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Everyone who believes in God at all believes that He knows what you and I are going to do tomorrow. But if He knows I am going to do such-and-such, how can I be free to do otherwise?
The scriptures clearly attest to the omniscience of God. The Apostle Paul said, “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:18). Nephi also taught that “the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men” (1 Nephi 9:6).
The Apostle Paul also taught that premortal elections and appointments were made according to God’s foreknowledge:
“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified” (Romans 8:29-30).
To the Ephesian Saints, who understood the doctrine of premortal foreordinations, Paul wrote:
“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will” (Ephesians 1:4-5).
In each of these passages the word predestinate could also be translated foreordain or appoint. In fact, the Greek word from which the King James translators chose the word predestinate has a variety of meanings. The emphasis in the Greek suggests the foreknowledge of God, but not in an ultimate determination of all things excluding man’s agency. For this reason many Bible revisions and newer translations replace the word predestinate with words such as foreordain or appoint. 1
Without an understanding of the premortal world and the doctrine of foreordination through latter-day revelation, some may understandably interpret predestinate and God’s foreknowledge to mean that there is absolute determinism in all things.
To read the full article on LDS Living, click here.