Before we came to earth, we lived with our Heavenly Father, who created our spirits. We were spirits then, without bodies, but we were ourselves—with our unique personalities and qualities. We had regular access to the Father and knew the truth. In time, God created a world for us and told us we would come here to the earth to gain a body, a family, and experience. We would be tested. Just as children are tested when they live away from home and find out how they will act when their parents aren’t watching over them, we had to find out if we could find our way back home to Him and to live as He asked us to live when we were away from His presence. This necessitates living by faith.
God has a plan for our lives. This plan includes aspects that affect all people who come to earth, and also aspects that are unique to individuals. These personal plans are possible because our Heavenly Father knows us and loves us in a very personal way.
We weren’t sent here alone. We had the light of Christ to guide as we made choices and sought truth. When we find that truth, and reach the age of accountability, we can choose to be baptized by one who has authority from God and then receive the gift of the Holy Ghost to be with us always. This gift will guide and comfort us throughout our lives.
We also have the Savior, whose sacrifice made it possible for all to live again. Then, after all we can do, His grace enables us to return to the presence of God after our lives end. He volunteered to make this sacrifice for us because of His great love for us and for His Father in Heaven. He recognized the wisdom in all parts of God’s plan for us.
There was one other who wanted to be our Savior. However, Lucifer had no interest in God’s plan, but instead, wanted to be in total control. He felt we should come to earth with no agency, no right to choose anything. Our every movement and choice would be controlled by him, forcing us to make it back to Heaven perfect, with no need for someone to die for our sins. Can you imagine an earth where you had no control over your own life? What would be the purpose in coming here? And of course, Lucifer wanted all the glory for this “service.”
Jesus, fortunately, offered Himself instead. He would allow us to make our own choices and decide for ourselves how we would live. He would come to earth, live a perfect life, and then take our sins on Himself, atoning for what we could not atone for. Without Him, it would be impossible for us to succeed in our earthly mission. He did not want any credit for what He did, but asked that the glory all be given to the Father. In the Bible, we read often of how He told His followers He came not to do His will, but His Father’s.
Lucifer managed to win over one third of the spirits in Heaven, people who wanted to take the easy way instead of God’s way. Those people were cast out of Heaven, along with Lucifer, who became Satan. Being cast out, they lost the opportunity to obtain physical bodies, became evil spirits, and now devote their lives to trying to make us miserable.
Fortunately, because God sent us here with gifts that keep us in touch with Him, we don’t have to choose misery. We can choose happiness every day. The Book of Mormon teaches us:
Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy (2 Nephi 2:25).
If we spend our earth lives wisely, and turn to the Father for advice when we have choices to make, if we seek out righteousness and truth, we can someday return to live with our Father in Heaven and our Savior. As you explore the pages in the Basic Beliefs section of this site, you can learn more about God’s plan for your eternal happiness.