In memory of
Jared High
 

THE PLAN OF SALVATION

WHAT IS MY PURPOSE OF LIFE?

Life on earth is a testing period
during which we prepare to meet God again.

THE CREATION AND THE FALL

The earth was created as a place for our Heavenly Father's children to live and gain experience.  Adam and Eve were the first of God's children to come to earth.  They lived in a place called the Garden of Eden, where they were still in God's presence.
 

Our Heavenly Father wants all of his children to have the perfect joy he has attained.  To gain that joy, it is necessary for us to come to earth to obtain physical bodies.  Letís understand some of the important reasons for getting a physical body.  God is a God of love, and seeks that which is best for each of us.  Therefore, he provided a plan for us to become more like him.  To gain the wisdom that God has, we needed many experiences,(1)  particularly since there are many things we could not learn or do as spirits in the premortal life.  For example, a spirit cannot feel physical pain or suffering, and learn by experience what pain is.  Neither can a spirit be baptized or married, nor experience the pain and joy of having children or watching them grow.  To obtain experiences like these, we have come to this earth and received physical bodies.  Itís a wonderful feeling to be on this earth gaining wisdom and knowledge day by day. 
 

Our Heavenly Father gave Adam and Eve agency, or freedom to choose.  He commanded them not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Obeying this commandment meant they could remain in the garden, but they could not progress by learning from experiences and challenges.  Satan tempted Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, and they chose to do so.  This was part of God's plan.  Because of their decision, they were separated from God's presence physically and spiritually.  They became mortal, that is, subject to sin and death.  They were unable to return to Him without his help.  Their physical and spiritual separation from God is called "the Fall."
 

Our Heavenly Father sent angels and the Holy Ghost to teach Adam and Eve the plan of salvation.  Central to this plan is the Atonement of Jesus Christ, which enables God's children to overcome the effects of the Fall and have joy in this life and in eternity. 
 

YOUR LIFE ON EARTH
 

 Because of the Fall, you are separated from God physically and spiritually.  This separation is part of God's plan for His children.  Your purpose in leaving His presence to come to earth included obtaining a body, gaining experience, and learning to make right choices. 
 

ÖWisdom and knowledge: one way to get these great gifts are by reading words from the prophets, modern and of old.  Scriptures are a powerful teaching tool to help us learn of Godís plan for us.
 

Many aspects of life bring happiness, and some bring sorrow.  These experiences help you learn to distinguish between good and evil and to make correct choices.  God influences you to do good and to follow Him, while Satan tempts you to ignore God and commit sin.  (Sin is knowingly choosing to do wrong or not to do right.)  When you choose to follow God and keep His commandments, you grow in wisdom and strength of character.  You can experience joy even in times of trial, and you can face life's challenges with a spirit of peace.
 

You have made many good choices in your life, but you have also made some wrong choices. When you make wrong choices and commit sin, you separate yourself to some degree from God.  The scriptures call this separation spiritual death.  In addition to separating you from God, sin also causes guilt and shame.  You cannot overcome sin and its effects by yourself. 
 

THE ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST
 

Because your Heavenly Father loves you, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for your sins.  This payment is part of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ voluntarily suffered for your sins, pains, sicknesses, and sorrows.  Through His grace and mercy, He can help you in your trials and relieve you of the guilt and shame that result from your sins. 
 

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life."  John 3:16
 

In paying for your sins, Jesus did not eliminate your agency or personal responsibility; He will not make you clean against your will.  To receive His help and strength, you need to exercise faith in Him, repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and choose to follow His teaching for the rest of your life.  As you rely on the Atonement, you will feel the love of God, and He will help you endure your trials.  You will experience joy, peace, and consolation.  All that seems unfair in life can be made right through the atonement of Jesus Christ and the mercy and love of our Heavenly Father.  The Atonement is the central point in the plan of salvation.
 

FAITH
 

Another reason we come to earth is to develop faith in God.(2)  Our Heavenly Father wants all of his children to have faith in him.(3)   If we are to have faith in him, we must learn to trust him and have confidence in his promises to us.(4)   One of the great Book of Mormon prophets, Alma, gave a definition of faith.
 

"And now as I said concerning faithÖ faith is not to have a perfect knowledgeof things; therefore, if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seenwhich are true."   (Alma 32:21) 
 

In other words, Faith is a hope, a confidence, a belief in things that are true but which we cannot see.  In our premortal life, we walked primarily by sight; in this life we walk primarily by faith.(5)   Our Heavenly Father made it possible for us to live by faith by placing a veil of forgetfulness over our minds, thus causing us to forget the premortal life.  Therefore, we live not by memory but by faith.  Do you suppose we could develop faith if we could remember what it was like to be in the premortal existence with God?  No. We would all be perfect because we would remember our wonderful existence with our Father in Heaven and we wouldnít want to do anything wrong to make him disappointed in us.(6) 
 

We have already progressed to the point of obtaining a physical body, which is one of the main reasons for coming to earth.  Remember, the other reason for being on this earth was that God wanted us to test our faith and see if we would keep all of his commandments when we are not in his presence.(7)   When we came to earth, he caused us to forget the premortal life and gave us commandments to live by.  Some of those commandments are to:

1) have faith in the Lord 
2) repent of our sins 
3) be baptized, and 
4) love one another. 
God Measures our love and faith in him by how well we keep the commandments.  He told his disciples that if they loved him, they would keep his commandments (John 14:15)  As we keep the commandments, our faith grows and we prepare (8)  to live with our Heavenly Father in his kingdom.  No one can ever be saved in his kingdom without showing his faith by obeying the Lordís commandments.(9)   Just think of the many ways we can manifest our faith in God?  Faith grows by keeping the commandments and by prayer and study of scriptures and gospel principles. 
We lived as spirits with our Heavenly Father in a premortal life and that we were born into mortality so we could obtain bodies, gain wisdom and knowledge, develop faith, and prove to our Heavenly Father that we would keep his commandments.(10)   The most important thing we can do in this life is to keep Godís commandments, and, in fact, obeying Godís commandments is the only way we will ever be truly happy.

 

As we keep the commandments of God, He will prepare a place for you in His Kingdom.  We will each be judged and rewarded according to our own works here on this earth.  We are personally responsible for our own salvation (remember "The Devil Made Me Do It" mentality?).  We cannot be saved by another manís labor or how another man keeps the commandments. 

I am a child of God,
Rich blessings are in store;
If I but learn to do his will
I'll live with Him once more....
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.  (13)

Visit www.Mormon.org for more information
 
(1)  Hebrews 5:8-9
(2)  Hebrews 11:1,6
(3)  Romans 1:17
(4)  Moroni 7:26,28,32,33
(5)  Habakkuk 2:4
(6)  2 Corinthians 5:7
(7)  Alma 12:24
(8)  Alma 34:32
(9)  Ether 12
(10) Matthew 7:21

(11) I Am a Child of God, 2nd verse, by N. W. Randall & M. T. Pettit  (Hear the piano music to this song)

 Go to the Next Concept 

 What Happens After this Life?

THE MEANING OF LIFE  WHAT IS THE PLAN OF SALVATION?


Life Before Birth   Where do we come from?
What's the Purpose of Life?   Why are we here?
Where do we go when we die?   What will happen to us when we die?
Where do those who die by suicide go?  How are we judged?
Everyone will have an opportunity   What about people who didn't know?
The Full Blessing  Life can be short for some.  What about babies who die?
 

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