Plan of salvation is right plan for success

Life is a school where each student must learn to select the right plan for success, and the right plan is God's plan of salvation, said Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve at the April 1984 general conference.

A wrong choice will have eternal consequences, for "truly, of all the errors mortals could make, God's plan of salvation is the wrong thing to be wrong about."Elder Maxwell said that this plan offers "a most stunning example of the precious perspective of the gospel of Jesus Christ."

The plan of salvation is the doctrinal framework without which mankind would unavoidably perish. "So vital is this framework that if one strays outside it, he risks provinciality and misery. In fact, most human misery represents ignorance of or noncompliance with the plan," Elder Maxwell said.

This perspective teaches that at the center of the plan is Jesus Christ. "It matters very little what people think of us, but it matters very much what we think of Him," he said.

Understanding the plan gives insights into life, which might be considered a deliberately made proving ground and tutoring school with opportunities, choices and struggles. For those who make wrong choices, "this plan of mercy provides for recognition and redress of error and for the resumption of interrupted, individual development.

"Hence . . . for the faithful, our finest hours are sometimes during or just following our darkest hours."

Elder Maxwell said that because life is necessarily brief, "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, for all people."

However, he noted, during life the plan of salvation can serve to focus efforts and outlooks in every situation, no matter how extreme.

The plan of salvation points the way, but not always to a smooth way, since development requires opposition in all things, Elder Maxwell observed. "Unsurprisingly . . . this mortal school produces some soaring triumphs but also a history filled with individual mistakes. But we should not blame the school, nor the curriculum. Least of all, the Schoolmaster. Furthermore, we dare not lecture Him on the plight of His children."

Elder Maxwell said that reassurances will be there for those who are spiritually attuned, as they were with Elisha's young servant who saw an outnumbering enemy but after his spiritual eyes were opened saw the mountain filled with defending horses and chariots of fire. (2 Kings 6:17.)

"All will be well now, as anciently, because the Lord's covenant keepers have His echoing assurance:

" `And they shall be my people, and I will be their God:

" `And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them:

" `And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good.' " (Jer. 32:38-40.)

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed