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Whose idea was the Great Plan of Salvation? Alma 34:9 “The Great Plan” “One of the saddest examples of a misconceived and twisted knowledge of an otherwise glorious concept is the all-too-common heresy that there were two plans of salvation; that the Father (presumptively at a loss to know what to do) asked others for proposals; that Christ offered a plan involving agency and Lucifer proposed a plan denying agency; that the Father chose between them. “…All things center in the Father; the plan of salvation which He designed was to save his children” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mortal Messiah, 1:48, n.3).
Alma 34:9-12 The Atonement of Jesus Christ is Infinite and Eternal! “When the prophets speak of an infinite atonement, they mean just that. Its effects cover all men, the earth itself and all forms of life thereon, and reach out into the endless expanses of eternity” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. , 64).
And the mercy of the Atonement extends not only to an infinite number of people, but also to an infinite number of worlds created by Him [D&C 76:24]. It was infinite beyond any human scale of measurement or mortal comprehension.
Alma 34:14-16 “Mercy, which over powereth justice.” “Know this: Truth, glorious truth, proclaims there is…a Mediator… “Through Him mercy can be fully extended to each of us without offending the eternal law of justice. “This truth is the very root of Christian doctrine” (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, May 1977, 56).
Alma 34:31-35 Now is the time to repent! It is my judgment that any man or woman can do more to conform to the laws of God in one year in this life than they could in 10 years when they are dead. The spirit only can repent and change, and then the battle has to go forward with the flesh afterwards. It is much easier to overcome and serve the Lord when both flesh and spirit are combined as one. This is the time when men are more pliable and susceptible. We will find when we are dead every desire, every feeling will be greatly intensified. When clay is pliable it is much easier to change than when it gets hard and sets.
This is why I presume it will take a thousand years after the first resurrection until the last group will be prepared to come forth. It will take them a thousand years to do what it would have taken, but three score and ten to accomplish in this life (Elder Melvin J. Ballard, Three Degrees of Glory, 12). Elder Ballard was an Apostle when he gave the above talk at the Ogden Tabernacle on September 22nd, 1922. It is much easier to overcome and serve the Lord when both flesh and spirit are combined as one.
In Doctrine and Covenants 138, it states that the “righteous dead” looked upon the absence of their spirits from their bodies as bondage (v. 50).
The point I have in mind is that we are sentencing ourselves to long periods of bondage, separating our spirits from our bodies, or we are shortening that period, according to the way in which we overcome and master ourselves. A man may receive the priesthood and all its privileges and blessings, but until he learns to overcome the flesh, his temper, his tongue, his disposition to indulge in the things God has forbidden, he cannot come into the Celestial Kingdom of God. He must overcome either in this life or in the life to come (Melvin J. Ballard, The Three Degrees of Glory, 11-13).
Procrastination is a predominant evil! “It is the thief of eternal life, which is life in the presence of God” (Joseph Fielding Smith). “As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.” “It is our duty to try to be perfect and it is our duty to improve each day, and look upon our course last week and do things better this week, do things better today than we did yesterday, and go on and from one degree of righteousness to another” (Lorenzo Snow, C.R., April 1898, 13).
President Harold B. Lee said, “To those who die in their wicked state, not having repented, the scriptures say the devil shall seal them as his own, which means that until they have paid the uttermost farthing for what they have done, they shall not be redeemed from his grasp. When they shall have been subjected to the buffetings of Satan sufficient to have satisfied justice, then they shall be brought forth out of the grasp of Satan and shall be assigned to that place in our Father’s celestial, terrestrial, or telestial world merited by their life here upon this earth” (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, ed. Clyde J. Williams , 59).
Alma 34:37-41 “Six Suggestions” 1. Contend no more against the Holy Ghost. 2. Humble yourselves even to the dust. 3. Worship God in whatsoever place ye may be in. 4. Live in thanksgiving daily. 5. Pray continually, that ye may not be led away by temptation. 6. Have patience, and bear others afflictions with hope you will one day rest from yours.
10 Blessings Easy to Overlook: 1. Clean Water: 884 million people lack access to clean water. • A Bathroom: 40% of the world does not have a toilet. • Electricity: 1.6 billion people live without electricity. • Shelter: 2.5 million in America are homeless and 640 million children worldwide do not have shelter. • Food: 28% of children in developing countries are estimated to be underweight or have stunted growth. • Your Stove: 2.5 billion people use fuelwood, charcoal or animal dung to meet their energy needs.
Regular income: Most of humanity lives on less than $10 dollars a day. • Education: Nearly 1 billion people cannot read a book or write their names. • Health: 2.2 million children die each year because they are not immunized. Annually there are 300-500 million cases of malaria, including 1 million fatalities. • Freedom to Worship God: More than 400 Christians die for their faith every day across the world. (November 2013 American Family Association Journal)
Alma 35:15Taking Offense Speaking of ways in which we can cheat ourselves, President Spencer W. Kimball said: “We may get angry with our parents, or a teacher, or the Bishop, and dwarf ourselves into nameless anonymity as we shrivel and shrink under the venom and poison of bitterness and hatred. While the hated one goes on about his business, little realizing the suffering of the hater, the latter cheats himself. To terminate activity in the Church just to spite leaders or to give vent to wounded feelings is to cheat ourselves” (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 242-43).