“O Ye That Are Bound Down Under a Foolish and a Vain Hope, Why Do Ye Yoke Yourselves with Such Foolish Things?”

Bryan Richards

This is one of Satan’s most often used lies. It claims that discipleship equates to a surrender of freedom and individuality, that the many rules of religion just bind the individual unnecessarily. While the evil one is silently binding, first with flaxen cords (2 Nephi 26:22), and then with the chains of hell, he brazenly preaches that true freedom can only be obtained outside the constraints of consecration. This is the “free agency without consequences” doctrine. It states that freedom comes by doing whatever you want—ignoring the reality that for every violation of divine law there is a consequence. Satan tries to paint the picture that the sinner is free while the obedient is bound down. The opposite couldn’t be more accurate, for If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (Jn 8:31-32). While it is true that there is a yoke of discipleship, the Lord reminds us that this yoke is not a heavy one, Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matt 11:29-30).

“Korihor claims the protection of law in a free nation to teach the doctrines of disbelief, disrespect, and disobedience. He attempts to convince people that they are in bondage, for if he can successfully do so they will naturally turn to him as a liberator or redeemer. His then is a liberation movement. He is going to free them from the burden of commandments and gospel commitments. Whereas the gospel declares that the knowledge of revealed truths brings freedom, Korihor contends that freedom really means being without the constraints of righteousness…Korihor sought to ’lift up their heads in their wickedness (v. 18),’ that is, to come out of the closet and take pride in those things that are an offense to God.” (Millet & McConkie, Sustaining and Defending the Faith, pp. 88-9)

Ezra Taft Benson

“One of Satan’s frequently used deceptions is the notion that the commandments of God are meant to restrict freedom and limit happiness. Young people especially sometimes feel that the standards of the Lord are like fences and chains, blocking them from those activities that seem most enjoyable in life. But exactly the opposite is true. The gospel plan is the plan by which men are brought to a fullness of joy. The gospel principles are the steps and guidelines which will help us find true happiness and joy.” (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 357 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 297)