Saturday, February 13, 2010

Lucifer's Plan

Over the years, I've listen to members debate about wheather there was one plan or two plans presented in the Pre-Existence.  Personally I've always believed that there were two plans presented.  But one year someone in Sunday School said that there was only one plan.  I'd never heard of this before, but after listening to him (and others through the years), it makes sense to me.  Both ideas are appealing, but it all really is a matter of wordsmithing.

Here are some quotes I've gathered on the subject.

Quotes about Lucifer's/Satan's Plan


I wish to state the faith, the belief, and the knowledge of the Latter-day Saints regarding Jesus of Nazareth.

We accept literally the words of John concerning the Christ: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The Christ has declared in our own day: "I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the Firstborn."

We also accept John's declaration that Jesus Christ was the Creator of the world, that "all things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."

We believe that in the Great Council in Heaven held before the world was, Satan proposed one plan for creation and ruling the world and its progeny, and that Christ proposed another; that Satan's plan was rejected, as taking away the agency of man, and Christ's was accepted as keeping man's agency.

We believe that in obedience to the plan, Christ created the world and all that in it is, first spiritually, then temporally, and that in this work of creation he acted as one of the Great Trinity of three distinct Personages, the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost ( J. Reuben Clark, Jr. Behold the Lamb of God, p. 355).


Sometimes in our gospel discussions we recall the presentation of Satan's plan in the preexistence: "I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor." (Moses 4:1.) We usually say the problem with Satan's plan was that he "sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him." (Moses 4:3.)

We might also ask why agency matters so much.

Agency is important not only in representing the abstract principle of free will. Without agency, we cannot develop the skills that are essential to the growth we must experience to return to God's presence. It is simply impossible. A horse can be led to water, but he cannot be forced to drink. A child can be given a book, but she will never learn to read unless she voluntarily makes an effort to read. Satan's plan could not have worked. His claim of guaranteeing, regardless of our choices, that not one soul would be lost was like most of his claims: it was a lie (Bruce C. Hafen, THE BELIEVING HEART, p. 49).


Who is the author of the program that thus dresses up evil and the wrong to become so desirable to our appetites? When there was war in heaven, Lucifer, a son of God in the spirit world before the earth was formed, proposed a plan under which mortals would be saved without glory and honor of God. The plan of our Savior, Jehovah, was to give to each the right to choose for himself the course he would travel in earth life, and all was to be done to the honor and glory of God our Heavenly Father. Jehovah's plan was accepted; Satan's plan was rejected (Harold B. Lee, Stand ye in Holy Places, p. 219 see also Harold B. Lee, “‘Successful’ Sinners,” Ensign, Jul 1971, 2).


Free agency, given us through the plan of our Father, is the great alternative to Satan's plan of force. With this sublime gift, we can grow, improve, progress, and seek perfection. Without agency, none of us could grow and develop by learning from our mistakes and errors and the mistakes and errors of others (James E. Faust, Reach up for the Light, p.105).


Man's free agency is an eternal principle of progress, and any form of government that curtails or inhibits its free exercise is wrong. Satan's plan in the beginning was one of coercion, and it was rejected because he sought to destroy the agency of man which God had given him (David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, p. 312).


It is evident that the spirits of all men existed in the presence of God before this world was created, and that they counseled together regarding the creation of the earth upon which they might dwell. Because the plan of Jesus Christ was accepted, giving man his free agency, and because Satan's plan was rejected, Lucifer rebelled and was cast out of heaven. A third of the spirits followed him and were cast out with him, as the scriptures attest (LeGrand Richards, A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, p. 275).


Satan's plan of compulsion, whereby all would be safely conducted through the career of mortality, bereft of freedom to act and agency to choose, so circumscribed that they would be compelled to do right—that one soul would not be lost—was rejected; and the humble offer of Jesus the Firstborn—to assume mortality and live among men as their Exemplar and Teacher, observing the sanctity of man's agency but teaching men to use aright that divine heritage—was accepted. The decision brought war, which resulted in the vanquishment of Satan and his angels, who were cast out and deprived of the boundless privileges incident to the mortal or second estate (James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, p. 8).


