There are so few people on this earth that actually know where they came from, why they’re here, and where they’re going. God told a modern day prophet “there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations that are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it.”
People want to know if there is a plan. They want to know if their life has purpose and meaning. They want to know how they can live up to their full potential.
And here’s the answer:
It’s found within whats called “The Plan of Salvation”. It’s also known as “Heavenly Father’s Plan”.
I like that name better. It tells me that there is an intelligent being in this universe that cares for me and you…and watches over us.
Let me take you all the way to the beginning:
Lots of people think that it all began with God creating the earth and Adam and Eve out of nothing. They’ve called that “Creatio ex Nihilo” or “Creation out of nothing”. Here’s what really happened.
In our heavenly home…our spirits were created by heavenly parents. The first born of our brothers and sisters was Jesus Christ…also known as Jehovah. One of our spiritual brothers was a dude named Lucifer. Our heavenly parents knew us by name and called us to do certain things in the future. The Lord told Jeremiah that before he was formed in his mother’s belly…that he knew him and that he ordained him to be a prophet in this world. (Jer 1:5)
Heavenly Father wanted to make an earth for us to live on so that we could be tested so He put Jesus and Adam (pre-mortally known as Jehovah and Michael) in charge of the creation of the earth. Jesus and Adam gathered some of us together so that we could go and help in the creation of the earth. He was like “lets go down there and make an earth for everyone to hang out on and be tested…and if people are good…then they’ll come back in resurrected glory like our Father!”
Consistent with science and the 1st Law of Thermodynamics and over long undetermined creative “periods” of time…Jehovah began to “organize” existing materials to form the earth. That’s the reason why scientists date the earth back so many billions of years. Telescopes have actually witnessed “unorganized material” in the universe being “organized”…because nothing is created out of nothing.
Each of us were super excited about having an earth to go to. The Lord tells Job that when the world was built…”all of mankind shouted for joy.” (Job 38:7)
So…one day, our Father called together a grand council in heaven in preparation for sending us to earth to get a body like He had.
At this council…our Heavenly Father laid out his plan for us. The entire purpose of this plan was to enable each of us (if we choose) to become like our heavenly parents. But…none of this would be possible without a savior or someone who’d be willing to atone for our sins. All of us were bound by a law of universal justice that even the Father couldn’t do anything about.
So…that one guy…Satan…decided he wanted to be the savior of mankind. His only problem was that he wanted to alter the original plan just a bit.
He was like…”sure…I’ll go…and I’ll save everyone…and no one will be lost. In fact…no one will even be able to choose whether or not they want to come back to heaven. I’ll just make them. And…oh by the way…since I’m doing all of this…I’m going to need to get all the glory for this.”
But then another voice spoke up and humbly said… “I’ll go…and I don’t need the glory. In fact…I’ll give the Father all of the glory.”
The Father made an easy decision. He said “I’ll send the first…meaning Jesus…my firstborn.” From that point on Jesus became known as “the lamb slain before the foundation of the world” and that really made Lucifer mad. Like crazy mad. He freaked out and waged war in heaven. One third of God’s children followed satan and subsequently lost the war in heaven. (Rev 12:7-13) They were cast out of heaven and down to this earth with no chance of further progression. Damned…if you will.
The shear fact that you’re reading this right now means that you fought on the side of Jesus in the pre-existence. You wanted to come to earth to get a body…to learn…and to be like God.
So…you and I were sent to this earth and placed in situations based on “our exceeding faith and good works in the pre-existence.” (Alma 13)
The first of us to come to earth was Adam and Eve. They were placed in the Garden of Eden and were immortal. Adam and Eve were given two conflicting commandments while in the garden.
1. Don’t partake of some really good fruit on a tree…and 2. multiply and replenish the earth.
They made a conscious choice to break one commandment in order to keep the other commandment. That fruit ended up being “bitter sweet” to them. They were cast out of the garden and became immediate targets of satan and his minions.
On the one hand…they became mortal…subject to pain, sorrow and sin…but on the other they were now able to experience true joy. They were now also able to have children having lost the innocence they once had experienced. They chose to “fall” so that they could have children and we live today because of that decision. It was not just “some mistake” made by eve and subsequently Adam. It was their wisdom that perpetuated our existence and future potential.
