A Dialogue About the Devil


BothPlayedSatanInTempleFilmsI spent way too much time on this dialogue about the devil to not share it publically. I know. It’s a terrible subject to contemplate. Why are we discussing these ideas when there are so many other areas of light that would be more worthy of our time and attention? You can skip this if you want. We all have to be selective about where we spend our time and energy.

I open it up for public discussion, or more likely, for public correction. See if you can spot and correct any false doctrine here.

Hello Brother Malone,

I have no scriptural reference for my thoughts I share with you regarding Lucifer but wondered if in your studies and readings you have heard this scenario before. We are taught Lucifer was esteemed as per the Savior in the pre-existence before his apparent fall. Is it possible he did not fall and that like the Savior he chose to accept the calling of being Satan as Jesus accepted the calling of being Savior, that the great council was more about a communal and loving discussion re the finer points of the Plan of Salvation?

Is it possible the war in Heaven was a discussion about who would accept the callings especially with regard to the third who would accept their calling and leave the presence of the Father? That we all wept because the task associated with our brothers and sisters who were part of that third meant that they were to act in a manner contrary to the light and love given by Heavenly Father?

I do not glorify Lucifer/Satan or the third, his and their countenances are contrary to the light, I do not argue this point. However I am dubious of the conveniently packaged plan taught year in and out and it just begs the question in fact a few questions re the pre existence and what else was there? My thoughts are more feelings than scriptural but I want to intellectualize it this way (and then he itemized his thoughts below). I do not teach or verbalize any of these thoughts as I don’t have scriptural backing but if you have any thoughts on this matter I am interested to know. Thanks for your time.

And my response:

Hi Robert,

I’ve pondered this for the past week. I confess I had not thought about this previously. I don’t have much to add to the way you have described your own ponderings. I will simply respond to your individual items and see where that goes. First some general thoughts as I pondered your first few paragraphs.

Was Satan always Satan? For this world, he is the only one we have ever had. No, he was not always Satan. We know from scripture he “fell from heaven” and became Satan. I think we both know he was Lucifer before that, a light-bearer, also a Son of the Morning and one of the first born. Will he always be Satan? I don’t know. According to D&C Section 76, his ultimate fate is not revealed.

Did he choose to become Satan? Yes. Did the third part (note I did not say one third) of the hosts of heaven choose to come to earth without bodies? Yes. The scripture says they were “cast down to earth,” but I think they were happy to come. I know that sounds strange but they truly wanted to follow Satan and believed in him just as we chose the Lord’s plan, really the Father’s plan, and accepted the difficult task of coming to earth with mortal bodies and no recollection of our past.

And here’s the detailed Q&A we went through in our Dialog. Robert’s points are numbered 1Q, 2Q, etc. My answers are 1A, 2A, etc. I hope you enjoy the back and forth as much as I did. I really had to do some thinking. This is all off the top of my head.

A Dialogue About the Devil

1Q. Moses 1:39  paraphrased Heavenly Father’s glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. I take this to mean all of His children, the third and Lucifer included. Has He therefore failed before it all began? Unlikely

1A. Interesting point. I had never considered this. It makes sense. I believe we will all one day be reunited with those who were cast out and came to earth without physical bodies. We will then sit down together and decide what we learned and if we could live together in peace, no matter if we came to this earth to experience mortality or as one of the spirits that followed Satan. I suspect there will be another “war in heaven” as some cry “Unfair, unfair. We came to earth and suffered all that mortality required and now these who did not are offered the same reward – to live together in peace eternally?”

Jesus and Satan are Brothers (duh)

2Q. Lucifer was considered to be an equal with Jesus. How does one son go AWOL and contrary to the will of the Father while the other continues to do the will of the Father?

2A. It was a matter of choice. Even leaders seek leaders or mentors, someone we want to emulate. God was not surprised. He knew one of his sons would become Satan. I’m sure there were many vying for the position. Some people like to distinguish themselves by opposing light and good out of stubbornness and spite. I’m sure it took eons for Christ to become who he was and for Lucifer to become who he was, just as it took eons for us to become who we are (still hidden).

Choosing to Become the Devil

3Q. How does one become so enraged in the presence of the Father that his desire to thwart His work and glory means he becomes Satan?

3A. Again, it was a matter of choice. He was proud and extremely knowledgeable, but not as “intelligent” as the Elohim and the Savior. Intelligence is light and truth. He had light in the beginning but apparently forsook what was truth. He had most of his power stripped from him when he was cast out, but still retained his knowledge. He wanted power. He craved power. He was selfish, self-centered, demanding and the most proud. He was enraged when his power was stripped from him and he was cast out. Did he agree to this role? He took it upon himself.

More Than One Satan

4Q. When Lucifer became Satan, who was Satan before him?

4A. I have no idea

Satan Has Not Always Been Satan

5Q. If “as man is, God once was”, then it is not possible that Lucifer has been Satan all of this time.

5A. I agree with your conclusion. Besides, it’s supported by scripture. Lucifer became Satan.

Some Choose to Follow Satan

6Q. How do a third of His children decide that they agree with Lucifer and will be on a winning team if they follow him?

