After writing last week’s post on God getting the boot on the Shark Tank, I got to thinking about the “Plan of Salvation” and I’m trying to figure out what God was thinking when he came up with it. Let’s take a brief overview of what God came up with. (Assumptions: 1. the LDS church is the only church that is in compliance with this plan, 2. I use the word “save” to mean exaltation in the Mormon lexicon.
First the goal: provide a way for all His children to return to him. But, He didn’t want “all” of them, just the ones that proved they were worthy.
So He gets everybody together and asks for suggestions on how He might do this, as any good leader would. We are told only two people offered suggestions. I find that hard to believe, given that there was probably over 120 Billion people in that meeting. (roll call anybody?). With that many people, the opportunity to crowdsource a good, or even great idea would be huge!
But we only get two ideas. One from Satan, and one from Jesus. I won’t bother to repeat the details. Bottom line is Jesus’s plan provide for freedom of choice, thus assuring that those that return to God were sincere, while Satan’s plan would have forced everybody to be good, and everybody would be saved. Since God could not stand being around anybody that had not followed his rules exactly, Jesus said he would take the fall for everybody that asked, and thus people could come clean, and return to God.
I’m not sure if this was Jesus’s plan, or if this was part of God’s input, but it all starts with just two people (Adam and Eve) on the earth, given conflicting commandments. God being all knowing, knew they would following the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth. (Side note, replenish implies that they were restoring something that used to be there. Not sure who used to be on earth, but I’ll save that for another day)
So the plan is off and running, the earth is being populated, His children are given a chance to prove themselves worthy to return to Him. But then the plan hits a snag. Almost everybody is NOT proving themselves worthy. All His kids are being little brats! So what does He do? He hits the “reset button”. He declares bankruptcy (chapter 11). That lets Him out of his debts (bad children), by killing them all in a flood, but he keeps a few (as approved by the bankruptcy court) to continue on with the plan.
After several thousand years Jesus is born to do His part of the plan. Everything goes as anticipated (being omniscient has its privileges), and Jesus makes it possible for God’s children to be cleansed of their sins and return to Him.
The free agency part of the plan means people can pretty much do as they want, and they do. In the next 2000 years, several other competing Gods show up, over 2/3 of the world follow them. The 1/3 that do follow Jesus are splintered, and only a small percentage of that 1/3 are following the right way to get back (LDS church). So God figures out how to save people after the fact. If they don’t following His rules (as contained in the LDS church), they will be given another chance after they die. But if this was always the plan, and we have to assume it was because the plan is perfect, because its author is perfect, then why not just go with this in the first place? Why not given everybody a chance to show their loyalty to God after death and earn a place in his kingdom?
Turns out in this plan, less than .02% of the people that are saved and can return to God will do this during their earthy probation. Everybody else will get the second chance after death. Could this possibly have been a good idea? Seems like a lot of work having everybody live on earth for just .02% using that as a way home. If we accept God as all knowing and perfect, we have to accept that this plan is perfect, and God knew from the begging this is how it would turn out.
What are some of the other explanations for this plan? One extreme is there is no God, this is all just reverse engineered to provide an explanation for life. Another is that there is a God, but the unique LDS spin on it is not true, and God will save everybody after they have paid their penance. This is why most Christian churches do not believe that Mormons are Christian.
Three years ago I asked this same question: It you were God, and could start all over, what would your “Plan of Salvation 2.0” look like? Would there be a need of an atonement? Could a 2.0 have a better way of making sure everybody had an opportunity to hear and chose while in their earthy probation? Is a probation even needed? Could you just let all your kids come home, even the bad ones? How would you deal with people making up other Gods (Buddha, etc). Would you accept them as a surrogate?
What is your Plan of Salvation 2.0?