For years now, I have asked my diagnosing self, “Why did Lucifer fall?” In a time when we have become sensitized to the contagion of disease, it would be both interesting and important to understand this most fatal of all diseases; spiritual death.
Disease has three important sequential stages; the cause, the condition, and the symptoms. It is the symptoms that get most of the attention and care, but since they are always the last to occur and the first to resolve, one can be sick without knowing it. That is to say, the condition may exist without symptoms, like cancer or even other less severe diseases. Also, even if the condition is resolved, but the cause persists, then the condition followed by symptoms will reoccur.[i] Most of what we condemn about Lucifer are his symptoms; anger, seeking the misery of man, etc.
28 And the second was angry Abraham 3:28
17 an angel of God, according to that which is written, had fallen from heaven; wherefore, he became a devil, having sought that which was evil before God.
18 And because he had fallen from heaven, and had become miserable forever, he soughtalso the misery of all mankind. 2 Nephi 2:17-18
It is clear in that this symptom of wanting the misery of others is associated with his miserable condition that resulted from the consequences acting on his choice to choose something evil. What exactly did he want?
2…wherefore give me thine honor.
3 Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down;
4 And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice. Moses 4
36 …the devil was before Adam, for he rebelled against me, saying, Give me thine honor, which is my power; and also a third part of the hosts of heaven turned he away from me because of their agency;
37 And they were thrust down, and thus came the devil and his angels; DC 29
The chaining together where one condition produces symptoms that act as a cause to an associated condition is seen here where Lucifer’s inappropriate ambition led to a rebellious condition with its associated entitlement mentality.
But what causes a divine spiritual heir to develop his fatal[ii] spiritual disease? Sometimes, by working backward from the symptom development, to the condition, the cause reveals itself. Lucifer’s symptom of a sense of entitlement (“give me”) indicates that he felt deserving of all God’s glory[iii] or power. Since each of us were promised a plan wherein, we could all eventually inherit all God’s glory, the appetite for glory may have been part of our spiritual DNA. Lucifer didn’t want anything he hadn’t already been promised, but he wanted it now, without any risky process or learning curve.
Additionally, we know that our very nature consists of light and truth,[iv] so to augment our very nature is apparently an appetite like it is for our physical body. We most often associate appetites with the physical body, but evidently the spirit also hungers for satisfying things. The reception of truth and light trigger sensations of joy.[v] So, it is reasonable that receiving additional glory would include the sensations of joy. But a spirit being cannot evidently experience the fullness; the resurrected body is required for that capacity.[vi] So the plan to get a body, master it and be resurrected must have been accepted as necessary, albeit risky.
Not all would return; the course would be difficult. The physical appetites would lead to sin and consequent suffering but only so that we could, by experience, come to prize good over evil.[vii] Premortal agency was already causing separation between God’s spirit children. (DC29:36) So as one in authority experiencing a certain level of glory, it is reasonable to assume that if Lucifer’s symptoms included a lust for power and a fullness of glory that the developing disease in his heart we might call ambition, including a thought that he had a better way[viii] he felt would eliminate the risk, and the pride to inflate his sense of importance and a sense of urgency sufficient to oppose the proposed plan.
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Isaiah 14:13-14
Hindsight tells us that without agency there is no progression. We can’t acquire more of the divine attributes without mastering the associated truths as well as student driving our new physical bodies whereby, the attributes become part of our combined spiritual-physical nature. We needed a probationary state where the consequences weren’t eternally fatal or immediate as well as a means to change direction. And, Lucifer’s rival and superior had already been chosen to create and empower this preparatory state.[ix] Consequently his ambition included the malignant condition of jealousy.
25…an angel of God who was in authority in the presence of God, who rebelled against the Only Begotten Son whom the Father loved and who was in the bosom of the Father, was thrust down from the presence of God and the Son,
26 And was called Perdition, for the heavens wept over him—he was Lucifer, a son of the morning.
27 And we beheld, and lo, he is fallen! is fallen, even a son of the morning! DC 76:
It is important here to also note that Lucifer was “A son of the morning,” not the “son of the morning.” He may have had some authority, but we don’t know where in priesthood hierarchy and stewardship he fit.
Before trying to understand Lucifer’s mentality, we should try and understand how he might have planned a system that would appear to advance man without the risk of agency (see Moses 4:3 above).
1 And I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying—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
Agency exposes one to consequences because it requires accepting responsibility. Fortunately, consequences can be positive, even essential to the process of progression, like those in the parable of the talents. Not only did the responsible servants gain more of what they invested, but their capacity, skill, motives and faithfulness were revealed and augmented as in any learning context. The danger of negative consequences is also shown in this parable where the servant chooses safety over potential.
Not only are his attributes exposed but fear and pride prevent the experience of taking the risky responsibility of investing, wherein he would have discovered, learned, corrected, and retried the process until successful. Because he misjudged the master in the parable as being more interested in the talent count than his actual focus in the growth and faithfulness of the servants,[x] the last servant loses more (progression, opportunity, increased stewardship, fullness of joy, etc.) than what he saved (safety, no risk of loss, no feared reaction from the “hard” master.)
This means that for agency to even exist, several elements besides the freedom to make the choices, must be present:
- Options or choices
- Freedom to choose
- Knowledge of what to do, and the possibilities and consequences of each choice
- Skill; how to do what is chosen
- Desire or why to do what is chosen including a knowledge of and care about, the will of the master.
