First, I have to say, thank you all so much for the wonderful things you said about my Sunday post last week. Special thanks to those who admitted that my writing helped them see the LDS faith in a better, positive light. Your words mean so much to me.
Now that I have that rather difficult post behind me, I needed to find somewhere to start. I have so many questions to answer, but in many ways the LDS faith has it’s own vocabulary and if I jumped right into the middle of things I might leave you all even more confused than when you started reading.
Then I went to sunday school for children (called Primary) and I realized that the first thing children in the church are taught at the beginning of each year is the Plan of Happiness (also known as the Plan of Salvation). I LOVE the Plan and I can’t think of any better place to start.
I got so excited that I made a little graphic to illustrate the plan as I write the 3 part series I will present in January. Hopefully it will help all of you better understand how the entire experience fits together.
The Plan of Salvation: Week 1
We are going to start at the beginning. This is back before your senior prom, back before your first kiss, you haven’t learned how to ride a bike, you don’t know anything about tying your shoes… in fact we are going to go so far back in time that you haven’t even been born. This is before Columbus sailed the ocean blue, before the earth flooded over in the time of Noah, even before the time of Adam.
Before we were all born, we lived together as brothers and sisters with our Father in Heaven. It was during this period of time that we developed our identities and personalities. I like to think that Mozart played the piano a lot, Celine Dion walked around belting out songs all day long, and I probably did a lot of blogging.
One day, God called us all together and presented a Plan (see Abraham 3:22–26). It was a Plan that would bring happiness to all who chose to keep God’s commandments. All who chose to follow the Plan would be sent to the Earth to receive a body and be tested. This test would provide each spirit with the opportunity to choose for themselves between good and evil.
Because all the spirits sent to earth would have agency (the absolute freedom to choose and act for ourselves), we would be making mistakes all of the time. We would need someone to help us be reconciled with God. Jesus Christ, the Firstborn Son of the Father in the spirit, covenanted to become our Redeemer and save us from our sins through the Atonement and Resurrection. (see Moses 4:2; Abraham 3:27)
Lucifer, our brother, and another spirit son of God, stepped forward and presented his own plan. He wanted to save all the spirit sons and daughters of God by taking away their agency, and have all the glory and power of God for himself. He rebelled against God, and all of those who chose to follow Satan (so many of our brothers and sisters were with him!) were cast out of heaven and denied the opportunity to come down to earth and receive a physical body in order to experience mortal life.
Once everyone had made the choice concerning who they would follow (Satan or God), it was time to get ready to come down to earth. I like to think that we all had a big party together because we were about to experience something new and exciting. You, me, all of us alive and reading this blog today had to wait thousands of years for our turn. And then, in April of 1985, my chance came! It was finally time for me to come to earth and have a body of my own!
Next week I’ll be covering mortal life, death, the spirit world. If you would like to learn more about the premortal life on your own, visit this page on LDS.org.