Imagine standing on a hill in front of a large valley, and seeing every member of the human race that has lived since Jesus Christ. No stadium or building ever built would contain such a large crowd. Imagine if the call went out for just the Christians to raise their hands. Only a very small fraction of the people would raise their hands. Any individual sect would be only a small fraction of those Christians.
God is said to be perfectly merciful, and yet perfectly just at the same time. If God accepts into his presence only those that lived as Christians, he would be leaving out most of the human family. Most would have lived and died never having heard the name of Jesus. If God selected only one group of Christians, he is leaving out most of those that believed in Christ. How can he be called merciful and loving if most of his children never fulfill the purpose of their creation?
If God is just, he cannot accept everybody into his kingdom. In order for justice to be satisfied, there must be some kind of trial; if there is a trial some of his children will fail to meet the requirements. (Alma 42:13)
How can both of these seemingly opposing interests be satisfied at the same time?
The answer is that God must provide all of his children an opportunity to accept and live His truth at some point. For those who did not get the chance in life, the opportunity will come during what is known as the spirit world.
The spirit world is where the dearly departed go to await the resurrection. For many, it is a place of rest, and a place of peace. For those who lived their lives in ignorance of the Gospel, it is a place of learning. In this way, everybody gets the chance to accept Christ, no matter where in the world they were born, or to what parents. (Alma 40:11-12)
This portion of God’s plan ends with the resurrection.