Tuesday, February 4, 2014


  1. 1.
    forward or onward movement toward a destination.

I've been thinking a lot about progress lately. Maybe because I'm watching my sweet little boy master crawling, or pulling himself up preparing to walk off across the room at any moment. Maybe because Chris is a few short months away from graduation and we get to move forward with the next step. Maybe because of some things I'm dealing with in my life as a YW leader. That's probably it. Because this will focus more on the Gospel's (well my version of the Gospel's) view of progress.

Members of the LDS church talk a lot about the Plan of Salvation. If you want more information that I may not cover proceed here ---> http://www.lds.org/topics/plan-of-salvation?lang=eng. I found a fancy color picture depicting said Plan for this purpose.

There's a lot of information there. Bear with me. 

This is huge for members of the church. This is THE plan. Where we came from, where we are, where we are going. It's the purpose, gives you direction. Gives you that destination we're progressing towards. I love having this knowledge. I don't have to wonder. 

[Hopefully] quick break down. We lived in the Premortal existence with our Heavenly Father and Christ and all God's spirit children. There two plans were proposed, Lucifers plan, which lacked agency, basically forcing us all to making right choices and return to Heaven and Christ's plan which allowed us to use our agency and potentially return to live with Our Father again, or not. Based purely on our choices in life. These opposing plans started "the war in Heaven" between Lucifer's followers and those who supported Christ. 1/3 of all the spirits in Heaven sided with Lucifer and God ultimately cast them out of Heaven. Those who remained and followed Christ, left the Premortal Existence and came to Earth. We have forgotten all this because of the Veil (seen) so we can be objective and make our decisions in this life, whether to follow Christ's example, make right choices, follow the scriptures, commandments, prophets etc. This is where we are (duh right?).  When we leave this world, through death, our body will be buried, and our spirit will continue on to one of two places: spirit paradise or spirit prison. Placement is based solely on your decisions here in this life. If you've kept the commandments and follow Christ and his prophets you will enjoy paradise. If you need to work on some things, repent, iron our your kinks in obedience, you will go to Spirit Prison where you will have the opportunity to be taught and fix what needs fixin'. This is currently happening for all those who have died since the beginning of the world. And will continue to happen until... the Resurrection. Christ rose on the 3rd day. Agreed? We are to follow his example and because he broke the bonds of death by being resurrected, we too will be resurrected. This will be the rejoining of our body and spirit so we can stand before God and be judged according to our works in Earth life. From here the judgement takes place of all spirits/people who lived on the earth. Here is where things get a little awesome (imho) instead of just a pass/fail system, there isn't just Heaven or Hell, good or bad.  There are three kingdoms of Heaven. Celestial is the best, most sought after. Where we will live in the presence of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. It's compared to the glory of the sun. Brightest, most glorious. The second kingdom is the Terrestrial, compared to the glory of the moon. Still bright. Still beautiful, but not quite as magnificent as the sun. And the last is the Telestial Kingdom, which is comparable to the glory of the stars. And for those that are absolutely horrible, and basically evil followers of Satan/Lucifer, get to go to outer darkness. No light. (See 1 Cor. 15:40-41).  

Ok. Overwelmed? Sorry. I had to make sure we were all on the same page. 

So back to my progress. So you see how going through this plan is sort of linear. You start from one and go to the next and continue on. Until you reach the destination. The definition, remember, of progress says the forward or onward movement towards a destination. Not backwards. Not sitting still. Forward. Go. Move. 

There is no progress in standing still. 

Would it make sense in the grand scheme of this Plan, to say, stop after you come to earth? Refuse to leave? Stay in earth life... forever? No. What's the point? We came here to experience, use our agency, make choices and prove ourselves worthy to return to live with our Father in Heaven. Or even after death. Let's stay dead... What? Why? What was the purpose of any of that? At any point (beyond making it past judgement and into one of the kingdoms) there is no reason to stop. There is no reason to stand still. We must progress. We must push forward toward our destination. No matter how scary that next step is. I'm sure leaving the comfort and glory of our Father in Heaven to come to this dreary world called Earth was intimidating, fearful, you name it. I'm sure we felt scared. But we trusted God. We trusted our Savior. We had faith. We took the leap and came here. Now people talk about fear of death. Fear of what's next. Why yes, we fear the unknown. But if we exercise a little faith, and see what's next, see what's coming, would we delay it? Would we want to live forever, just because we're scared of the next step? No. It seems silly. Childish, to throw a tantrum because we're scared and refuse to move. We must go forward. This is the plan we agreed to before we came to this life. And knowing what comes next and what we can obtain, the goal we are moving towards, that wonderful destination... why fear? "This is a time for faith, not fear" (reference). 

So (how could I keep going!) to relate this to life. My life. My things. Working with Young Women (girls ages 12-18) in such a scary transient time in life, there is a lot of fear. You're dealing with so much uncertainty at that time in life. But... you still move forward. What would you tell the little 11 year old who's preparing to leave the children's primary program and enter the Young Women's program, who's afraid. Who doesn't want to leave the comfort of the familiar Primary program. How silly it seems. Ask anyone, Young Women's rocks. But they don't know that. They don't know what goes on there. They know what happens in Primary. And they want to stay. Sadly, they don't get to stay. You must progress. You must move forward. And before you know it that scared preteen is loving Young Women's, loving the new friends, the teachings, the activities and wonders why she ever fought against this natural progression. 

So what I'm trying to say, move. Forward. Not backwards. Move. Don't stand still. Have faith not fear. This whole entire Plan is based on the next step. Planning, preparing and moving forward

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