The word “plan” doesn’t appear in the King James Version of the Bible. But it appears 51 times in the Book of Mormon.
Book of Mormon prophets, particularly Jacob and Alma, teach clearly that God created a plan for us, and that by following His plan, we can overcome every challenge we face and achieve perfect happiness.
“The Merciful Plan of the Great Creator”
Jacob is the first prophet to use the word “plan” in the Book of Mormon. In a sermon to the people of Nephi, he tells the people that death is part of God’s plan. But God has also prepared a way for us to overcome the effects of death and sin. Our spirits and our bodies will be reunited, and we can overcome our sins through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We can return to the presence of God and have a fulness of joy forever. Jacob calls this “the merciful plan of the Great Creator” (2 Nephi 9:6), “the plan of our God” (2 Nephi 9:13), and “the great plan of redemption” (Jacob 6:8).
After quoting Jacob’s sermon, his brother Nephi rejoices in the “justice, and power, and mercy” of God as evidenced by His “great and eternal plan of deliverance from death” (2 Nephi 11:5).
Jacob’s grandson, Jarom, testified that his predecessors, including Jacob and Nephi had revealed “plan of salvation” in their writings (Jarom 1:2).
“The Plan of Redemption”
The prophet Alma and his associates referred frequently to “the plan of redemption.” Alma explained the need for the plan by describing what would have happened without it:
- “If it had not been for the plan of redemption, which was laid from the foundation of the world, there could have been no resurrection of the dead” (Alma 12:25).
- “If it were possible that our first parents could have gone forth and partaken of the tree of life they would have been forever miserable, having no preparatory state; and thus the plan of redemption would have been frustrated” (Alma 12:26).
- “If it were not for the plan of redemption, (laying it aside) as soon as they were dead their souls were miserable, being cut off from the presence of the Lord” (Alma 42:11).
Alma and his missionary companion Amulek emphasized that God’s plan requires something from us. The full benefits of the plan are only available to those who repent:
- “Therefore God gave unto them commandments, after having made known unto them the plan of redemption, that they should not do evil,… for on such the plan of redemption could have no power” (Alma 12:32).
- “He that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption” (Alma 34:16).
- “If ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you” (Alma 34:31).
In an interview with his son Corianton, Alma used several terms to describe God’s plan. He called it the plan of redemption (Alma 39:18, Alma 42:11, 13), the plan of salvation (Alma 42:5), the plan of mercy (Alma 42:15, 31), and the plan of happiness (Alma 42:8, 16).
Today, I will remember that this life is not arbitrary. The challenges we face were foreseen by God, and He has prepared a plan which will enable each of us to overcome them. I will be grateful for God’s plan of redemption which will enable me to overcome every obstacle and achieve the happiness He wants me to have.