The Plan of Salvation – What’s Missing?

The iconic circles of the Latter-day Saints. You know what they represent the moment you see them on a blackboard anywhere in the world. You have probably drawn those circles yourself more times than you can count. For those of you who don’t know, this diagram is a visual representation of God’s plan for his children.

It goes by several different names, many of which are straight from the scriptures:

• The Plan of Salvation

• The Great Plan of Happiness

• Plan of Redemption

• The Great Plan of the Eternal God

• The Plan of Justice

(For the sake of familiarity, we’ll go with Plan of Salvation for this post.)

A few years ago, I found myself listening to yet another lesson on the Plan of Salvation. We had methodically gone through the collective effort of labeling each of the circles, and discussing what they each represent. Standard Operating Procedure for a lesson on the Pan of Salvation.

As we were finishing up, I noticed that something was missing from the discussion. I tucked that thought into some corner of my brain and didn’t do anything with it.

Fast forward a few years: I found myself preparing yet another lesson not he Plan of Salvation for a Sunday School. I found yet another blank diagram that I could pass out, so we could all fill it out together. yada-yada-yada. Then I remembered that I had previously noticed that something was missing from the last lesson I had heard on the subject – something important.

I figured I should find a better diagram, so I did a Google image search for “Plan of Salvation.” There were hundreds, and they were predominately LDS. I was looking for one specific thing:

Was it here?

Nope.  How about here on this cool hand-drawn version?

Nope.  This one?

Same problem.

You get the point. Something was missing on all of these diagrams. It was the same thing that was missing in many of the lessons I’ve heard on the Plan of Salvation – and probably some I have taught.

What was missing?

Jesus Christ.

It is true. Jesus doesn’t show up on any of these diagrams. I have sat through entire lessons on the subject without ever hearing about Jesus and his role in God’s Plan. Sure, we drill down in Section 76 and see who might end up where, and which one of my friends is most likely to end up in Outer Darkness, etc. But sometimes we get so fixated on the circles and arrows and the “Hows” and Whys” that we never talk about the “Who.”

Does this matter? Or are we talking about two different subjects? I don’t think so. Might I suggest that any discussion on the “Plan of Salvation” should be re-visited as “Jesus and the Plan of Salvation.”

With this thought in mind, I went back to the iconic diagram and began studying. I dug into my scriptures and found a reference that showed how Christ was involved in each step of the Plan. (I thought about including the references for you, but then that would cheat you out of a lovely personal/family scripture study experience.)

• Jesus Christ stepped forward in the Pre-Mortal life and offered himself to be the Savior.

• Jesus Christ created the world

• Jesus Christ came to this world – just like us – to gain a body and be tested.

• Jesus Christ died.

• Jesus Christ visited the Spirit World, where he opened the gate between Paradise and Prison.

• Jesus Christ was resurrected

• Jesus Christ will be our final judge.

…sure there are more, lots more, but that short list is enough to get you started.

The very idea that we can spend an hour discussing the Plan of Salvation without talking about Jesus is mind-boggling – yet it happens all the time. I’m sure at some stage of my life, including my mission, I was plenty caught up in the circles and arrows without ever putting them in the proper context. Not anymore.

The truth is, without a Savior, there IS no Plan of Salvation.

Had Jesus faltered on any of the steps in the Plan, the whole Plan would have collapsed, and God’s work “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” would have been thwarted.

Without Christ’s life, death, atonement, and resurrection, there would be no Plan.

While it is perfectly correct to teach about the Plan of Salvation, it rings MORE correct to phrase it this way:

Jesus AND the Plan of Salvation.

Because of this simple truth:

Jesus IS the Plan of Salvation.

So, should you ever hand out a blank piece of paper to a class, and ask them to draw a picture of the Plan of Salvation, remember that this is a perfect response.


