Moses 4: The Council in Heaven


In Moses 4 the revelation to Moses continues as God reveals more to him about the sacred space of the Garden of Eden, where he has placed Adam and Eve and defined their potential. God has given them commandments that, as before, echo priestly functions. Moses then witnesses a continuation of their story and the introduction of a character representing evil and opposition to all that God has set in place. The chapter unfolds the origin of the devil and the opposition and rebellion he would promote to Adam and Eve, just as he had done among God’s family in the premortal existence.

Before the Book of Moses text introduces the specific events in the Garden of Eden, we encounter a four-verse account of the Council in Heaven and Satan’s rebellion. These are verses that are missing from the Genesis account. What could be of such importance here that the Lord chose to restore it through the Prophet Joseph Smith? A close analysis will suggest an answer.

The biblical version of the narrative begins, “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field” (Genesis 3:1). This is an abrupt introduction of a new character (the serpent) whom the reader has not previously encountered in the creation narrative, a character that “has posed a perplexing question for interpreters” of this story for ages.[1] The serpent comes out of nowhere, and readers are left to wonder about its origin and design.[2] On the serpent as a negative symbol in the narrative of the Fall, Elder Neal A. Maxwell explained, “The serpent is a symbol of Satan because the serpent is ‘more subtle.’ (Moses 4:5.) He is a liar and a deceiver, and deceit implies clever use of half-truths in order to serve his purposes.”[3] Moses 4:6 clarifies that Satan is behind the nefarious work we are about to encounter, and Moses 4:1–4 offers details as to how Satan became the adversary. The Prophet Joseph Smith explained, “When [Satan] fell, he sought for things which were unlawful. Hence, he was cast down, and it is said he drew away many with him.”[4] He further stated, “The contention in heaven was Jesus said there were certain men would not be saved the devil said he could save them. he rebelled against God and was thrust down.”[5] Moses 4 helps unravel the theological mystique surrounding the serpent that has been so perplexing over the centuries, and it establishes a broader cosmological context for the events that would transpire in the Garden of Eden. Thus, in addition to addressing the origin and advent of the adversary, the first four verses of Moses 4 contain invaluable information for understanding the nature of Adam and Eve’s fall.

In introducing the content of Moses 4, the Lord drew on Moses’s past experience with the adversary, saying, “That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten . . .” This refers to the events in Moses 1 in which the adversary had come to Moses claiming to be the Only Begotten (see v. 19). During that exchange Moses recognized the adversary’s deceits and exclaimed, “Blessed be the name of my God, for his Spirit hath not altogether withdrawn from me. . . . And I can judge between thee and God. . . . Get thee hence, Satan; deceive me not” (vv. 15–16). We can quickly see how Moses’s past experience acts as a backdrop for the Lord to reveal more to him about Satan’s purposes from the beginning to lead away and destroy God’s children with lies and deceit. These explanations then transition into an account of the Garden of Eden, where the same acts of deception are going to continue “the battle begun by Satan in the premortal councils was waged again in the Garden of Eden.” Jeffrey Bradshaw goes on to observe that “the serpent’s invitation to rebellion is simply Lucifer pursuing his earlier, failed agenda. This point is impressed upon the reader by the fact that the Joseph Smith Translation story of the council is inserted into the traditional Genesis narrative immediately after the command to humans not to eat of the fruit and before the serpent makes his entrance.”[6]

The Prophet Joseph Smith explained that there are laws in heaven that work for our eternal good and advancement if on earth we are obedient to them:

God himself finding he was in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was more intelligent saw proper to institute laws, whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself; the relationship we have with God places us in a situation to advance in knowledge; He has power to institute laws, to instruct the weaker intelligences, that they may be exalted with himself, so that they might have one glory upon another, and all that knowledge, power, glory, and intelligence which is requisite in order to save them in the world of spirits.[7]

