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The Purpose of Life in the Book of Mormon


The Book of Mormon, a book of scripture similar to the Bible that testifies of Jesus Christ, explains God’s plan for His children—the purpose of life. Through the writings of ancient prophets, you can find answers about who you are, why you are here, and what God wants you to do.

What does the Book of Mormon teach about the purpose of life

The Book of Mormon answers the big questions about life. You can better understand the reason for your existence here on earth by reading and studying the Book of Mormon.

God has a plan for you.

Book of Mormon prophets had a lot to say about the purpose of life. Mortality, for instance, is just part of a grand plan that God has for you. The Book of Mormon prophet Alma explained, “God bringeth about his great and eternal purposes, which were prepared from the foundation of the world. And thus cometh about the salvation and the redemption of [all]” (Alma 42:26). “Salvation” and “redemption” mean that God wants to help you progress and become free of sin so you can live with Him after you die.

God wants you to be happy

The prophet Jacob wrote, “Men are, that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:25). In other words, you’re here on the earth because God wants you to find true happiness. Eventually, that happiness will include living with God in His kingdom. But the principle of happiness also applies to your life right now. 

How can you find lasting happiness?

If men and women exist to have joy, how exactly do you find that joy? The Book of Mormon explains that, too.

Keep God’s commandments

 A Book of Mormon prophet known as King Benjamin described “the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it” (Mosiah 2:41). People who are obedient to God receive blessings, including happiness. That doesn’t mean you’ll always have good things happen to you if you obey God’s commandments, but God does promise you everlasting happiness in the end if you remain faithful.

Avoid sin

Disobedience to God’s commands never results in true happiness. People who sin may feel momentary pleasure, but that’s different from true joy. The prophet Alma wrote, “Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10).

Be humble and penitent

Humility and willingness to repent of sins also help lead us to increased happiness. The Book of Mormon tells the story of a group of young men who rebelled against their parents and religion. They were wicked and idolatrous and actively harassed and intimidated those in their community. However, these young men—who had sinned in nearly every way—ultimately repented of the evil they had done. Not only are they an example of how the Atonement of Jesus Christ allows us to overcome sins, but they were also able to put guilt and shame behind them (see Mosiah 27). Once they had repented, they became truly happy. In describing these young men, the prophet Mormon exclaimed, Now was not this exceeding joy? Behold, this is joy which none receiveth save it be the truly penitent and humble seeker of happiness” (Alma 27:18). 

Experience both happiness and sadness.

How do you appreciate being happy? In part, it’s by knowing what it means to be sad. “For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so . . . righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery” (2 Nephi 2:11). Both the good and the bad give you experience and help you to become a better person and ultimately find lasting joy and peace. 

What does God want you to do with your life?

The prophet Alma taught, “There was a space granted unto man in which he might repent; therefore this life became a probationary state; a time to prepare to meet God; a time to prepare for that endless state which has been spoken of by us, which is after the resurrection of the dead” (Alma 12:24). Life is a time for you to prepare yourself for the day when you will eventually be brought before the God who created you to be judged for your actions. Here are some important things you can do to prepare.

Serve God and your fellow men and women

Life is a time to better yourself as well as to serve God (see Alma 42:4) and others. King Benjamin powerfully taught that “when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17). 

Strive to keep God’s commands, and repent when you fall short

Your Heavenly Father knows that as you seek to follow Him you will sometimes make mistakes and sin. When you repent, you leave your sins behind you and become a better person. This is an important part of preparing to meet God and earning your eternal reward. If ye will repent, and harden not your hearts, then will I have mercy upon you, through mine Only Begotten Son; therefore, whosoever repenteth, and hardeneth not his heart, he shall have claim on mercy through mine Only Begotten Son, unto a remission of his sins; and these shall enter into my rest” (Alma 12:33–34).

Strive for perfection

In both the Bible and the Book of Mormon, Jesus taught that we should work to become perfect. To the Nephites he said, “Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect” (3 Nephi 12:48). That may sound difficult, but God gives us instructions and commandments in the scriptures to guide us, He gives us spiritual support when we pray, and He has provided a way for us to be forgiven of our sins (see Mosiah 26:29) as we continually seek to improve.

Come to Christ

The Book of Mormon prophet Moroni taught that Jesus can help us become perfect when we follow Him: “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God” (Moroni 10:32). 

God expects your life to be a time of self-improvement and service where you can work to develop a positive attitude and find lasting joy. You can learn more about God and His plan for you by reading the Book of Mormon.

The Book of Mormon was written thousands of years ago, but it still applies to us today. How can it help you find purpose in your life? Chat now to find out.

The Book of Mormon teaches many truths about life and God. Discover more—request a free Book of Mormon.

So how do you follow Jesus? Schedule a visit with the missionaries to learn more.