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  1. Yes. Christ is the center of the plan, but it is never referred to as the Plan of Justice. And thank goodness it is the plan of mercy because we all desperately need His mercy

  2. I have always taught that these diagrams are not the plan of salvation but the timeline for the plan. ……

  3. I’ve had the same thought about this diagram. It may have served our church OK in the past, but I think we can do better. Personally, I’d like to see us start using a diagram of a gate, a path, an iron rod, and a tree, and teach from 2 Nephi 31. Or at least use the two diagrams in conjunction with each other.

  4. It’s not a sketch of the Savior. It’s a sketch of what the artist thinks the Savior looks like. Great artwork, but it’s not the Savior.

  5. I thought it worth mentioning that the Preach My Gospel lesson on the plan of salvation has a section titled The Atonement of Jesus Christ, which addresses exactly the points you brought up. I was in one of the first groups of missionaries that used Preach My Gospel starting in the MTC and we were trained from the start that that was the most important part of the plan. As members of the church, we’ve been instructed that this manual was written under prophetic direction and all of us should be familiar with it as scripture. See the lesson here: https://www.lds.org/manual/preach-my-gospel-a-guide-to-missionary-service/lesson-2-the-plan-of-salvation?lang=eng

  6. Amen! I call the chart at the beginning of this post the “Location View” because it answers questions like “Where am I going?” It’s a true and useful diagram that answers some questions. But since reading more about what Bruce R. McConkie calls the three pillars of eternity, I’ve noticed that the scriptures far more often use what I call the “Condition View,” which answers questions like “What am I becoming?” and the Lord seems perhaps more implicitly woven into that view. You can see the Condition View diagram on my blog post:


    Great write up, MMM!

  7. Talofa lava Brother MMM. Thank you for sharing your insight and in turn, adding to my ever growing basket of knowledge. Alofa atu to your beautiful family! ?

  8. I’ve never experienced what’s you’re describing. I have always seen, heard and felt of Jesus while going through each step on the diagrams you speak of. I did serve a mission for the church so perhaps my repetitiveness of teaching that lesson with Christ being in every step, is long imprinted in my head and heart. The diagrams are meant to serve as an outline of OUR journey with Christ making each step possible. ?❤️

  9. When I taught the Plan of Salvation in a Primary lesson many years ago, the cutouts from the lesson had one of Christ, and we were to discuss his part in the plan, but thereafter, he wasn’t talked about until the end.

  10. Respectfully, you are missing the point of the whole article. This article is not about the great counsel in Heaven. This is about how we get told about the 3 kingdoms and that people will get assigned to one after this life. You usually get the feeling that the Celestial Kingdom is so unattainable that some people feel what the point is to even try. The point of this article is this – with the Savior’s atonement is how we get there, not purely on our own efforts, which will always fall woefully short. The other point, not actually mentioned here and a totally different discussion, is that there is eternal progress and our “fate” is not sealed in this life, let alone being boxed into a kingdom straight after this life.

  11. I find your argument somewhat confusing. The Plan of Salvation takes a few minutes to explain fully, and THEN Heavenly Father asks “Who shall I send?” THEN Jesus Christ comes into the picture to volunteer (as if he wasn’t the prime candidate from the beginning). Then there is a brief explanation on how opposition came to be and why, and what happened to Lucifer. THEN Jesus is confirmed as the executor of the Plan! Once He becomes the executor, it is all Him! I have a hard time seeing why this article is even necessary.

  12. I am glad that you put this out. I have taught primary and Sunday School for years. I always talk about the plan of salvation in almost every lesson because everything ties into it. A couple years ago I started really focusing on Christ because of the atonement. I am a big picture person and if we don’t understand that Christ is our focus point then this life is pointless. It is just great to see others with the “big” picture.

  13. Great post! What many miss is what determines which Kingdom we’ll be part of. Notice I don’t say “go to” because it’s not really a location as much as a condition. If we wholly want to be like Christ and strive toward that goal, we’ll accept the full atonement and become Celestial. If we hold back part of ourselves, accept only a part of the atonement, and are basically good, we’ll become Terrestrial. If we accept only the bare minimum of the atonement and are basically “natural man,” we’ll be Telestial. If we fully reject the atonement, as Lucifer has, we’ll inherit outer darkness.

