THE PLAN OF SALVATION
The first fundamental truth to unequivocally understand is that you are a child of God. This means your potential is beyond your comprehension. Take some time to seriously ponder what it means to you to be a child of God.
You lived in a spirit body before you came to earth. You received lessons there. You lived with Heavenly Father there. You had your agency to grow and choose your level of dedication to Heavenly Father there.
Heavenly Father presented a plan of salvation to you in the pre-existence. Heavenly Father needed a Savior for mankind. Jesus Christ volunteered and so did Satan.
Satan's plan and objections were fundamentally different than the plan of salvation that Heavenly Father presented to us in the pre-existence.
A war was fought in heaven for the loyalties of men. One third of the hosts of heaven followed Satan and was cast down to hell.
Satan wanted to take away your agency and replace Heavenly Father as God.
Everyone who is born into this earth chose Heavenly Father's plan and Jesus Christ as their Savior at that time. Ever since being cast down to hell, Satan and his host's sole mission has been to destroy the souls of men.
This is a spiritual war that continues from our first estate to see what voice you listen to, Christ's or Satan's.
A veil of forgetfulness was placed over your eyes on purpose so you would not remember anything about your pre-existence. God placed a veil over your eyes because your life here is a test.
We are here to live by faith and by the word of God. The test would be too easy if you remembered everything you knew from your pre-earth life.
Obtaining a body is the other reason why you came to earth. Heavenly Father had a body and you wanted to be like Him.
Because this life is a test there must be opposition in all things. Opposition is what makes great men great.
Christ's ordained mission was to undergo the atonement which covers your sins and every other pain and affliction you could ever experience, and much more.
It is a big fat bold lie that you need to sin in order to grow. Sin always causes digression not progression. Learning how to resist Satan is always better than giving in to his temptations.
This life is a test, and your job is to keep the commandments. God's job is to save you.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does not teach of heaven and hell in the traditional way that the Christian world does. God said that nothing filthy can dwell with Him in His kingdom because He and His Kingdom are not filthy.
To me it does not make logical sense to have only two places where Heavenly Father's children could go, to heaven or hell (where Satan is).
To me it does not make sense that a person who lived a pretty good life but not quite pure enough to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ should be sent to burn in hell with Satan.
Everyone is at a different level spiritually and has developed a certain level of righteous or wicked character. Heavenly Father has created different kingdoms to accommodate the various degrees of righteousness or character that people developed.
You can actually read about the different kingdoms Heavenly Father created. They all are considered kingdoms of glory, and none are in hell where Satan dwells. Even the most vilest of sinners will be given a kingdom of glory much greater than this earth life. Doesn't that say something about God's love.
1 Corinthians 15: 40
"There are celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another."
This scripture presented to you two of the three kingdoms of glory. Each kingdom has its own levels and degrees within. Modern revelation has more information about these kingdoms. The order of the kingdoms of glory are as follows;
- Celestial Kingdom: This is where Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ dwell and all those who live the celestial law.
My definition of hell: After the final judgment being assigned to any kingdom other than the highest level in the Celestial Kingdom. Hell to me is knowing what I could have had but did not get it because I did not do what it took.
I think it is important to reiterate that all three kingdoms are kingdoms of Glory and that Satan does not reside in any of them.
The final judgment occurs after a period of time after you pass this earth life and spend some time in the spirit world. The spirit world is a place where you continue to learn.
After the final judgment, the kingdom you receive is final. There is no graduating from a lower to a higher kingdom.
This is why it is imperative that you take this life serious. It is crucial that you discover the truth for yourself. Don't trust my word for it. Find out for yourself. Heavenly Father is the God of all, no matter what religion you belong to.
Pray to Heavenly Father for yourself to see if The Church of Jesus Christ is the only true and living church on this earth.
No matter what you already know or what prejudices you have, the most important work you can do in this life is to discover the truth and add to it daily.
Receive the missionaries in your home to answer all your questions and teach you more.
Marriages and family are a fundamental doctrine of the church. Through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints you can be together forever. The LDS temples are the only place on earth that seal marriages and families together after death.
Don't pass up an opportunity to talk to the missionaries about making your family eternal.
Does not the idea of being with your spouse and children after death fill you full of light and greater motivation to be the best you can possibly be?
