First Presidency Message

The Lord’s Plan for Men and Women


Spencer W. Kimball
From an address given at June Conference, June 27, 1975

The Lord’s Plan for Men and Women

Our Heavenly Father has a plan for man’s growth from infancy to godhood. It is not always an easy life, but it can be most rewarding, depending upon our attitude toward it.

Let us trace the plan of God. When Moses was the Lord’s prophet, he had great visions and revelations. He saw back to the beginning and before the beginning of this earth.

So also did Abraham: “I am the Lord thy God,” said the Creator to Abraham, “… I rule in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath, in all wisdom and prudence, over all the intelligences thine eyes have seen from the beginning.” (Abr. 3:19, 21.)

And the Lord, standing among these numerous premortal spirits, said, “We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;

“And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them.” (Abr. 3:24–25.)

“And the Gods watched those things which they had ordered until they obeyed.” (Abr. 4:18.)

Then came, in succession, the whales and fish and living creatures and the winged fowls.

“And the Gods saw that they would be obeyed, and that their plan was good.” (Abr. 4:21.)

And with the waters filled with life and the air with winged creatures, the Gods said, “We will bless them, and cause them to be fruitful and multiply.” (Abr. 4:22.)

And the fifth “time,” generally spoken of as a day, was fulfilled.

Another time came and living creatures, cattle, creeping things, and beasts of every kind were brought forth: “and the Gods saw they would obey.” (Abr. 4:25.)

Now with the earth organized, they took counsel and said, “Let us go down and form man in our image, after our likeness; and we will give them dominion. …

“So the Gods went down to organize man … male and female.” (Abr. 4:26–27.)

And now the plan was completed, and you and I and our numberless brothers and sisters would be given an opportunity, in a normal, natural way, to come to the earth and to enjoy its possibilities.

We are all the spirit children of God; we are his supreme creation; the earth and all that pertains to it is for the growth, development, and satisfaction of all mankind. And the Lord said,

“Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye [live the commandments], the fulness of the earth is yours, …

“Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the seasons thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;

“Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.

“And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used.” (D&C 59:16, 18–20.)

Now the plan was drawn, the program was set up, every detail was considered.

And the sixth “time” was numbered, and they planned as follows: “We will cause them [male and female] to be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.” (Abr. 4:28.)

This was not an afterthought or a gradual development. This was carefully planned prior to the actual creation.

Then the day came when “the Gods came down and formed these the generations of the heavens and of the earth, …

“And the Gods formed man from the dust of the ground, and took his spirit (that is, the man’s spirit), and put it into him; and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” (Abr. 5:4, 7.)

Then “formed they a woman, and brought her unto the man.” (Abr. 5:16.)

This was also divinely planned.

And Adam rejoiced and said “now she shall be called Woman. …

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh.” (Abr. 5:17, 18.)

The Gods had said, “Let us make an help meet for the man, for it is not good that the man should be alone, therefore we will form an help meet for him.” (Abr. 5:14.)

We have indicated that they, the Gods, had planned this creation and had formed all things, including man and woman, and life was given to all things. There was real purpose in what they had done.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.” (Gen. 1:27–28.)

And he could have said, “And God blessed them that they might multiply and replenish the earth, for in that comes a great blessing that many people are missing.”

This is no accident that children would be born. This is a program carefully planned. The Lord could have provided some other way, but how could parents love and nurture their children in such a case?

The bodies of men and the bodies of women were created differently so they complemented each other, so that the union of the two would bring a conception which would bring a living soul into the world, one of those numerous, uncountable spirits that Abraham saw when the Lord had pulled back the curtains.

Now we must emphasize here that the Lord made man and woman, male and female to reproduce after their kind, and in the billions of unions there has continued to come a male or a female. Their bodies are still so formed that they will continue to the end of time in producing male or female, the spirit children of God.

And when the Gods had completed each of the “times” of creation, they had noted that they were obeyed—the word had been obeyed! The Gods said “it is good, very good,” as they looked over their total world and plan.

This was the normal, proper way to preserve the total program, to bring souls into the world and to give them opportunities for growth.

Let no carnal mind decide in his or her feigned brilliance or pretended wisdom that a mistake was made. The whole program was intelligently organized to bring children into the world with love and filial interdependence. Had the superficial ideas of many mortals of today prevailed, the world, the human race, and all proper things would long ago have come to an end.