Unfortunately…and fortunately…as we’ve come into this life…we’ve had a veil drawn over our minds. We cant remember a whole lot from back in the day and that gives a lot of people a lot of trouble in life. Many have forgotten who they were…and what potential they’ve been given.
What we do know is that we’re here…surrounded by innumerable evidences of an intelligent designer. We’ve had prophets sent to us to remind us about our older brother that promised to come down here and rescue us. You see…”no unclean thing can enter into the presence of God” which means none of us can ever go back home. We’re all unclean…because all of us have sinned.
So a couple thousand years ago…a baby was born to a virgin. His name was Jesus. He was that same Jesus that volunteered to come to earth and become our Savior. That little boy grew into a man…and by the time he was about 30 years old…he had begun his rescue mission. He went around helping people for about 3 years and established a church with 12 apostles in his free time. No one had power to take his life…but one day…he went in to a garden called Gethsemane while the weight of the sins and afflictions of the universe were heaped upon him. Those sins and afflictions were our sins and afflictions. The demands of justice in this universe required a price to be paid. In that Garden…Jesus paid that price. It was so awful that it caused him to bleed from every pore.
After that ordeal had ended…he willingly gave himself to the Jews and Romans so that they could scourge him and crucify him. He died on the cross and then was buried for 3 days. On the third day He was resurrected…making it possible for each of us to be resurrected and live forever.
Before he left…He taught us what our purpose was here on earth. He wanted us to follow him and accept him so that His sacrifice could become effective in our lives. He said that if we exercised faith in Him and served others first…that we would fulfill our purpose for coming to earth…and that he would take care of the rest.
He’s the best brother anyone could ask for!
If we believe in Christ, kept the commandments, and love others…then we’ll go to a really awesome placed called “spirit paradise” after we die. But if we reject Christ and treat others poorly…then we’ll have to go hang out in a place called “spirit prison”.
The followers of Christ in paradise are trying to help the people in prison get out. They are missionaries in this realm of spirits. They’re teaching people the gospel there just as we are teaching people the gospel here. It’s no different.
Meanwhile…we’re still here on earth doing “vicarious” work for those that have passed on. A “vicarious” work is when you do something for someone that they cannot do for themselves. Just like the Savior did. He died for us. He did something for us that we couldn’t do for ourselves. Baptism is one of the requirements for salvation…but some people were born in a time and place that never heard the name of Jesus Christ nor had a legal administrator to perform a baptism.
That’s why baptisms for the dead were introduced to the apostles. Paul talks about doing baptisms for the dead in 1 Corinthians 15:29 when he’s talking about the resurrection.
At some point in the near future…Christ will come again. Something we call the “Second Coming”. He will usher in what is called the millennium. For the next thousand years, except for a short stint at the end of those thousand years, satan will be bound and the work of the Lord will go forth unmolested.
Many religions will be on the earth at that time and missionary work will still take place…but temple work will steal the show. That thousand years will be dedicated toward sealing families. The end goal will be to seal the entire human family back to God through the ordinances of the temple. This will happen before the end of the millennium and then the final judgement will occur.
From there…people will be assigned to one of the three degrees of glory that Paul references in 1 Cor 15:40-42 and 2 Cor 12:2-4. He said that there is a degree of glory that is like the sun, one that is like the moon, and one that is like the stars in glory. We call those degrees of glory the Celestial Kingdom, the Terrestrial Kingdom, and the Telestial Kingdom. If you’re really really bad…and I mean really bad…you’ll head to Outer Darkness to live with satan for the rest of eternity. That can’t be good.
Our goal should be the Celestial kingdom. In that kingdom…we live in family units. We get to be with our husband or wife and get to see our kids. We get to hang out with our heavenly family and we get to “become like God”.
So we’re on this journey…and God has provided a way for us to have all that He has. Paul says that we’ll be “heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ” if we hold true to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We call it the plan of salvation, the plan of redemption, and my personal favorite…the plan of happiness.
So share this with someone…and make them happy!