If one of these elements is missing, then agency is limited or absent. The freedom to choose relies on knowing the what, the how and the why. If one doesn’t know what the choices are or if the choices are labeled so as to mask the negative consequences or over-represent the positive consequences, then one can’t make a responsible choice. Also, often by not making a choice, one is made automatically, and the consequences follow.
If one understands the choices but doesn’t know how to proceed, then the lack of skill in actually living with the choice is impossible. If one understands the choices and knows how to do what is chosen but has no desire to do either choice because of a lack of understanding why the choice should be made, then again, the agency the choices bestow is abrogated.
So, how could someone appear to provide the benefits of agency without the risk of negative consequences. Eliminating any one of these elements and then manipulating a person to choose what is pre-decided would give the person a sense that the choice was theirs when in reality it was already determined.
For example, in examining the details of Adam and Eve’s Fall from all available sources we find the following significant elements:
- When called for an accounting, Satan is proud that he was able to compel Adam and Eve to do exactly what they were supposed to do. For him, the end justified the means.
- His methods of manipulation included
- Partial truths, e.g. you shall not die but…
- Poorly contextualized promises of desired results; e.g. you will gain God’s capacity to know good from evil.
- False “either-or-logic” represented as the only way; e.g. eat the fruit now in order to gain knowledge. A third alternative existed that required patience – that is faith sufficient to obey God, trusting that He would return to give more instructions later.
- Subtle accusations that Father was hiding truth; e.g. “that is how Father gained His knowledge.”
- Dismissing the importance of timing sequence by spotlighting the ability to have the benefits immediately; e.g. Eating of the forbidden fruit was necessary but not until they were taught the risks inherent in subjection to a mortal death, (I forbid it because in the day thou eatest thou shalt surely die)(you shall not surely die but be as the gods, knowing good from evil)
- Playing Adam and Eve against each other so as to create compulsion; e.g. Though Adam was committed to obey every divine law, Eve’s choice made that seem impossible.
- Spotlighting enticing possibilities to divert faith that somethings need correct timing inherent in obedience; e.g.
And gave unto them commandments that they should love and serve him, the only living and true God, and that he should be the only being whom they should worship. But by the transgression of these holy laws man became sensual and devilish, and became fallen man. DC 20:19-20
From other examples of satan inspired logic such as the temptations of Christ we find some more clues:
Satan’s Promises, (i.e. temptations)
- offered at the moment of physical or emotional weakness
- offered at times of heightened physical appetite
- That appeal to physical appetite and seem more immediately desirable than the alternative
- That promise the appearance of success or immediate success without care for the long-term loss or price. (short-term focus, long-term blindness)
- Activities that promise harvesting without planting
- Activities that promise planting what is pleasing to the appetites without worry about any harvest.
- After spewing doubt about Christ’s identity, his last temptation included as a condition to receiving all the wealth of the world, his real motive: “if thou wilt fall down and worship me.”
- People are made to seem like objects to use in the process of getting what is wanted, leading perpetrators to do unspeakable things to satiate an appetite.
The list could continue with other methods and subtle approaches, but since it is easy for us to see that Lucifer was really running a selfish con, we must ask what sickness inspired such repeated symptoms?
To be continued…
[ii] 32 They are they who are the sons of perdition, of whom I say that it had been better for them never to have been born;
33 For they are vessels of wrath, doomed to suffer the wrath of God, with the devil and his angels in eternity;
34 Concerning whom I have said there is no forgiveness in this world nor in the world to come—
36 These are they who shall go away into the lake of fire and brimstone, with the devil and his angels—
37 And the only ones on whom the second death shall have any power;
44 they shall go away into everlasting punishment, which is endless punishment, which is eternal punishment, to reign with the devil and his angels in eternity, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched, which is their torment—
45 And the end thereof, neither the place thereof, nor their torment, no man knows;
46 Neither was it revealed, neither is, neither will be revealed unto man, except to them who are made partakers thereof;
47 Nevertheless, I, the Lord, show it by vision unto many, but straightway shut it up again;
48 Wherefore, the end, the width, the height, the depth, and the misery thereof, they understand not, neither any man except those who are ordained unto this condemnation. DC 76
24 he is not meet for a kingdom of glory. Therefore he must abide a kingdom which is not a kingdom of glory. DC 88
[iii] DC 93:36 The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.
[iv] DC 93:29 Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.
:23 Ye were also in the beginning with the Father; that which is Spirit, even the Spirit of truth;
[v] Alma 19:6 …the light which did light up his mind, which was the light of the glory of God, which was a marvelous light of his goodness—yea, this light had infused such joy into his soul…
[vi] chaotic matter–which is element and in which dwells all the glory (light and truth DC93:36). TPJS p351
DC 93:32 And every man whose spirit receiveth not the light is under condemnation.
33 For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy;
34 And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy.
[vii] Moses 6:55 Inasmuch as thy children are conceived in sin, even so when they begin to grow up, sin conceiveth in their hearts, and they taste the bitter, that they may know to prize the good.
[viii] Moses 4:1 … 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
[ix] DC 88:5-13 Jesus Christ his Son—He that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth; Which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ. As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made. As also …the moon, … the stars, …And the earth also…And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space—The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things.
[x] Both faithful servants receiving different talent quantities were accepted with the identical blessing: Matt 21 and 23 – “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”