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: