One of my favorite scriptures is Abraham 1:2, which I think lays out a great plan for a life well lived, a life of active holiness. Here’s the text:
And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers.
There is an awful lot in there. Consider the nature of the things Abraham set as his goals: he wanted emotional blessings (happiness and peace and rest), physical blessings (numerous posterity), mental blessings (great knowledge), and spiritual blessings (to be a follower of righteousness and a prince of peace).
He tells us in this verse that he specifcally worked on these goals with certain activities that were designed to help him accomplish what he wanted, and that those exercises all boiled down to two things: keeping the commandments, and growing in the priesthood by utilizing it to perform ordinances for others (to “administer the blessings of the fathers”). Also important is Abraham’s insistence on holding to true, orthodox tradition (he mentions three times that he wants to be like the “fathers,” and he also mentions three times that he wants to make sure he does everything in the proper manner: he wants the “right to be ordained,” he then becomes a “rightful heir,” and the verse ends by celebrating that he does hold the “right” belonging to the “fathers”). He even lists among his goals that he himself wants to be a father of many nations.
Here’s a chart showing my understanding of the verse:
What Abraham wanted
How Abraham got it
|1. Greater happiness and peace and rest →||1. Sought for the blessings of the fathers
2. Sought for the right to be ordained to administer the blessings of the fathers (priesthood)
|2. To be one who possessed great knowledge →
3. To be a greater follower of righteousness →
4. To possess a greater knowledge →
5. To be a father of many nations →
6. To be a prince of peace →
7. To receive instructions →
8. To keep the commandments of God →
|3. Had been a follower of righteousness
4. Became a rightful heir, a High Priest
So when the Lord tells us to “do the works of Abraham,” (D&C 132:32) it seems that the proscribed program is fairly clear: keep the commandments and participate in priesthood ordinances.