Mormons talk about the Plan of Happiness all the time. But what does it actually mean? Is our happiness already planned out from the beginning? But only Mormons talk about it. So where do they get this doctrine of the Plan of Happiness?
Latter-day Saints (also known as ‘Mormons’) believe that Heavenly Father has prepared a Plan of Happiness, which provides the way and the means for all His spirit children to gain salvation and receive eternal life. Every human who has been born on Earth is a child of God, so whether you’re a Mormon or not, you are part of the Plan and it is available to you.
Before our lives on earth, our spirits lived with God. However, in order for us to progress and reach our fullest capacities, it was essential that our spirits obtain physical bodies and exercise our agency—freedom to choose between right and wrong. Thus, the Creation took place.
When Adam and Eve were created, they lived in the Garden of Eden in a state of innocence. In this state, there were no choices and they did not know between good and evil. There was no opposition, sin, sorrow, pain or death, until Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit, an event commonly known as the Fall. Because of the Fall, Adam and Eve and their posterity became mortal. The Fall also brought both physical and spiritual death upon all men.
In our mortal and fallen state, we cannot return to the presence of Heavenly Father unless we are redeemed from our sins and transgressions. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the way prepared for us to rise from physical death. And if we repent and choose to follow Jesus Christ, we can also rise from spiritual death and receive eternal life in the presence of God, our Father.
All of us are subject to death. After we die, our spirits enter the postmortal spirit world until the day that our spirits will again reunite with our bodies during the resurrection. We will then stand before God and be judged according to our works here on earth.
Latter-day Saints believe that there are three degrees of glory available through the grace of Christ’s atonement—celestial, terrestrial and telestial where our resurrected bodies will dwell. The glory we will obtain depends on our works while we were here on earth. All except the very few who knowingly and purposefully reject Christ, will be saved in these different levels of heaven, for as Jesus himself said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions,” and Heavenly Father will know the right place for every soul. [John 14:2]
So what does this really mean for us? The Plan of Happiness was prepared for all men to progress, which means that if we are faithful, we can become like Heavenly Father. We are all part of the Plan and our loving Heavenly Father wants us all to come back to His presence.
Learn more about the Plan of Happiness here.