plan of salvation, plan of redemption, plan of mercy
The writings of the Old Testament are grounded in the belief that the Lord was positively disposed to save his chosen people collectively and individually from the evils of this world, from their own sins, and even from death. The New Testament focused that saving power and mission in the person of Jesus Christ, emphasized how his atonement made salvation from both sin and death a real possibility, and invited all the Earth to qualify for these blessings. The Book of Mormon prophets expanded these same teachings as they drew on “the plan of salvation” for all mankind—made known unto them by “the great God” in his mercy (Alma 24:14), a plan “which was prepared from the foundation of the world” (Alma 22:13).
The concept that God had a plan for all these things from the beginning was clearly taught by the first generation of Nephite prophets in the sixth century BCE as it provided both them and their successors over the next thousand years with the background or context they could use to preach and explain the gospel of Jesus Christ to their people. The plan of salvation they taught made the relevance of the gospel of Jesus Christ for every individual born into this world perfectly clear. It explained the great blessings that would come to those who would repent and embrace all elements of the gospel. And it warned of the punishments that would await the wicked at the judgment of all men. While the concept of such a divine plan is perfectly compatible with Jewish and Christian scriptures and teaching, it is not generally recognized as part of biblical teaching, and only receives occasional mention in the reference works compiled by Bible scholars. The Book of Mormon phrasing does not occur at all in the Bible, though it does show up in the writings of Christian writers after 1830 and down to the present day.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Reynolds, Noel B., "The Great Plans of the Eternal God" (2018). Faculty Publications. 2175.
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