To be here on earth was actually a choice, a choice we made in the premortal realms, when we lived with our Father in Heaven. Even though we do not completely recall how things happened, we know through the scriptures and revelations to modern-day prophets that because we were faithful as spirit beings in the pre-existence, we are given the opportunity to experience mortality. The highest goal and greatest possible result of all the things that happen in mortality is for us to be like our Heavenly Father and be with Him again someday.
Unfortunately, there are moments in mortality when we forget the plan – when hard times strike, when sickness overcomes and when death finally takes its toll. In the trying events in life, may we remember what mortality is and why we need to experience it all – the good times and, especially, those that test us so we can stop and find our bearings.
Mortality is Essential for Us to Have a Physical Body
Can you imagine yourself without your body? You would exist but wouldn’t be able to feel pain, pleasure, sorrow, joy, or any other of the roller coaster of emotions. Try imagining not being able to control anything you saw because you couldn’t touch them. I tried putting myself in that exact situation and I was dumbfounded. I asked myself, is this why Heavenly Father wanted us to have physical bodies? So we can feel how he feels?
If we contemplate the gift of having a physical body, we should be grateful we came to mortality, because it is the only way we can gain one. There is so much good we can do in this world because we are capable of movement and action. We also have a whole new level of agency because what we can conceive mentally, we can do physically. We can become creators. We can do a lot of things with our hands, we can create songs with our voices and we make so many things! This includes being pro-creators with God in bringing His spirit sons and daughters into this world through birth, giving them physical bodies in the process. It is simply glorious!
Mortality is a Prerequisite Learning Program
This life is a time to gain experience we could never have in any other way. Everything that happens to us in this mortal existence teaches us principles and lessons that make us stronger and wiser. Exhilarating triumphs teach us that we are capable of joy and happiness, while problems and trials teach us patience, endurance and dependence on God Almighty. Were it not for this chance to be on Earth, we would never have the opportunities needed to empathize with others. We would miss the chance to “mourn with those that mourn” and learn to feel compassion as the Savior does. All the Christlike attributes needed for us to be worthy and near our Heavenly Father are learned and practiced while we are living in this state. We will never be able pass to the eternities and be exalted like our Father in Heaven if we fail to gain ample experience in this life.
Mortality is Temporary
No one lives forever. That is the definition of being mortal beings. This is because mortality is but a passing moment. It is said that time is the currency of life, that mortal beings are the only ones who measure time because in the eternities there is no need of it. But if you look at things with an eternal perspective, we are not mortal beings. We are eternal beings given a mortal experience. With that, we measure time because this mortal experience has a limit. So no matter what happens, it is how we spend that currency that matters most. This understanding creates a sense of importance and urgency within us. The feeling that our time is limited changes how we see things and ultimately how we do things. Because mortality is temporary, let us make the most of every second spent. Make our life story more meaningful and beautiful.
Mortality is Overcome by the Atonement of the Son of God
Living on Earth also means we will, sooner or later, succumb to death and leave this world behind. This life, after all, is a package deal. We came here with the knowledge that we will eventually leave. Picking up one end of the stick will always mean we get the other end also. But because of the Savior’s Great Atoning Sacrifice, death is only a bridge to eternity. Death is but a separation. Our physical bodies are left on the ground, while our eternal spirits go to a place where we will wait for the resurrection. The Savior of the world has overcome the sting of death and with that knowledge, we can have the hope of immortality. As we live with the faith that we will someday regain our physical bodies in their perfect form, let us continue to live our lives so that we may glorify our God.
The gift of mortality is something we should be grateful for. The dictionary defines mortality as the state of being subject to death – such a bleak and gloomy definition. There will be times in our lives when that is exactly how we feel – bleak and gloomy. The Atonement changes that definition. As we look to God and find our bearings, we will better understand why we are here and we will know what to do with the time we have been given. May this mortal existence give us the necessary experience we need to qualify for the Lord’s presence in the eternities to come and may we all find purpose in our day-to-day life so that when our time on Earth comes to an end, it will be a day of accomplishment and sweet parting.