    So how much of Christ are we willing to accept? Let’s make it 100%.

  14. I will never teach a lesson on the Plan of Salvation the same ever again. Thank you for the great insight! And dude….that picture is on fleek!

  15. Christ should absolutely be the center of the discussion. I agree; he IS the plan of salvation. His sacrifice and obedience are how we are saved. I’m curious – how would you put him into your diagram? I’m having a hard time visualizing how to make a diagram like that.

  16. I disagree. Just because His name doesn’t appear in a bubble on a diagram doesn’t mean we don’t talk about Him as being absolutely essential to the plan of salvation. I’ve never thought of the plan without thinking of Jesus Christ.

  17. I struggle to understand how anyone could discuss the plan of salvation without discussing the role of Christ in it. If you can lead an entire discussion about it without Christ coming into it, then you are teaching something, but it isn’t the plan of salvation. It’s one thing to have a chart that may or may not have Christ on it (I think the chart on lds.org is fine), but it’s just a visual aid to help students to understand the phases of the plan relation to eachieve other- chronologically. It’s in discussing those phases that Christ comes in. And if that isn’t happening, then what is the discussion about to begin with?

  18. I noticed the same thing when I started teaching seminary a few years ago. Now if I use the diagram to teach the plan of salvation I always go through it twice — once for what we do in each part and once for what the Savior does in each part of the plan. Without Him, the diagram is useless because He is the essence of the plan of salvation.

  19. MMM, with all due respect, I think you’re off base by saying that Christ is missing from our Plan of Salvation discussion, even if He is not mentioned during the conversation. I think using your own words, “I think that sometimes we don’t talk about Jesus in certain doctrinal discussions because he, and his sacrifice is ‘implied’. Everything is based on what Jesus did for us.” Exactly! Of course Jesus and His sacrifice is implied in everything about the gospel.
    When I was converted, I was baptized into Christ’s True Church. I then understood that the Savior and His Atonement were central to everything in life, to everything pertaining to the Plan of Salvation. I didn’t need to be reminded of Him every time I discussed His doctrines or reviewed details about His Church or reviewed the steps of the Plan of Salvation. I never once thought that Jesus was “missing” from the discussion, because there would BE no discussion without Him. Of course Christ was involved in each step of the Plan, and that’s a lesson unto itself. But please, to say that Christ is strangely missing from the ‘circles’ discussion, is like saying that if we discuss the plot outline of War and Peace without mentioning Tolstoy at each step of the conversation, we are somehow missing something. Or if we discuss the qualities of a Beethoven concerto, we need to remember to mention his name at every movement. Perhaps you are overreacting to the ‘evangelical’ accusation that we LDS are not “Christians” and you feel that we have to include the mention of Christ at every turn, or else we seem to be less reverential toward Him. In fact, we all know how ludicrous the very question “Are Mormons Christians” is. I feel that to say we are missing Christ in our Plan of Salvation discussions is just as ridiculous.

    1. I have sat through lessons on the plan many times where the focus was on the kingdoms and the three degrees that never ventured into a discussion about Christ’s role. Based on the comments, apparently so have many other people.

      I also feel that LDS Living overstated my case by saying that Mormons “almost always forget.” I made no such assertion. If you read back, I mentioned “many times” and specifically called out some graphics that I found. This is not to say that it is a Church-wide flaw with how we teach doctrine. It is an occasional oversight, that I am not alone in experiencing.

    2. You are absolutely right; of course our Saviour is central to our faith, our scriptures, our service… almost everything we teach. Yet, that Plan of Salvation discussion has left out the Saviour and His Atonement more often than I care to remember in my almost 40 years in the church. Perhaps it’s because it is seen as a factual discussion of something that sets us apart from other faiths – something we understand and want others to understand. But leaving the Saviour out of this discussion leads to feelings of such finality, inadequacy and, yes, fear…. It leads people to accept that they could be happy in any of these kingdoms, that reaching exaltation is just for the few. If we do not clearly teach the Atonement in the context of the PoS, we subliminally teach – and accept – that our Father in Heaven easily will separate Himself from his children, and that’s not accurate. He will do everything in his power to bring us home to be with Him again, save to directly interfere with our gift of free choice. He will move Heaven and Earth around us, he will marshal the angels on our behalf. We need to know this, so that we are buoyed up and encouraged, not feel defeated when we make the inevitable mistakes. Through the atonement, we can do it.

    1. Wow! Brilliantly referenced. Would make for a great series of personal scripture study.

  20. Jesus represents just about everything good in Lehi’s dream which deals primarily with the plan of salvation. “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) He is the path, the iron rod, and the tree of life. Nephi teaches us this, of course, in 1 Nephi 11.

  21. On my mission I made a plan of Salvation map that included the Atonement what we need to do in this life to access the Atonement. I would be happy to send it to you if anyone is interested. (BTW it is in Spanish, but I can translate it no problem haha)

  22. How I love you. Thank you. I’ve been saying this for years, after beating myself up for decades. Then the light went on – when God says he cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance, it is merely a statement of fact, not a judgement and not a condemnation. The Saviour is the missing ingredient in that statement as it is in all of these diagrams. We pay lip service to Heavenly Father loving us “unconditionally” otherwise. The Saviour has built the bridge, we nned to make the effort in crossing it, but we don’t have to build it…

  23. MANY years ago I heard a BYU professor (or maybe it was a speaker at Education Week) tell the story of how he once picked up a hitchhiker and got into a discussion about the plan of salvation with him and even drew the “diagram” on his foggy window by the driver’s side. After he went through the whole discussion, he said the passenger said, “What about Jesus Christ? Where is He in this whole thing.” The driver said he stuttered a bit and said something along the lines of “Oh, well, of course He’s in there too.” The passenger said, “Yeah, that’s what my pastor said you guys say” (implying that Christ is an after thought for many of us… Hopefully not true, but that is often the perception). I have used that story in many an adult Sunday School and RS lesson over the years. It drove such an important point home.

  24. I have basically fallen away from church, questioning the teachings because my ward never talks about Jesus his life, ministry, sacrifice ect… I have become overwhelmed in church with what we need to be doing and not what Jesus has done for me. Thank you for bringing me hope.

    1. Don’t give up on it! I think that sometimes we don’t talk about Jesus in certain doctrinal discussions because he, and his sacrifice is “implied”. Everything is based on what Jesus did for us. And, as he said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” Much of what we talk about is how to show we love him.
      Hang in there, and thanks for commenting.

  25. I am a Sr. Missionary working with several Zones in our mission on assignment from my Mission President. I hear missionaries ever week roll play or actually teach the lesson with the key element of Jesus Christ missing as you indicated. I will begin introducing this at Zone meetings starting Tuesday. I will also teach this concept at our next Sr. missionary meeting when all Sr. Missionaries are in attendance. We have all treated the Savior in the lesson as an understood subject, never again! Henceforth He will be the preeminent focus that He is in the Plan.

  26. You said: “The truth is, without a Savior, there IS no Plan of Salvation.”
    The Plan of Salvation was presented to us all BEFORE there was anyone to run it. It would have been a failure if Jesus hadn’t been chosen to be the executor of it. But God wouldn’t have chosen anyone that would fail with its intent.

    1. Semantics, schematics. It was a proposed plan at that point, and would not have flown without a Savior. It a plan. Now it is The Plan.

      1. Not sure I agree with your semantic argument (about its being a “proposed” plan). But I also disagree with Brian’s because the crux of the plan was the Savior, and your original statement agrees with that idea emphatically). The Father proposed His plan which always included a savior. So without the Savior, the Father’s plan could not have been implemented. But it was a perfect plan. It did not succeed because of a majority vote; the majority succeeded by favoring the Father’s plan.

