The inner zone in which we are sovereign

Of course our genes, and circumstances, and environments matter very much and shape us significantly. Yet there remains an inner zone in which we are sovereign, unless we abdicate. In this zone lies the essence of our individuality and our personal accountability.

Therefore, what we insistently desire, over time, is what we will eventually become and what we will receive in eternity.

Neal A. Maxwell, October General Conference, October 5, 1996

Our sovereign inner zone

Whether in their conception or expression, our desires reflect our use of our moral agency. Desires thus become real determinants, even when, with pitiful naivete, we do not really want the consequences of our desires.

Desire denotes a real longing or craving. Hence righteous desires are much more than passive preferences or fleeting feelings. Of course our genes, and circumstances, and environments matter very much and shape us significantly. Yet there remains an inner zone in which we are sovereign, unless we abdicate. In this zone lies the essence of our individuality and our personal accountability.

Therefore, what we insistently desire, over time, is what we will eventually become and what we will receive in eternity.

Neal A. Maxwell, 166th General Conference, October 5, 1996 (emphasis added)