Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Why Are We Here?

Previously I wrote about "Where Did We Come From". Today I continue our eternal journey with "Why Are We Here?"

We are here to find happiness. The prophet Nephi taught that "Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy" (2 Nephi 2:25).

We are here to gain a physical body, just as Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have. As we are human, caused by the fall of Adam, we have an imperfect body that is subject to death. However, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can also break the bands of death, just as he did, and be resurrected with a perfect body of flesh and bones.

We are also here to learn. In our human condition, again created by the fall of Adam, we are in a state of spiritual death, or separation from our Father in Heaven. However, we have the opportunity through faith and our actions to draw close again to our Father in Heaven. Of course the adversary, Satan, is trying to keep us distant from our Father in Heaven, so much of our learning comes from growing strong in faith and resisting temptation by overcoming our natural state. "For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father" (Mosiah 3:19).

The last line of this scripture "willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him" almost seems to conflict with the first purpose I wrote of our being here on this Earth, "to have joy". However, I would submit to you, how would you know joy without sorrow? How would you know how sweet tastes without tasting bitter? God gives us trials and hardships while we are on this Earth so that we might learn, so that we can appreciate what we are blessed with and have joy. Then, once we have found the true gospel of Jesus Christ, we will know the joy it entails!

However, we will make mistakes. We will sin. Heavenly Father, being a merciful God knew this, which is why he provided a Savior for us. Jesus Christ truly suffered and died for our sins. He completed the Atonement where he becomes our mediator, and offers us his grace. He offers us the opportunity to rise again from spiritual death by forgiving us of our sins, allowing us to be near Heavenly Father, piercing our minds and our hearts through the Holy Ghost.

The true gospel provides joy, gained through our opportunities to learn on this Earth, is part of a grander path. This path is where we go after this life. However, without Jesus Christ and his central role in the Plan of Salvation, none of this would be possible. But through Christ's Atonement, we can be made pure again and through his resurrection we can live again, because there truly is life after this life.

Our place in the life after Earth will be determined by what we do while on this Earth for the Apostle James declared "faith without works is dead" (James 2:20-26).

To summarize, we are here to have joy, receive a body, learn, and overcome our natural wickedness so that we might return to our Heavenly Father to the estate we have earned. This is why we are here. I know this is true doctrine. I share it in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Also, please watch Jennifer's testimony about what movtivated her to learn more about why we are here.

Next: Where Do We Go When We Die?

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