Deconstructing the PLAN of SALVATION- The Red Headed Hostess

I’ve got a little quiz for you:

It is easy. Just see if you can fill in the blank with the right word or phrase.

Ready? Here we go… This is a quote by Elder Neal A. Maxwell.

“Truly, of all the errors mortals could make, _________________________ is the wrong thing to be wrong about!  No error could be more enormous or more everlasting in its consequences!”

So what do you think?
What is the wrong thing to be wrong about?
What error couldn’t be more enormous or everlasting?

Jot your answers down…. and be brave and share some of your answers in your comments below…. 🙂

Then ask your kids what they think. And your spouse. And your mailman.

Ok… lets see what Elder Maxwell said:

“Truly, of all the errors mortals could make, God’s plan of salvation is the wrong thing to be wrong about!
No error could be more enormous or more everlasting in its consequences!
No wonder this Church and its people go to such great lengths and expense to share the fulness of the gospel concerning this plan.
No wonder the Lord wants the plan taught plainly and repetitively.”
(Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, May 1984)

Isn’t that a GREAT quote? So how did you do? Whether you got the right phrasing or not, a lot of answers are integral parts of the Plan, so you could argue some of your answers were right, or partly right. In any case… the quote teaches a profound thing.

Have you ever tried to draw another faith’s Plan?

What Plan does Hinduism teach, Catholicism, or even Atheism? What would it look like on paper? What truths do they teach, and where have they missed some really important doctrines? And why would those mistakes have some everlasting consequences?

It is clear in the Proclamation to the World on the Family, that a clear understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation is crucial to being able to comprehend the full doctrine of the family. It refers over and over to elements of the Plan. So it stands to reason, that the more we understand the individual doctrines of the Plan the more we will understand the importance of the family. Doctrine makes things clearer and gives us courage to act.

So here is a little idea on how to help you and your family dive deep into the Plan of Salvation.

I took a large piece of paper.  You could do this on a poster board, some butcher paper or in your scripture journals.

Then I just did a really basic drawing of the Plan of salvation.


Then I just started studying each element of the plan and writing down what the scriptures taught me.


Here you can see what I pulled out of Moses 4:1-4


Just go to your Index or Topical Guide and look up all the scriptures you can on the topic.

You could also go to and find quotes that help give additional insights.

Like this one that I LOVE about the Premortal Life:

“Such longing for a heavenly home is real, especially in view of how this life is designed. After all, brothers and sisters, when we rejoice in beautiful scenery, great art, and great music, it is but the flexing of instincts acquired in another place and another time.”

(Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, May 1984)


Then just continue to go through each element of the plan adding more and more doctrine as you go.


This could take several Family Home Evenings to do, or several family scripture studies.


And naturally, as you study, questions will arise and you will have lots of teaching moments as your family searches for understanding.


And just like always, as we fill our conversations with pure doctrine, we give the Spirit a lot of chances to testify to our spirits and then… we are never the same.


And just in case you are looking for something a little more kid-friendly… here is something I made awhile back:

Go here for more instructions.


But whatever we do…

No effort to understand this Plan will go wasted.  It is time well spent.


See our amazing Plan of Salvation Illustrated PDF printable HERE.



  1. I’ve pinned several of your ‘hand written’ pages on pinterest. I just wish my handwriting was as awesome as yours! I’ve started a journal from your suggestion and need to do some more in it. thanks for the inspiration.

  2. I love all of your scripture study ideas. You inspired me to start a scripture journal several months ago and while I haven’t jumped in as much as I would like, I have been making a running commentary as I read through the Book of Mormon on how I relate individual verses to me. It’s made my reading more meaningful as I have a new way to study that I haven’t tried before. 🙂

  3. Love this post! I used had that quote by Maxwell in my class when I taught seminary too. Love the thoughts of how do you draw’s other religions plans. JW stopped by and I had this wonderful picture of the plan- the planet one, with Christ in the middle and the 3 pillars of eternity on there too- in the window. They thought it was too complicated. I have a evangelical no demonimation who thinks that you can’t “put God in a box”, no do not or do lists for her. I read 2 Nephi 2 last night- the order of the chapter -Atonement, creation, Fall, Atonement again!

    I think I just might try and draw a picture of other’s plans.

    An LDS chaplin tells the story of sitting around a table with other Chaplin discussing who gets to heaven. They all said that only there faith would make it. LDS guy says what about all those that lived before and never heard of Jesus Christ? their answer in essence- out of luck! They didn’t make the rules- God did. They they asked him. He says your plan is not a plan of salvation at all- but a plan of damnation. More will be damned then saved. He then shares the true plan and tells them they are some of the best men they know. They will have a salvation!

  4. I love it! Thanks for the idea. I probably won’t do it with our whole family, but I’d love to do it myself – and then share it with them later. (Maybe they’ll have additions to make.)

  5. This is what I LOVE about your blog you are so good at helping others to make scriptures simple to understand through searching them out then creating visual pictures to better understand the things we read. This technique has helped me so much to understand scripture better and now the stories and teachings seem to actually stick to my brain. I am a visual learner and this is exactly what I needed. Thank you for sharing your ideas today. I like the idea of trying to map out other faiths plan. I think I will try that.

  6. Such perfect timing!! I just sat down on Sunday evening to work on Personal Progress and I was looking for ideas on how to study the Plan of Salvation. I am doing a scripture journal and started with an basic outline. I started reading and reading. I had barely gotten started and realized that it had already been an hour. This will certainly come in handy as I continue my study of the Plan. thanks.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing Elder Maxwell’s quote on the premortal life! I love the visual way of breaking down the Plan of Salvation.

    I appreciate all of your wonderful ideas and thoughts, they are a real blessing.

  8. I loved all of the pictures and explanations of the Plan of Salvation. Of course, quotes from Niel A. Maxwell were awesome. Thanks for the thoughts and keep on enjoying the family moments.

  9. Pinning right now! I am going to use this in our scripture study for the next while. What a fabulous idea. I have one I did as a very young college student and had forgotten about it. Thank you for the reminder and inspiration.

  10. This is a wonderful idea to do. Not sure my kids are old enough for even the kid-friendly version, but to do on my own, and then talk about some of the concepts with them would be a good start!

  11. I cannot wait to do this! I think I will do this for my personal study first, but cannot wait to do such a fun task with my family!

  12. Hi Shannon, I loved your site!! Very inspiring and it really touched me and motivated me to rededicate myself to teaching my children the principles of the gospel. I have always felt a drive to teach my children the principles and this gives great direction. As well as for myself and husband. I was wondering if you could send me a picture of your whole plan of salvation scripture diagram. I would like to use it as a starting point for my family study. Thanks again!!!

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