The overarching principle that emerges from the above-mentioned view of the premortal councils, the war in heaven, and the continuation of the latter struggle on earth was that people who rebel against these laws forfeit opportunities for growth, including the opportunity to eventually become exalted like God. Joseph Smith taught: “Jesus said there would be certain souls that would not be saved, and the devil said he could save them all; the grand council gave in for Jesus Christ: so the devil rebelled against God and fell, and all who put up their heads for him.”[8] Bradshaw notes that Joseph Smith also taught that “at the first organization in heaven we were all present and saw the Savior chosen and appointed, and the plan of salvation made and we sanctioned it,” to which Bradshaw adds, “Our sanction of the plan seems to have included covenants of obedience and sacrifice relating to its conditions and consequences.”[9] The devil could not deliver on what he promised—saving all of God’s children—since saving a soul could only be done in one way, God’s way (see 2 Nephi 31:21), and this is emphasized in Moses 4:1–4. Thus, in a malicious lie with intent to destroy God’s children, Satan attempted to hijack the Father’s plan of salvation. Joseph Smith summed it up thus: “the devil said I am a savior and can save all rose up in rebelion against God and was cast down.”[10] He further taught: “the devil or lucifer also organised his kingdom in oposit to overthrow gods and he Became a sun [son] of perdition.”[11] Such was the nature and severity of the events revealed and depicted in Moses 4:1–4, revelations that helped Moses comprehend what was about to happen with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

“My Beloved and Chosen from the Beginning “

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. (emphasis added)

Here the Lord referred Moses back to his encounter with the adversary experienced before this vision (see Moses 1:12–23). That incident struck Moses with fear for the adversary, who was posing as the Only Begotten—an emotion entirely contradictory to the way Moses had felt in the presence of the true Only Begotten, in whose name he had commanded Satan to depart. This experience gave Moses a vital context for understanding what the Lord would teach him about the Council in Heaven and the fall of humankind.

Moses learned that Satan had approached the Father in rebellion, demanding that his honor be given to him. The text makes no mention that the adversary was invited to come forth and discuss other options; it simply states that “he came before [God]” (Moses 4:1).[12] The text in Moses 4:1 abounds with the first person pronoun—I, I, I—exposing the adversary’s overweening pride and self-glorifying nature. He is utterly evil and utterly malevolent. He is filled with enmity toward God and all God’s children, and he relentlessly seeks the physical and spiritual ruin of the latter. Of Satan’s malevolence, the prophet Lehi declared, “Because he had fallen from heaven, and had become miserable forever, he sought also the misery of all mankind” (2 Nephi 2:18). The devil cares only about himself, so his offer to save all souls did not stem from any concern for their advancement or eternal welfare. Consequently, the proposition was a lie and constituted a promise he could never deliver on.

Moses also learned about the character of the Son of God from the mouth of God himself, and the contrast with Satan’s character could not be starker:

2 But, behold, my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me—Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.

Moses 4:2 clarifies that Jesus was chosen of the Father from the beginning. Although the Father had asked the question “Whom shall I send?” (Abraham 3:27) in the premortal council in heaven, he knew from the beginning whom he would send, and this became our opportunity to sustain Jehovah as the chosen Savior. The knowledge that Jehovah had been chosen from the beginning must have been of comfort to Moses in all that he was being asked to do by this chosen Savior. This humble Son was willing to do anything and everything that the Father had asked of him and recognized the wisdom, experience, and love of a Father who had “organized” (Abraham 3:22) all of the spirit children there present.[13] Those who sustained the Father’s plan and his selection of Jehovah (Jesus Christ) to carry out and fulfill that plan exercised faith in the Father and his beloved Son (see Revelation 12:9–11). Of course, Jesus Christ, too, trusted the Father and his plan. Conversely, the adversary and those who followed him and opposed and rebelled against the Father and his plan, exercised no faith in the Father and the Son. There were never two “plans” up for consideration, and Lucifer’s was not a plan at all since the Father knew the only way that his children could receive immortality and eternal life. On this subject Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught the following:

Although we sometimes hear it said that there were two plans—Christ's plan of freedom and agency, and Lucifer’s of slavery and compulsion—such teaching does not conform to the revealed word. Christ did not present a plan of redemption and salvation nor did Lucifer. There were not two plans up for consideration; there was only one; and that was the plan of the Father: originated, developed, presented, and put in force by him. Christ, however, made the Father’s plan his own by his willing obedience to its terms and provisions.[14]

