What is the Purpose of Life? By Anthony Sweat and John Hilton III


Today is a triple treat!

You get some advice by Anthony Sweat on how to approach the question “What is the Purpose of Life”,


You actually get two chapters straight from his and John Hilton III’s book, The Big Picture,  that is currently out in stores (and which I own and love!).

You are so lucky that you have access to this!!!

These guys really know what they are talking about and it is just awesome that they are giving us things like this!!

Let me tell you about the book:

John Hilton III and Anthony Sweat recently wrote a book called The Big Picture. This great book provides lesson outlines for different aspects of the plan of salvation (like the war in heaven, agency, the Second Coming, etc.) – stuff that you want to teach you children, but sometimes aren’t sure how to approach it.

Several chapters directly connect with the new youth curriculum and Deseret Book has graciously given permission for me to post a few of these chapters!!!   This month, I’m posting two chapters from the book that have particularly strong connections to the Young Men and Young Women curriculum. These lessons center around these two questions:


  • What is the Plan of Salvation?
  • What is purpose of life?


The complete chapters for each of those questions can be found below. Note that each chapter is written in book form, but the last page has a lesson outline that can be used. Each chapter has object lessons  and invitations to act. I hope they are helpful! They may be particularly useful for parents to reinforce what your children are learning at church. You can also learn more about the book here.

Here are the chapters in PDF format:

The Big Picture – The Plan of Salvation

The Big Picture – What is the purpose of life

Seriously, give a shout out to these authors AND Deseret Book for giving you access to such a treasure!

And to make today even better – Anthony Sweat wrote a bit about this topic.  He gives a really great perspective on how to approach this topic with your family or class:


What is the Purpose of Life?

Anthony Sweat

In my experience the best way to approach this question is to focus on five simple words:

TO BECOME MORE LIKE GOD.  When you think about it, the purpose of the plan of salvation is contained right there.  Bam.  End of story.   Although other aspects of the purpose of life—such as receiving a body, learning, proving our obedience, getting married, etc.—are all necessary elements of the plan, we shouldn’t confuse them with the purpose of the plan.   Because, in all reality, if the purpose of the plan was just to get a body, well, then congratulations. We’re all done as soon as we’re born (thanks mom and dad!).  No, the overall purpose of the plan is much, much deeper than that.  And when we teach that the purpose of life is to become like God (not just to live with him), other aspects of the plan that can be confusing sometimes start to make more sense—such as why there is suffering, pain, and death, and why we need an eternal marriage in the temple to a faithful member of the Church (D&C 131).

My great friend and co-author John Hilton and I just released a book called The Big Picture where we wrote an entire chapter on this very question: “What is the Purpose of Life?”  We’re attaching that chapter in this post along with another chapter from our book ( the chapter on The Plan of Salvation) in hopes that it will benefit you in your preparation and teaching on these topics.  Good luck as you assist God in helping him accomplish his ultimate purpose for his children contained in those five important words.




  1. Not to criticize–I’m grateful for all of your posts teaching the new curriculum–but could you post these great thoughts before the month we’re teaching them? Then I could integrate them into my lessons instead of sighing because they’re too late. Again, I LOVE all of this help! Your insights are invaluable.

  2. This book is AWESOME! I’m in the middle of reading it. Highly recommend it to all youth, anyone who works with youth, has a youth or was a youth =)

  3. My gratitude is overflowing! Thank you for this post! This is exactly what I needed to teach my family during Family Home Evening over the next few weeks.

  4. This is an amazing site. I love all the guides for reading the book of mormon. I ecspecially love this post. Brother Hilton is an amazing guy. He acutally baptized me almost 10 years ago!

  5. Thank you for this post! I love your insights and teaching ideas. I just bought the book and I am grateful for the recommendation. It looks SO wonderful and just what I was looking for as we finish teaching the Plan of Salvation during our family scripture study. Thank you!

  6. I just wanted to say THANK YOU for all of your efforts in assisting with the teaching of the new youth curriculum and your most recent post on the Plan of Salvation and the Atonement!! What a blessing you are to those of us who are teaching the youth. What a wonderful addition of teaching material and insight all of your guest writers have been, especailly the AWESOME excerpts from the book “The Big Picture.” I loved it so much I had to purchase the book! Thanks again and keep up the great work!!

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