly example? Yes. But as we learn in 2nd Nephi, we are all free to choose liberty and life, or captivity and death. It seems like a simple choice, doesn't it? The trick is remembering the promised consequences before we make a choice.
Every choice we make in regards to obedience to God's law, helps to establish the foundation upon which we make future choices. When King David looked upon Bathsheba and then sent her husband Uriah to the battle front, he made bad choices, but were they the first bad choices he had made? No. It was merely a reflection of the man he had become over years of making bad choices.
On the other hand, every good choice we make strengthens us and builds a sure foundation beneath us as we strive to become the kind of men and women that Heavenly Father desires us to be. With every choice we make, we should ask ourselves the question "Will this lead me closer to captivity and death, or towards liberty and eternal life?"
Its a simple choice.