Moses came to understand that God’s Beloved Son would come to the earth in humble obedience to God’s plan and would fulfill it, while the adversary was cast down to the earth for his arrogant rebellion against it.[15] Moses learned that the adversary’s behavior was treacherous. His was not passive noncompliance, but active rebellion against God and Christ (see Doctrine and Covenants 76:25, 28). Around the same time that Joseph received Moses 4, a September 1830 revelation would reveal to him more details on this subject: “Behold, 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” (Doctrine and Covenants 29:36). The revelation has many implications, as described by Andrew C. Skinner:

Here we are told explicitly of Lucifer’s great crime; he “rebelled” against God, or, in other words, he apostatized from God’s established order. He did so by seeking to change the plan of the Father and then audaciously attempting to usurp God’s own power, prerogatives, and glory. Though he did not start out as Satan, he became Satan through opposition. (The Hebrew word satan means “adversary.”) He drew away his own cadre of disciples who refused to follow the Father and the Son. He and his followers were then expelled from the heavenly realms, free for a time to lay hold on the minds and hearts of willing rebels in every earthly dispensation. As expressed by John the Revelator, “It was given unto him [Satan] to make war with the saints, and to overcome them” (Rev. 13:7).[16]

Moses and Joseph Smith learned that Lucifer sought to dethrone the Father of us all. This included attempts to usurp the selected Son who would be the Savior, the only one who really could fill that role. Lucifer’s rebellion challenged all who would strive to gain the exaltation offered by God. He attempted to scuttle the power and development of character that could be obtained only through the process of properly exercising agency, obtaining a physical body, and eventually attaining through obedience and experience in mortality an exalted degree of glory. These concepts would become foundational in the development of temple worship in Nauvoo. Moses and Joseph learned much about the purposes of creation and how Lucifer’s rebellion disqualified him from receiving the blessings that would accompany the plan of happiness and salvation, including the opportunity to become a joint-heir with Christ in the Father’s kingdom.[17] Elder Robert D. Hales succinctly stated of those who rejected God’s plan, “Because of the way they used their agency, they lost their agency.”[18] With such enlightened perspective, Moses and Joseph Smith were prepared to effectually confront and overcome the opposition they would face throughout their ministries.

Satan’s Rebellion

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.

This casting out continued a cycle of opposition and rebellion that had been building for an unknown duration in the premortal existence. The adversary could not obtain what he wanted (i.e., to usurp God’s honor and authority and set himself up as the savior of us all on his own terms)—it was a legal, moral, and philosophical impossibility. Nevertheless, he was furious. To become like God required one to act like God, think like God, and desire what God desired (essentially acquiring “the mind of Christ,” 1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5–11)—all to which Lucifer had become the antithesis. Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained:

There was war in heaven. That war was a war of words; it was a conflict of ideologies; it was a rebellion against God and his laws. Lucifer sought to dethrone God, to sit himself on the divine throne, and to save all men without reference to their works. He sought to deny men their agency so they could not sin. He offered a mortal life of carnality and sensuality, of evil and crime and murder, following which all men would be saved. His offer was a philosophical impossibility.[19]

It is ironic that the adversary sought to take away human agency while exercising his. He became “an enemy to God” (Mosiah 16:5) and to God’s plan of salvation for his children. Moses and Joseph Smith learned firsthand, however, that the power of God was greater than that of the adversary. They knew it, and so did the adversary, which must have made him more angry and vindictive. Moses and Joseph Smith learned through revelation that the adversary is dangerous. He is our enemy and was a liar from the beginning (see Doctrine and Covenants 93:25; John 8:44). The Lord himself described what Lucifer had become:

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.

