Long before we were born, we attended a council in heaven and learned of Heavenly Father’s plan. An important part of His plan was for the earth to be created, to which we could come and have physical bodies. We could not become like Him if we didn’t.
Heavenly Father also placed a veil (something that hides or covers) across our minds so that we couldn’t remember our pre-earth life. That way, we could learn to have faith in Him and Jesus Christ, to control our minds and our bodies, and to obey the commandments and choose the right.
Knowing that we would sin and make mistakes, Heavenly Father asked for a savior—someone to atone for us. Jesus Christ said that He would be our Savior, and He was chosen. He followed Heavenly Father’s plan: He created the earth for us. He organized His church. He taught us through the prophets, apostles, other Church leaders and teachers, and through His own words and example. He suffered in Gethsemane and on the cross for our sins. Then He overcame death so that we can overcome death, too.
After we die, He will judge us according to our faith in Him and how we lived on earth. He taught about this in a story called the parable of the sheep and the goats:
“When the Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
“And before him shall be gathered all nations [people]: and he shall separate them one from another … :
“And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
“For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
“Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
“Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
“When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
“Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
“And the King shall answer and say unto them, … Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Then the King told those on His left hand—those who did not try to be like the Savior and choose the right—that they would not be able to live again with Him and Heavenly Father. (See Matt. 25:31–46.)
Jesus Christ will finish Heavenly Father’s wonderful plan. The Savior said to the righteous:
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:2–3.)
Sheep and Goats Matching Game
Instructions: Remove this page from the magazine, mount it on heavy paper, and cut out the cards. On a table or the floor, spread out the cards facedown. A player takes a turn by turning two cards over. If the cards don’t match, the cards are turned back over and it’s the next player’s turn. Pictures of sheep match with things that a person would do to follow the Savior. Pictures of goats match with things that would take one away from Him. If the two cards match, the player keeps them. His or her turn continues until he or she does not get another match. When all the cards are gone, the player with the greatest number of pairs wins.
Illustrated by Brad Teare
Pray. Obey parents. Disobey the Word of Wisdom. Watch bad movies. Make fun of people. Visit someone who is sick or lonely. Pay tithing. Cheat. Steal. Keep the Sabbath Day holy. Quarrel. Read the scriptures.