What do Mormons, or members of the LDS Church, believe? This part of the Plan of Salvation can be summed up in six steps:
1. We existed before we came to earth as spirit children of our Heavenly Father.
2. We were given opportunities to grow, learn, and develop in our premortal state.
3. When we progressed as far as possible, Heavenly Father presented us with the Plan of Salvation.
4. , offering to be the savior.
5. There was a war where 1/3 of the hosts of heaven were lost. Lucifer and his followers were cast out of heaven, denied the opportunity to gain a body.
6. How do we know we chose Heavenly Father’s plan? Because we’re here on earth.
Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles stated: “We first heard about the plan of salvation before we were born, in what the scriptures call our first estate. What occurred in this first estate is dimly understood, but we do know that we lived there as spirits, children of our Heavenly Father, and we made certain steps of advancement to prepare for the opportunity of housing our eternal spirits in earthly bodies.”
In simple terms, we lived before we were born as spirit children of our Heavenly Father. While in the premortal life we had the chance to advance, or learn and grow, so that when it was time for us to come down to earth we’d be more prepared. Before we came down to earth we had the chance to show our love and obedience to God.
Elder Perry goes on to say, “We also know that our Father held a great council to explain the purpose of earth life. We had the opportunity of accepting or rejecting the plan of salvation. It was not forced upon us. The essence of the plan was that man would have an opportunity of working out his own salvation on earth, with God’s help.”
I would imagine even the Sunbeams (3-4 year old children) could tell us we lived with Heavenly Father before we came to earth. Heavenly Father presented us with a plan that Jesus believed in and Lucifer wanted to change. Lucifer offered a different plan. He would guarantee every soul would make it back to heaven through taking away our agency. Every person would have to do exactly as they were told. His only condition was all glory would go to him, not our Father.
There was no doubt this plan would not be allowed, but we still needed a savior. If no one stepped up to fill this position, the entire Plan was doomed to fail. Fortunately for all of us, our elder brother Jesus not only sustained our Father’s plan and offered to be our Savior, he wanted to give all glory to God.
At this point there was a war in heaven, though, no matter how much my boys would love to believe it, this war was not fought with light sabers like the characters in their favorite Star Wars movies. This war was not as simple as good fighting against evil. It was a battle fought with words and desperate attempts to convince those we loved to choose the way of agency, of eternal life. We lost a lot of souls in that war – one third of the hosts of heaven to be precise. Yet the majority of us stood strong and chose Heavenly Father’s plan.
How blessed we are to have all this knowledge of what came even before we came to earth. The remarkable path set before us that we accepted and rejoiced over. Do you know what beliefs I discovered when I polled my Christian friends from my favorite bulletin board?
Not one of them believed we existed before we came to earth. There was no learning, there was no choosing sides, there was no plan presented. God simply created spirits at the moment He put them into bodies and that is when we began.
I don’t know about you, but that idea leaves me feeling empty. There is something beautiful and fulfilling in knowing we existed before this life. We had the opportunity to grow and develop. We even had a hand in accepting certain experiences knowing they would help us continue to progress on earth.
We lived before we came to earth, of that I can testify.