Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told

Two experiences  have contributed to the desire to write this post...

Somewhere in the last week I saw a clip of  a reporter asking random people to say their names. One man looked at the reporter and said, "Unknown". The reporter was perplexed. The man continued, "I don't have a clue where I came from, why I am even here on this earth or what is going to happen to me after this life. I am just a big unknown."

I felt so sad for him. I know the answers to those questions. I pray the Lord will help this man find the answers. I have faith the Lord is watching over this man and will do all He can to lead "Unknown" Home. the truth is "Unknown" is very, very "Known"...

The second experience was on Saturday morning. A friend of mine gave birth to two sons last week. The oldest lived for 4 minutes, the youngest lived for just a moment. My husband and I were asked to speak at the funeral. What I have written here is influenced somewhat by what I said at the funeral, but that talk was geared more toward the tender feelings that arise when a child dies.

I lived in Heaven a long time ago, it is true.
Lived there and loved there with people I know, so did you
Then Heavenly Father presented a beautiful plan.
All about earth and eternal salvation for man.

This plan has a few different names:
The Plan of Salvation
The Merciful Plan of our God
The Plan of Redemption
Our Heavenly Father's Plan
The Great Plan of Happiness

No matter what name you choose to use, the particulars of this plan make it, unquestionably, 


It is a story of the love a Father (our Eternal Father) has for His children (each of us). A love that is so perfect and so brave and so understanding that it allowed our Eternal Father to look upon us, there in the safety of our Heavenly home, and know there was so much more we needed to learn in order to reach our full potential. So He presented a plan for us, a plan that, if followed correctly, would eventually lead to eternal progression, joy and happiness.

Simply said, this plan is that we would come to an earth where we would receive a physical, tangible body similar to His own. While on earth we would be tried and tested and given opportunities for growth and eventually, after all is said and done, we would be rewarded according to our ability to learn to walk by faith. The greatest reward that would be offered would be to progress in joy and happiness eternally with our families and our Father in His Kingdom.

There are two obstacles in this plan which we would need to overcome in order to return Home. These obstacles are death and sin. Our bodies, although fashioned to resemble His own perfect body, would be mortal, thus making us subject to death. Every single one of us. No one is exempt. We will all die. And, we will all make mistakes. Every single one of us. No one is exempt. We will all make mistakes. Once we have made a mistake we are no longer able to return to our Heavenly Home.

We needed someone who was so righteous and so dependable and so wonderful that He could come to earth without making any mistakes and pay the price for our sins and break the bands of death so that we our bodies and our spirits could one day be reunited, thus enabling us to live forever.

Jesus was chosen, and as the Messiah he came.
Conquering evil an death through his glorious name,
Giving us hope of a wonderful life yet to be -
Home in that heaven where Father is waiting for me.

So the next part of this love story is the love a big brother (Jesus Christ) can have for his siblings (each of us). It was love, love, love that caused our Elder Brother Jesus Christ to endure pain and anguish for which there is no adequate adjective to describe. It was love, love, love that gave Him the determination and courage to allow Himself to be hung on a cross and die for us. Love was why He did all that He did. It was love that He brought back into the world on the day He was resurrected.

What our Father did and what Jesus Christ did was ALL ABOUT LOVE! 

Our Father's love was so strong, He was willing to let us all come to earth, despite the fact that he knew we would experience pain and sorrow and that, even worse, some of His children would not return, but He had to give us an opportunity to choose for ourselves. That is real love from the most perfect parent in all the universe. He wants us to be all that we can be and He knew that wouldn't happen if He kept us all in the safety of our Heavenly home. (I think most earthly parents can identify with this) As any parent could understand, our Father would that ALL of His children return safely Home to Him but our agency is of the utmost importance to Him. He will never force us.

Our Brother's love was so strong, He was willing to come help us clean up our messes, even though He did not create the mess. (A principle my own children struggle with on a daily basis) He did it willingly, without complaining or rubbing it in or holding it over our heads. He WANTED to do this for our Father and for each of us.

The third part of the love story has to do with the love which we can show toward our Father and our Savior. When we love Them, we trust Them and we are more willing and able to keep Their commandments. Isn't that what Jesus said? "If ye love me keep my commandments." (John 14:15)

How do we show our love for our earthly parents? We listen to them and talk with them and honor them. This is exactly how we can demonstrate our love for our Father and our Elder Brother.

Interestingly enough, they have both told us on more than one occasion that the way we can show love toward them, is to show love toward each other. Could it really be that simple? Yes!  

The last part of this love story is the love we learn to feel for and show toward our fellow brothers and sisters.  
Love that is not judgmental. Love that is caring and kind. Love that is patient and understanding and compassionate. Love that offers forgiveness. Love that helps even if it isn't convenient or pretty or heroic. Love that looks past differences. Love that sees we are all in this together. Love, like the pure love our Father and our Savior have for us. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.


I had hoped this would be a short post. I know it is easier to read shorter posts. I tried. But, despite the length of this post, I have only skimmed the surface of the Great Plan of Happiness. There is so much, much more. It is a beautifully simple plan. It is also an intellectually and spiritually deep plan. If you would like to study more, click on this link Plan of Salvation this link will take you to a page at that is filled with scriptures, talks, lessons and other information about the Merciful Plan of Our God. There is enough information to keep you studying for a while - a lifetime :)

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