No person, by any decree of the Father, has ever been compelled to do good; no person has ever been forced to do evil. Each may act for himself. It was Satan's plan to destroy this agency and force men to do his will. There could be no satisfactory existence without this great gift (Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, Vol. 2, p. 20).


Our agency, given us through the plan of our Father, is the great alternative to Satan’s plan of force. With this sublime gift, we can grow, improve, progress, and seek perfection. Without agency, none of us could grow and develop by learning from our mistakes and errors and those of others. (James E. Faust, “The Forces That Will Save Us,” Ensign, Jan 2007, 4–9 see also James E. Faust, “‘The Great Imitator’,” Ensign, Nov 1987, 33)


Satan had his own plan. He proposed to save all the spirit children of God, assuring that result by removing their power to choose and thus eliminating the possibility of sin. When Satan’s plan was rejected, he and the spirits who followed him opposed the Father’s plan and were cast out. (Dallin H. Oaks, “‘The Great Plan of Happiness’,” Ensign, Nov 1993, 72)


Satan also has a plan. It is a cunning, evil, subtle plan of destruction. It is his objective to take captive the children of Father in Heaven and with every possible means frustrate the great plan of happiness. (Richard G. Scott, “The Joy of Living the Great Plan of Happiness,” Ensign, Nov 1996, 73)


At the council in heaven, two plans were presented for man’s salvation. Christ’s plan was approved and he was chosen as the Savior of the world; and Satan’s plan was rejected and he rebelled. (N. Eldon Tanner, “‘Where Art Thou?’,” Ensign, Dec 1971, 32)


Isaiah speaks further concerning that great conflict (see Isa. 14:12–20). Modern revelation gives additional light (see D&C 76:25–29), as does the book of Moses (see Moses 4:1–4), which tells of Satan’s plan to destroy the agency of man. (Gordon B. Hinckley, “War and Peace,” Ensign, May 2003, 78)

Quotes about One Plan, but Satan's Attempt to Alter it


Contention existed before the earth was formed. When God’s plan for creation and mortal life on the earth was first announced, sons and daughters of God shouted for joy. The plan was dependent on man’s agency, his subsequent fall from the presence of God, and the merciful provision of a Savior to redeem mankind. Scriptures reveal that Lucifer sought vigorously to amend the plan by destroying the agency of man. Satan’s cunning motive was unmasked in his statement:

“Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.” (Moses 4:1.)

Satan’s selfish efforts to alter the plan of God resulted in great contention in heaven. The Prophet Joseph Smith explained:

“Jesus said there would be certain souls that would not be saved; and the devil said he could save them all, and laid his plans before the grand council, who gave their vote in favor of Jesus Christ. So the devil rose up in rebellion against God, and was cast down.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1938, p. 357.)

This war in heaven was not a war of bloodshed. It was a war of conflicting ideas—the beginning of contention.

Scriptures repeatedly warn that the father of contention opposes the plan of our Heavenly Father. Satan’s method relies on the infectious canker of contention. Satan’s motive: to gain personal acclaim even over God Himself. (Russell M. Nelson, “The Canker of Contention,” Ensign, May 1989, 68)


From the time of the premortal council, in which Jesus became the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior of all mankind, through his millennial reign, he has and will persevere in perfection, doing all that his Father commanded. Because of his love for us, he offered to fulfill the plan of salvation with these words, “Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever” (Moses 4:2). How different from Satan’s response to the plan: “I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; … give me thine honor” (Moses 4:1). The conflict between the forces of good and the forces of evil persists in the world today—with Jesus persevering in striving to save souls, and Satan striving to destroy them. (Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Never Give Up,” Ensign, Nov 1987, 8)