        1. Yes, but if 100% had rejected the plan, instead of 33%, it would have been only a plan in theory, not practice. 😉

  27. Loved this article and am grateful that you reminded us all to put the Savior in the center of His world and His Father’s plan. Also, I too would love a print of the picture of the Savior. What a talented young man.

  28. I agree that we need to put it in context by emphasizing Christ, and I think even more specifically, we should emphasize Christ’s atonement (not just his example in going before us.) It’s his atonement for our sins, and not just his example, that makes salvation or happiness even possible.

  29. “And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent – Mosiah 3:17” I would have thought that since this is a truth that all members and christians hold dear to the title alone “The Plan of Salvation” is synonymous with the “Saviour, his life and his mission” and in my experience, I didn’t think that truth was lost on anyone either listening to or presenting that lesson. Well I didn’t think so until now…

  30. For some of the earlier comments it does appear as though the rising generation has a better handle on Christ’s role in the Father’s Plan then I did at their age. My sons constantly blow me away with some of the things they know now as opposed to what I knew at their age. At the same time, I think each generation builds off the one before. As our generation (we are close in age) has come to a greater understanding of gospel concepts, we’ve been able to pass on that knowledge to our children. Their children will have that much of a “leg up” on them and x2 on us.

    As far as the judge verses redeemer or advocate, I like to think of it this way: because of the Atonement, Jesus became the “keeper of the gate . . . ; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name” (2 Ne. 9:41). He judges us based on our belief “on his name” (D&C 45:5)–i.e.: how we have kept the commandments and lived up to our covenants. If we pass His judgment at the gate, He then stands as our “advocate with the Father” (D&C 45:3) and pleads our cause before Father based on His “merits, and mercy, and grace” (2 Ne. 2:8). Because we have passed His judgment and are then sponsored by Him before the Father we will be able to pass through the gate into the presence of the Father washed clean (redeemed) through the blood of Christ. It may seem like a contradiction, but I can think of no better person I’d rather be judged by and then have stand with me as my advocate.

  31. Good points. But in my experience these simplistic Plan of Salvation diagrams are seldom used. Christ is taught in the lds church in the most truthful and comprehensive way. How long does General Conference go without hearing that Christ is central to everything?

  32. So take a look at the chart in Preach My Gospel.

    “The Atonement of Jesus Christ makes salvation” possible is the caption.

  33. Awesome piece. I’ve been teaching seminary for a few years now and we begin the year with a Plan of Salvation lesson (Elder Packer’s direction). Two things: My first point in my lesson is that the Plan of Salvation has a one-word name: Atonement. Second, this year’s lesson introduces a new graphic that gets away from what we used to call the “wonder bread” (from the colored circles) diagram of my mission and instead focuses on Elder Nelson’s “three essential things” (the creation, the fall, the atonement). Awesome improvement. The lesson is here: https://www.lds.org/manual/old-testament-seminary-teacher-manual/lessons-1-5/lesson-2-the-plan-of-salvation?lang=eng

  34. WAIT!! Is this true?

    “Jesus Christ will be our final judge.”

    I thought Jesus Christ would be our mediator, almost like a defense attorney, but without the cheesy suits and using the strong defense of, “Yes, but he’s sorry, and I’ve already paid the price for his crimes.”

    I’ve always pictured the ultimate judge being Heavenly Father. I’ve heard that there will be others to weigh in on the decision, like how the original 12 apostles will be assigned to judge over the members of the 12 tribes and I think I even heard once that Moroni will be there to ask, “Did you read the Book of Mormon and apply it into your life?” I could be remembering those wrong, or they could be another one of those Mormon-perpetuated urban legends that get dropped into a random Sunday School class or something.

    Could you, or somebody, offer some direction? I’m curious.

