Stewardship, agency, and accountability, in my opinion, are some of the most fundamental principles of the gospel.  I believe that understanding and applying these principles are key to successfully completing our mortal probation.

Some of these ideas are presented in this lesson titled Stewardship and Delegation.

First, what does it mean to be a steward?  “A steward is a person who has been given responsibility for someone else or for something belonging to someone else.”  Or, as President Kimball has said, “[It] is a sacred spiritual or temporal trust for which there is accountability.”  (Ensign, Nov. 1977, p. 78)

In a general but a real sense, everything belongs to the Lord.  What, specifically, has the Lord given us for which we are accountable?  A few ideas are our bodies, family, talents and gifts, time, and financial or other material blessings.  Mortality, agency, and knowledge can also be viewed as a stewardships.  Also, most callings, including those of home and visiting teacher are stewardships.

Heavenly Father expects us to be “agents to act” and not just to be “acted upon.”  D&C 58:26 says, “For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore, he receiveth no reward.”  So, while the gospel (or the Church) gives us general guidelines, we often are not given specific details as to exactly what we should do with our stewardships.  We are given the gift of the Holy Ghost to guide us.

At the time of judgment, we will give an accounting of what we have done as stewards.  Our eternal reward will depend largely on our works and what we have done with what we have been given.  In a future post I will explore the relationship between stewardships and priorities.  I welcome any thoughts or ideas that anyone has on these topics.