Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sustaining The Great Plan of Happiness

I believe that one of my favorite scripture passages comes from the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price. In fact, it is even a Scripture Mastery scripture from the Seminary list of 100 important scriptures to know.

Abraham 3:22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;

23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.

President Spencer W. Kimball expounded more fully on that scripture when he explained, "A passage of scripture familiar to all of you . . . reads as follows: '. . . intelligences that were organized before the world was and among all these were many of the noble and great ones . . . and he said: These I will make my rulers;' These leaders whom Abraham referred to were noble, good and they had been proven, thus God could entrust them with great responsibilities in his Kingdom on this earth. Were you among those who were noble, good, and tested? The Prophet Joseph Smith said, ' Every man who has a call was ordained to that very purpose in the Grand Council of Heaven.' Yes, you were among those rulers . . ."

I do believe that each of us was there among those noble and great ones. We heard the plan presented by the Father and "sustained" it.

So what was the plan for us, His spirit children?

24 And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;

25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;

26 And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.

Our Heavenly Father, through His son Jesus Christ, desired to provide us with the experience we needed to show our obedience, by way of proof. This required an experience in which our faith could be tested; therefore an “earth” was created for us to dwell on, to prove our faith and obedience in all that He commanded us. We know that we heartily “sustained” the plan in this “first estate” because of the glory that was added upon our spirit called a body. This body is our very own earth, and it is certainly glorious. Those who did not keep the “first estate” or "opposed" the plan, were never given the glory of their own earth, or in other words, they were not provided with a body in which they could progress.

Now we are living in our “second estate”. By having our body we know we made a righteous decision to sustain our Father in His plan, and therefore are given another opportunity to do it again. Every time we choose to obey and walk by faith, we are in essence raising that sustaining hand, like we do in Sacrament meeting. Conversely, each time we choose to sin we are exercising our right, given to us because of the gift of agency, to “oppose” His plan. In this estate we are constantly reminded of what was told as Adam and Eve in the Garden by the Father, to “choose for ourselves” with the caution of “nevertheless I forbid it” attached. The promised blessing of having been proven in this “second estate” is the “glory added upon our heads forever and ever.” This is the promise of Eternal Life.

Will we mess up at times? You Heavenly Father’s plan included a way to repair the mess.

27 And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first.

28 And the second was angry, and kept not his first estate; and, at that day, many followed after him.

By applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives we can continually become perfectly obedient and faithful in this “second estate”. It is the proof that the Father requires to show we are responsible and worthy of added glory. It is our way to show Him that we “sustain” Him and His plan for our happiness.

Are there any opposed?


Michaela Stephens said...

"This body is our very own earth, and it is certainly glorious."

I really liked the way you put this; I never quite thought of it like that before. It gives new meaning to that "first estate" and "second estate" thing, as if our body is actual real estate that we get to occupy.

Thanks for this post!

annie said...

Can I just suck out your brains and put them into my head? I love to read your perspective and insight! Thanks for sharing your gift of knowledge with all of your good buddies in cyberspace.