Latter-day Saint Life

If You Think You've Messed Up God's Plan for You, Read This


To anyone who thinks they’ve messed up God’s plan for them—you have not. More importantly, you cannot. God is the author of eternity. We have the ability to choose, so we are ultimately the commanders of our fate. But no matter what we do, no matter how much we may feel we've distanced ourselves from God or lived a life we believe He wouldn't be interested in helping, this is not true. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught, "There is nothing . . . that you have done that cannot be undone."

If you believe you've ruined God's personal plan for your life, you may feel hopeless or helpless. Your pain is real and strong and valid. However, although it may sound unbelievable now, our Heavenly Parent's love for you is real and stronger than anything we know. To gain a better idea of how divine love can defeat any negative feeling and show us God's true plan for us, it's important to know how Heavenly Father's plan works for His children.

In one sense, our Father’s plan for us is universal. The plan of salvation teaches that "through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved” (A of F 1:3). The blessing of being saved from sin is offered to everyone.

In another sense, our plans are very personal. God is omnipresent, looking out for us, guiding us to good, and guiding good to us. Sydney S. Reynolds, former first counselor in the Primary general presidency, said, “In Primary we teach the children that each is a child of God and that their Heavenly Father knows them and loves them. . . . He knows our joys and our sorrows. He knows my name and your name.” 

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God will never leave us without a plan. His purpose is simple—“to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of” all His children. As the popular Primary song professes, “you are His child.” We can’t ruin this plan, “as for God, his way is perfect” (Psalms 18:30). If you feel beaten by your own choices or current situation, know that, like the prodigal son returning home, God will have “compassion, and [run], and [fall] on [your] neck, and [kiss you].” Thanks to the Atonement of Jesus Christ, you are never beyond the reach of your Father. As Elder Holland says, "However late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines."

The road to heaven is paved with the rocks of redemption. No man or woman who enters the next life, save Jesus Christ, will do so perfectly. Jesus Christ and His gospel support the imperfect. As He said while in Jerusalem, “They that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick” (Matthew 9:12). 

Before this life, we all accepted a plan of salvation that would allow us to become like our Heavenly Parents. We were told that we’d have the ability to choose between good and evil in everything we do. We were also told that we’d have a Savior and, if we followed Him, we’d be okay. Notice that the plan for exaltation and a Savior were presented at the same time. The children of God did not surprise their Father by sinning, leading to a scrambled, drastic decision and a quick, one-or-two-minute board meeting that hastily put together a "first draft" idea for a Savior. No, Jesus’ role as Redeemer has been set from the start. 

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The “the joyful news” (Alma 13:25) is that Jesus Christ's Atonement is eternal. He is “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending” (Revelation 1:8). His ability to save us from our sins will never end. This means that no date or time on earth stands as a “too-late-for-salvation” sign on our path back to God. Through true repentance, any person at any time can feel the cleanliness that comes from true Christian conversion. Elder Bruce C. Hafen explained, "We can have eternal life if we want it . . . we must willingly give everything, because God Himself can’t make us grow against our will and without our full participation. . . . [but] when the Savior’s all and our all come together, we will find not only forgiveness of sin, 'we shall see him as he is,' and 'we shall be like him.'"

The arms of heaven are always open ready to receive you.

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