Young Men Lesson 30: The Plan of Salvation
Manual 1; Excerpt from "Our Father's Plan – Big Enough for All His Children," by Quentin L. Cook
July 20, 2012
Use this lesson to discuss the challenges of life along with the hope, happiness, and mercy found in God's plan and Jesus Christ's atonement.
• Why is the plan of salvation sometimes called the plan of happiness? (see Alma 42:8, 16).
• How can our knowledge of the plan of salvation help us cope with difficult trials, such as death or illness? How can it help us understand moral issues like chastity or abortion?
Excerpt from "Our Father's Plan--Big Enough for All His Children," by Elder Quentin L. Cook, April 2009 General Conference:
For many of these people who are open to religious faith, one issue has been particularly troubling. They have had a difficult time reconciling the correct doctrine that we have a loving Father in Heaven and the incorrect doctrine that most of mankind would be doomed to eternal hell.
This was an issue with my great-great-grandfather Phineas Wolcott Cook. He was born in 1820 in Connecticut. In his diary he notes that he had made a covenant with the Lord to serve Him if he could find the right way. He attended many churches and at one was asked to “testify [and] join the church [and] be a Christian.” His response was he “could not tell which one to join, there were so many.” He continued to investigate several churches. One doctrine was of particular significance to him. He explained: “Sometimes they found fault with me because I wanted a more liberal salvation for the family of man. I could not believe the Lord had made a part to be saved and a great part to be damned to all eternity.” 13 Because of this doctrine, he allowed his name to be taken off the records of one Protestant religion. When the LDS missionaries taught him the true doctrine of the plan of salvation in 1844, he was baptized.
Phineas’s faith in the loving mercy of the Lord and His plan of happiness has been shared by many honorable men and women, even when the teachings of their own churches were very bleak.
The Anglican church leader and classical scholar Frederic Farrar, the author of The Life of Christ, lamented in lectures in Westminster Abbey that the common teachings of the Protestant churches with respect to hell were incorrect. He asserted that a definition of hell which included endless torment and everlasting damnation was the result of translation errors from Hebrew and Greek to English in the King James Version of the Bible. Farrar also noted the overwhelming demonstration of a loving Father in Heaven throughout the Bible as additional evidence that the definitions of hell and damnation used in the English translation were incorrect. 14