In watching the podcast for this week, I loved and insight from Elder Maxwell:
“Perhaps it helps to emphasize - more than we sometimes do - that our first estate [pre-mortal life] featured learning of a cognitive type…. The second estate [earth life], however, is one that emphasizes experiential learning through applying, proving, and testing. We learn cognitively here, too, just as a good university examination also teaches even as it tests us.
In any event, the books of the first estate are now closed to us, and the present test is, therefore very real, we have moved, as it were, from first-estate theory to second-estate theory laboratory. It is here that our Christ-like characteristics are further shaped and our spiritual skills are thus strengthened.”
--Elder Neal A. Maxwell
This ties into the dream of Jacob’s ladder in which he learned that he would have to climb the rungs of the ladder himself.
What an interesting way of looking at our lives. We got the instructional part in Heaven. Now we are on Earth taking the test. We have to do the hard work and prove ourselves, rung by rung, to return back to our Father in Heaven.
All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience, Elder Neal A. Maxwell, pages 19-20