Council in Heaven

Here is a Mormon model of the pre-existence. Christ presented a plan for us to experience mortality and Satan presented an alternate plan. Christ’s plan allowed full scope for our free agency, so we’d sin, which He would repair by atoning for the sin. Satan’s plan restrained our free agency through repression and tyranny and disinformation/propaganda and who knows, so that we wouldn’t sin. We voted to accept Christ, but Satan and his followers wouldn’t accept the vote, like king-men. Consistent with their plan, like king-men they then went to war to get by force what they had lost by vote. They lost this confrontation too and were thrown out. But the war continues. It has become a bandit resistance campaign of subversion and sabotage.

The model is wrong.

There was no vote. God commanded us to go (see Rameumpton’s excellent comment here). We obeyed. Satan did not obey. He offered an alternative.

Satan . . . 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 4:1

Satan doesn’t say what his plan was. But it probably wasn’t a plan to use force and compulsion. Elder Oaks points out that force and compulsion can only limit agency. They can’t remove it altogether. But Satan’s plan was to destroy agency.

Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man

Moses 4:3

The only way to destroy agency is to take away law and right and wrong. So Satan likely planned for us to not be moral agents at all. “Do as Thou Wilt,” he would command, and then he would look after us. We would be his blue-ribbon show cattle. The real choice in Heaven was something like the choice in Toy Story II between a risk-free but sterile existence or a meaningful life of love, damage, and loss. See also the blog favorite “Nothing in Heaven Works as it Ought.”

Satan’s second plan to use totalitarian means—force and fear, corruption and bribery, comprehensive propaganda schemes—all that came later after the Fall, as we can learn if we pay close attention at a certain place. That was when his first plan, his failsafe alternative, had already been rejected and he had determined to subvert the Father’s plan to the extent possible to prove it was a mistake.

When people say ‘that’s Satan’s plan!’, they ought to say it to efforts to strip out consequences, to undermine standards so no one fails and no one’s feelings get hurt, to be less “judgmental” and more “therapeutic.” We are surrounded by both of Satan’s plans.

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