God gave man agency as one of the first great gifts to his children. It was given long before this world was and everything that followed depended on the preservation of this great gift. All that would follow would be because we chose it to be. In all of God's interactions with his children he preserves their agency. He does this because he wants us to become like him, and he is the freest of all beings. Whereas Satan would seek every opportunity to secure it to himself by deceiving us into giving it to him. He did this in the very beginning.
Moses 4:3 Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down;Not only that, but Satan asked for God to give him his own power, which is his honor.
D&C 29:36 And it came to pass that Adam, being tempted of the devil—for, behold, the devil was before Adam, for he rebelled against me, saying, Give me thine honor, which is my power; and also a third part of the hosts of heaven turned he away from me because of their agency;This is important because it shows us where God's power comes from. God has power because of the honor (respect) which He has earned. Earned from whom? From all the intelligences that are.
The Savior carried it all, and for a moment, alone.
Matt 27:46 "My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?"Jeffery R. Holland spoke of this moment:
Nevertheless, that the supreme sacrifice of His Son might be as complete as it was voluntary and solitary, the Father briefly withdrew from Jesus the comfort of His Spirit, the support of His personal presence. It was required, indeed it was central to the significance of the Atonement, that this perfect Son who had never spoken ill nor done wrong nor touched an unclean thing had to know how the rest of humankind—us, all of us—would feel when we did commit such sins. For His Atonement to be infinite and eternal, He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically but spiritually, to sense what it was like to have the divine Spirit withdraw, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone.The great truth of his lonely walk means that none of us need be alone in our own walk. He paid the price alone and thereby gained all power over the laws of justice that would separate us from our Father and the powers of heaven. He now held all the keys to the kingdom and His grace would be sufficient for all who came to Him.
It has often been asked who Jesus was referring to when on the cross he plead for Father to forgive. I believe Jesus spoke of us all when he said:
Luke 23:34 "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."Tribulations of life continue to increase as we grow in gospel strength and spiritual gifts, this is good, opposition in all things, and this demands the use of our agency. Through this process, using our agency as an act of faith and this proves our obedience, whereby God can bless us and every blessing is a miracle by definition. This entire process requires us to be patient with ourselves and God. Without patience we remove ourselves from this process through pride (again agency) this choice to be patient and endure all that God sees fit for us allows us to ultimately possess our souls because it is eventually redeemed through the atonement of Christ and given to us as a reward through exhalation.
Salvation is free
Isaiah 55:1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
2 Nephi 2:4 And thou hast beheld in thy youth his glory; wherefore, thou art blessed even as they unto whom he shall minister in the flesh; for the Spirit is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. And the way is prepared from the fall of man, and salvation is free.
Nothing in the world of men is of God
Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.Opposition in all things
2 Nephi 2:11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.All things must needs be a compound in one - meaning, all of these gospel principals interrelate, they do not stand alone. They are each one strand of this intricate lace of the gospel.
1 Nephi 10:19 For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.
As our faith in Jesus Christ grows we gain spiritual gifts and with those gifts come power. Therefore, in order to maintain the opposition in all things, our trials will increase. Ironically, it is through these trials that, if we always repent and come unto Christ (two phrases that are in fact synonyms), then we gain more gifts and power through the grace of the Atonement which are delivered unto us by the Gift of the Holy Ghost which was given to us as the blessing of our first covenant with God in mortality. A gift which is the greatest gift men and women can enjoy in this life. Think of that for a moment, upon our first act of faith which leads us to our very first covenant with God, performed through covenant, God gives us the greatest gift he has for us in mortality. The constant companionship of one member of the Godhead! The greatest gift is not reserved for the final covenant, the final milestone of our journey of discipleship, no, it is given at the beginning of our journey as we make our first major step in following the Savior. Doesn't this testify to the eagerness of our Father in Heaven to bless us with as mighty of miracles as quickly as he can possibly deliver them to us? Yes, it does.
2 Nephi 2:16 Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.(i was planning on adding much more to this... but since i haven't yet... and it's been a while since i drafted it, i'm just going to post it, perhaps i will come back to it in the future and finish my thoughts...)