- My objective, this afternoon, is twofold: first, to address some stumbling blocks to faith; and second, to describe how our Father’s plan is big enough for all His children.
STUMBLING BLOCKS TO FAITH
- Because of the uplifting doctrine of the Restoration, members rejoice in the gospel and find joy and satisfaction in the Church. We are viewed favorably when we live the teachings of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. When members don’t live the teachings, it can be a stumbling block to those who do not belong to the Church.
- Nonbelievers find it hard to accept the miracles of the Old and New Testaments and the Savior’s virgin birth and Resurrection. They view these events with the same skepticism as the appearance of God the Father and Jesus Christ to the Prophet Joseph Smith. They are not open to the possibility of a heavenly plan presided over by a supreme being. They do not have faith.
FATHER'S PLAN IS BIG ENOUGH FOR ALL HIS CHILDREN
- The marvelous doctrine revealed to the Prophet Joseph unveiled to us a plan of salvation that is applicable to all mankind, including those who do not hear of Christ in this life, children who die before the age of accountability, and those who have no understanding.
- After all the Savior has suffered for mankind, it is not surprising that in speaking of existing churches in the First Vision, He would instruct Joseph to “join none of them, for they were all wrong.” The Savior subsequently ushered in the Restoration of His true doctrine with respect to the plan of salvation and other saving principles such as the doctrine of Christ. But notwithstanding the significance of our doctrinal differences with other faiths, our attitude toward other churches has been to refrain from criticism. They do much good. They bless mankind. Many help their members learn of the Savior and His teachings.
Elder Cook defines the goal of our life clearly. Our goal is not to just be a good person, it is to qualify our lives for eternal life.
- The desire of our hearts, of course, is not only to acquire salvation and immortality but also to attain eternal life with a loving Father in Heaven and our Savior in the celestial kingdom with our families. We can obtain eternal life only through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.
Finally he concludes with these words:
- I rejoice in the great plan of salvation that is big enough for all of our Father in Heaven’s children. I express gratitude beyond my ability to articulate for the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
I find hope in this talk. We have a Father in Heaven who has created the ultimate plan of happiness. He has provided each of us a way to worship him and a way to live our lives that will bring us back to him. This plan is for everyone, not just members of His church today. The gospel of Jesus Christ is big enough to reach the sinner at the bottom, and great enough to have significance to the person on top. How grateful I am for a God who truly knows and loves each of His children.