We can do that because the LDS is the only church on earth that has the Lord's priesthood. The priesthood is the power God delegated to man to act in His name and behalf. The priesthood is one of the things that sets the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints apart from every other church.
The prophets hold all the keys and powers of the priesthood.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints only focuses on the Celestial Kingdom. All teachings of the living prophets are designed to get you into the Celestial Kingdom.
The kingdom one inherits depends on the law one obeys. Each kingdom has its respective laws. The principle for receiving blessings in life, no matter what the blessing you want, is to know and fulfill the laws and condition of the particular blessing you desire.
When you fulfill the law and condition of whatever blessing you want; it is yours without question. This is what God has said, and he cannot lie.
Membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) does not automatically guarantee Mormons entrance into the Celestial Kingdom. If Mormons do not live the Celestial law, they will not inherit the Celestial Kingdom.
Heavenly Father has prepared a way for those who have never heard of his plan and laws to be taught when they have died and entered into the next world. God will not hold over anyone's head what they did not know or what they did not have an opportunity to know during their earth life.
When Christ was resurrected he broke the bands of death; which means you too will be resurrected in your perfect body never to die again or feel any pain of body.
The hardest part about this earth life is not the trials and challenges we have to go through because the gospel has an answer for every personal, national, world problem.
The hardest part of earth life is we are no longer living in the physical presence Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
Other Doctrinal Differences of The LDS Church From The Remaining Christian World
The fall was not an accident. Adam and Eve did NOT sin by partaking of the fruit. It was God's will that they do it. How can anything be a sin if it is God's will? Sin is when you do contrary to God's will. God told Adam and Eve that they could choose. God laid out the consequences of the choices, and the choice of partaking of the fruit was to be cast out of the Garden of Eden, which had to happen.
This should not be a hard pill to take if you understand that you lived with Heavenly Father before you came to earth. Heavenly Father's goal was that you become like Him in every way. Part of that requirement was to have a body, because Heavenly Father had a body and you were only in spirit body. You could not have the necessary growing experiences to become like Him in His presence. It was mandatory that you leave His presence to grow.
The fall was not a mistake.
You had classroom training (presumably book learning also) but you needed experiential training.
Eve is not to be looked at as inferior because she partook of the fruit before Adam did.
Adam and Eve partook of the fruit to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
All of us owe our eternal gratitude to Eve for having the courage, leadership and foresight to partake of the fruit first.
Another reason why it was expected that Adam and Eve partake of the fruit is because Christ was chosen as our Savior before Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden. What reason would there have been to choose a Savior if it was expected that Adam and Eve not partake of the fruit?
Heavenly Father planned for Adam and Eve to partake of the fruit which is why Christ was selected as our Savior to redeem us from the fall.
The Plan of Salvation In A Nutshell
- You are a child of Heavenly Father.
- You lived with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the pre-existence which is also called the first estate or pre-earth life.
- The Plan of Salvation was presented to you in the pre-existence. You chose to follow Christ; this is true because you are living on this earth. If you did not choose Christ you would be one of Satan's angels in hell.
- You were born into this earth life (second estate) to be tested, gain experience and to obtain a body.
- Jesus Christ was born to earth and conceived by the spirit of God; which means he is literally the son of God. Christ lived a perfect life. He atoned for all of mankind's sins, weaknesses, infirmities and every other affliction known to man. Christ completely overcame and destroyed Satan in the process. Christ is the Savior of all mankind.
- One day you will die. Death is not to be feared especially if you lived a good life.
- When you die you will go to the spirit world and live in the form of a spirit. There you will continue learning. You wait there to be resurrected. Your spirit will return to your body in perfect form, never again to die or have bodily pains and afflictions.
- Final Judgment: Jesus Christ is the final judge. Every person will bow before Christ acknowledging him as Jesus the Christ. Jesus Christ earned his right to be God of this world by his foreordination in the pre-earth life, by how he lived his life and because of his atonement. The final judgment will be completely fair and just.
- Kingdom of Glory: After the final judgment, you will be assigned your final kingdom for the rest of eternity. Every kingdom is still one of glory.
There are so many different questions you could have about the plan of salvation. The best thing you could do if you have questions is go here and fill out your information to receive the missionaries in your home.
Learn more about the Plan of Salvation in Elder L. Tom Perry's talk The Plan of Salvation.