As a result of his actions, Lucifer became Satan. In a February 1832 revelation, Joseph Smith learned of this sad outcome of rebellion by one who was originally valiant and true before God:

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, and was called Perdition, for the heavens wept over him—he was Lucifer, a son of the morning. And we beheld, and lo, he is fallen! is fallen, even a son of the morning! (Doctrine and Covenants 76:25–27)

The designation Lucifer, a Latin translation of Hebrew hêlēl (“shining one”) and Greek heōsphoros or phōsphoros (“dawn/light bringer”), means “light-bearer”[20] and signifies the great authority he once possessed and the valiant spirit he once was. He went from a great one to a fallen one and epitomized the very meaning of the word perdition: “loss” or “ruin.”[21] What he became was Satan, a Hebrew word meaning “adversary.”[22] His fall was tragic, and “the heavens wept over” the loss of this son of God (Doctrine and Covenants 76:26). However, the adversary was not cheated; he became fallen and lost because of his rebellion against God and the choices he himself had made. He grew to hate everything that was good and right, and he even came to hate God. Of this hatred, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland stated:

We don’t talk about the adversary any more than we have to, and I don’t like talking about him at all, but the experience of young Joseph reminds us of what every man, including every young man, in this audience needs to remember.

Number one, Satan, or Lucifer, or the father of lies—call him what you will—is real, the very personification of evil. His motives are in every case malicious, and he convulses at the appearance of redeeming light, at the very thought of truth. Number two, he is eternally opposed to the love of God, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and the work of peace and salvation. He will fight against these whenever and wherever he can. He knows he will be defeated and cast out in the end, but he is determined to take down with him as many others as he possibly can. . . . I am looking tonight for men young and old who care enough about this battle between good and evil to sign on and speak up.[23]

President Joseph Fielding Smith further explained the nature of Satan’s rebellion:

The adversary knew exactly what he was doing and he became perdition. This means that he sinned against the greater light and willingly and knowingly rebelled against that light.

If Lucifer had not known the effects of his rebellion, how would he ever have become perdition? If he were ignorant he could not have become perdition. He was not ignorant, and therefore, he became perdition. They who followed him were sons of perdition, because he and they sinned knowingly. They did what they did with their eyes open, and he was in rebellion against God.[24]

By using a comparison with the fall of the mighty king of Babylon, Isaiah described the great fall of the adversary in the premortal councils:

12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations![25]

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:[26]

14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.[27]

16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;

17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? (Isaiah 14:12–17)

Although the adversary has power to tempt and mislead,[28] Moses and Joseph Smith learned that he has limits and that the Savior will put an end to the adversary’s power and dominion during the Millennium. This all became foundational knowledge leading Joseph and early Church members to a theology of redemption in the world to come via the temple.

How Did the Rebellion Happen?

How did Lucifer’s defection to perdition happen? He was in the presence of God, an all-loving and merciful Father. Under what circumstances did Lucifer eventually grow to hate him? How long did it take to develop such feelings of hatred and anger toward everything that was good? The crux of the matter is that we all had agency in the premortal existence, and we exercised it for good or for bad. We do not know the full details of how the adversary went from a state of innocence and righteousness in his place of authority to a fallen state and then on to perdition. However, we can reasonably surmise that it involved jealousy, envy, a yearning for power, a pride and arrogance of “I know better,” feelings of entitlement, and so on. The Prophet Joseph Smith described Satan as follows:

Now in this world, mankind are naturally selfish, ambitious, and striving to excel one above another, yet some are willing to build up others as well as themselves, so in the other world there are a variety of Spirits; some seek to excel, and this was the case with Lucifer, when he fell, he sought for things which were unlawful, hence he was cast down, and it is said he drew away many with him, and the greatness of his punishment is, that he shall not have a tabernacle; this is his punishment, so the Devil thinking to thwart the decree of God, by going up and down in the earth, seeking whom he may destroy, any person that he can find, that will yield to him, he will bind him, and take possession of the body, and reign there glorying in it mightily, not thinking that he had <got> a stolen tabernacle.[29]

Brigham Young taught the following about such inappropriately used ambitions:

