Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Where did we come from? Why are we here? The Plan of Salvation: The Pre-Mortal Life. Article by Anonymous Author






The Plan of Salvation:

The Pre-Mortal Life

There are two laws that concern all of us: the Law of Justice and the Law of Mercy. All of us are subject to the Law of Justice. The Law of Mercy can only be applied when we choose to have faith in Christ and His Atonement, keep the commandments of God, and endure to the end.

In scriptural terms, justice is the unchanging law that brings consequences for actions. Because of the law of justice, we receive blessings when we obey God's commandments. The law of justice also demands that a penalty be paid for every sin we commit (lds.org).

The Savior satisfied the demands of justice when He stood in our place and suffered the penalty for our sins. Because of this selfless act, the Father can mercifully withhold punishment from us and welcome us into His presence. To receive the Lord's forgiveness, we must sincerely repent of our sins. As the prophet Alma taught, “Justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent are saved” (Alma 42:24; see also Alma 42:22-23, 25) (lds.org).

Speaking to His disciples, the Savior commanded: “Be ye . . . merciful, as your Father also is merciful” (Luke 6:36). We can follow our Heavenly Father's example of mercy in our relationships with others. We can strive to rid our life of arrogance, pride, and conceit. We can seek ways to be compassionate, respectful, forgiving, gentle, and patient, even when we are aware of others' shortcomings (lds.org).

The Prophet Moroni Asked (Moroni 7:40-45, 47)

40. How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope?

41. And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.

42. Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope.

43. He cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart.

44. None is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly of heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, He must needs have charity;

45. And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

47. Charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever.

As children of God, we can become like our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Before we were born, we lived with our Heavenly Father as spirits. We did not have bodies of flesh and bone like we do now.

In the pre-mortal existence, Heavenly Father prepared a plan to enable us to become like him and receive a fullness of joy (Scripture Stories, 2008).

He counseled with us and taught us His plan. He prepared us to face the challenges of mortality. He gave us the ability to reason and to make our own decisions.

The scriptures and prophets refer to this plan as “the Plan of Salvation,” “the Great Plan of Happiness,” “the Plan of Redemption,” and “the Plan of Mercy (True to the Faith, 2004).”

This plan has five simple steps:

1. Have faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ
2. Repent
3. Obey the commandments of God
4. Receive the guidance of the Holy Ghost
5. Endure to the end

The prophet Abraham wrote: (Abraham 3:22-25)

“22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;

23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.

24 And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;

25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;”

In our pre-mortal life, we knew that we would not be forced to follow God’s plan. We would have our agency and ability to choose to keep the commandments of God or to go another way.

Jesus was foreordained to be our perfect example He was chosen to show us how to be obedient, compassionate, and how to become like our father in Heaven.

Lucifer was also a child of God at one time. He knew, as we did, that if we were given the choice, there would be those who would choose not to follow the commandments of God, and would choose not to return to live with God again.

Lucifer thought of an idea that was different from God’s plan. He taught it to others. A third part of God’s children loved Lucifer’s idea more than God’s plan.

Lucifer grew to love himself more than he loved God. He thought his idea was better than God’s Plan.

For Lucifer’s idea to work, he thought he would need all of God’s power and glory.

Lucifer sought to glorify himself. He did not seek to glorify God. He coveted God’s power, not to bless others and help them to be happy, but to enslave them to his will by removing their agency and personal choice. He would not have compassion on the children of God (Isaiah 14:12-14).

Moses records that Lucifer went before God, saying: (Moses 4:1)

“Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.

Jesus, who was already foreordained to be God’s Son and chosen to be the redeemer of the world, sought only to glorify His Father.”

God told Moses: (Moses 4:2)

“2 But, behold, my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me — Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.

Jesus loved Heavenly Father more than he loved himself. He sought to glorify God.”

God Said to Moses: (Moses 4:3-4)

“3 Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down;

4 And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.”

Lucifer became Satan. He and those that followed him were cast out of heaven for rebellion. Even today they seek to deceive and blind us and to get us to indulge in addictive behaviors that would captivate us to his will.

But we are not without hope.

By the power of Jesus Christ, we can overcome the influences that fight against righteousness.

When we choose to have faith in Christ,

When we choose to repent,

When we choose to be obedient to the commandments of God,

When we choose to follow the guidance of the Holy Ghost,

And when we choose to endure to the end,

Our Heavenly father will bless us with mercy, redemption, happiness and salvation unto Eternal Life. That is His plan.

God told Moses: (Moses 1-39)

“39 For behold, this is my work and my glory — to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”

When we follow God’s plan, we develop Faith, Hope and Charity, which is the pure love of Christ.

And when we have developed these Christ-like attributes, we will find that we have become like Him.

We will receive a fullness of Joy and be free to live our lives with our families, and those we love and serve, in happiness forever.

Jesus said,

I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in Heaven is perfect (3 Nephi 12:48).

Behold, I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life.

Behold, I have given unto you the commandments; therefore keep my commandments (3 Nephi 15:9-10).

We chose to follow God’s plan before we were born. Now that we are here on earth, we can renew that choice to follow God’s plan again.

Like the prophet Nephi, we can say:

[We] will go, and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for [we] know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them. (1 Nephi 3:7)

The prophet Alma taught (Alma 42:26-27),

"27 Therefore, whosoever will come may come and partake of the waters of life freely; and whosoever will not come the same is not compelled to come; but in the last day it shall be restored unto him according to his deeds.

26 And thus God bringeth about his great and eternal purposes, which were prepared from the foundation of the world. And thus cometh about the salvation and the redemption of men, and also their destruction and misery."

Joy and happiness or destruction and misery will be the result of our choices, what we hope for, and where we place our faith, whether it be in God, or in another source.

I know Jesus Christ lives. He is the Son of God, our Heavenly Father. He has restored His gospel. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ's church. The Book of Mormon is truly another testament of Jesus Christ.

We have prophets and apostles who are called of God and help us to know and keep God’s commandments. We are promised that if we keep the commandments, we will prosper, and have peace and joy in our lives.

This is my testimony. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment