Where Did We Come From?
To understand your purpose here, it helps to know where you came from. In short, your spirit lived in heaven before you were born.
We once lived in the presence of God
Before the earth was created, we all lived with God, our Heavenly Father. He wanted us to learn from experiences here on earth to help us become more like Him. Much like children leaving home for college, we needed to leave our heavenly home in order to grow personally, learn from our mistakes, find joy, and develop faith. To progress, we needed an environment that would test us and challenge us. So God created this earth and taught us His plan for our happiness. We are all here because we trusted in His plan, which is designed to allow us to return to live with Him again.
“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” —Ecclesiastes 12:7
Learn about God’s plan for us
Before you were born, you lived with God, your Heavenly Father. He knew you, loved you, and taught you about the choices that would lead to lasting happiness. This period is called the premortal life.
God wanted us to come to earth to gain a physical body. Here, we face challenges and situations that help us learn and grow so we can become more like Him.
God knew that we would make mistakes, so He chose Jesus to come to earth and suffer for our sins. Jesus’s sacrifice allows us to be forgiven and cleansed of our sins so we can live with God again someday.
Here on earth, we don’t remember living with God. As a result, we must have faith and learn to choose between right and wrong. Life isn’t easy, but hard times let us appreciate happiness and peace.
Jesus suffered and died for our sins. But that doesn’t take our responsibility away—we must choose to accept Jesus by repenting when we make mistakes, being baptized, and keeping His commandments.
When we die, our spirit and body separate. Our spirit goes to the spirit world. It is a place of rest and happiness for those who have made good choices and a place to learn and progress for those who have not yet received the gospel of Jesus Christ. For those spirits who have rejected Jesus Christ, it a place to suffer for their sins.
The spirit world is not a final destination or judgment. In fact, because God is so loving and fair, those people in hell who never knew about Jesus are taught His gospel and given the opportunity to accept Him.
Jesus overcame death so we can all live again. This is called the resurrection. When we are resurrected, our spirits and bodies reunite. Our bodies will be perfect and will never die again.
Jesus will judge us according to our actions and the desires of our hearts. He will be as merciful as He can. Because our actions and desires vary, heaven includes different kingdoms or degrees of glory.
Our Heavenly Father and Jesus reside in the celestial kingdom. If you live by Jesus’s teachings and are cleansed from sin by His sacrifice, you will go there. You will live in God’s presence and experience lasting joy.
People who refuse to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ but who live otherwise honorable lives will receive a place in the terrestrial kingdom.
Those who continue in their sins and do not repent will receive a place in the telestial kingdom.
The purpose of life on earth
As part of God’s plan, we gain a physical body at birth. We face many challenges and temptations, but we also experience happiness and love. In order to learn by faith, God caused us to forget our life in heaven. He also gave us the freedom to choose so we could decide for ourselves between good and evil. Earth life became a proving ground where our decisions to live good lives and follow God would determine if we would be ready to return and live with Him again someday.
God gave His Son to be our Savior
Heavenly Father knew that during this life, none of us would be perfect. To overcome our sins and mistakes, God provided a Savior for us. He sent His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to allow us to be forgiven and to teach us how we can return to our Heavenly Father.
Missionaries can explain in detail the plan of salvation and the role of Jesus Christ, and they are happy to answer any questions you may have. The knowledge of God’s plan can change your perspective and help you live life with more hope, joy, and purpose.
You can know God’s plan through the Book of Mormon
You can know for yourself about the reality of God’s plan. You can also know how the teachings of Jesus Christ can help you live life with greater purpose, hope, and happiness, even in times of difficulty or uncertainty. These truths are taught clearly in the Book of Mormon. You can receive your own copy of this book for free.