In light of recent readings, I have come to believe that agency, and the ability to be held responsible for use and misuse of said agency, is predicated upon some knowledge of the will of the LORD.
In the pre-existence, we were given the Father’s plan and Satan’s plan and we were asked to choose. Those who choose the Father were blessed with this our second estate, and those who failed to follow the LORD were unable to stay in heaven. This is one profound example of when, given knowledge, agency has been rewarded and punished.
Now lets look at two other times when agency was used to go against the LORD but was not punished because there was ambiguity, or no knowledge concerning the will of the LORD.
In the Garden of Eden, Eve, in partaking of the fruit, choose to exercise her agency against the will of the LORD. His commandments were such that there was ambiguity as to the fulfillment of them. On one hand you had the commandment to not eat the fruit of knowledge or of good and evil, on the other hand you had the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth. There was NO, 0, way that Adam and Eve could have M&P the earth without them having some knowledge. We know then that the Adam and Eve had some clear ambiguity concerning these two commandments from God, and in time, had there been no tempter, knowledge would have been provided. Eve ate the fruit and in the LDS perspective, the only punishment was the “joy” of childbirth, an essential part of the New and Everlasting Covenant. There was no real punishment; only the affirmation of gender roles but that was really the only punishment for those who did not know.
Satan, on the other hand, knowing the choices before him, was punished by the LORD. Satan’s animal of choice (the serpent) was cursed to become the least of all animals, it had its legs removed and it was to become the enemy of women, and it’s head was to be bruised by man. So here we see that either the Lord is a respecter of persons, or he is punishing due to the light of knowledge given rather than the sin in and of itself.
The other example would be when Christ was crucified. Christ forgave those who crucified and tormented Him because they knew not what they did.
So here we have a clear division of how punishment is given out based upon how much knowledge, or how clear that knowledge is. As Scott is beginning to provide an in depth look into the scriptural basis for the sinfulness of homosexuality and I have linked to him here and to my own discovery in that field. This shows that the scriptural case for Homosexuality is ambiguous. And as Daniel, Sarah and I have pointed out, the Prophetic evidence is difficult to separate between personal feelings and those of prophesy. So what does this mean for us? What does it mean to you? Are there any other examples of punishment being stayed due to ambiguity in the law?