Gospel Principles Lesson 46: The Final Judgment

Excerpt from, "The Time to Prepare," by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, April 1998 General Conference:

My dear brothers and sisters, I am grateful to join with you again in a general conference of the Church. I pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I would like to consider with you the importance of mortal life as a time of preparation. As Amulek testified, “This life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.” 1

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have a special understanding of the eternal nature of our souls. We know that we had a premortal existence. We accepted our Heavenly Father’s great plan of happiness and chose to follow our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Principles we adopted and for which we contended were (1) agency, the ability to choose good or evil; (2) progress, the ability to learn and become like our Heavenly Father; and (3) faith, faith in our Father’s plan and in the Atonement of Jesus Christ that enables us to return to the presence of God. Consequently, we were permitted to enter mortal life. Concerning mortal life, the Master said, “We will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them.” 2

We understand that we will live a postmortal life of infinite duration and that we determine the kind of life it will be by our thoughts and actions in mortality. Mortality is very brief but immeasurably important.

We learn from the scriptures that the “course of the Lord is one eternal round” 3 and that God knows “all things, being from everlasting to everlasting.” 4 We are also eternal beings. Our presence here on earth is an essential step in our loving Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness for His children.

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