Whenever there is a disposition manifested in any of the members of this Church to question the right of the President of the whole Church to direct in all things, you see manifested evidences of apostasy—of a spirit which, if encouraged, will lead to a separation from the Church and to final destruction; wherever there is a disposition to operate against any legally appointed officer of this Kingdom, no matter in what capacity he is called to act, if persisted in, it will be followed by the same results; they will “walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed; they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.”[30]

Perhaps the adversary began walking down this road of wickedness when he began to criticize an omniscient Father who was willing to give everything to his children if they would follow the Savior whom he had chosen. The adversary became the devil, the father of all lies. In Greek, the word devil (diabolos) means “slanderer.”[31] Perhaps this is a case of what Joseph Smith described as the feelings of an apostate. In the early years of the Church, a convert to the faith approached Joseph in bewilderment at the contempt that apostates exhibited toward Joseph and the Saints. He told Joseph that if he left the Church, he would never think of the Mormons again. The Prophet Joseph responded:

You don’t know what you would do. No doubt these men once thought as you do. Before you joined this Church you stood on neutral ground. When the gospel was preached, good and evil were set before you. You could choose either or neither. There were two opposite masters inviting you to serve them. When you joined this Church you enlisted to serve God. When you did that you left the neutral ground, and you never can get back on to it. Should you forsake the Master you enlisted to serve, it will be by the instigation of the evil one, and you will follow his dictation and be his servant.[32]

Such renunciations of faith breed contempt, and perhaps this anger and lack of trust factored into the premortal rebellion. Elder Henry B. Eyring has taught:

That lack of trust has brought sorrow to Heavenly Father’s children from before the world was created. We know through the revelations of God to the Prophet Joseph Smith that many of our brothers and sisters in the premortal world rejected the plan for our mortal life presented by our Heavenly Father and His eldest Son, Jehovah. We don’t know all the reasons for Lucifer’s terrible success in inciting that rebellion. However, one reason is clear. Those who lost the blessing of coming into mortality lacked sufficient trust in God to avoid eternal misery.[33]

The dangers posed by the adversary are illustrated in Moses 4. In this regard, President Joseph F. Smith’s shared these words of caution:

Let it not be forgotten that the evil one has great power in the earth, and that by every possible means he seeks to darken the minds of men and then offers them falsehood and deception in the guise of truth. Satan is a skillful imitator, and as genuine gospel truth is given the world in ever-increasing abundance, so he spreads the counterfeit coin of false doctrine. Beware of his spurious currency, it will purchase for you nothing but disappointment, misery and spiritual death. The “father of lies” he has been called, and such an adept has he become through the ages of practice in his nefarious work, that were it possible he would deceive the very elect.[34]

Moses 4:1–4 sets up the narrative of Satan’s attempts to lead Adam and Eve astray in his unrelenting efforts to destroy God’s children. Elder Robert D. Hales has summarized the eternal conflict hinging on choices and agency given to us by our Heavenly Father, a conflict that unfolds in these early verses of Moses 4:

Before we came to this earth, Heavenly Father presented His plan of salvation—a plan to come to earth and receive a body, choose to act between good and evil, and progress to become like Him and live with Him forever. Our agency—our ability to choose and act for ourselves—was an essential element of this plan. Without agency we would be unable to make right choices and progress. Yet with agency we could make wrong choices, commit sin, and lose the opportunity to be with Heavenly Father again. For this reason a Savior would be provided to suffer for our sins and redeem us if we would repent. . . . He would be our Savior—the Savior of the world.

Because of Lucifer’s rebellion, a great spiritual conflict ensued. Each of Heavenly Father’s children had the opportunity to exercise the agency Heavenly Father had given him or her. . . . Those who followed Satan lost the opportunity to receive a mortal body, live on earth, and progress. . . . Today the only power Satan and his followers have is the power to tempt and try us. Their only joy is to make us “miserable like unto [themselves].” Their only happiness comes when we are disobedient to the Lord’s commandments. But think of it: in our premortal state we chose to follow the Savior Jesus Christ! . . . we must continue to choose to follow the Savior. Eternity is at stake, and our wise use of agency and our actions are essential that we might have eternal life.[35]

Moses 4:1–4 gives us background information about the nature of the adversary that is missing from the Genesis account. What we learn in that short span of verses about the origin, fall, and malevolent purposes of the adversary constitutes an essential backdrop for profitably reading the rest of Moses 4/Genesis 3. That narrative recounts the adversary’s treachery in the garden and its momentous consequences for Adam and Eve and for all humankind. The next chapter addresses how the Fall fit into God’s larger purposes in the Garden of Eden.


