Mormons believe we have heavenly parents who created our spirits before we came to Earth. We dwelt with our Father in Heaven in a pre-mortal state. In our pre-mortal existence, we had the opportunity to ratify Heavenly Father’s plan to send Jesus Christ to atone for our sins and make up for the inevitable fall of Adam and our own weak nature. We agreed to be born on earth into mortal bodies to be tested, with the hope that we would lay hold upon Christ’s atonement and return to Heavenly Father and live with Him forever in a kingdom of glory.
Psalm 82:6: “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.”
Joseph Smith taught that our Heavenly Father is the father of our spirits and one of the three members of the Godhead, along with His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. Heavenly Father knows each of us personally and wants us to return to Him. Just as children grow up to be like their earthly parents, Mormons believe that we will grow up in this life to eventually be like our Heavenly Father as well, in the life to come. Heavenly Father requires important work from each of us, though, and it is necessary to learn all we can and live righteously.
Matthew 5:48: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven in perfect.”
This perfection is attainable only through the Savior Jesus Christ, who atoned, or paid the price, for our sins so that we can be forgiven if we will approach our Heavenly Father in humility. None of Heavenly Father’s children is perfect on the earth, but Mormonism teaches that the sincere attempts every man and woman makes in this life will be rewarded. Jesus Christ’s grace and Heavenly Father’s mercy will save us, only after we have done all we can possibly do to live in righteousness.
2 Nephi 25:23: “. . . for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”
Mormonism teaches that Heavenly Father is a just and merciful Lord. He is a loving Father. His love for us and His desire for our eternal happiness are made clear in His plan for all of us. Mormons refer to this plan as the Plan of Salvation, and it is the path that Heavenly Father created so that we can return to Him after this life on Earth.
Mormons believe that in order to obtain complete joy in the eternities, one must have a body that is inseparably connected with his spirit. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ both have bodies. When the Prophet Joseph Smith received the First Vision, which brought with it the beginnings of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, he wrote that he saw the Father and the Son (see Joseph Smith—History 1). From latter-day revelation that came to Joseph Smith during the early days of the Mormon Church, we can learn about the nature of our Father in Heaven:
Doctrine and Covenants 130:22-23: “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s. . .”
Mormonism teaches that every person on Earth can communicate daily with our Heavenly Father through prayer. Heavenly Father wants us to come to Him with our problems, questions, and honorable desires. Mormons believe that Heavenly Father will respond to us through personal revelation. This daily communication with one’s Father in Heaven is necessary to our peace in this life.
Mormons believe that it is important for each man and woman on Earth to know that Heavenly Father is indeed their Father and knows and loves His children. This understanding gives us the strength and determination that are required to persevere through life’s difficulties and to live righteously.
John 17:3: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”