About “The Purpose of Life Series”: Curiosity struck and I decided to ask Google how many people were searching out various phrases. I was absolutely floored at the amount of people who are aching to know answers to some basic truths that I hold dear. For instance, in June of 2016, there were 9,885,590 searches for, “Who is God?” (a) Knowing that, “there are many… who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it,” (b) I am hopeful to help them in their quest for knowledge.
This address is to those who do not know where to find the truth. I am hopeful to help some, I even dare to hope to help many, find answers. I will do so by teaching pure doctrine, testifying with all my might and showing how to gain a witness and knowledge on their own. You are invited to join with me as we explore beautiful truths together. If you are courageous enough to accept them, these truths will change your life and even your eternity.
As always, I accept full responsibility for the content of this post.
The Purpose of Life
What is the purpose of life? Why am I here? Where will I go when I die? How do I get to Heaven?
Questions, questions, questions. It is a good thing to wonder, for in so doing we become seekers. (i) Over the ages, questions have lead to beautiful truths that have enriched our understanding. After all, “The Lord can only teach an inquiring mind.“ (ii)
Believe it or not, these questions, and many others, are connected. In order to begin to understand the answers though, I must go back. Way back. Back when time did not exist. Back when you were made of matter so fine that the natural human eye could not see it.
The Pre-mortal Realm
Here are some beautiful truths that much of the world does not know: You consist of a spirit and a body, and the combination of the 2 makes up your soul. (iii) Your spirit existed without your body from before the foundation of the world. (iv) Elder Russell M. Nelson teaches, “Before the foundation of the world, each of us existed as spirit children with our Father in Heaven.” (v) “Father in Heaven” being God. Yes, you lived in the presence of God during this time. We call this period the pre-mortal existence (or sometimes the pre-existence).
Who You Are
Do you want to know something stunning? If this is your first time understanding this next principle, prepare to catch your breath: for You are a child of God. (vi, vii) You are literally His creation. He made you. If you have ever asked the question, Does God Love Me, then I have glorious news for you. YES. Yes, God does love you. He is the Father, creator, and architect of your very foundation. You are more precious to Him than you can possibly imagine. God loves you.
Life Without a Body
Will you imagine with me for a moment? What must it have been like in the pre-mortal realm without a body? Imagine not being able to feel with your hands or experience tangible bliss. How frustrating it certainly was to not be married and how incomplete to not be able to have children, to not have the ability to experience intimacy or to partake of food. This was the state of our spirits in the pre-mortal existence but, as always, God had a better plan for us.
A Better Plan
We learned of God’s plan, which would allow us to obtain bodies. A plan that would offer pleasure and pain, and that would test us. We were educated about a plan of agency, where we could choose for ourselves. Our spirits were schooled about a Savior who would bridge the gaps that separate us from God. We found out that we would be reunited with our bodies, after we die through resurrection. This glorious plan offered a way to return to God’s very presence clean, whole, and perfect.
A necessary part of this plan was that we would receive a body by birth. When our spirits would join with our bodies through birth, we would be able to taste delicious food, experience physical pleasures (along with pain), and have children. This news was so joyous that we shouted for JOY!!! (viii)
There was a problem, though. Each and every one of us commits sin and God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance. (ix) Yes, we would be separated from that God whom we loved because there is no way to achieve perfection on our own. No matter how hard we would try, we would either commit sin by action or omission. In addition, we knew what it was like to live in a spirit form without a body and after death, our bodies and spirits would once again be separated. How was this to be overcome? Were we to experience the joy of having a body only to have it lost through death?
Two Plans For Redemption
We attended a grand council where this, and other questions, must have been asked. Would we ever have the chance to be with God, our Father, again? In order that the dilemmas of sin and death could be overcome, two of our spirit brothers stepped forward, each presenting vastly different plans, to overcome the obstacles of sin and death.
The First Plan
The first solution was that a Savior would be provided. Our brother, Jesus, volunteered to come to earth and live a completely sinless life. He would additionally suffer for every single pain, torment, terror, heartache, illness, grief-ridden horror and more. This magnificent sacrifice for every single creation is called the atonement, and by suffering the atonement, He would qualify to act as a mediator between us and God. Our part in the process would be to repent. Through our Savior’s atonement and our repentance, our sins could become as white as snow, and we could again be clean. Clean enough to be in God’s presence again.
The other part of His plan was that He would “become the firstfruits of them that slept.” (x) This means that He would literally burst the bands of death and be resurrected. This would open the way for us to experience our own resurrection and to again be re-united with our bodies. His plan would allow us to return to the presence of God. (xi) Relief must have filled us as we learned of this magnificent plan.
The Second Plan
The second plan was presented by one “who was in authority in the presence of God.” (xii) He was our brother as well and His name was Lucifer. Lucifer’s plan varied drastically from Jesus’ plan because he wanted ALL of the children of God to return to his presence by force. To be clear, Lucifer’s plan was that the children of men would return to Lucifer, himself, and not to God. He wanted all of the glory for himself and his plan was to replace God. (xiii)
A basic principle that God holds dear and which He will not break is that of His gift of agency. God will force no one to Heaven. Heaven would have little joy, little progression and little pleasure if we were forced there. Addit, we would certainly resent any God who did not offer us our basic ability to choose. No. This is not God’s way. Agency is central to His plan. God wants us to return to His presence with willing hearts, clean hands, and a hunger to be with Him.
The Result of the Rebellion
Because Lucifer rebelled against God’s gift of agency and Jesus’ plan, he became the Devil, the father of ALL lies. (xiv) The heavens wept and surely we were among the mourners at the loss of a brother, because not only did we lose a brother, but he stole away the hearts of many, even 1/3rd of the hosts of heaven. (xv, xvi, xvii) If you have ever wondered: who is the devil, look no further than the fallen angel that became Satan.
Where Your Loyalties Lied
Here is something else that might amaze you. Because you have a body now, you know which plan you chose. Satan and his angels will not have the privilege of obtaining a body. You have a body. While you might not know the details, you can be assured that you chose the plan of Jesus over the plan of Lucifer. You know that in the pre-mortal realm you stood by Jesus and had so much faith and trust in Him that you believed He would complete His completely sinless mission. Yes, you accepted this plan because He could then act as your mediator with God. The knowledge you held was that He is the way, the ONLY way, back to the presence of God.
The Purpose of Life
What is the purpose of life? Simply this: to return to God’s presence again. That’s it. That is the purpose of life.
This purpose is made possible by a Savior who didn’t so much as entertain a single bad thought. He made an eternal sacrifice for your soul, in fact a sacrifice so perfect that no power can break its effect. A sacrifice made possible through the atonement which provides opportunity for repentance and resurrection.
Should we ever be privileged to return to the presence of our God, even our Heavenly Father, surely we will forever praise the gatekeeper, even our glorious Savior Jesus Christ for making it possible.
Note: While I will continue to teach and testify about questions relating to the Purpose of Life, you can meet with missionaries who will teach you more. They have answers to these and many other questions.
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