Mormons believe life is meaningful and has an eternal purpose, chosen by God out of love for His children. They teach life has three parts to it-one that occurred prior to birth, the second part that is life itself, and the third part, which is what happens after we die. The three parts are connected and all are part of an eternal progression and plan.
Prior to birth, we lived in what Mormons call Premortal Life. During this time, God created our spirits, making Him our literal Father in Heaven. Our spirits had a form that looks much as we do now, but we didn’t have a body of flesh and blood. This limited our progression to some extent.
After our spirits were created, we lived with God in this beautiful home. We developed personal relationships with Him and were taught His gospel. We also developed relationships with others and we developed our personalities and talents. You might have noticed that babies often seem to just be born with personalities, and early on show clear talents. This is the explanation for this.
After a time, we had come as far as we could in that environment. It was time for us to leave home, just as children eventually have to leave home. When mortal children move out on their own, they soon discover what their real abilities and morals are, and this is exactly what earth life does for us. On earth, we gained a physical body, which is essential to our progression. We had our memories of our premortal life taken from us, as if a veil were pulled over them. From time to time, however, we receive tiny memories of the past-perhaps by hearing a gospel truth and discovering you are “remembering” it, not hearing it for the first time, or even by encountering a person you’ve never met but who seems very familiar to you.
Here on earth, we’re responsible for finding the gospel again if possible, and for learning to live by faith. Can we live properly and recognize truth even when God isn’t right here where we can see Him? This is also a time to create a family and strengthen its bonds, to have new experiences, and even to learn through trials. Everything we experience here can be used for our eternal good in time, if we’re trying to make the best choices we can.
God planned for us to find the truth by asking the Holy Ghost when we think we’ve found it. Once we’ve received confirmation of this, we’re expected to act on the truth we’ve been given and live the gospel.
At the end of our life, each of us is promised, through grace, that we will be resurrected and live forever. Grace also gives us the ability to repent of our sins. The Bible teaches frequently the importance of keeping the commandments, and the need to repent when we fall short. When we die, the Savior, who once lived in our world and understands its challenges best, will judge us. Those who have made the greatest sacrifices for God-meaning those who strove to live the gospel rather than to follow the ways of man-will be allowed into God’s presence.
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21, KJV of the Bible)
Those who do God’s will on earth-and those who were denied the opportunity to learn it on earth, but who accept the gospel after death and then live it-earn God’s greatest reward-eternity with Him.