Each young woman will desire to receive exaltation.
Prepare two posters. On one poster, write “Immortality is the resurrection of the body of flesh and bones to unending life. It is a free gift to everyone on earth and is a result of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” On the other poster, write “Exaltation is eternal life, the kind of life God lives. It consists of the continuation of the family unit in eternity. Those who obtain it must be obedient to God’s commandments. They gain an inheritance in the highest of three heavens within the celestial kingdom.”
Before class, prepare the chalkboard in the following manner:
Assign young women to present any scriptures, stories, or quotations you wish.
Suggested Lesson Development
All Those Born on Earth Receive Immortality, but Only the Obedient Receive Exaltation
Explain that for centuries, men and women have wondered about life beyond the grave. Some people do not believe in a life after death, while others have a hope that there will be some kind of existence.
Display the poster that defines immortality. The answers to the following questions are on the poster:
What do people have to do to receive immortality? (Nothing. It is a free gift.)
Who will receive immortality? (Everyone on earth.)
Who made this gift possible? (Jesus Christ.)
How was this gift made possible? (Through the Savior’s resurrection.)
Place the poster defining exaltation before the class. Explain that both immortality and exaltation are gifts from our Father in Heaven.
How does exaltation differ from immortality?
What do you have to do to obtain exaltation?
Compare the requirements for immortality with the requirements for exaltation.
Scripture and discussion
Explain that Doctrine and Covenants 14:7 tells us the value of exaltation, or eternal life as it is sometimes called. Have a young woman read the scripture aloud.
What does this scripture say we must do to obtain exaltation? (Keep the commandments and endure to the end.)
We Must Receive Ordinances and Make Covenants
Explain that in order to obtain exaltation, we must receive ordinances and make covenants.
What is an ordinance? (An outward, physical action, such as baptism, that symbolizes an inner belief or commitment.)
What is a covenant? (A promise between God and man, where man promises to do certain things and God promises certain results.)
Quotations and discussion
President Spencer W. Kimball taught about one covenant we all made years ago. Listen carefully to see if you can tell what we promised our Heavenly Father and when we made this promise.
“We made vows, solemn vows, in the heavens before we came to this mortal life. …
We have made covenants. We made them before we accepted our position here on the earth. … We committed ourselves to our Heavenly Father, that if he would send us to the earth and give us bodies and give to us the priceless opportunities that earth life afforded we would keep our lives clean and would marry in the holy temple and would rear a family and teach them righteousness. This was a solemn oath, a solemn promise” (“‘Be Ye Therefore Perfect,’” devotional talk, University of Utah Institute of Religion, 10 Jan. 1975).
When did you make the covenant spoken of by President Kimball?
What did you promise your Father in Heaven?
Write the answers on the chalkboard under the heading “Premortal life.” (See the sample chalkboard illustration.)
Explain that now we are on earth, there are things we need to do so we can receive the gift of exaltation. Elder Howard W. Hunter has explained some of these things:
“The pathway to exaltation is well defined. We are told to have faith—faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and repent of those things which are not according to his teachings. After this change of mental attitude, and with firm resolution, we must declare ourselves by going into the waters of baptism, thereby making a covenant with the Lord to keep his commandments” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1960, p. 109; or Improvement Era, Nov. 1960, p. 949).
According to the above quotation, what are some of the things you must do to gain exaltation? (List these on the chalkboard under the heading “Earth life.” See the sample chalkboard illustration.)
Explain that we must receive the ordinance of baptism in order to be exalted. We also must receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
How will the Holy Ghost help you to become exalted? (Prompt you to do good, teach you all truth, and help you to know God and Jesus Christ.)
Explain that another ordinance necessary to exaltation is the endowment received in the temple. The endowment gives us special, spiritual blessings that help us prepare to enter the kingdom of God. Each person makes covenants when she receives her endowment.
Ask the young women to listen carefully to those things that they will promise to do when they go through the temple.
We promise the Lord to “observe the law of strict virtue and chastity, to be charitable, benevolent, tolerant and pure; to devote both talent and material means to the spread of truth and the uplifting of the race; to maintain devotion to the cause of truth; and to seek in every way to contribute to the great preparation that the earth may be made ready to receive her King,—the Lord Jesus Christ” (James E. Talmage, The House of the Lord [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1968], p. 84).
What are some things you will promise to do when you receive your endowment?
After the endowment, what other ordinance performed in the temple is necessary for exaltation? (Temple marriage; see D&C 131:1–4.)
Point out that even if a young woman receives all the ordinances and makes all the covenants, she is not guaranteed exaltation. To see what else a young woman needs to do, have one of the young women reread Doctrine and Covenants 14:7.
What must you do after you have received the necessary ordinances, made the necessary covenants, and started to keep the commandments? (Endure to the end.)
What does it mean to endure to the end?
The completed chalkboard should look something like this:
Exaltation Is Worth All Our Efforts
Explain that some of the blessings of exaltation are explained in Doctrine and Covenants 132:20–24. Have a young woman read this passage aloud.
What blessings await those who live worthy of exaltation? (Godhood, having all things subject to them, having angels subject to them, having all power, living with Jesus.) Point out that just as Jesus Christ was promised all that the Father has, we can also receive all power and dominion, becoming creators of other spirits and other worlds.
To help the young women understand the great glory and happiness of those who are exalted, read the following experience of Elder Melvin J. Ballard who, as an Apostle, had a marvelous dream or vision:
“Away on the Fort Peck Reservation where I was doing missionary work with some of our brethren, laboring among the Indians, seeking the Lord for light to decide certain matters pertaining to our work there, and receiving a witness from Him that we were doing things according to His will, I found myself one evening in the dreams of the night in that sacred building, the temple. After a season of prayer and rejoicing I was informed that I should have the privilege of entering into one of those rooms to meet a glorious Personage, and, as I entered the door, I saw, seated on a raised platform, the most glorious Being my eyes have ever beheld or that I ever conceived existed in all the eternal worlds. As I approached to be introduced, he arose and stepped towards me with extended arms, and he smiled as he softly spoke my name. If I shall live to be a million years old, I shall never forget that smile. He took me into his arms and kissed me, pressed me to his bosom, and blessed me, until the marrow of my bones seemed to melt! When he had finished, I fell at his feet, and, as I bathed them with my tears and kisses, I saw the prints of the nails in the feet of the Redeemer of the world. The feeling that I had in the presence of Him who hath all things in His hands, to have His love, His affection, and His blessing was such that if I ever can receive that of which I had but a foretaste, I would give all that I am, all that I ever hope to be to feel what I then felt!” (Melvin J. Ballard, Crusader for Righteousness [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], pp. 138–39).
Have the young women close their eyes and imagine themselves in the most beautiful setting possible with their family, friends, and loved ones; the great prophets of the past such as Abraham, Joseph Smith, and Adam; and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in a condition of love, beauty, and righteousness forever. You may want to have the young women share their feelings with the class. Explain that they cannot imagine how wonderful exaltation will be.
Scripture and discussion
Have a young woman read 1 Corinthians 2:9.
What does this verse say about the things that are prepared for those who love the Lord and keep his commandments? (We cannot even imagine how glorious they will be.)
Emphasize that exaltation is a tremendous blessing for those who are willing to receive it—greater than anyone can imagine.
Assure the young women that if they live the commandments, keep their covenants, and love their fellowmen, they can achieve exaltation, the greatest gift of a loving Heavenly Father. You may want to bear your testimony.