Unlike a lot of business plans, the plan God created for man’s happiness works. Even when we have moved away from it, His plan goes on and it will throughout eternity. In “Is the Plan Working?“, Elder Adrian Ochoa states “Our Heavenly Father has prepared a wonderful plan for our eternal happiness.” Let’s look at the differences between God’s plan and the plans of men.
The Plans of Men
I have spent the last 27 years in the technology world. I have seen strategic plans of all lengths. There have been one-year, three-year, and five-year plans. There have been plans to change the culture of the organization, embark on a new technology direction, and plans to generate revenue and growth. I learned very early on that these plans are usually way too ambitious.
When a plan is first announced, there is usually a lot of excitement. Most employees are on-board with the plan and are eager to make it succeed. Management usually spends a lot of time in what I call “rah-rah” meetings trying to create enthusiasm and buy-in.
Then the plan starts to execute. This is where the stumbling blocks begin. There is a myriad of reasons for the stumbling. Some of these include having to deploy a product feature, meeting contractual requirements, economic downturns, and my favorite, “we don’t do things that way so we won’t”. For whatever reason after a short period of time (depending on the culture), the plan everyone was excited about appears impossible to achieve. Once that happens, management starts to reset and adjust the plan until eventually work on the plan is halted altogether.
This does not happen with every plan, but my experience has been that the grand majority of plans do not come to fruition in the manner they were presented. This has the effect of people being less excited about the next plan as they remember the pain of the previous one.
Let’s compare this to God’s plan. The plan God created was not a one-year, three-year, or five-year plan. God’s plan is a multi-millennial plan that encompasses all of His sons and daughters. This plan was presented to all of His children before the earth was formed. Two-thirds of His children accepted the plan and were eager to be a part of it. One-third preferred an opposing plan Satan proposed. That third was denied the blessing of participating in God’s plan and actively endeavors to thwart it every day.
Once decided, the plan was put into effect. The earth was created and Adam and Eve began the human race. There have been lots of times in our history when mankind has said “we don’t want to be part of the plan”, but that has not caused a change in the plan. In fact, those who walk away from the plan in this life, have never had the power to force a change upon it.
God’s plan doesn’t get adjusted or reset because of downturns or the wickedness of men. I believe there have been only two times where the plan could have been broken. The first was in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve could have lived their lives without ever falling. It would have been just them, but they had that choice. Obviously, they did not choose that path.
The second was in the temptation of Satan to Christ in the form of the devious “if thou be the Son of God” remarks. Had Christ doubted His divinity and mission, it would have caused the plan of God to fail. Christ did no such thing and went on to be the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind.
God’s plan is perfect and He knew in the beginning that the major players in His plan would perform their roles so that it is executed.
How Do I Stay the Course
The question now becomes, “how do I stay the course and remain a part of the plan?”. Elder Ochoa gives us three keys:
- Act in faith in Jesus Christ
- In times of trouble, turn to Jesus Christ right away
- Humble yourself before the Lord, and He will lift you up to greater things
Act in Faith
In the fourth quarter of 2020, I was informed that my job was being eliminated. I had worked for the company for 20 years and I was being let go because of downsizing. I will admit to being a little bitter as there really wasn’t a good reason other than downsizing to let me go. I was worried about what would happen if I could not find a job within a reasonable amount of time.
I had faith though that the Lord would bless us and that I would be able to find a job if I put in the effort required. Having that confidence was a boost to me as I started interviewing and wasn’t selected to be hired. I didn’t lose faith that the Lord would bless me for staying with the plan. I did not blame God for what happened but rather asked that I be helped and guided in my search. I was blessed early in the Summer of 2021 to find a job that fit my skill set and with a company where I felt like I belonged and would be an asset.
Turn to Christ Right Away
We all go through times of trouble. We are here to be tested. How we respond to those times either strengthens or weakens us. If we turn to Christ right away, He will comfort and help us. When we seek other forms of comfort we find emptiness and loneliness.
What does it mean to “turn to Christ”? The first answer is probably the most obvious, pray. Prayer gives us the chance to commune with God. We can talk with Him about what we’re experiencing. We can explain the troubles which help us to get them out in the open. God, if we listen, can then work with us to overcome and push through.
Turning to Christ also means remembering that which He has done for us. By means of His atonement, He understands our feelings and frustrations, our hopes and worries. Through the Holy Ghost, comfort and peace are sent to us. The fog of doubt is cleared and we are prepared to do what’s needed to move out of our troubles.
Humbling Ourselves and Being Lifted
Humbling ourselves allows us to conform to God’s will. It allows for the putting off of the “natural man” (Mosiah 3:19) and to grow closer to Him. Humility is not weakness, it doesn’t mean that we can’t handle what is happening. It means that we recognize that there is someone greater than us that knows how best to approach what needs to be done.
When we’ve humbled ourselves and followed the guidance given, God lifts us up higher than we were. We experience greater things in this life. God not only blesses us but gives us a greater understanding of His plan. We learn how to be more like Him and move forward on our individual paths to perfection.
The plans of men are never perfect. They often require resetting, adjustments, or disposal. The plan of God is perfect, does not change, and requires no reset or adjustment. In short God’s plan works! And it will continue to work for all eternity.