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Sunday Sermon: The Plan of Happiness (Part 2)

Updated on November 16, 2014
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The Fall of Man

Also known as The Fall of Adam, and one of the most diversely taught doctrines in the gospel to date. Some believe we're all born into sin because of Adam's transgression, others may have heard that if Adam and Eve hadn't partaken of the fruit, we would all be living in paradise right now. While the doctrine of the garden is a broad subject on its own, we're going to focus more on the Fall and why it had to be.


That's right, the Fall of Adam needed to be. But how is this? Well, remember when we talked about Opposition in the first part? This is to say, in order for us to have a full understanding and complete joy, we need to experience a state of being in which there is opposition. "Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy." - 2 Nephi 2:27

Effects of the Fall
 
Sickness
Mortality
Pain
Happiness
Deceit
Disease
Knowledge
Death
Experience
Families
Sin
Joy
Lost
 

The Role of the Savior

Because of the Fall of Adam, we are now have families, knowledge, and can be happy. But, because we live in this mortal imperfect world, we are also subject to sin, pain, loss, sickness and disease among other things. We can't overcome sin by ourselves, and sometimes the hardships of this world feel almost too much to bear alone.

Blessings of the Atonement
 
Healing
Repentance
Comfort
Resurrection
Hope
Immortality
Faith
Truth

Remember that little thing that sparked such a huge war in heaven? The role of the Savior. Christ did more than just die on the cross for us. Remember Gethsemane? Where Jesus bled from every pore because of the pain and affliction that was placed upon him for us? He did more than just suffer for our sins. He felt our pains, physical, emotional, spiritual. Every heartache, sickness, pin-prick, paper-cut, bad-day-at-school you name it. He suffered through that, “Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit” -Doctorine and Covenants 19:18

Effects of the Fall
Blessings of the Atonement
Joy
Healing
Families
Repentance
Knowledge
Comfort
Experience
Resurrection
Happiness
Immortality
 
Truth
 
Faith
 
Hope
HEALING removes Sickness, REPENTANCE unburdens SIN, COMFORT relieves PAIN, RESURRECTION and IMMORTALITY overcomes DEATH and MORTALITY, TRUTH clears up DECIET, and HOPE and FAITH affect being LOST

Three days after the cross he rose again from the grave, overcoming death itself! Because of his perfect example, we have truth to follow. He suffered that we might not have to, and he was resurrected that we may all live again as well. Because of the Atonement, we can overcome morality, our weaknesses, and ultimately enjoy the blessings we receive in this mortal life, and in the life to come. We can have it all, if we choose to do so. Remember, we have our Agency. Christ merely opened the door for us, he can’t force us through it.

“…the Lord surely should come to redeem his people, but that he should not come to redeem them in their sins, but to redeem them from their sins.” -Helaman 5:10

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Death, for as in Adam, all die

One of the effects of the Fall was that Death entered into the world, and everything became Mortal. I don’t believe a lot of us think about death or dying all that often, lest something comes up. Given the tragedy at Connecticut, those who find themselves diagnosed with cancer, others who are ripening in their years, or perhaps some who are suffering through hard times and depression. Just what can cross through a person’s mind when things like this come up?

Regrets, thoughts of peace, sorrow, longing…perhaps, though, the most powerful of all, is wonder. What's comes with Death? What lies in store for us? What's on the other side, or is there even an other side? Does this life continue, or do our memories fade with time? Typical marriage ceremonies are performed “Until death do you part”. I can’t imagine all the joys I feel on this earth be torn from me at death. And I don’t see why a loving God would do that either.

The Spirit World

Yes, it exists. What some people would call “Limbo”, is what Mormonism calls “The Spirit World”. Much like Limbo, it’s a period of waiting. Waiting for what? The Resurrection of course! And Judgement following that, but now I’m jumping ahead of myself.

You see, there are two parts to the Spirit World: Spirit Paradise, and Spirit Prison:

“Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection-Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life. And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow. And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of the wicked, yea, who are evil-for behold, they have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord; for behold, they chose evil works rather than good; therefore the spirit of the devil did enter into them, and take possession of their house-and these shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and this because of their own iniquity, being led captive by the will of the devil. Now this is the state of the souls of the wicked, yea, in darkness, and a state of awful, fearful looking for the fiery indignation of the wrath of God upon them; thus they remain in this state, as well as the righteous in paradise, until the time of their resurrection.” -Alma 40:11-14

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In a sense, Paradise and Prison can be interpreted as “Heaven and Hell”, though its not really. Hell is actually the price of sin. Its the suffering that the unrepentant will feel at the time of Judgement, and Damnation is the inability to progress. The good news is, the Spirit world is a temporary holding. Its not the end, and there is still opportunities for those in prison to repent. Now here’s the other cool thing: Perhaps many of you have often wondered “What about those people in far-away countries that have never heard about Jesus? What happens to them after they die?” Does God not love all of his children the same? Does he not give us every opportunity to learn of him, and come unto him?

“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;” -1 Peter 3:18-19. During Christ’s 3 days of death, his spirit wasn’t just idling about in Heaven. He visited those souls in Prison and ministered to them. However, after his resurrection, he had other work to do, but he appointed spiritual missionaries in his place. Those spirits in Paradise, have the opportunity to minister to those in Prison, and the better part (kind of) is we still have our Agency. That God-given gift of free choice. Though a person may be deceased, they can still choose whether or not they accept Christ after death. And what of the Saving Ordinances like Baptism? True, you can’t exactly baptize a Spirit, but that’s what ordinances by proxy are for, and one of the main purposes of Temples.

Part 3 coming soon

We are now 2/3 parts into The Plan of Happiness. Stay tuned for the final part next week!

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