6A. Ah, that’s a great question. We assume the war in heaven was strictly over agency. Perhaps it was also about who would fulfill what role or what families would get what gifts and privileges. We teach we are placed in this life, in both time and location, according to what and how we did in the pre-mortal realm. In other words, our opportunities here are a reward for performance there. The “third part” were convinced, and most of them still are, that they will prove the Father wrong. Of course, he’s already been proven right, since Christ fulfilled his mortal mission. He now continues his mission as he works with each of us to help us complete our mortal lives.

No Unclean Thing in God’s Presence

7Q. Is being in the Father’s presence indicative that not everyone is happy? Unlikely because no unclean thing can dwell in His presence.

7A. Hmmm…I had to think about your logic there. It’s true that no unclean thing can dwell in Father’s presence. If we are ALL to be brought back to be judged, are the spirits that followed Satan considered “unclean”? Or is unclean only something that applies to those who have passed through this mortal existence and remain in their sins, unrepentant when they return to God? So there’s no doubt not everyone would be happy to dwell in the presence of the Father or the Son.

One Eternal Round and MMP

8Q. Moroni 10:34 and Alma 11:43 both speak of the spirit and body being reunited AGAIN, what impact does that have on the Plan of Salvation as we know it? The spirit and body are reunited as per doctrine but “again”?

8A. Well, unless you want to start discussing multiple mortal probations, I assume AGAIN means just what it says – as we are now. Our soul is the combination of our spirits and bodies united. They are united now. They will be separated when we are dead and then united AGAIN when we are resurrected. But who says we can’t come back for a second, third or another opportunity in “one eternal round” until we have advanced and learned what we need to become resurrected and exalted?

A Few Links to MMP

For more information about Multiple Mortal Probations, you can peruse these four previous posts to see how I’ve come full circle. Please, if this idea bothers you, then just ignore it. MMP is not central to our salvation. As I’ve said many times, what we do here and now in this life is all we need to be concerned with. Oh, and to really understand some of this stuff, you must read Denver’s Tenth Parable: The Great Competition, which I wrote about in All Are Invited to the Feast.

The Unquiet Dead

You Have Been Here Before

Eternal Lives, Past Lives and Reincarnation

 The Doctrine of Eternal Lives

6 Responses

  1. Denise Mendenhall says that the Lord took her to see hell at 14 years old. When there she met Lucifer who didn’t have a body, then she met Satan who she says did have a body and was a very good looking guy. Is it ppossible that Satan is the one who convinced Lucifer to do what he did? Is it possible that there is an organization, much like that ofthe Gods, but one that is exactly opposite? Satan being opposed to God and Lucifer opposite the Savior? Is there truly opposition in all things? Just some more thoughts to add to your dialog. Thanks for not being afraid to allow your mind to “stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss”, as Joseph taught was necessary to obtain salvation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know if there’s a “formal” organization, but we know there is at least one dichotomy in outer darkness — the ones with physical bodies will have power over those without.

      “All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not” (TPJS, 181).

      “And thou [Cain] shalt rule over him [Satan]; For from this time forth thou shalt be the father of his lies; thou shalt be called Perdition” (Moses 5:23-4).

      I personally am not opposed to the possibility that “Perdition” and “Satan” could be name-titles (like “Elohim” and “Christ”).

      “Consequently every earth has its redeemer, and every earth has its tempter” (Brigham Young, JD 14:71-2).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. One more thought, have you ever noticed in the temple endowment how when they are in the garden the man tempting them is called Lucifer, Eve recognized him once she partook. Then once in the telestial world it is the same actor, but Adam doesn’t recognize him now, and he is referred to Satan thereafter. Interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow Tim that was very interesting, as usual you really make people think. I love your blog, deep doctrinal discussions with much to think about, ponder and pray! Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a couple of thoughts on this. I believe that Lucifer turned the third part of “the hosts of heaven” away from God at that time in the same manner that he does so now. More specifically, he convinced them that God was their enemy. “What’s this? Our father has said that not everyone will be saved when they come to the earth. That means he will be sending some of you, knowingly, to your own damnation! How could he claim to love you, and yet do such a thing?”

    They probably also had doubts about the power of the Atonement, that it could actually save them from their sins. In both cases (and I’m assuming there were plenty of other things said as well), agency was shown in a bad light, and thus it seemed like a good thing to get rid of it. For them, following Satan was the logical choice.

    I wonder, did Lucifer believe any of that, or was he just saying it to gain power? I suspect the latter, but I can’t say for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think Heavenly Father sends people to their own damnation. He loves us beyond anything we can know or fathom. They may just not succeed or grow on this earth. But there are worlds without end.

      I do not believe it was a logical choice, or that it is as random as that. I believe Lucifer did not convince anyone. I believe that as Jesus went from grace to grace, Lucifer is doing the same. Being Satan is a priesthood calling and associated with that calling means total and extreme opposition to the light. Is it possible therefore that Jesus has had the calling?

      Like

Comments are closed.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,504 other followers

%d bloggers like this: