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What is the plan of salvation?

Heavenly Father prepared a plan to enable us to become like Him. The plan includes the Creation, the Fall, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and all the laws, ordinances, and doctrines of the gospel. This plan makes it possible for us to be perfected through the Atonement, receive a fulness of joy, and live forever in the presence of God.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What will help the young women understand the plan of salvation?

1 Corinthians 15:20–22 (All men will die)

Hebrews 12:9 (God is the Father of our spirits)

Revelation 20:12–13; 2 Nephi 9:10–11; Alma 5:15–21 (All men will be resurrected and stand before God to be judged) 

2 Nephi 2:22–25 (The Fall of Adam brought about mortality)

Alma 34:32–33 (This life is the time to repent)

Alma 40:11–14 (The state of men after they die)

Alma 42:5–15 (Alma teaches his son Corianton about the plan of salvation)

D&C 76:30–113 (Description of the kingdoms of glory) 

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

Dean M. Davies, “A Sure Foundation,Ensign or Liahona, May 2013

Plan of Salvation,True to the Faith  (2004), 115–17

Video: “Men’s Hearts Shall Fail Them”

Video: “The Plan of Salvation”; see also Doctrine and Covenants Visual Resources DVD 

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

  • Write on the board “What is the plan of salvation?” Ask the young women to suggest some ways they could answer this question. Encourage them to continue thinking about their answers as they learn about the plan of salvation in today’s lesson.
  • Show or describe to the young women a blueprint or architectural plan. Why is it important to have a blueprint before beginning a building project? Invite a young woman to read two paragraphs from Bishop Dean M. Davies’s talk “A Sure Foundation” beginning with the phrase “Like the designers and builders of our time.” How is the plan of salvation like a blueprint for our lives?

Learn together

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

  • A few days in advance, ask several young women to come prepared to teach the class about an aspect of the plan of salvation (such as premortal life, mortal life, spirit world, and so on) using Preach My Gospel or True to the Faith. Draw a representation of the plan of salvation on the board (for an example, see Preach My Gospel, 54), and invite each young woman to teach her assigned topic. Ask the young women what difference it makes in their lives to know about the plan of salvation.
  • Assign each young woman one or more of the scripture passages in this outline. Ask her to read her passage to determine what part of the plan of salvation the passage refers to. Invite her to share what she learns from her passage. How does knowing about the plan affect the way we see ourselves, others, and the world around us?
  • As a class, read Alma 12:30 and Alma 42:13–15. Invite the young women to look for the phrases that are used to describe the plan of salvation. What do these phrases teach about the plan? Show the video “Men’s Hearts Shall Fail Them,” and ask the young women to look for how a knowledge of the plan of salvation blessed Elder Russell M. Nelson. Invite the young women to share ways this knowledge has blessed them. 
  • Invite the young women to read Alma 42:5–15, looking for phrases Alma uses to describe God’s plan for His children. When they find a phrase, ask them to write it on the board. What do these phrases teach us about Heavenly Father’s plan?
  • Ensure that everyone in the class has a copy of True to the Faith, and assign each young woman a number between 1 and 3. Ask those with number 1 to learn all that they can from True to the Faith about the premortal life (pages 115–16); ask those with number 2 to learn about mortal life (page 116); and ask those with number 3 to learn about life after death (pages 116–17). Allow them to work in groups, according to their assigned numbers, to prepare a short summary of what they learned and present it to the rest of the class. Invite the young women to imagine what their lives might be like if they did not have this knowledge about the plan of salvation.
  • Ask the young women to use President Thomas S. Monson’s talk “The Race of Life” and the scriptures suggested in this outline to prepare an answer to one of these questions: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where do we go after we leave this life? Invite them to share their answers as if they were speaking to a friend of another faith. Why is it important to know the answers to these questions?

Ask the young women to share what they learned today. Do they understand the plan of salvation 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 their gratitude for the plan of salvation.
  • Teach something they learned about the plan of salvation to a friend or family member. As they teach, they could use a chart or diagram they have created of the plan of salvation.