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Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Plan of Salvation

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith
Chapter 3: The Plan of Salvation

The lesson from the manual is good, and I would ask each of you to read it independently. You can find it online at LDS.Org
I won’t go over the whole lesson, but would like to provide some commentary, and give you some things to ponder.

The plan of salvation is the foundation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It gives us hope, purpose, and meaning.  Without the plan of salvation all would be for naught. There would be no more meaning to life than what we do with it now, and what we can do for our progeny.  There would be nothing for us to work for more than carnal security, and fulfillment.

As the plan of salvation is the foundation of the gospel, I would like you to take a moment to consider your own foundation? What are your motivations? What do you treasure most? What causes you the most disappointment? What are your goals? How much of a role does the gospel play in your life? Is your foundation in line with the gospel of Jesus Christ? If not, how can you realign it?

President Smith tells us. “The Gospel is the sole hope of the world.” This is a powerful statement, and I want you to all consider that we are the only church in the world with the true gospel, or in other words, we are the only ones who can provide the hope our world needs. Church membership takes up less than 0.2% of the world’s population, and active membership even less. That means that 99.8% of the world (or just about 7 billion people) does not have the gospel, does not have the truth, and does not have the hope provided by the plan of salvation. Take a moment to consider the enormity of missionary work ahead of us.

“And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth them unto me – the fountain of all righteousness.” – Ether 12:27-28

We all have different lives. We are all different people, but each of us has at least one thing in common, each of us has weaknesses. However, the plan of salvation is such that we can overcome those weaknesses, and that is the beauty of the plan, of the atonement! It is because of the atonement that we can have the gift of the Holy Ghost, and can repent. Jesus doesn’t only provide the way to Eternal Life, he leads us along the way. He is the ultimate guide to life, and will help us when we fall, veer down the wrong path, or eat poisonous mushrooms. Remember, that Jesus loves us, each and every one of us, and has our best interests in mind. He is not here to lord over us, and subject us to his will. He is here to make us free, and wants to ease our journey. His yoke is light, so when we join our yoke to his, he will pull our load with us, easing our way.

In closing, I would ask each of you to take some time to ponder the atonement. Don’t ask the question, “How can I become perfect?” or “How can God make me perfect?” but ask, “How can I work WITH my Savior toward perfection?”