The Plan of Salvation

Where Did I Come From?

This is one of the most important questions that you can ask yourself. If you know where you came from, then you can understand why you are where you are, and then determine where you are going. Many have asked this question, and missed the mark. But thanks to the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, and a modern day prophet, we have the answer!

In Jeremiah 1: 5 the Lord tells Jeremiah, "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."  From this we learn that before we ever came to earth, we lived with our Heavenly Father. We were his literal spirit children. But we weren't like Heavenly Father, who has a body of flesh and bone. We, just like any child, wanted to become like our Father. So because He loves us, He provided a plan for us to gain a body, and then return to live with him called the Plan of Salvation.

Heavenly Father gave us our agency, or our ability to choose. It is one of God's greatest gifts to us, and it determines what will happen to us hereafter. We have the choice to follow Christ, or to follow Satan. He knew that we would make mistakes on earth and so he provided us a way to be made clean again. Jesus Christ's Atonement is the centerpiece of the plan, and through him it is all made possible.

Every one of us is important in God's eyes, and we all have great potential! I know that this is true, and I am very greatful for the peace of comfort this knowledge brings.

The Fall of Adam and Eve

Jesus Christ created the world as a place for us to live, learn, and grow. After this creation he put the first two people on the earth, Adam and Eve. Their story is one that most people have heard of, but from my experience, not many people really know. Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden, but nothing was happening. If they hadn't chosen to partake of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, "all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end. And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin" (2 Ne 2: 22-23).

Before they fell, Adam and Eve were innocent, and they weren't learning or progressing. They lived in the presence of God, because they were clean from sin. When they chose to partake of the fruit, they transgressed and brought joy, misery, good and evil into the world. They were no longer clean from sin and so they died spiritually, or they were separated from God's presence. They also became mortal. This meant that at some point they would die physically, or their spirits and their bodies would be separated from each other. These two deaths, spiritual and physical, are major obstacles in the Plan of Salvation.

I have heard people say, "If it wasn't for Adam and Eve, we wouldn't have all the bad in the world." That is true, but we also wouldn't have all the good! Actually, we wouldn't even be here! I am grateful for the Fall because now I get to experience life, learning, and happiness. I know this is true.

What Now? 

We have now been born onto this earth, and we are in a bit of a mess. Because of the Fall of Adam we are all mortal. At some point, every one of us is going to die, and that means losing the body that we wanted so badly before we came here. We also are free to choose, and because of that every single one of us sins and becomes unclean. In 1 Nephi 10: 21 we read that " unclean thing can dwell with God;" This means that we can't return and live with our Heavenly Father again. Physical and Spiritual Death are major obstacles in the Plan of Salvation, and they are something that we cannot overcome by ourselves.

So what is the point of being here? Is there anything that we can do? We can get answers to questions like these from the scriptures. Alma 34: 32 tells us "For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors." We are here to prepare ourselves to meet God, by learning from our choices. We have to choose to make the right choices and repent when we make the wrong ones.

Heavenly Father knew the Fall of Adam would happen, so he prepared a way for us to return to him. He planned to sacrifice his Only Begotten Son, and make it possible to Overcome Physical and Spiritual Death. I am grateful for a Father who loves all of us enough to do this and I know this is true.

The Atonement of Christ

Jesus Christ did many great things while he was on the earth. He healed many, and blessed the lives of everyone. He taught the people, and was a shining example of what we should be. But the greatest thing he did for us was when he performed the Atonement. It started in the Garden of Gethsemane when our Savior prayed and took our sins upon him. It continued as he suffered and died on the Cross on Calvary. It was finished when Christ rose from the dead to "loose the bands of death which bind his people..." (Alma 7:12)

As mentioned before, we are all bound by Spiritual and Physical Death. When Christ took upon himself our sins, he made it possible to be clean again if we will repent! Because of this we can be brought into our Heavenly Father's presence if we do what He asks of us.

With Christ's death and resurrection, he gave all men the gift to receive their bodies again! In Alma 11: 42-43 it says, "Now, there is a death which is called a temporal death; and the death of Christ shall loose the bands of this temporal death, that all shall be raised from this temporal death. The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form... Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous;" When Christ comes again we will again have the body that we came to earth for!

"... for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do" (2 Nephi 25: 23). We still have to follow Christ's example, and be obedient to his comandments, but if we do, the Atonement of Christ will redeem us from the fall. Without this we would have no purpose, no hope, and no chance. But we do have all of these because of Christ. He is our Saviour, our brother, our friend, and he lives!

Life After Death

Eventually all of us will pass from this life. Our bodies will die and remain on earth, and our spirits will leave and go to a place call the Spirit world. There are two divisions in the spirit world. "the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise...  the souls of the wicked, yea, in darkness..." (Alma 40:12-14) So those who have faith, repent, are baptized, receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end to get to Paradise. Those who were rebellious or didn't do these things will go to Spirit Prison. As I'm sure you can tell from the names, Paradise is a good place, and Spirit Prison is not so good. 

There are many people in this life who never have the opportunity to accept the gospel. Because God loves all of this children he provided a way for everyone to hear about and have the choice to accept it. For those who don't have that opportunity on earth, it is provided in the Spirit World. "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;" (1 Pet 3: 18-19). After Christ's death, and before his resurrection he went to the Spirit World and sent missionaries to those who had never heard the gospel. They are then given that choice.

This is one of my favorite doctrines. Heavenly Father does love his children, and he is going to give everyone that chance to return to him.

  Resurrection and Judgement

One of the scary things about life is death. We know that death isn't the end, because there is the spirit world. But "as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." (1 Cor 15: 22) The spirit world isn't the end either! When Christ comes again, all will be resurrected. Our spirits and our bodies will reunite, and will never separate again! "There shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame..." (Alma 11: 44)

We will then be judged according to our thoughts, desires, and actions. We will be judged into three glories talked about in 1 Corinthians 15: 40-42, the Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial Kingdoms. The Celestial Kingdom is where we will live with Heavenly Father again, it is described as the glory of the sun. This is where our families can be together forever! Those who accept the fullness of Christ's Gospel and are valiant will go here. Those who are good people, but don't accept the gospel go to the Terrestrial Kingdom. This is also where those who accept the gospel and aren't valiant will go. It is the glory of the moon, which isn't as great as the sun, but is still a good place to be. Those who are wicked and do not repent go to the Telestial Kingdom with the glory of the stars.

We have so much potential if we live up to the plan that Heavenly Father has for us. In my life it gives me peace, as well as millions of others. We are all children of a loving Heavenly Father who wants us back. I know that if we do what he asks of us, we will be happier than we can imagine. We will be with our families forever!
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