“The Plan of Salvation“
“The Plan of Salvation” broad in scope, puts this life in perspective. It places us as the main character in a cosmic drama and represents one of Mormonism’s greatest contributions to religious thought. We are eternal, spiritual beings at the crucial junction in our path to perfection. At the same time, this current life is what we know best. How does this perspective influence our lives and decisions? How should it? How can we balance working toward eternal goals with quality of life now, this life and the life to come? This episode will tackle these critical issues.
One Time Donation:
Student Reading: Moses 4:2, D&C 19:16–19; D&C 76:40–42; Job 38:4–7; D&C 138:55–56; Abraham 3:22–28; Alma 42:9, 14; D&C 29:40–43; Articles of Faith 1:3; Alma 40:11–14; Alma 42:11–13, 15; D&C 76:111; D&C 88:14–16
Additional Teacher Reading: Alma 24:14; 42:5; Moses 6:62; Alma 42:8, 16; Jacob 6:8; Alma 12:25–33; Alma 41:2; Alma 42:15, 31; Alma 42:8; D&C 76:24; 2 Nephi 2:24–26; Alma 34:8–9; Moses 4:1, 3; D&C 29:36; D&C 29:36–38; 76:25–27; Moses 4:4; Moses 5:11; Alma 12:24; Moses 2:28; D&C 93:40; 131:1–4; 138:48; D&C 29:39; 2 Nephi 2:11–13; D&C 58:27–28; 101:78; 2 Nephi 2:25–27; Alma 34:34; D&C 137:7–9; 138:30–34; D&C 128:6–8, 15; Alma 11:42; D&C 93:33; Alma 11:43–45; D&C 76:51; Alma 12:32
Please post your comments and questions here, in the facebook group, or email them to me at MormonSundaySchool at gmail.
You can access the Reading Notes here.
You can access my Lesson Notes here.
- Encyclopedia of Mormonism on Plan of Salvation
- Terryl Givens’ book on the idea of the Preexistence in Western thought
- Elder Utchdorf’s Conference talk on regrets of the dying
- And the original source, read both.
- Barry Schwartz on Wisdom
- A Short Stay in Hell, a brief, disturbing, and profoundly paradigm shifting reflection on the nature of eternity
- “Save me from myself”, A Freakonomics episode on why we need to trick ourselves into making the decisions we really want to make
- A series of talks on what makes us happy
- The documentary, Happy
- A beautiful reflection on the value of this life and how all we have is “now”
- Two talks by Dan Ariely about how our environment influences our decisions, obstacles to making good ones, and what makes us feel good about the work we do.
- An entertaining summary of the “simple” Plan of Salvation
- Daniel Dennett on agency
Many thanks to Devin Roth for the beautiful bumper music. Check out his arrangement of hymns and other work at DevinRothMusic!
Thanks to James Estrada of Oak Street Audio for his quick post-production.
T.E. Stuart says:
Pascals and the Atheists gambit are both essentially flawed due the the inherently selfish nature of the argument. To pursue religion simply for ones own benefit is to work against the nature of religion. As far as eternal perspective, eternity may be closer than you think. As far as I understand the theory of transfinite cardinals it goes something like this; Take a foot long line. basic math tells you that there are an infinite number of points along that line. Now mark off twelve, inch long divisions along that line. Each one of those divisions also has an infinite number of points along it. Now, those two infinity’s have their own separate and perhaps unequal existence. To this end, every lifespan has an infinite number of moments within it. Those moments are effectively permanent, being incorruptibly removed from harm by the unidirectional nature of time itself. They may be forgotten or unobserved by others, but that does not negate their existence. Therefore, having established that each lifespan consists of an infinite number of permanent moments we can easily say that every persons life is an eternity. Silly wordplay? absolutely not! Every moment, also infinite and permanent is either a affirmation or condemnation of the value of ones life. If you sin, if you cause pain or loss, even by accident, how much will it take to expunge that mark? To live well, to to maximize the eternal impact of ones life, we seek guidance beyond the finite knowledge of our own. We have religion, not to serve ourselves, but to serve others, better than we can do with any other means at our disposal, because of the certain, permanent, eternal consequences.
Jared Anderson says:
We will talk about this more directly in this upcoming episode. 🙂 I very much agree that Mormon theology teaches this life is part of eternity.
Jared Anderson says:
I agree with you that Pascal’s Wager is selfish, since it is based on individual punishment and reward. I would suggest that the atheist’s wager is quite unselfish, however. I didn’t say the atheist’s wager was about “the good life”; I said it was about living A good life, which includes serving others and leaving the world better than you found it.