July 25, 2011

Plan A

Last week the lesson topic in Relief Society was “Eternal Marriage.” One woman (divorced after 33 years of marriage and now married again for 10 years) commented that a faithful marriage in the temple is Plan A. Now she is on Plan B, which is okay because there are many plans when it comes to marriage and you adjust and move forward with faith. I appreciated her comment because it seemed to prompt a more open perspective for a lot of people in the room. However, there was a comment I wanted to make in addition…and I didn’t…and now you are the recipients of what has been on my mind all week (this is me warning you about the forthcoming spewing).

I would suggest that if you are following Christ, striving to discern the path that you should take in life, then you are always, always on Plan A. That plan may include a number of difficult trials, the likes of which you would not choose if given the option, but it’s YOUR path and it’s the opposition needed to create in you a being worthy of eternal life. We can never believe that in comparison to other people or to what we believe to be an ideal path that our paths are less valuable or second best. There are two plans—we either follow Christ, repenting, overcoming, finding joy in whatever that plan entails…or we don’t.

Surely, an eternal marriage is the goal, but there are a lot of married people who won’t reach that goal in this life. Creating something eternal with another person means a lot of painful growth and giving, which is the charge given to every single individual striving for Zion. However, we are to be one not just with our spouse, but with our neighbors too. So whether your personal laboratory includes a spouse or not, the goal is the same for everyone, married or single…be one. And if we are not one, we are not God’s.

Thus whatever comes my way that can teach me how to have a Zion heart is a beautiful plan (difficult but beautiful).  If I can’t practice oneness with a husband while on earth…I have a world full of personalities to help teach me. The more I can figure out in my own heart how to be at one—the less foreign it’s going to be when a husband does come. Every path is just as valid as another as long as it’s the path that’s creating an eternal being, a being that is at-one with all. That’s the being on Plan A.


  1. Totally agree, H! In fact, I think that's what is meant by the phrase/idea "all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good." There isn't ANYTHING that won't become a blessing, and in fact a blessing and advantage for us (regardless of what the world calls the experience, or what it feels like in the thick of it) if we rely on the Atonement. God saves us, which means he also saves our plan A. We never have to abandon our most righteous desires.

  2. Heather, thanks for sharing - I love this! My roommate was talking the other day about someone who said the same thing to her. She felt like her single life was a like living a Plan B all the time. Ugh.

    "Plan A" is often the ideal - the thing we think SHOULD happen for some reason (family tradition, personal expectations) but none of us live an ideal life - almost from the time we enter this planet! We have our own paths with God and they are full of free agency and a lot of grace to make things come together and help us learn. We're also promised that as we try to live a good life none of us will miss ANYTHING in the Plan of Happiness - even if the timing doesn't meet the timing in our ideal.

    It's one thing to try to live a good life and create the ideal we would like, we should use our free agency, but to live a bifurcated life - always imaging a parallel track of "reality" that we are not on then we are not living in the reality our life. Living one track while imagining another tends towards craziness and delusion to put it strongly. We only have one life and if we're on track - it's on track and can trust the experiences we're having.

    The good can be the enemy of the best. I think at times the ideal can be the enemy of the best as well.

    I think it's summed up in the Serenity Prayer:

    God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

  3. Dear Karina,
    You made my day.