“Comment,” Ensign, Jan. 2002, 79


    Plan of Salvation Chart

    In the September 2001 issue we especially enjoyed the article “Teaching Our Children the Plan of Salvation” and plan to incorporate many of its ideas in teaching our three small children. In a diagram on page 36, the line representing the Final Judgment is placed before the line representing the Resurrection, suggesting that the Final Judgment occurs before the Resurrection. After studying several scripture passages and reading other Church curriculum materials, we believe that such a suggestion would be incorrect. Could you please help us better understand this matter?

    The Calta Family
    Chino, California

    The diagram on page 36 does not accurately portray what the scriptures and living prophets teach on this matter.

    The scriptures frequently speak of a day when all mankind will stand before God to be judged according to their works prior to inheriting a kingdom of glory. This time has become known as the Final Judgment. The scriptures also speak of two other significant times of judgment: (1) Death. When the spirit leaves the mortal body, a judgment assigns each person to a state of happiness or a state of misery (see Alma 40:11–14); (2) The Second Coming. When Christ comes to earth in great glory, He will divide the wicked from the righteous (see Mal. 4:1–2). It is also accurate to consider every day a day of judgment, for as Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said, “The Final Judgment is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts—what we have done. It is an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and thoughts—what we have become“ (“The Challenge to Become,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 32).

    The Prophet Jacob taught that “when all men shall have passed from this first death unto life, insomuch as they have become immortal, they must appear before the judgment seat of the Holy One of Israel; and then cometh the judgment. … And … they who are righteous shall be righteous still, and they who are filthy shall be filthy still” (2 Ne. 9:15–16). Editors

    “Life-Fitting” Articles

    As I read the September 2001 issue of the Ensign, I was thrilled to see how “life-fitting” this issue was for me at the time. The articles “Live in Thanksgiving Daily,” “Sacrament Meeting and the Sacrament,” “Loving My Wayward Child,” “Peace on Earth,” “Teaching Our Children the Plan of Salvation,” and excerpts from First Presidency addresses in the News of the Church section were among the messages I cherish.

    Thank you for the prayerfully selected and compiled material of the Ensign. I am so grateful for this blessing in my life.

    Brian K. Smith
    Taylorsville, Utah