God’s plan for His children is that they be happy. However, there are different levels of happiness, and God’s plan is for each of us to have the same level of joy that He has. In order to receive this joy, He has given us very specific commandments that we must follow. That does not mean that we will all be miserable for eternity if we do not follow His plan, but only His plan will bring us a fulness of joy.
In the scriptures, we are told by Jesus Christ Himself that He is “the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by [Him]” (John 14:6). The same thought is reiterated several times throughout scripture. There is no way back to God but through Jesus Christ.
In our lives, there are many different paths we can go down. Ultimately, however, there are really only two choices: God’s plan or Satan’s plan. If we do not choose God’s plan—which, remember, is laid out so specifically that there is no room for error—then we are choosing Satan’s plan. So, not all roads lead to the summit; there is only one road that leads to God.
Paul Warnick, a wise ecclesiastical leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (which church is often mistakenly called the “Mormon Church”) said in a stake conference of the Orem Stake in 2012, that there is only one ship that will get us to the shore. God’s plan, His “ship,” is the only ship that is not going to sink. At times it may seem like all the other ships are firing on it (which, in effect, they are), and that there is no way it can remain afloat amidst so much opposition. However, we have been told time and again that God has already won the battle; we simply have to decide which side we are going to be on in the end.
I draw a great deal of comfort from the fact that God’s plan is the only way that works. I know the specifics of the plan, at least what is expected of me, so there is no doubt in my mind about what I need to do in order to remain on that path. There are a lot of other options which seem to be not bad choices. Indeed, there are many options which are not inherently evil, but they are also not what God has in mind for me. Thus, those are not the right paths for me to go down. I can know through study, faith, prayer, and even trial and error, what God’s plan for me is.
Knowing God’s plan does not make following that one road easy, quite the contrary. The whole point of God’s plan is that we are stretched to our limits. Many times we even fail, but through our failures and experience, we grow and can repent and become more like God.
The atonement of Jesus Christ, the living Son of God, is what enables us to repent and ultimately have the opportunity to return to God. The atonement was part of God’s plan from the very beginning. God knew that we would not be able to follow His path in one try. We would need multiple tries. The only way we could be given multiple tries was if someone else took the fall for us, because justice is an eternal principle and must be met. When we sin, there is a consequence that must be met. When we turn to Jesus Christ, the only road which leads to the summit, we can use the power of His atonement to be cleansed and get ourselves back on the path headed in the right direction.
I am grateful for the knowledge I have of God’s plan for His children. I am grateful that I know from the scriptures that there is only one road which leads to God: Jesus Christ. I know that by following His commandments and by applying His atonement in my life I can be cleansed and eventually perfected through Him. This will not happen in this life, but if I do the best I can in this life, His grace will be sufficient to help me continue in my eternal progress, on that one road to the summit.
This article was written by Doris White, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.