Before the world began we were all residing in heaven with our Heavenly Father. At the time, with His children all around Him, the Father presented a plan in which all of us would have the chance to return to Him and attain our eternal glory.

Two sons stepped forward, each with different ideas to implement Heavenly Father’s plan.

Jesus-Christ-Satan-mormonLucifer, once a son of the morning and now called Satan, stepped forward and explained he would force each one of us to obey all the commandments, thereby returning every child back to Heavenly Father. He then demanded all the glory be given unto him if this was accomplished.

Jesus Christ stepped forward and agreed to implement the Plan as the Father had laid it out and offered Himself up as Savior to redeem all of mankind. He gave all the glory to God the Father. Heavenly Father chose Jesus Christ and the war in heaven, described in Revelations Chapter 12, commenced.

This Plan had three critical parts and the Lord needed people whom He could count on to fulfill the Plan in its entirety.

Under the direction of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ created the heavens and the earth (see Mosiah 3:8; Moses 2:1). From scripture revealed through the Prophet Joseph Smith, we know that in the work of the Creation, the Lord organized elements that had already existed (see Abraham 3:24). He did not create the world “out of nothing,” as some people believe. (Creation, Gospel Topics, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

Elder Russell M. Nelson stated in his speech “The Creation:”

The entire Creation was planned by God. A council in heaven was once convened in which we participated. There our Heavenly Father announced His divine plan. It is also called the plan of happiness, the plan of salvation, the plan of redemption, the plan of restoration, the plan of mercy, the plan of deliverance, 1and the everlasting gospel. The purpose of the plan is to provide opportunity for the spirit children of God to progress toward an eternal exaltation. (Russell M. Nelson, (“The Creation,” Ensign, May 2000, 84)

The creation of this world testifies, at every level, of a Creator. Elder Nelson went on to say, ”

I testify that the earth and all life upon it are of divine origin. The Creation did not happen by chance. It did not come ex nihilo (out of nothing). And human minds and hands able to build buildings or create computers are not accidental. It is God who made us and not we ourselves. We are His people! 38 The Creation itself testifies of a Creator. We cannot disregard the divine in the Creation. Without our grateful awareness of God’s hand in the Creation, we would be just as oblivious to our provider as are goldfish swimming in a bowl. (The Creation,” Ensign, May 2000, 84)

And so the world began and in a beautiful garden called Eden, the Lord placed Adam and Eve who were created in Heavenly Father’s own image. Commanded to “multiply and replenish the earth” they were left to tend the garden and care for the animals that resided there.

Much speculation has occurred regarding the actual Fall, but Elder James E. Talmage states,

. . . the Fall was a result of partaking of the forbidden fruit and not a consequence of some other act: “here, let me say, that therein consisted the fall — the eating of things unfit, . . . and I take this occasion to raise my voice against the false interpretation of scripture, which . . . is referred to in a hushed and half-secret way, that the fall of man consisted in some offense against the laws of chastity and virtue. Such a doctrine is an abomination. (The Infinite Atonement, Tad R. Callister, Deseret Book, 2000 p. 33)

Such as it was, Adam and Eve were cast from the garden and began life in the lone and dreary world. The Fall was critical to the plan. Had Adam and Eve not fallen, we would not be here. They were unable to hav children in the Garden of Eden, but once in the mortal world they were able to obey the commandment to “multiply and replenish.”

So

Now that man was in a fallen state, it was necessary for a Savior to come and redeem mankind. 5,000 years after Adam and Eve were cast from the garden, the heavens heralded the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Thirty years after that birth, Jesus Christ began His ministry. For three years He taught. He healed. He raised from the dead. He traveled from town to village to city, teaching in the synagogues and on the hillsides. Wherever people would listen the Savior taught.

At thirty-three years of age, our Savior, Jesus Christ, was betrayed by a childhood friend, the apostle Judas Iscariot.

After suffering, to the point of blood pouring from his pores, for our sins, sorrows, illnesses and griefs, the Savior healed the ear of a soldier who had come to take Him away. He was tried in a kangaroo court, beaten, whipped, tortured and mocked until finally He was forced to carry His own cross to Golgotha. He required help, and a man, touched upon by the Spirit, lifted that beam and carried it the remainder of the way.

Our Savior hung on the cross, suffering mightily as the soldiers cast lots for his clothing. Others who loved Him stood by weeping as they watched the Son of God hang in agony until the price had been paid, justice was satisfied and the Savior whispered, “It is finished.”

Adam fell that men might be . . . the Savior died so we could live.

During the Savior’s brief sojourn on earth, He organized His church with apostles, evangelists, teachers and more. When the Great Apostasy occurred, it required a complete restoration.

This happened in 1820 when Joseph Smith, Jr. knelt in that grove and God the Father and God the Son appeared to him. And thus the restoration began. I’ve already written about the apostasy and the restoration, and so I won’t go into detail about it now.

Adam ? Jesus Christ ? Joseph Smith, Jr. Each played a pivotal part in the Plan of Salvation. It required man to fall and become mortal. It required a God to descend, and through His control of life and death, pay the price justice demands for sin as well as break the bands of death. It also required a man who would not falter, who would not fail, in the restoration of Christ’s church on the earth. To each of these men and God, I express my heartfelt gratitude for your sacrifices. Because of you we live. Because of you we have hope of an eternal reward, if we will follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.

Because of you.

About Candace

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