Mormons believe in happiness. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, inadvertently called the “Mormon Church” at times by the media, believe that the purpose of life is to learn how to live so we can experience true happiness and joy. The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, contains the following scripture, in which a father counsels his son that
Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy (The Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 2:25).
Every human being is a spirit child of Heavenly Father. We lived with Him before we came to earth. During our pre-earth life, we learned and progressed in our understanding. More than anything else, we loved and wanted to be like God, and He loves and wants us to be like Him. But there were some things He has that we could not understand. God possesses a physical body, and we were beings of spirit. We could not interact with the physical universe, or experience physical sensations. God also knows fully the difference between good and evil. Because He understands evil, pain, sickness, and death, He is able to fully experience goodness, health, life, and joy. He wanted us to also have the chance to experience a fullness of joy. So God presented to us His great plan of happiness, whereby we could come to earth, and through the experience of earth life, grow to be more like Him.
Our Life on Earth
We have been sent to earth to obtain physical bodies like God’s, and to choose between good and evil. By learning to choose good, we can eventually become like God and live with Him forever. Earth life is both a school and a test. We experience the consequences of evil either through our own choices or through the choices of others, and thus learn to fully understand the importance of choosing good. Although difficult at times, we grow to be more like God every time we choose good over evil. Even when we suffer through no fault of our own, we grow in our capacity to rejoice. As Kahlil Gibran once said, “The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.”
Jesus Christ is essential to our Heavenly Father’s plan. We all make mistakes and choose evil sometimes, and because we are truly free to act for ourselves, the consequences of our sins can be devastating. Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, is the Firstborn of God in the Spirit and the Only Begotten Son of God in the flesh. He came to earth to show us by example how to live, to teach us to love God and to love one another, and to atone for us. Jesus has taught us God’s commandments, which, if followed, can lead us to much joy in this life. Through His atonement, Christ broke the bands of sin and death. We will be resurrected just as Jesus was, with immortal physical bodies. And even though we all have sinned, if we repent, we can be forgiven because Jesus Christ has paid the price for our sins.
Eternal Life and a Fullness of Joy
After our earth life we will return once again to our Heavenly Father. Because of Jesus Christ, we will then possess immortal physical bodies like God’s. If we have chosen good, our experiences on earth will have taught us to truly understand good and evil. We will have experienced suffering, so we will be able to at last experience a fullness of joy. With our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, we will dwell forever in happiness and peace. Eternal life is God’s life, a life of greater joy and glory than we can now comprehend. May we all return to dwell with God in love and joy forever.