Archive for the ‘plan of salvation’ Tag

Sum Up of 2 Nephi 2

Reading: 2 Nephi 2

Yesterday I finished my survey of 2 Nephi Chapter 2, so today I thought I would sum up the thing I learned and talked about.

Here are some of the important themes of 2 Nephi 2:

  • God will consecrate our afflictions for our good
  • God has a plan for this Earth
  • The fall of Adam and Eve was an important part of that plan
  • Without our agency, or ability to choose, we would be nothing but mindless animals
  • With agency we have the ability to choose good or evil
  • Adam and Eve had to choose to break a law in order to fall, God could not do it to them
  • If Adam and Eve hadn’t fallen they would not be happy or sad, but mindless without choice
  • If Adam and Eve hadn’t fallen they would not have had any children
  • Through the Atonement the Savior saves us from the affects of the fall which are:
  • The affects of the fall are mortality and a separation from the presence of God
  • Through the Atonement everyone is resurrected, but only those who repent will return to live with God
  • Satan wants us to be miserable like him, and so entices us to sin through lies
  • It is up to us to choose liberty and Eternal life through obeying the commandments of God or misery and condemnation through disobeying the commandments of God.

I’m glad that I went through this chapter because it is so full of important concepts that we must know to have a firm testimony of the Gospel.  I also now have a deeper knowledge, and this knowledge has already helped me in several situations. I also would like to think that maybe somebody looking through the interwebs might find here an answer to a question they might have about the plan of salvation.

Today I am going to go to bed earlier and then have a more meaningful scripture study.  Lately I’ve been staying up too late so that by the time I get to my scripture study I’m rushing to get to bed instead of reading more thoroughly.

Do you have a favorite chapter in the scriptures that seems packed full of great doctrine?  Or, maybe a special story that has helped you in your life?

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Men Are That They Might Have Joy

Reading: 2 Nephi 2:25

Sometimes when I am going through a particularly hard time I start to feel as if I will never be happy.  However, Lehi tells us that men are meant to have joy:

Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

God created us with the purpose of giving us joy.  As Lehi has spent the whole chapter explaining, in order for us to have real joy we must 1) be able to choose for ourselves and 2) have a sense of what it means to have pain.

This scripture is always one I love to read when I am feeling down because it reminds me that God wants me to be happy and that if I remain faithful through my trials I will eventually have great joy.

Today I am going to write a list in my journal of the blessings that God has given me that give me the greatest joy.

What in your life has given you the greatest joy?  What joy are you looking forward to?

The Fall and the Garden of Eden

Reading: 2 Nephi 2:22-23,

Sorry about the break in posts.  This past Friday we left on a mini-vacation, and then Monday my husband was off work so we were out running the errands we didn’t run on Saturday.

It is the belief of some Christian sects that if Adam had not fallen then we would all be living happy, idyllic lives in the Garden of Eden.  However, in 2 Nephi 2:22-23, Lehi tells us that this is not the case:

And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end. And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.

If Adam and Eve had never partaken of the fruit they would still be in the Garden of Eden, but they would be alone without any children.  They needed the knowledge of good and evil that came from partaking of the forbidden fruit in order to be able to have children.  They also would not be happy, or sad, but just neutral forever.  If it were up to me, I would choose to have some pain and risk in order to have the ability to choose for myself and gain true happiness.

When I think of some of the ideas that other people have about God, I can understand why so many other people revolt against religion.  If your idea of God is one that would create a beautiful perfect world, then give arbitrary rules, and then rip his creation away from that lovely state just because the silly rules were broken, then you would not want to believe in that kind of God.  However, when you see that God had a plan from the beginning, and that the things he does are necessary for that plan, and that the plan he has is the only way for any of us to gain joy, then you rejoice in having such a great God and Father.

If you’re just finding this post I would encourage you to go back and look at the posts in the past couple of weeks that further explain the things I talked about today.

Today I am going to start gathering some talks and scriptures about gratitude.  I have been working lately on being more grateful.  When I am grateful for the goodness of God and all that he has done for me I find it much easier to keep the commandments.

