What do Latter-day Saints believe is the purpose of life?
Latter-day Saint scripture confirms the eternal nature of the soul and the creation of the earth as a place for the family of God. All men and women have lived as spirit beings in a premortal state, and all are the spiritual offspring of God. In the premortal world, all the family of God were taught his plans and purposes. Those who voluntarily agreed to the conditions of mortality were given a physical body, and a veil of forgetfulness was drawn over their premortal life. In mortality, at least six purposes are opened to mankind: (1) to be given a body, whose experience, maturation, and eventual resurrection are essential to the perfecting of the soul; (2) to grow in knowledge and develop talents and gifts; (3) to be tried and tested; (4) to fulfill the missions and callings that were conferred or preordained; (5) to exercise agency without memory of the premortal existence; (6) and to establish the foundations of eternal family relationships. The life to come is the extension and fulfillment of the mortal sojourn: to enter into and live forever in the presence of God. But opportunities to hear, accept, and apply the truths and powers of Christ do not end with death. In the postmortal state, light, glory, and dominion will be conferred in fulness on those who have lived righteously, and are therefore prepared for eternal life in the world to come.
James P. Bell -
James P. Bell has worked at KBYU in Creative Services at Brigham Young University.