The Great Plan of Happiness Alma 39-42
Alma's lesson about the great plan of happiness is definitely one of the most well known sections of the Book of Mormon. We've all heard the phrase "wickedness never was happiness" more often than we can probably count. But the true message of Alma's teachings about the great plan of happiness is that even for those that make mistakes and DO chose wickedness (which is all of us, at some point) there is a beautiful way to come back.
The Great Plan of Happiness is just that--a Plan!
I love that Alma tells the story of God's plan from the very beginning. And one of my favorite teachings from the Church of Jesus Christ is that Adam and Eve fell, but it wasn't the sin that so many believe it to be. It was part of the plan, and a necessary one. The Lord knew what they were going to do before they did it, but He also had to let them make the decision on their own.
Isn't that the way with all of us?
The Lord's plan allows for all of us to use our agency to make decisions. I don't like the term "free agency", because, honestly, nothing is free. We may be free to make decisions, but we certainly aren't free from the consequences. And our Savior suffered and died so that we would be able to use our agency, and when we used it incorrectly, we wouldn't be lost forever. So He definitely paid a price for it on our behalf.
The Details of the Plan
One of my favorite things about Alma's explanation of the plan of happiness is when he admits he doesn't know something. This stood out to me a lot this time as I studied these chapters. It's hard not to get caught up in the things we don't know.
Like, what does it mean that everything will be restored to it's perfect order?
Have we all speculated at what age we will be resurrected to be?
What happens when your spouse dies and you get sealed to someone else?
Alma's admitting that he doesn't have all the answers reminds me that all the details are not necessary. Everything that we need to know right now will be provided, and as to the rest...well, it doesn't matter.
Repentance and Forgiveness
The truth is, the details that I love to think and speculate about don't really matter in the big picture of the great plan of happiness.
What truly matters is what steps I need to take to make sure that I am following the plan myself. Namely, repenting on those things I have done when I chose the wrong path.
The Atonement of Jesus Christ is for All Those Who Repent
In my study this week I found a great quote from Joseph Smith that I love:
The great Jehovah contemplated the whole of the events connected with the earth, pertaining to the plan of salvation, before it rolled into existence...; the past, the present, and the future were and are, with Him, one eternal 'now'; He knew of the fall of Adam...and of the depth of iniquity that would be connected with the human family...He comprehended the fall of man, and his redemption; He knew the plan of salvation and pointed it out; He was acquainted with the situation of all nations and with their destiny;...He knows the situation of both the living and the dead, and has made ample provision for their redemption.
He planned, from the beginning. He knows what we are experiencing, and has made provisions for us. Even when we are uncertain, we can know that He is not.
Wickedness never was, and never will be, happiness.
But even when we, for one small (or maybe even a large) moment, might think that it is and make mistakes, it isn't over. The Savior planned for that even before the earth "rolled into existence", but it's up to us to take the steps necessary to accept His gift.
I hope you love this week's lesson!
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