Mormon Beliefs: The Plan of Salvation

In the Mormon Church, “the plan of salvation is the fullness of the gospel. It includes the Creation, the Fall, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and all the laws, ordinances, and doctrines of the gospel.”1 Free agency, or the ability to choose for ourselves, is also an integral part of God’s plan. Because of the plan of salvation, all may become perfect through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and live with Heavenly Father again. This plan of salvation is also referred to as the ‘plan of happiness’, ‘plan of redemption’ or the ‘plan of mercy.’

Each individual at one time or another asks four questions: where did I come from?, who am I?, why am I here?, and where do I go after I die?.

First, where did I come from? We each came from our Heavenly Father’s presence. We did not have a physical body like we do now on this earth and in order for us to progress, Heavenly Father knew we needed to be away from His presence. In this premortal existence, all mankind sat in council with Heavenly Father. At this council, Heavenly Father presented His ‘plan of happiness’.2 Two of his Sons, Jesus Christ and Lucifer, presented their own plans in which each could return to Father in Heaven. Jesus covenanted to be the Savior. He was willing to come to earth and give His life and take upon Himself the sins of all mankind. Whereas, Lucifer wanted to force all to do what was right. Under this plan, we would not be allowed to make choices. Jesus Christ was chosen and ordained to be the Savior. The Mormon belief is that, because we have an earthly body, we chose Jesus Christ and are on this earth to prove our worthiness so that we may return to live with Heavenly Father again. Those who chose Lucifer’s plan, are on this earth as spirits.  They are around us daily tempting and enticing us to do things, which are against our Heavenly Father and Savior’s plan. Only by following the teachings of the Savior, can we return to our Father’s presence.

Second, who am I? Each individual is a daughter or son of our Heavenly Father’s; every person who was, and ever will be born on earth is our spirit brother and sister. We each lived in the presence of our Father in Heaven as one of His spirit children. He is the Father of all mankind who knows and loves each person individually. He is the one who created our world in which to live, to grow and to become like Him. Because He is our Father, each has inherited the potential to develop divine qualities. If we live righteously, we can return to live with Him forever.

Third, why am I here on earth? Our body and spirit are united and able to develop in ways that we were not able to in the premortal life. Here we gain experience and develop attributes which are like our Father in Heaven’s.  Loving others the way He loves, choosing right over wrong, knowing and loving Him and His Son, Jesus Christ through prayer and the scriptures. And committing ourselves through the ordinances, which will help us in returning to Their presence. We are not here without help from our Father in Heaven. He has provided a way for us to continue to communicate with Him and receive help from Him on a daily basis: that of constant prayer. His plan of happiness is designed to bring us happiness and peace in this life and eternal happiness in the life to come.

Fourth, where do I go after I die? If death were the end, what would be the point of this earthly existence? Mormons believe that it is not the end; it is the next step in our Heavenly Father’s plan for His children. Death is a necessary step in the progression, just as birth is. At death, the spirit will enter the spirit world and await the resurrection. At the resurrection, the spirit and body will again reunite. At this time, each will be judged upon the works that were done on this earth. As each waits for the resurrection, it will be a time of continued learning of Christ’s teachings and of preaching the gospel.

For more information on the Mormon Church and the Plan of Salvation please see the following websites:

Mormon Church

Plan of Salvation

  1. Larry Schneider

    This must be dealt with . I have trouble seeing the free agency of some who were prohpesied about their comming to earth to do dasterdly deeds so that scripture might be fullfilled. Some say,”well, they had their free agency”. Ok, but on the other hand the scripture has to be fullfilled. Some say,”well if that person wouldn’t have done it then someone else would have.” The equivalent to that is to say ,”Then some one will be appointed until someone does it.” Where does free agency play into this? Apparently, the “will” to have something come to pass over rides free agency. You cannot have it both ways. If so , then both will naturally cancel out. Otherwise, if it is determined that so and so must do an evil act, then free agency is no longer at play, but to the contrary, a preset, determined event, for whatever reason. I once struggled with the Judas thing. I thought to myself, ‘Why send one of my sons to his sure death?’ If I know that by sending my son “oops” to earth on a certain day, in a certain year, in a certain country, in a certain county, in a certain township,and then “call” him for a prescribed event to come to pass, then where does free agency come into the picture? I once asked an Elder of high position in a ward, as to why was Judas sent to betray the Savior? He replied,”Jesus needed an opposite!” I later wondered if Jesus needed an opposite to play the bad guy in order to make Him look like the Good Guy. Else, I thought He already had His “opposite” in satan. The way I see it , is, that there has to be bad guys in order for good guys to be appreciated, otherwise people would become bored and eventually lose sight and definition of what good is. Goodness would become less and less desired or appreciated and would eventually vanish away. This is how I understand Lehi’s explanation. But there is still the question,who will be the bad guy? which one of you willingly wants to go to hell? or to the lake of lava for eternity? I’m not particularly excited about that. “It must needs be that the devil should tempt the children of men or else they could not/cannot be agents unto themselves.” Who wants to be the devil? Who will raise his hand to volunteer? What if satan chose to follow the plan? Then another devil would be needed to tempt the children of men so that they could be agents unto themselves. And apparently, being tempted in this life is an important step in reaching exaltation, otherwise the whole plan is being made up as we go along.

  2. God’s knowing what we will choose does not mean that we know what we will choose. Nor does it mean that God has decreed our choice. Time is not a barrier with God. All things are present before Him.

    Judas chose to betray the Savior. He was not pigeon-holed into this act. The choice was his. Was it known before it happened? In the sense that God knows the end from the beginning and time is not a barrier for Him, yes.

    Evil was not designed by God. It has always existed in opposition to good. Humanity has always had the choice to choose between the two, and they have done so.

  1. Pingback: Online Teachings of Mormonism | Mormon Missionaries

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