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What is the purpose of life?

During this life we obtain physical bodies and are tested to see if we will obey God’s commandments. We came to earth to prepare to have an eternal family, bless God’s children, and build His kingdom. Our experiences during mortality are meant to help us become more like our Heavenly Father.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What does the Spirit inspire you to share with the young women?

2 Nephi 2:25 (We were created to have joy)

Alma 12:24; 34:32; 42:4; Abraham 3:25–26 (This life is a time to be tested and prepare to meet God)

3 Nephi 12:3–12 (The Savior names several godlike attributes)

3 Nephi 12:48 (Heavenly Father wants us to become perfect as He is)

D&C 138:53–56 (We are here to help build God’s kingdom)

The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 129

Thomas S. Monson, “The Race of Life,Ensign or Liahona, May 2012, 90–93

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Your Happily Ever After,Ensign or Liahona, May 2010, 124–27

Gary E. Stevenson, “Your Four Minutes,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2014

Plan of Salvation,True to the Faith (2004), 115–16

Share experiences

At the beginning of each class, invite the young women to share, teach, and testify about the experiences they have had applying what they learned in the previous week’s lesson. This will encourage personal conversion and help the young women see the relevance of the gospel in their daily lives.

Introduce the doctrine

Choose from these ideas or think of your own to introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Write on the board, “What is the purpose of life?” Ask the young women to suggest a few ways people might answer this question if they did not have the fulness of the gospel. How do these answers differ from the answers found in the gospel of Jesus Christ?
  • Display a long string that has a knot tied in the middle of it, and discuss how the knot could represent this life, while everything on one side of the knot represents premortal life and everything on the other side of the knot represents postmortal life. How did our choices before this life affect mortality? How do our choices during this life affect our future in this life and in eternity?

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help the young women learn about the purpose of life. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:

  • Invite the young women to read the Beatitudes in 3 Nephi 12:3–12 and look for attributes that Heavenly Father wants us to develop during our mortal lives. Ask them to think of people in the scriptures or in their own lives who exemplify these principles. How do the Savior’s teachings in this chapter help us understand our purposes as women?
  • Divide the talk “The Race of Life” or “Your Happily Ever After” into sections, and invite the young women to search a section and share what they find that helps them understand the purpose of life. Ask them to ponder what they are doing—and what they should be doing—to better fulfill their purpose. Invite a few of them to share their thoughts.
  • Invite the young women to find a scripture or scriptures that they would use to help someone who doesn’t know the purpose of life (for example, they could use the scriptures suggested in this outline). Ask them to share what they find with someone else in the class. Encourage them to think of ways they could share their scripture with a friend or family member who may not fully understand the purpose of life.
  • Ask half of the class to read about Noelle Pikus-Pace in Bishop Gary E. Stevenson’s talk “Your Four Minutes,” and ask the other half to read about Torah Bright in the same talk. Invite them to share with each other what they learn about the purpose of life from these stories. Give the young women a few minutes to review the rest of Bishop Stevenson’s talk and ponder how they are doing in their “four minutes”—what essential ordinances or milestones are in their future, and what are they doing to prepare? Invite some of the young women to share their thoughts.
  • Give each young woman a copy of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” and ask her to read it and mark words and phrases that teach her about her purpose as a daughter of God. Invite the young women to share what they find and explain why it is meaningful to them.

Ask the young women to share what they learned today. Do they understand the purpose of life better? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be helpful to spend more time on this doctrine?

Live what we are learning

Invite the young women to consider how they will live what they have learned today. For example, they could:

  • Share something they learned in class that inspired them to continue making good choices or to make changes in their lives.
  • Think of something specific they will do this week to better fulfill their eternal purpose.