    Overall, I think this article is great!! When I taught gospel doctrine I was advised to always find Christ in each lesson, even when he is not mentioned. Focusing on Christ in each of my lessons–even when he isn’t mentioned in the teacher’s manual–always increased the spirit in the room and helped put the discussion in a good perspective.

    Not to discount Jesus and what He has done for us, but don’t forget about God. Christ is our Redeemer, but it is Heavenly Father who orchestrated the plan. He gave us agency. He gave us our bodies. It is Him we aspire to spend the rest of eternity with. He made sure a path exists so we can.

    1. I think it is a common misunderstanding. Here are a few references to back it up:

      Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained that because of His atoning sacrifice, Jesus Christ will be our Judge:
      “The Atonement was a selfless act of infinite, eternal consequence, arduously earned alone, by the Son of God. Through it the Savior broke the bonds of death. It justifies our finally being judged by the Redeemer.”


  35. Something missing? Jesus Christ missing from our Plan?…. Hardly. The plan is named after HIM. Look up the definition of “Salvation”. The Plan of Salvation has and always will have Jesus Christ all over it.

  36. I think the diagram or depicts periods of temporal and spatial existence, perhaps explaining why Christ or the Atonement is not represented in it. Also, it seems to be more of a flowchart that is generally used when explaining the “Where we came from, why (or where) we are here, and where we are going” question in a simple visual way, directed towards investigators or those learning (or re-learning) the basic idea of the Plan.

  37. More like what most forget to put in the diagram of the plan of salvation. Most all members know that Jesus Christ’s atonement is the key to repentance and eternal life. However another thing they missed here is the center to the Plan of Salvation, the family.

  38. Preach My Gospel talks about Jesus’s involvement in all steps. You can find it under the plan of salvation lessons under tab 3 study and teach.
    I’ve never heard the plan of salvation lessons, diagrams, or whatever, without talking about Jesus Christ and his critical involvement.
    When I was serving in Seattle Washington we always taught about Jesus during all of our lessons. 8 years later and I still teach about Jesus’s involvement in our mortal and immortal lives.

    1. Daniel: From the comments, it is starting to look like your generation has had a better relationship with Christ at the center of the Plan, where my generation has had a lot more experience in dissecting the flow-chart. Yours wins.

  39. Also I sense that most of us miss yet another important aspect of the Plan which is, there IS salvation through Christ to ALL except the Sons of Perdition. Every kingdom has a degree of Glory and those who achieve them will be because they use to one degree or another, Christ’s Atonement.

  40. Thank you so much for this! You echo what I have been saying for ages. I really don’t like the traditional graphic representation of the PoS specifically because you can draw and talk through the whole thing without mentioning the Saviour and I have told my seminary students exactly what you just said in your conclusion – that a picture of the PoS looks like this (holding up picture of the Saviour).
    Another thing about the ‘circles’ diagram is that people often get quite sidetracked about ‘who goes where’. What sort of person goes to the Terrestrial Kingdom? How bad do you have to be to go to the Telestial Kingdom? Seriously, how much thought do we even need to give to those outcomes? We aim for exaltation, for us and our families. We preach the gospel to open that future for others.
    When I do need to teach the PoS in more detail I like the 3 pillars depiction (second image on this page)
    I actually build it out of wooden railroad track. I then rebuild it with curved pieces to illustrate the fact that it is a return journey – that we start with our Father in Heaven and return to his presence.

  41. The lesser kingdoms may appeal to people like me who are more comfortable in a Motel 6 than a Hilton. What if I don’t want to worry about a little dirt on my shoes? So I worry about people setting their standards too low and deciding to settle for something less than exaltation. My solution is to make the Celestial Kingdom ‘home’, back to the presence of our Father. Even if the premortal realm and the Celestial aren’t the same place, we came from Father and want to return to Father, through the saving power of Christ.

