In the premortal life, our Heavenly Father called a Grand Council to present His plan for our progression (see Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith , 209, 511). We learned that if we followed His plan, we would become like Him. We would be resurrected; we would have all power in heaven and on earth; we would become heavenly parents and have spirit children just as He does (see Doctrine and Covenants 132:19–20).
We learned that He would provide an earth for us where we would prove ourselves (see Abraham 3:24–26). A veil would cover our memories, and we would forget our heavenly home. This would be necessary so we could exercise our agency to choose good or evil without being influenced by the memory of living with our Heavenly Father. … He would help us recognize the truth when we heard it again on earth (see John 18:37).
At the Grand Council we also learned the purpose for our progression: to have a fulness of joy. However, we also learned that some would be deceived, choose other paths, and lose their way. We learned that all of us would have trials in our lives: sickness, disappointment, pain, sorrow, and death. But we understood that these would be given to us for our experience and our good (see Doctrine and Covenants 122:7). If we allowed them to, these trials would purify us rather than defeat us (see Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball , 15–16).
At this council we also learned that because of our weakness, all of us except little children would sin (see Doctrine and Covenants 29:46–47). We learned that a Savior would be provided for us so we could overcome our sins and overcome death with resurrection. We learned that if we placed our faith in Him, obeying His word and following His example, we would be exalted and become like our Heavenly Father. We would receive a fulness of joy.
Norman W. Gardner, “What We Know about Premortal Life,” New Era, February 2015
“Jesus Christ Is Central to Heavenly Father’s Plan,” Ensign February 2010
“The Fulness of the Gospel: Life before Birth,” Ensign February 2006
“Sharing Time: I Know God’s Plan,” Friend, June 2003
“Sharing Time: I Shouted for Joy!” Friend, February 1999
Gene R. Cook, “Home and Family: A Divine Eternal Pattern,” Ensign, May 1984
“The Great Council in Heaven,” Friend, January 1983