- The gospel teaches us that we are the spirit children of heavenly parents. Before our mortal birth we had “a pre-existent, spiritual personality, as the sons and daughters of the Eternal Father.” We were placed here on earth to progress toward our destiny of eternal life. These truths give us a unique perspective and different values to guide our decisions from those who doubt the existence of God and believe that life is the result of random processes.
He speaks about the fall of man and the unique prospective that Latter-day Saints have that is very different from the rest of the world's views.
- It was Eve who first transgressed the limits of Eden in order to initiate the conditions of mortality. Her act, whatever its nature, was formally a transgression but eternally a glorious necessity to open the doorway toward eternal life. Adam showed his wisdom by doing the same. And thus Eve and “Adam fell that men might be.”
- Some Christians condemn Eve for her act, concluding that she and her daughters are somehow flawed by it. Not the Latter-day Saints! Informed by revelation, we celebrate Eve’s act and honor her wisdom and courage in the great episode called the Fall.
President Oaks talks about the difference between transgressions and sin. I have read this quote in the past and it has helped me to understand what I need to repent of and what I need to improve in my life. Because I believe there is a clear difference in what is a sin and what is a transgression.
- Some acts, like murder, are crimes because they are inherently wrong. Other acts, like operating without a license, are crimes only because they are legally prohibited. Under these distinctions, the act that produced the Fall was not a sin—inherently wrong—but a transgression—wrong because it was formally prohibited. These words are not always used to denote something different, but this distinction seems meaningful in the circumstances of the Fall.
God has given us our agency and told us make righteous choices. But God will not force us to make proper choices.
- When we understand the plan of salvation, we also understand the purpose and effect of the commandments God has given his children. He teaches us correct principles and invites us to govern ourselves. We do this by the choices we make in mortality.
President Oaks speaks about sins that have been introduced into the world since the fall. He speaks about immorality, abortion, gender confusion, lack of desire to marry, and delaying or preventing of bearing children. As he speaks about each of these areas, he explains God's view of these issue. Concerning the raising of children, he states that we the ultimate treasure in life is partnering with God in bringing souls to this earth.
- The Savior taught that we should not lay up treasures on earth but should lay up treasures in heaven. In light of the ultimate purpose of the great plan of happiness, I believe that the ultimate treasures on earth and in heaven are our children and our posterity.
President Oaks encourages us to keep our covenants and to keep in mind our eternal destiny. We have many things to look forward to in life and throughout eternity and we must do all we can to live our lives in mortality in line with the teachings of the gospel.
- I pray that we will not let the challenges and temporary diversions of mortality cause us to forget our covenants and lose sight of our eternal destiny. We who know God’s plan for his children, we who have covenanted to participate, have a clear responsibility. We must desire to do what is right, and we must do all that we can in our own circumstances in mortality.
Finally, President Oaks shares his testimony of the Savior and His healing abilities. He shares that when we do all we can, the Savior makes up the difference to make us whole.
- We have a Savior, who has taken upon him not just the sins, but also “the pains and the sicknesses of his people … that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.” He is our Savior, and when we have done all that we can, he will make up the difference, in his own way and in his own time.
As I read through this talk, I am reminded about how simple the Plan of Happiness really is. So simple that a child can understand where we came from and where we are going if we live our lives in accordance with the gospel. Yet the plan has details that we are not fully capable of understanding in this life. What a great and loving Father we have to give us His plan and help us understand our divine role in the Plan of Happiness. God sent us here to find happiness, not to be miserable. We should live our lives, forever in pursuit of the happiness God has a desire to give us.