  42. I was taught as a wee lady this way and concept of Christ and the Plan of Salvation. That was how I taught is on my mission. So I loved your approach and your come to Jesus journey. Our Savior and Older Brother is the catalyst, corner stone , etc in our beliefs, and should be the final word in each of the subjects of the gospel. May we all focus on Him and His contributions to our life and accomplishments more and more intensely.

  43. I think the diagram is not wrong, if you teach about Jesus Christ at every step. But maybe it should have another title: Jesus Christ’s plan of happiness/salvation… or something similar. As missionaries, we always used the diagram, but all the verses were about Jesus Christ at every step…

    1. It is not Jesus Christ’s Plan it’s Heavenly Father’s Plan that Christ agrees tocarry out. Let us not forget that.

  44. Preach My Gospel, the Basic Doctrines section of all youth curriculum, and lesson manuals for every auxiliary teach that Jesus Christ is central to the Plan of Salvation. I’m not sure why you were part of so many lessons where that wasn’t taught, but those teachers weren’t following the proscribed church curriculum.

    1. You would be wrong. If you look at lessons on the Plan in the Church curriculum, many of them just focus on Christ for a paragraph or two. Newer curriculum is much better.

  45. President (Elder/Brother) Tad R Callister’s book “The Infinite Atonement”, is a great book to put this view of God’s plan in perspective. I highly recommend it. The plan is all about Christ.

  46. Beautiful words. Beautiful sketch. I’d love a copy when he starts selling them.

  47. If you have grown up in the church than you have been taught Christ’s role in the plan from your first visit to primary. All of our favourite primary songs about the plan include the essential teaching of Christs role. “He sent His Son, “I will follow Gods Plan”, “I lived In Heaven”, “I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ.”, etc. Kudos to primary! And Kudos to Jordan O’Hare.

  48. Thank you for this beautiful and vital reminder. and for sharing Jordan’s beautiful drawing.

  49. Yes–I definitely think that adding the Savior more into any discussion on any gospel topic is a good way to go. However, with my own children I like to emphasize that it was our Heavenly Parent’s plan. They presented it to us and we were able to decide whether or not to get on board. We also helped create the earth (noble and great ones at least) and we also move the plan along. I’m not disagreeing, it is just that there are so many elements to love about the plan of salvation and my favorite is that our loving Heavenly Parents laid it all out but allow us to help it along. I like the active aspect. I also like that the Savior modeled everything for us AND made it all possible. There are so many, many, many great and important things to learn from the plan of salvation that circles will never quite do it justice. 🙂

    1. I agree, and I always worry when people refer to it as Jesus’ plan, rather than the Father’s. As far as participation: Christ’s participation was absolutely essential for the Plan to work. Yours and mine, not so much. The Plan is in place because of the Savior, whether we chose/choose to participate or not.

  50. Wonderful!! Wow. Why didn’t I think of this?! Thank you so much for teaching the Plan of Salvation perfectly. (And I LOVE the drawing at the end).

  51. Thank you for putting into to words all we know to be true. To a lifelong member, what you say is what we all know. But you have the knack of putting it into words and strengthening our testimonies at the same time. I love reading your blog and am grateful that I subscribe to your posts. Thank you again.

  52. I want a print of the Savior as well. Man, that kid has T*A*L*E*N*T!!!! I’m blown away!

    1. Thanks for that. I like the image, but as far as the “one eternal round” idea, it isn’t really personally applicable, because I only plan on going through mortality ONCE.

  53. Odd, it ate my first post. Maybe it didn’t like the PDF link.

    Anyways, PMG has the most complete diagram of the Plan of Salvation: https://www.lds.org/bc/content/shared/content/images/gospel-library/manual/36617/000_preach-my-gospel_1207575_tmb.jpg

    Important differences: Under “Mortal Life,” it lists the steps of the gospel of Jesus Christ: faith in Jesus Christ, repentence, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. No discussion of the Plan of Salvation is complete without at least mentioning these. And most important is the caption at the bottom: “The Atonement of Jesus Christ makes salvation possible.”

