Every year, one of the first lessons we teach in seminary is "The Plan of SALVATION". 'Used to wonder why; now I see the wisdom. Must not have had a true testimony of it, but I do now. "If you know where you've been, and where you are now, it helps to know how to get where you want to go." In my opinion, this lesson is really about knowing and trusting God the Father. Faith, of course. It's His great plan to help us reach TRUE JOY by becoming like Him.
It's a magnificent plan where we are completely free to use our agency in making choices. We agreed, in the pre-mortal existence, to follow the plan. We must have seen "the way", otherwise we would never have supported it. We must have seen how confining and limited we would be as unembodied spirits; how trials and testing as mortals would give us the strength we needed to become like Him. Trials are placed in our path as part of the "perfection" process. Magnificent plan!
The Fall of Adam, although many look down on this part of the plan, was absolutely necessary to bring us into mortality. This is how we gain our bodies. All part of the great plan.
This plan also makes it clear to us how the Atonement of the Savior, Jesus Christ, is the one feature that facilitates the plan. The Atonement is what makes the plan work. Without it, we are trapped in our sins (bodies are trapped on this earth) and our spirits belong to Satan. The Savior's Resurrection opens the ability for our spirits to reunite with our bodies, thereby becoming immortal. We are given the opportunity to repent of our sins and through the Atonement, we can be washed clean, and return to our Heavenly Father clean and worthy. By knowing this, we develop a deep feeling of gratitude and reverence for Jesus Christ.
We had a great discussion as a class today. I used the suggestion in the manual (imagine that!) of stretching a string from one wall in the class to another, representing the line of our lives. I hung a paperclip over the string with a clear plastic body figure on it representing our spirits, and an identical body figure on another paper clip using cardstock. Moved the figures up and down the line while discussing progression during teaching. Wrote "Pre-Mortal Life", "Mortal Life", and "Post-Mortal Life" on 3 small envelopes. Used the envelope flaps to hang them on the string. Thought it was a corny idea when I read it. Ended up being the best Plan of Salvation lesson I've ever taught. Great visual for them. I hope they GOT IT! I GOT IT GOOD!