Rejoice in an Understanding of the Purpose of Life
August 2005

“Rejoice in an Understanding of the Purpose of Life,” Ensign, Aug. 2005, 61

Visiting Teaching Message:

Rejoice in an Understanding of the Purpose of Life

Prayerfully select and read from this message the scriptures and teachings that meet the needs of the sisters you visit. Share your experiences and testimony. Invite those you teach to do the same.

The Prophet Joseph Smith: “The great plan of salvation is a theme which ought to occupy our strict attention, and be regarded as one of heaven’s best gifts to mankind” (History of the Church, 2:23).

What Is God’s Plan for His Children?

Moses 1:39: “This is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”

The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshiped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize his or her divine destiny as an heir of eternal life” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Liahona, Oct. 2004, 49; Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102).

Abraham 3:24–25: “We will make an earth whereon these may dwell; and we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them.”

Elder Bruce C. Hafen of the Seventy: “This earth is not our home. We are away at school, trying to master the lessons of ‘the great plan of happiness’ so we can return home. … Of necessity, the plan is full of thorns and tears—His and ours. But because He and we are so totally in this together, our being ‘at one’ with Him in overcoming all opposition will itself bring us ‘incomprehensible joy.’ Christ’s Atonement is at the very core of this plan” (“The Atonement: All for All,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2004, 98).

Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “The purpose of God’s creations and of His giving us life is to allow us to have the learning experience necessary for us to come back to Him, to live with Him in eternal life. That is only possible if we have our natures changed through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, true repentance, and making and keeping the covenants He offers” (“Education for Real Life,” Ensign, Oct. 2002, 16).

How Can Rejoicing in God’s Plan Help Me through Trials?

Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Trying to comprehend the trials and meaning of this life without understanding Heavenly Father’s marvelously encompassing plan of salvation is like trying to understand a three-act play while seeing only the second act. Fortunately, our knowledge of the Savior, Jesus Christ, and His Atonement helps us to endure our trials and to see purpose in suffering and to trust God for what we cannot comprehend” (“Enduring Well,” Liahona, Apr. 1999, 10; Ensign, Apr. 1997, 7).

Susan W. Tanner, Young Women general president: “The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the only way we make it through our trials. After all we can do, we have to rely on His strength. … When we humbly seek Him, He answers our prayers” (“How Will They Know Unless We Teach Them So?” [address delivered at Young Women open house, fall 2003]).

Joseph in Liberty Jail, by Liz Lemon Swindle, may not be copied

Photograph by Craig Dimond, posed by model