I’m a Mormon, so I believe my spirit lived with our Heavenly Father before entering a physical body created by my earthly parents, that I am a union of body and spirit living a probationary existence, and that the results of my time on Earth will determine an eternal reward.
Basically, we all existed before this life and will continue to exist after it. We chose to come and have a body and prove ourselves, for the promise of eternity with our family (including our Heavenly Parents) and even the ability to become like God.
That whole deluge of information is called The Plan of Salvation, or The Plan of Happiness.
Before we were born on earth, we lived with our Heavenly Parents as Their spirit children (see Doctrine and Covenants 138:55–56). At a council with all of His children, Heavenly Father presented a plan, known as the “plan of salvation” or “the great plan of happiness” (Alma 42:5, 8). The plan includes all the laws and ordinances of the gospel necessary to gain eternal life, “the greatest of all the gifts of God” (Doctrine and Covenants 6:13).LDS Gospel Topics, “Plan of Salvation“
The full story is that God presented this plan to all His children at a point in time that we refer to as The Preexistence. Lucifer offered to force everyone to do what they were supposed to and then give him the credit. Jesus offered, instead, to allow agency, pay the debt for our sins (known as The Atonement), and give God all the glory. Lucifer left; a full third of the host chose to follow Satan (so was Lucifer named after he fell) and never receive bodies. The rest are here, or have been here, or will be here.
Also essential to God’s plan is agency, or the ability to choose.LDS Gospel Topics, “Plan of Salvation“
Then, we all live life and do our best to make the right choices. Some of those choices need to be specific acts of obedience to covenants, like baptism and temple attendance. Most are daily strivings to keep God’s commandments. The Atonement and God’s grace pay the price of justice after we have done our best and repented.
After we die, things get a bit complicated.
Dead spirits travel to spirit prison or spirit paradise, according to whether they were obedient to God’s laws in life. At the end of the world (as we know it…) we’ll have an eternal uniting of our body and spirit -known as resurrection. There will be 1000 years of peace in which Satan is locked up and Jesus is in charge. Then, there’s a final judgement of how we did during our time on Earth and a sorting into three different kingdoms.
The best kingdom is the Celestial one, which is further split into three levels of glory. Then, in decreasing levels of glory: Terrestrial, Telestial, and Outer Darkness. No, not a lot of people will go to Outer Darkness. Even Hitler might not be going there. You’re certainly not going there just because you aren’t a Latter-day Saint.
On that note, we’re taught that all the peoples in Spirit Prison get to hear the gospel message whilst there. Maybe they’ll choose to convert to God’s plan; there’s always the chance they will. We LDS perform baptisms and other ordinances in the temples just in case someone who’s passed on wants to convert.
©2022 Chel Owens
We Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many still run with the nickname of ‘Mormon,’ however, I will keep pace.
My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.
My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.
My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I ought to, but am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.