Okay, so here is the first chapter of my children’s book (to be illustrated by my wife). See my two earlier posts (here and here) if you don’t know what this series is all about and the table of contents.
Chapter 1: Council in Heaven
Before we were born on this earth, we lived as spirits with our Heavenly Father. We learned a lot as spirits and Heavenly Father told us He had a plan that would help us learn more so we could be even happier. Heavenly Father explained that He has a fullness of joy, which means He is full of love and gratitude, and that He loves being our Father.
Heavenly Father’s plan would help us all be full of joy like He is. We call His plan the Plan of Salvation, or the Plan of Happiness. Heavenly Father was a spirit like we were, but He also had a body and tremendous glory. As we learned, we were also gaining glory, and having glory made us happy, but we couldn’t receive more glory and have a more intimate relationship with our Father without coming to this world.
In His plan, a world would be created where our spirits could have bodies. We would be born and leave behind our glory and memory of our spirit life with God. We would have the veil which made us forget everything before this life. The veil would allow us to freely choose goodness for its own sake rather than because we knew God was watching us. We would continue to have agency, which meant we could make our own choices about what kind of people we wanted to be. Heavenly Father said this was important because if we chose a loving relationship with Him, we would become a complete person like He is, and be able to freely share ourselves with others. We would be reunited with our bodies by being resurrected and share more of God’s glory and love than we ever could have as just spirits.
Being in a body would make it hard to always do the right things, we would have to trust God (and His Spirit) instead of just our bodily senses, and often they would directly contradict each other (especially because the senses teach fear and scarcity). Proper use of our bodies to demonstrate love to others would make us happy and give us glory again. If God could trust us to make right choices and be obedient, we could be trusted with more knowledge, glory, power, and responsibilities.
There are lots of important things we can learn on Earth and some of them we will also have to learn after we die. Some of the things we are to learn are to: control our bodies, love others selflessly, experience pain and sadness, appreciate heaven by experiencing hell, gain wisdom through life’s experiences, learn to serve others, make good choices, exercise faith, prize goodness, find out about ourselves through trials and testing, learn about the consequences of our actions, repent and forgive, develop relationships, learn to trust God’s Spirit, choose to be in a relationship with God, and to become more like God is.
Even after death, spirits can still learn a lot of these things because they still have the veil which keeps them from remembering life before they were born. The spirits of dead people still live on this earth and can remember how nice it was to have a body. After we die we even learn to appreciate the bodies we had in life! We were excited to come to earth and have the opportunity to become like our Heavenly Father and we told Him that we wanted to follow His plan for us. However, not everyone liked God’s plan.
(Did you see how I teased the next chapter in the last sentence? I saw it in a book once.) I’m mainly interested in anything that seems to hit you as strange or incomplete in the portrayal (pats on the back are also appreciated, but not quite as helpful). I hope you feel comfortable challenging me and asking for further clarification on any of the concepts I promote.