    Here’s the link to the whole chapter: https://www.lds.org/manual/preach-my-gospel-a-guide-to-missionary-service/lesson-2-the-plan-of-salvation

  54. That’s one thing I like about the missionary pamphlets about the Plan of Salvation. Under the “Mortal Life” bubble, it lists the steps of the Gospel: Faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. No discussion of the Plan of Salvation is complete without at least mentioning these basic principles of the Gospel.

    Here’s a link to the diagram as listed on PMG online. The caption at the bottom goes right along with what you were saying: “The Atonement of Jesus Christ makes salvation possible.”


  55. AuntSue
    Once again, you have filled in the blanks in the Eteranl Crossword puzzle. Thank you for you insight, and tell Jordan that he artistic skill is Amazing!

  56. Outstanding reminder. I have taught the P of S with cut outs. I also use Jesus Christ explaining each part and how he fits in. Love the Sketch!

  57. On my mission, we often used laminated cut outs for our diagram. We did have pieces that said because of the fall, sub and death entered the mortal world. And then we would put a pass along card of Christ over top and explain that because of Christ’s atonement, sin and death could be overcome. I don’t know if I hear it that way often, but I’m grateful for my companion that taught me to teach it this way.

  58. Thank you….I’ve often thought the same thing that we can spend a lot of time at church with out Christ being mentioned accept in closing a prayer. Tell Jordan that his art is amazing.

  59. So true! We might assume that everyone knows that important element, but we should “talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” I notice that so many testimonies on Fast Sunday are missing Christ until the obligatory reference at the end. In many ways our culture in the church does not reflect our doctrine. Posts like yours can help us all be aware and start making that cultural shift.

  60. Right On! I just finished typing my 16 year old son’s talk for Sacrament Meeting today (his handwriting is sketchy at best, I figured having it in Times New Romance might make it easier for him to read aloud) all about the Plan of Salvation, and I was blown away by how much he focused on the role the Savior plays in each part of the Journey. I was shaking my head in amazement that this kid – my firstborn baby – understood that Christ plays such a vital part in every step along our way to Eternal Life, not just a footnote or minor mention.

    And that sketch?!?! Amazing! Tell that kid to get that published – I’d buy tons of prints from him!

  61. I remember training in the mission field and learning to teach about prophets of old and then merging into the plan of salvation. I’m thinking it might be even better using the Saviors journey to explain it. It might be more helpful for some in understanding the whole scheme of things. By the way…this young man has ninja art skills. NIce picture

  62. The family is central to the CREATOR’s PLAN for the eternal destiny of His children.

  63. To include Christ as an active element in the Plan of Salvation discussion elevates it’s spiritual level as well as it’s accuracy. Thank you for discovering that essential inclusion! I hope it becomes an official Church-wide improvement in the way The Plan of Salvation is taught.

  64. A super teaching moment. Loved this post and yes, as I remember back over 40 years as a member, I have never heard Jesus referenced in this plan. Even once. This will be in my brain forever forward. And that young artist, I will be looking for his artwork and illustrations through Deseret Book in the future. He is amazing!

  65. Fantastic, Brother MMM! Why hasn’t this been proffered before? What a great addition to our understanding of the Plan. Thank you. Like always, I get so much out of your blog.

  66. Fabulous! And thank you for the study idea! I would love to have you share more of those study ideas in the future, as I’m not all that creative myself.

  67. Give your young friend Jordan a virtual hug and high-five from me. I would frame this and hang it on my entry wall if it were available as a print.

  68. Too funny — my EC taught the plan to 5 year old primary a few weeks ago. I borrowed here cutouts for my Teachers quorum last week. It include a cut out of a young man and the Savior. As I moved the boy across the board, I did the same thing pointing out that He went before us to show the way, as well as staying with us as we passed through each phase.

  69. You’d love reading McConkie’s “Christ and the Creation” from 1982. Ties in beautifully with 2nd Nephi 2.

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