Monday, February 10, 2014

Mormon Monday: Did We Exist Before This Life? Part 1 of the Plan of Salvation

Jeremiah 1:5 says:
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we believe that we did not begin on this earth with birth. This knowledge has been restored through modern-day prophets. We believe that our souls are much older than that. We believe that our Heavenly Father is the actual father of our spirits. We lived with Him before this life and He knew and loved everyone of us.

Our Father wanted us to grow and learn to become like Him. So, he presented a plan to us. It was a plan where we would come to mortality and learn the difference between good and evil. It would be difficult, but He promised us He would not leave us alone. As we made mistakes, He told us he would provide a way for us to return to Him again. Christ was chosen as our Savior.

Some of God's children, led by Lucifer didn't want to follow God's plan. Lucifer wanted to be our Savior and to force everyone to make good choices and return to God. God knew this wouldn't have been good for His children, and so Lucifer and his followers were cast out of heaven. Rev. 12:9

We knew this life would be difficult, but in order to become like our Father, this separation was necessary. Eventually, all children need to leave home, or they don't learn to be responsible adults. This life is meant to teach us how to choose good over evil and how to become like our Heavenly Father. If we didn't have trials and hardships, we wouldn't know joy and blessings. Opposition is necessary. If we were never sick, how would we know to be grateful for our health?

If we never experienced trials, would we be grateful for our blessings? It is when we face darkness that we truly come to comprehend and love the light.

This life is so important. The choices we make here do matter, and we are all brothers and sisters. We are in this life together and if we help each other, we can all return to our Father in Heaven. Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. If we turn to him, even though we make mistakes, we can be forgiven and become clean enough to enter our Father's presence.

Why is this knowledge important?

When we know that we existed before this, we understand that this life isn't just random. It has meaning and a purpose. God has prepared everything and knows what will be best for us. If we listen to Him and keep His commandments, we will achieve true happiness. We can trust in our Father and know He has our best interests in mind. We also know some other eternal truths. These I will quote from The Family: A Proclamation to the World:

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

I know this knowledge is true. It makes sense to me, and it has brought me a lot of comfort in this life. I know that we are all children of our Father in Heaven and that we are never alone. This life has a purpose, and so do our pains and trials. However, this life is meant to bring us joy, and we can rely on those around us to support and help us.

Here are the next few parts of this discussion if you want to find out what we believe happens next:

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