01/20/2006: "Devil's Advocate"
Someone was up early this morning with a little time to write. With permission, his words are reposted here
A couple of weeks ago, we discussed the pre-earth life in Sunday School. I found myself contemplating the lot of the third of the Host of Heaven that fell away and lost their first estate. Why were they so blind? Surely if they could have seen the end from the beginning, they would have chosen a different way.
Not so very much has changed from that life to this life. Doubtless, when the dissension began, all of these spirits believed that Lucifer was not fighting against God or agency, but was protecting all of their best interests. In all likelihood, Lucifer had convinced himself of the same. Little wonder that the father of all lies began by first deceiving himself. How well may we rationalize our own motives within the veil if our fellow spirits were able to deceive themselves without it?
In Moses 4:4, Lucifer becomes Satan (i.e. he wasnít before). At some point, he allowed himself to think that he knew a better way than the plan that God had proposed. Once this notion was entertained, instead of dismissed, it became a wedge and the path of Lucifer began to diverge from the path that God had intended for him. Pride, indeed, appears to be the universal sin, and was from the beginning. It will continue to be at the last day when a great many souls will forsake the plan of their Creator in spite of all they know.
Based upon Satanís conduct with Moses in Moses 1:19-22, we can surmise that the praise of his fellow spirits was of no small worth to Satan. It is little wonder that the Pharisees likewise succumbed to the stroking of their egos and esteemed the praise of their fellow men above the seemingly more elusive and abstract praise and glory of God (John 12:43). Scripture available to us in the modern day counsels us against coveting the praise of men, which Nephi lists above monetary gain as the reason why his people had forgotten their God in the day that He delivered them (Helaman 7:21). Peer influence is the reference in the Topical Guide to more scriptures along these lines.
This portends to branch out in far more directions than I have time to write about now. The caveat to this kind of thinking is that it does not justify Satan, but acts as a warning to us of the similar dangers that we face.