Our Heavenly Father's Plan
Our Heavenly Father's Plan is a real cheesy and short (thank God!) 1986 Church educational video that introduces the basic themes of the first missionary discussion through narration, film clips, pictures, and music. It begins by asking various individuals, "What's the purpose of life?," and different answers are given. The narrator then tells his own story of when he was young, and how his grandma told him that the main purpose of life is to live happily. So the narrator saddles up his horse, rides, hikes, and then camps in a beautiful mountain setting, all the while filling out for us what exactly it means to "live happily" and how it is best fulfilled. And of course he proceeds to tell us the general Mormon story of what life is all about.
Why should we believe this nice story? The narrator answers this by saying, "The only way you're going to know if the things I'm saying are true or not is if the Lord whispers to your own spirit that they are true" (emphasis added). The narrator underscores twice that he's not really trying so much as to convince us as he's simply sharing what he's found to be true, so that we can find out for ourselves. Near the end of the film, he tells us, "I felt good talking to you about these things that have helped me in my life" (emphasis added). And if we get these same warm fuzzy feelings, then we are encouraged to request the LDS missionaries to come over and explain more of the details of Mormonism.
OK, but is this really a safe and sure way to know the truth about the purpose of life? There are a lot of people out there who pray about all sorts of goofy things and believe that they are true, because they hear God whispering to their hearts. Here is what the Bible says about those who simply trust in their hearts as a means of hearing from God:
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death (Proverbs 14:12).
He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool (Prov. 28:26).
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it (Jeremiah 17:9)?
That is why God has given us a much better way for discovering truth. That way is His own words, which have been faithfully recorded and preserved for us in the Bible (Psalm 12:6-7; 119:105; Matthew 5:18; 24:35; and John 10:35). (For more detail on this, see "Can The Bible Be Trusted?") It is the Heavenly Father's plan that by these words we test the prophets to see if they are really of God (Galatians 1:6-9; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; and 1 John 4:1).
To order a copy of Our Heavenly Father's Plan, click here.
R. M. Sivulka
Salt Lake City, UT
February 17, 2005