Because we are blessed with knowing the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, we understand that there are five basic irreducible purposes of our mortal existence. Only the first is absolutely essential. To fulfill the others makes a fullness of blessing. The five are as follows:
- To gain a mortal tabernacle for our spirit. This is the necessary prelude to immortal life in a tabernacle of flesh and bone, which is the heritage of all human beings.
- To develop a Christ-like character. To learn to act righteously, responding to the spiritual influences from the Savior and learning not to be controlled by the physical forces around us is our goal. Every human situation is rich with opportunity to learn to be honest, true, chaste, benevolent and to do good to all men. Either sex, any race, any age, any educational level, any economic level, affords an almost overwhelming opportunity to add good habit to good habit, correct preference to correct preference, true idea of Christ to guide him or her in this quest for perfect character. But one cannot finish the task except one receives the fullness of the Restored Gospel and the ordinances of the new and everlasting covenant.
- To relieve suffering. The world is full of sorrow and suffering because of the sins of men. But that sorrow and suffering becomes an opportunity to those who have learned the unselfishness of the Savior. With heart, might, mind, and strength, they labor to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to heal the sick, to comfort the tormented, to assure the bereaved, to plead for the unjustly accused, to teach the unlearned. All of this is done under the Savior’s direction, never by using their own or any other man’s wisdom. Their goal is to be sure that they product more good in this world than that which they consume, and that they share their surplus.
- To pass on the seed. To marry in the Lord’s covenant and to bring the souls of men and women to this world is the fourth task. To forebear having children by artificial means subverts both character and the plan. “Children are an heritage of the Lord. Blessed is he who has his quiver full.”
- To pass on the gospel. To bring up our children in the nurture of the Lord, transmitting the faith which is precious above all other ideas or messages in this world, constitutes the fifth great opportunity. We are not limited to sharing with our children, but sharing our faith fully with them is essential.
When our lives are finished, only these things will be important for eternity:
- We gained a mortal tabernacle, and therefore can be resurrected to immortality, becoming just and true in all things.
- We gained a Christ-like character, and therefore can be trusted with the same glory the Savior has.
- We relieved suffering. We showed that as with our Master, we lived to serve and to help, not to “lord” it over anyone.
- We sacrificed to bring others into mortality and therefore we can be trusted to continue to bear souls in eternity.