War in Heaven
- How Satan became the Devil
- Dallin H. Oaks, "Free Agency and Freedom", BYU: Speeches, 11 Oct 1987
- Oaks promotes his distinction between Freedom and Agency.
I am not at all a proponent of Elder Oaks' assertions that Freedom and Agency can be made meaningfully distinct in the way he tries to assert. His assertion that because Agency is a gift from God, that it can't be taken away, is logically questionable as is his invocation of the "outcome of the war in heaven" to make the protection of agency a fait accompli rather than an end which we must continually strive for in different ways. (In some ways, it feels like oaks is splitting hairs between some of the different levels at which we make choices, as if the agency behind choices were nothing more than a mental exercise, and the actual ability to exercise our moral agency were another thing altogether. In some ways they are different, but a person who cannot do anything that they imagine to do, gets no feedback on anything they might imagine to do and has little power to develop their ability to refine their process, which is kind of the whole point of agency.) There are plenty of prophetic contradictions of Oaks' theory proposing that the object of the war in heaven is nothing to be protective of today, or that such war is effectively over.