It seems to me we had agency during our pre earth life. What is the difference between the agency we exercised in the pre earth life and our agency here on earth?
It’s hard to know for sure since we don’t remember our pre-mortal life, but we can glean some answers from what God has revealed to us about it. For example, the principles of agency are:
- Knowledge of the law
- Opposition—good and evil
- Freedom of choice
It is easy to see how these principles apply to this life. Take for example, the commandment to keep the Law of Tithing. First there is a law. Second we need to be aware of it. Non-members are generally not aware of the law of the tithe, so they aren’t expected to keep it, but when they take the missionary discussions and learn about it, then they have to commit to live it before they can be baptized. Third, Satan will try to tempt them not to follow it. And finally, they have the agency to choose whether or not to follow it.
So did this same structure happen in the pre-mortal life? I think the “War in Heaven” is a good example that agency worked the same way there. Heavenly Father presented a plan: the law. Everyone heard it and knew this was Father’s will. Jesus agreed to be the Savior in this plan. But then came the opposition. Satan said Father’s plan was too risky and presented an alternate plan. Finally, each of us had the opportunity to choose to follow Father and Jesus or to follow Satan.
As you know, we can choose our actions, but we don’t get to choose the consequences of them. Some consequences are very serious. We are fortunate to have also been given the choice to repent and do better. Hopefully, we all use that one often.