Elder Christofferson delivered Tuesday's Devotional at BYU. Here's the key point: "There is no mention of free agency in the scriptures," Elder Christofferson said. "Agency is not free. We have to emphasize our moral accountability." Would someone explain how free agency, once a fixture in LDS theology, got such a bad name?
I know what you're going to say: The principle hasn't changed, they just call it "moral agency" now rather than free agency. But the emphasis has changed. Agency was once used to underline our moral autonomy, our ability to choose between good and evil. Now, as "moral agency," the emphasis is on accountability, the consequences of making bad choices. What was once an elevating principle is now reduced to preachy finger wagging, although it sounds like Elder Christofferson's talk was (relying on the BYU NewsNet summary) actually fairly upbeat.
Rather than belabor my point, I'll just close with a short quote from 2 Nephi 2:26-27, which certainly seems to be talking about free agency.
[B]ecause that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.
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.