The Plan of Salvation
- What is the Plan of Salvation? How would you explain it to someone who doesn’t know anything about it? Write through everything you know about it
- “The Great Plan of the Eternal God” – Elder Neal A. Maxwell
- “The Caravan Moves On” – Elder Bruce R. McConkie
- Alma 41-42
Thoughts on Day 1:
I thought I would offer up some thoughts on yesterday’s question – “What is the plan of Salvation?” In trying to describe the Plan of Salvation and writing down everything I knew, a few questions stood out to me as things where I needed to fill out my understanding again.
- Why is it a “Plan of Happiness”? – I understand the salvation part of things, but there are a lot more roads to unhappiness than to happiness. Why call it Plan of Happiness?
- How much do I think about the Atonement’s role in the plan?
- Do I live my life differently knowing about the Plan of Salvation rather than the beliefs espoused by other Christian denominations (we live as best as we can and get to God, regardless)?
- I don’t mean to belittle anyone, but we all know how predictable talks on the Plan of Salvation can be. If you were giving a talk on this, what different approach would you take in order to engage the audience and make them care?
- Ether 1-6
- “Jared and His Brother” – BYU Religious Studies Center
- “The Joy of Living the Great Plan of Happiness” – Elder Richard G. Scott
Thoughts on Day 2:
Yesterday’s question – How would I give a talk on the Plan of Salvation that wasn’t rote, or actually provided something new or engaging to the audience? – perplexed me quite a bit. I mean, seriously, what could I say that hasn’t been said?
I came up with this, and it might be slightly tangential or constitute a whole week’s worth of Gospel Study Sesh on its own. Satan. What an idiot. You see, in many ways he enabled the entire plan to go forward. So often we think of the ills that Satan levies against us throughout our mortal struggle, but in some ways, we can also appreciate his myopic foolishness. If he had his druthers about him, would he have wanted Eve to eat of that fruit? Wouldn’t Adam and Eve have just hung around forever in eternal stasis? Satan felt that he was thwarting the plans of God by ensuring Adam and Even were thrust out of the garden, but really, he opened up the doors for one of the most important and enabling steps mankind would ever take.
Does this mean we should be grateful to Satan? I wouldn’t say that; but I will say that he serves as an example of someone so wrapped up in his or her own prerogative, that that, in such haste, he or she fails to process the grander scheme of things. Heavenly Father’s plan cannot be undone by the cunning the adversary. That fallen angel simply manages to stumble over himself, despite his many successes against us in mortality.
- BTW, I thought this post provided some interesting perspectives on the plan and how we think about it.
- Knowing what you know about the Plan of Salvation, why don’t you live your life differently? What is missing? Spend some time fleshing this out in your mind and write down your thoughts.
Thoughts on Day 3:
Yesterday’s question was “Knowing what you know about the Plan of Salvation, why don’t you live your life differently?”
This question is admittedly hard to answer. We know this stuff to be true, right? I know we lived before this, I see the plan for after death and have a testimony of that as well. So why do I pretend like I don’t know these things sometimes? I spent some time figuring out what DOES make me live my life differently, and settled on the idea that when I can feel the spurts of joy that come when I feel like I can glimpse God’s plan for me, that’s when I am motivated. When I feel His love, when I feel like I get the “vision” of life, when I can feel a tiny bit of how we’ll all feel eventually, I’m all in. So why don’t I live like I should all the time? For me, I’m not interacting with the spirit often enough, I don’t seek that joy consistently enough. That’s what’s missing for me.
Would love to hear what you guys decided? What’s your obstacles?
- How are the different parts of the Plan of Salvation affected by the Atonement? Break it down.
- “Sacrifice” – Elder Dallin H. Oaks
- Isaiah 53 – Go through it slowly
- 2 Nephi 9:9-10 – I love the word “escape” here
- “The Three Pillars of Eternity” – Elder Bruce R. McConkie
Thoughts on Day 4:
So, “How are the different parts of the Plan of Salvation affected by the Atonement?” Great question! I won’t go through every little part of it, as that would be exhaustive, but here are some thoughts:
- I discussed Satan and the Fall a few days ago, but this is one of my favorite parts of Mormon theology. How blessed are we for having a Savior! How wonderful it is that leaving the safe innocence of the garden was actually an integral part of Heavenly Father’s plan, and that we have been given a bridge in Christ to cover the gaps of mortality.
- One of my favorite parts of the Plan of Salvation that is Atonement-specific is the immediate post-mortal realm, paradise, prison, whatever you want to call it. Think of the doctrines in 1 Peter and D&C 138. The gospel being preached to the dead! That is one of my favorite things made possible by the Atonement. Everyone gets a shot. It’s awesome. And it makes complete sense to me on every level.
- “The plan in its fulness encompasses every gospel truth.” – Boyd K. Packer. Pick a few. And how do you feel about that quote?
Thoughts on Day 5:
Yesterday offered up a Boyd K. Packer quote – “The plan in its fulness encompasses every gospel truth.” Every single one, eh? What comes to mind here is – even pain and suffering? Absolutely. God loves us enough to be hands-off in many cases. He has given us the tools to be obedient and happy, but because of how much love he has for us in letting us experience mortality, he has opened us up to all experiences.
Or what about the Word of Wisdom, where does that connect? I wonder if taking care of our bodies is an eternal principle? Do you think we need to know how to be healthy in the eternities? If we will be taking care of our bodies forever, even in their perfected state, then the Word of Wisdom fits in to about 3/4 of the plan nice and snug.
Anyway, just a few ideas for you.
- Summarize what you’ve learned about the Plan of Salvation this week. Let it flow! Hit reply to this email and let us know what you found. We’re pretty much revisiting the question from day one – “What do you know about the plan of salvation” but now with 4 days of study behind you, was it worth it?