Life on Earth

What Is My Purpose in Life?

The Creation and the Fall

"The earth was created as a place for Heavenly Father’s children to live and gain experience. Adam and Eve were the first of God’s children to come to earth. They lived in a place called the Garden of Eden, where they were still in God’s presence.
Heavenly Father gave Adam and Eve agency, or freedom to choose. He commanded them not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Obeying this commandment meant they could remain in the garden, but they could not progress by learning from experiences and challenges. Satan tempted Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, and they chose to do so. This was part of God’s plan. Because of their decision, they were separated from God’s presence physically and spiritually. They became mortal, that is, subject to sin and death. They were unable to return to Him without His help. Their physical and spiritual separation from God is called the Fall.
Heavenly Father sent angels and the Holy Ghost to teach Adam and Eve the plan of salvation. Central to this plan is the Atonement of Jesus Christ, which enables God’s children to overcome the effects of the Fall and have joy in this life and in eternity.
“If Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. …
“And [Adam and Eve] would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.
“But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.
“Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.”

Your Life on Earth

Because of the Fall, you are separated from God physically and spiritually. This separation is part of God’s plan for His children. Your purpose in leaving His presence to come to earth includes obtaining a body, gaining experience, and learning to make right choices.
“I am a child of God, And he has sent me here, Has given me an earthly home With parents kind and dear. Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,Help me find the way. Teach me all that I must do To live with him someday.” Hymns, no. 301
Many aspects of life bring happiness, and some bring sorrow. These experiences help you learn to distinguish between good and evil and to make correct choices. God influences you to do good and to follow Him, while Satan tempts you to ignore God and commit sin. (Sin is knowingly choosing to do wrong or not to do right.) When you choose to follow God and keep His commandments, you grow in wisdom and strength of character. You can experience joy even in times of trial, and you can face life’s challenges with a spirit of peace.
You have made many good choices in your life, but you have also made some wrong choices. When you make wrong choices and commit sin, you separate yourself to some degree from God. The scriptures call this separation spiritual death. In addition to separating you from God, sin also causes guilt and shame. You cannot overcome sin and its effects by yourself.

The Atonement of Jesus Christ

Because Heavenly Father loves you, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for your sins. This payment is part of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ voluntarily suffered for your sins, pains, sicknesses, and sorrows. Through His grace and mercy, He can help you in your trials and relieve you of the guilt and shame that result from your sins.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”John 3:16
In paying for your sins, Jesus did not eliminate your agency or personal responsibility—He will not make you clean against your will. To receive His help and strength, you need to exercise faith in Him, repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and choose to follow His teachings for the rest of your life. As you rely on the Atonement, you will feel the love of God, and He will help you endure your trials. You will experience joy, peace, and consolation. All that seems unfair in life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the mercy and love of Heavenly Father. The Atonement is the central point in the plan of salvation."

"Life turns out,,, to be just what one would expect of a deliberately constructed proving and tutoring experience which features opportunities, choices, and deprivations. Furthermore, there is no way around—the only way to go is through!
And what a “through” it is!
Even so, for us mistake-prone mortals, this plan of mercy provides for recognition and redress of error and for the resumption of interrupted individual development.
Redemptive and refining provisions are made: For a brave Peter faltering and sinking on the churning waves—and yet knowing to whom to look to live, and crying out, “Lord, save me.” (Matt. 14:30.) For a meek Moses struggling with people, fatigued and with all the burdens of leadership. (See Num. 11:11, 14, 29.) For a Jonah seeking to substitute Tarshish, but still reaching Nineveh and, thereby, receiving a great lesson in compassion. For erring Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, and Thomas B. Marsh to recover their spiritual poise and vote with their feet by traveling westward to rejoin, in reconciliation, and to sustain the plan and its enunciating latter-day prophets.
Hence, brothers and sisters, for the faithful, our finest hours are sometimes during or just following our darkest hours.
It is an incredible irony, therefore, that some complainingly attempt to use the very tutoring process of the Lord against Him. Or resent the reality that we are to walk by faith during this mortal experience. Yet, as practical and spiritual President Brigham Young said, “There is no saving faith merely upon … acknowledging a fact.” (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1941, p. 154.)
Furthermore, since this life is such a brief experience, there must be regular exit routes. Some easy. Some hard. Some sudden. Others lingering. Therefore, we cannot presume, even by faith, to block all these exits, all the time, and for all people. Nor, if possessed of full, eternal perspective, would we desire so to do.
Since certain recollections are withheld, we do not now see the end from the beginning. But God does. Meanwhile, we are in what might be called “the murky middle.” Therein, however, we can still truly know that God loves us, individually and perfectly, even though we cannot always explain the meaning of all things happening to us or around us. (See 1 Ne. 11:17.)
Enclosed in this mortal cocoon, or classroom, we would be totally provincial in outlook except for faith in, and knowledge of, the “great plan of the Eternal God.”
Hence, Christ’s doctrines pertaining to the plan of salvation stand like sentinel scriptures to mark and light the way. His gospel guardrails line the strait and narrow path to steady us, nudge us, and even jar us for the sake of our spiritual safety!
So much more than a matter of abstract theology, this great plan can focus daily life. Its truths are crucial to how we see ourselves, others, life, the Lord, and even the universe. Or how we view a baby. Or death. Or the praise and honors of the world. This plan constitutes the mother lode of meaning and can cradle us, conceptually, amid any concern.
Its truths and perspectives permit us to distinguish between a great book and mere want ads, between vengeance and justice, rage and righteous indignation, and pleasure and happiness.
With an understanding of God’s plan of salvation, we know that the rejoicing, the striving, the suffering, the tutoring, and the enduring experiences of life all play their part in an intelligible process of helping us, if we will, to become, as the Savior beckoningly invited, “even as I am.” (3 Ne. 27:27.)"