Back in February I wrote the post “The Plan of Salvation – What’s Missing.” The basic premise was that sometimes when we teach the Plan of Salvation, we often get caught up in the flow chart and the lists of qualifications, and forget that, in essence, Jesus Christ IS the Plan of Salvation.
The post was mostly well-received and picked up by some LDS websites. It spread out to a much larger audience than just my MMM faithful readers.
Just this past week, my stats started showing a huge spike in readership for that old post. Odd. The readers were coming from Facebook, but I didn’t know why. Why would an old post suddenly get so much traffic?
It turns out that there is a Facebook group for Seminary teachers where they share ideas on different subjects. Apparently one of the early lessons this year involves the Plan, and someone in the group shared my post. Flattering!
All of this is explanation is merely an intro to get you to a quote from Henry Ford:
“Don’t find a fault, find a remedy. Anybody can complain.”
I don’t know that I was complaining – more like offering an observation. Okay, there was a little bit of complaining. I did present a bunch of schematics of the Plan, none of which referenced Jesus. But one thing is for sure, I didn’t find a “remedy.”
Enter Steve Meacham: Seminary Teacher from the Plainfield, Indiana Ward. Steve decided to fix the dilemma by creating an alternative Plan of Salvation chart that actually included Jesus. Here it is:
How’s that for finding a remedy? I like it because you can use it to teach the Plan by following Christ’s role and experience on Earth. Thanks, Steve.
(If you click on the picture above, it will open to a full 8.5 x 11 version that is printable,)
As I revisited this idea, a few things have since come to mind:
• Seminary teachers are awesome. I loved Seminary and it was important in growing my testimony and developing my gospel literacy. I appreciate those saints who who have responded to a call to teach – especially where early morning seminary is the rule.
• My first Seminary teacher? Brother Ricks, Millcreek Junior High, Bountiful, Utah.
• When you analyze what we actually know regarding what happens after death, we don’t know all that much detail – yet what we do know is light years beyond any other Christian faith. I once had a discussion with a good man who is a “born again” Christian. We were talking about what our perception of eternity looked like. His was quite simple: He planned on “singing praises to God for eternity.” While that is a really devout thought, I think both God and I would be ready for me to tackle something else after about an hour of that. The promise of eternal progression and eternal increase as a way to glorify God sounds vastly better than my singing for eternity. (But that’s just me.)
• When I was serving on my mission in Ovalle, Chile, we did a performance of the musical, “My Turn on Earth.” I was Jesus and got to sing “I Have a Plan.” In Spanish. Wearing a white bathrobe. I’m sure God heard it and, again, would rather I praise him through deeds, not song.
• We are able to add detail to this chart thanks to modern-day prophets. There is more about the purposes of this life, and what happens after death to be learned in the Doctrine & Covenants than all of the books of Bible combined. This is advanced material that most of the world is not aware of. I think it is kind and merciful of God to give us a glimpse of what is possible. I also think that it is nice to know what sort of eternity He wants for us. It feels much more paternal, rather than vengeful.
• Doing Family History makes the link between Mortality and the Spirit World very real, and very porous.
• The Plan of Salvation is essentially the “Plot” of our lives. It is our own “hero’s journey,” wherein all of us can emerge victorious.
Thanks to Steve for his generous “remedy.” I’m looking forward to giving it a yet rive next time I teach the Plan.
Have a good Sabbath!