Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Jesus Christ, Our Savior

We lived in heaven before we came to earth. We lived there as spirits with our Heavenly Parents and with all our spirit brothers and sisters. We loved our parents and wanted to be like them. One day our Father called all of His children together and presented His plan for their happiness. All of us who came to earth thought it was a wonderful plan. We were there when "the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy" (Job 38:7). Father explained that we would need to leave our heavenly home and His presence for a time. He also explained that all of us would sin and some of us would lose our way. He knew that we would need help to find our way back to Him. He knew and loved each one of us individually and wanted all of us to return to Him. He included in His plan of happiness a way that we could return. His plan provided for a Savior to help us. He asked, "Whom shall I send?" Jesus Christ, known in heaven as Jehovah, said, "Here am I, send me" (Abraham 3:27; see also Moses 4:1-4). Jesus loved Father and us so much that He was willing to come to earth, to give His life for us, and to take our sins upon Himself. He knew that for Father's plan to work, we must be free to choose. He wanted us to have the opportunity to choose whether or not we would obey Heavenly Father's commandments. He said, "Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thing forever" (Moses 4:2). Satan, who was called Lucifer in heaven, said, "Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor" (Moses 4:1). Under Satan's plan we would not be allowed to choose but would be forced to do his will. He would take away our God-given freedom of choice. He also wanted Father's glory. After hearing both sons speak, Heavenly Father said, "I will send the first (Abraham 3:27). Jesus was chosen and foreordained to be our Savior (see 1 Peter 1:19-20; Moses 4:1-2). Satan became angry because Heavenly Father chose Jesus to be the Savior, and he rebelled against God. Satan and those who followed him fought a war in heaven against Jesus and His followers. Revelation 12:11 tells us that the Savior's followers "overcame [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony." Because of his rebellion, Satan and all the spirits who followed him were sent away from the presence of God and were cast down from heaven. One -third of all the spirits in heaven were punished for following Satan and were denied the privilege and right to receive mortal bodies. Because we are here on earth with physical bodies, we know that we chose to follow Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Satan and his followers are spirits roaming around on this earth. They know who we are and what we did in heaven. They work daily enticing us and tempting us to do wrong. We followed Jesus Christ and accepted God's plan in heaven. We must continue to follow Jesus here on earth. It is only by following Him that we can return to Heavenly Father and our heavenly home. The gospel of Jesus Christ tells us what we must do to return to be with God. Jesus came to earth, taught the plan of salvation and exaltation, and gave us a good example to follow. He atoned for our sins and made it possible for us to return to our heavenly home. Now it is up to us to exercise our freedom of choice and choose to follow Christ.

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