Are there some ideas about God that you have heard that cause you to not want to follow him?  Are there some ideas about God that have you heard that make it easier for you to follow him?  How can you know the true characteristics of God so you are not deceived?

Adam and Eve Chose to Fall

Reading: 2 Nephi 2:15-16, LDS.org – Fall of Adam

We (Mormons) have some very different beliefs about the fall of Adam than other religions.  While many blame Adam for our fallen state, we believe that fall of Adam was a necessary part of the plan because if Adam did not fall from grace we would never have the opportunity to be born on the Earth, or to learn the differences between choosing good and evil.  You can read the following in the Gospel Topics section on the fall on LDS.org:

The Fall is an integral part of Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation (see 2 Nephi 2:15–16; 9:6). It has a twofold direction—downward yet forward. In addition to introducing physical and spiritual death, it gave us the opportunity to be born on the earth and to learn and progress.

It is important to understand the fall was part of the plan before you can understand 2 Nephi 2:15-16, which says:

And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter. Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.

This scripture is saying that in order to fall Adam and Eve had to choose for themselves to break a commandment.  God could not simply cause them to fall because to do so would be unjust, and God is perfectly just.  So, God gave them a choice between the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Eve (and Adam) partook of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil of their own free will, thus bringing about the fall and plan of God.

Adam and Eve also later came to realize that it was necessary for them to fall in order to bring to pass the purposes of God and the happiness and exaltation of men.  In Moses 5:11-12 it says:

And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient. And Adam and Eve blessed the name of God, and they made all things known unto their sons and their daughters.

In my life it would be impossible for me to make any choices for myself unless I have more than one option to choose from.  For example, if I only had bread in my cupboard I could not choose to have chili for lunch.  God gives us options because he knows that we can only grow and be happy if we are able to choose for ourselves.  Sometimes he gives us bad options and tells us they are bad, but we are still free to choose for ourselves the right or the wrong so that we can know the joy of choosing right over wrong (or the pain of choosing wrong, which would also help us to learn).

I have a tendency to be extremely independent.  When I feel that I am being forced to do even simple things my instinct is to rebel, even if I would have made the same choice for myself anyway.  However, I rarely feel the need to rebel against God because I know that he has given me the ability to choose, and that he truly wants what is best for me.  I am grateful for a Heavenly Father who is willing to let us make bad choices so that he can preserve our right to choose.

Today I am going to choose to set up a babysitter so that my husband and I can go to the temple.  I’ll try for tomorrow (which is Saturday) but if not tomorrow then sometime later this month.

What choices did you/will you make today?

It’s All in the Plan

Reading: 2 Nephi 2:4, Alma 22:13, 2 Nephi 9:13

In 2 Nephi 2:4 we find the phrase:

And the way is prepared from the fall of man.

Recently I have been reading a comedy book where it is assumed that Adam, as in the original Adam who fell from the Garden of Eden, was basically a bad guy.  After all, he is the one who made it so we all had to live in a fallen world, the idea goes.  This is what some people believe.

However, we believe that the fall of Adam was necessary and part of God’s plan.  In fact, everything that happens on Earth was planned long before God created the world.  In Alma 22:13 it says (note that the Aaron in this scripture is the brother of Ammon on his mission to the Lamanites, not the high priest Aaron from the Old Testament),

And Aaron did expound unto him the scriptures from the creation of Adam, laying the fall of man before him, and their carnal state and also the plan of redemption, which was prepared from the foundation of the world, through Christ, for all whosoever would believe on his name.

God has everything planned.  Part of that plan is learning what it is like to experience really bad stuff, but ultimately that plan ends in happiness for those who follow God’s commandments.

Knowing the plan of salvation helps me to be a better person because I know why it is important to become like Christ.  It helps me also to be a better mother because it helps me understand how important families are to the plan of God.

Today I am going to put up the pictures on my wall I have been meaning to since we moved in.  These include pictures of our family as well as the Proclamation on the Family.

What are you doing in your life that is part of the plan of salvation?