I am taking an ethics class this semester. It's my last general education class so it'll be all upper division science classes after this. It has been interesting to see many views of ethics from different philosophers like Socrates, St. Augustine, Nietzsche, Mills and Kant. My ethics professor does not believe in a God, so it is interesting to hear things from a point of view so different from what I would think. Even when I don't agree with him, I can often see where he is coming from and respect his opinion.
One thing he said recently made me laugh at its simplicity. He said that one of the problems with religions that believe in a God is the contradiction that we have free will, but God is omnipotent so already knows what we will choose, so what is the point?
What is the point? Heavenly Father knows each of us and has known us and he really does know what we will choose, but we have been given the opportunity to show him and to show ourselves. We aren't here just to prove ourselves to him, but to us. Just as Heavenly Father knew that Abraham would be willing to sacrifice his son if asked, but Abraham himself didn't know at first that he would be obedient. He learned and grew from the test of faith. He was able to know that he is valiant and would do very difficult things if the Lord asked because he loved the Lord more than his desires, however righteous, and he had faith that if he was asked to do it, there was a reason, even if he didn't know the reason.
"Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are."
Of course, if we fail to pass one of the tests we've been given, we can learn from it and change so that we are stronger and more faithful. There will be another test and we want to be ready for that one. What is the point of progressing? While others do not share our belief, we know that our Father is using these tests to help us progress so that if we prove ourselves worthy, we can also become Gods and Godesses. We cannot be ready for that with just theoretical teaching, without experiencing all that we experience, making mistakes, learning and showing what we have learned by passing the next test.
What a beautiful plan we are a part of. What a loving Heavenly Father we have. What a blessing I have to have a knowledge and testimony of it.