In my last post, I established that we are children of our Heavenly Father. We lived with Him before we came to Earth. If this were the case, why did I leave? How did I get here? Growing up, teachers of various denominations told me that we did not exist before we were born; however, if we had existed, we only got stuck here because of Adam and Eve. If they hadn’t eaten the forbidden fruit, introduced sin into the world, and started having kids, I’d still be up there lolling about in Heavenly Father’s presence (except that I wouldn’t because I wouldn’t exist). I struggled with this concept. Firstly because it seems to contradict itself; but secondly~Why were Adam and Eve here? Was it just some cruel joke?
I submit that it was not. I submit that there is a purpose to life here and Adam and Eve were integral in getting the process going. While we were with Heavenly Father in the pre-earth life, He was more advanced than we. He had a perfect Celestial body (Doctrine and Covenants 130:22). He had knowledge and experience that gave Him all power (Mosiah 4:9). Why were we so different? A human does not give birth to a chimpanzee anymore than a duck gives birth to a horse. Why should the children of God be any less than He is? Perhaps a better comparison would be a tadpole to a frog, a caterpillar to a butterfly, or a baby to an adult. Heavenly Father never intended for us to remain in this lesser state. He said, “This is my work and my glory–to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). He had a plan that would help us to become like Him~to get an immortal body (immortality) and to live the kind of life that He lives (eternal life). There was a grand council in the heavens in which He presented His plan: “We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell; and we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them” (Abraham 3:24-25). Thus, we were given the opportunity to come to earth to gain a body and experience to become like Heavenly Father.
To gain this experience, we would need to choose between good and evil. There would be sin in the world and all of us would fall short of the perfection necessary to return to His presence (“no unclean thing can dwell with God” 1 Nephi 10:21). We would also have to die to end this state of existence and enter the next one. We needed a Savior to live a perfect life, overcome death, and atone for our sins. Satan thought that we didn’t need the experience and he wanted the kudos for getting us all through the process, so he said, “Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor” (Moses 4:1). Jesus understood God’s plan. He said, “Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever” (Moses 4:2). Jesus was chosen to be the Savior. Satan rebelled and was cast out of heaven, along with the spirits who chose to follow him. This is the war in heaven that is referenced in Revelation chapter 12. Satan and his followers, too, came to earth. Only they will never receive bodies. They are angry and bitter. They are constantly trying to keep us from succeeding with Heavenly Father’s plan.
Our goal is to return to Heavenly Father. We continue to fight the war that was begun in heaven. John wrote that “They [the spirits who followed Heavenly Father] overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb [the atonement], and by the word of their testimony” (Revelation12:11). That is why we are here. So we can become like Heavenly Father.