It was the Lord Jesus Christ himself who said to the Pharisees, during his earthly ministry: “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,” and no other kind? (Matt. 19:4.)

And they were given the commandment that the man should cleave to his wife, “and they twain shall be one flesh.

“Wherefore, they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matt. 19:5–6.)

And therein is a strong denunciation by our Lord against the evils of divorce and family disruption.

The union of the sexes, husband and wife (and only husband and wife), was for the principal purpose of bringing children into the world. Sexual experiences were never intended by the Lord to be a mere plaything or merely to satisfy passions and lusts. We know of no directive from the Lord that proper sexual experience between husbands and wives need be limited totally to the procreation of children, but we find much evidence from Adam until now that no provision was ever made by the Lord for indiscriminate sex.

Knowing the proper order of the Lord’s plan, then, let there be no prostituting of this sacred program.

We have many people in the world today who, in their gigantic presumption, attempt to create a world based on Satan’s plans, for Satan rejoices when evils are performed.

One prominent speaker said sex is not the use of something inherently bad, but can become the misuse of something inherently good.

Certainly it is not easy for the woman to bear the child in distress and discomfort, but still her desire should be to her husband, for he will preside over her. And surely it is not easy for the man who must provide for his family by the sweat of his face, but it is the true plan. (See Gen. 3:16–19.) Great blessings come from it.

In nearly every time in holy scripture where mankind is mentioned as having been created, the terms “male and female” are used. Moses said in the fifth chapter of Genesis: “In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him.” (Gen. 5:1.) And that is no idle thought either, that you and I are made in the image of God, to become gods and queens and kings eventually.

“Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam.” (Gen. 5:2.)

Adam was their name. And I suppose that the name Adam was the family surname, just as Kimball is my name and my wife’s name.

When the woman was given to Adam, he called her name Eve “because she was the mother of all living.” (Moses 4:26.) She was the first. Adam and Eve were the progenitors of the race. They were the first father and mother, and all the children of mortality are the offspring of this couple.

Now, this man and this woman were sealed for eternity, God being the sealer. He gave to Adam his wife, Eve. He intended that all men should live worthy to have performed this ordinance of marriage for time and all eternity. The Lord has said that in order to obtain the highest of the three heavens or degrees of glory in the celestial kingdom, “a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];

“And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.” (D&C 131:2–3.)

This is the proper way.

There are some men who fail to marry through their own choice. They deprive themselves. There may be many women who also deprive themselves of blessings. There are others who have never married because they have had no opportunity. We know, of course, that the Lord will make ample provision and that no one will ever be condemned for something he or she could not have helped. This is the Lord’s program.

But, concerning marriage and the roles of man and woman, let no man defy God or set aside his divine program.

“For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

“Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (1 Cor. 1:19–20.)

Why do some allow themselves to criticize—criticize God’s plan? Why can’t they accept their roles in life and be grateful for them?

Recently in a local paper appeared an article by a courageous woman who said,

“The scriptures designate that a man’s most important responsibility in life is to be the guide, the protector and provider for his wife and children. In the beginning when God created man and woman, he said to the woman, ‘thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule [but I like the word preside] over thee.’ [Gen. 3:16.] The Apostle Paul reaffirmed this when he said, ‘the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church.’” (Eph. 5:23.)

This woman speaks of the so-called intellectuals who would change the plan of God. She seems to be one of those who believes that God knew what he was doing when he organized the family of man.

I sincerely hope that our Latter-day Saint girls and women, and men and boys, will drink deeply of the water of life and conform their lives to the beautiful and comprehensive roles the Lord assigned to them.

I hope we shall not attempt to perfect an already perfect plan, but seek with all our might, mind, and strength to perfect ourselves in the comprehensive program given to us. Because some of us have failed, certainly it would be unfair to place the blame upon the program. Let us control our attitudes, our activities, our total lives, that we may be heir to the rich and numerous blessings promised to us.

What God-given roles each of us could play in this great divine drama! What satisfying personal lives we can live! What beautiful families we can nurture and train! What a heavenly future is ours!

God lives. This I know. Jesus is the Christ and this I know. This is his program, and this I also know.

[photos] Photography by Eldon Linschoten