[1] See overview in Arnold, Genesis, 62–64.

[2] In biblical scholarship, interpretations vary from the serpent as the devil, a symbol of an evil figure, to a representative of nature in the events. See discussions in Day, Studies in Genesis 1–11, 35–38; Hartley, Genesis, 64–65; Waltke, Genesis, 90; and Sailhamer, Genesis–Leviticus, loc. 3316.

[3] Maxwell, Deposition of a Disciple, 87. Jeffrey Bradshaw, In God’s Image, 249, explores the possibility of the serpent being an emissary of the devil but also leaves open other possibilities in light of revelations presented within temple worship.

[4] Discourse, 14 May 1843, as Reported by Wilford Woodruff, p. [31], The Joseph Smith Papers. See Jackson, Joseph Smith’s Commentary on the Bible, 13.

[5] Minutes and Discourses, 6–8 April 1844, as Reported by William Clayton, p. 18 [30], The Joseph Smith Papers. This statement implies and underscores choice in the equation, not a random or capricious decision by God to assign judgment without agency on the part of people (ironically something the adversary was attempting to do).

[6] Bradshaw, In God’s Image, 229; compare Flake, “Translating Time,” 513.

[7] History, 1838–1856, volume E-1 [1 July 1843–30 April 1844], p. 1974, The Joseph Smith Papers.

[8] Minutes and Discourses, 6–7 April 1844, as Published by Times and Seasons, p. 616, The Joseph Smith Papers.

[9] Bradshaw, In God’s Image, 222. See Discourse, 5 January 1841, as Reported by William Clayton, p. 7, The Joseph Smith Papers.

[10] Discourse, 7 April 1844, as Reported by Wilford Woodruff, p. [138], The Joseph Smith Papers.

[11] Discourse, 12 May 1844, as Reported by George Laub, p. 20, The Joseph Smith Papers. See also Jackson, Joseph Smith’s Commentary on the Bible, 14.

[12] Elder Neal A. Maxwell, in Deposition of a Disciple, 11, noted that the premortal council “was not an unstructured meeting, nor was it a discussion between plans, nor an idea-producing session, as to how to formulate the plan of salvation and carry it out. Our Father’s plan was known.” See Bradshaw, In God’s Image, 244.

[13] The nature of this obedience to the Father is demonstrated all the way into the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus cried out in agony at the physical and emotional pain of performing the Atonement, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42).

[14] McConkie, “Who Is the Author of the Plan of Salvation?,” 322. For God the Father as the author of the plan, see Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, 210, 407; Olson and Crawford, “Liar from the Beginning,” Religious Educator 12, no. 3 (2011): 101; and Bradshaw, In God’s Image, 244.

[15] “The central issue in that council was: Shall the children of God have untrammeled agency to choose the course they should follow, whether good or evil, or shall they be coerced and forced to be obedient? Christ and all who followed him stood for the former proposition—freedom of choice; Satan stood for the latter—coercion and force. The war that began in heaven is not yet over. The conflict continues on the battlefield of mortality.” Benson, “The Constitution, a Heavenly Banner,” 2–3.

[16] Skinner, “Apostasy, Restoration, and Lessons in Faith,” 27.

[17] “All men who become heirs of God and Joint heirs with Jesus Christ will have to receive the fulness of the ordinances of his kingdom, and those who will not receive all the ordinances will come short of the fulness of that glory.” History, 1838–1856, volume D-1 [1 August 1842–1 July 1843], p. 1573, The Joseph Smith Papers. Having denied himself a body and a part in God’s plan because of his rebellion, Satan could no longer become an heir to the promised blessings of that plan.

[18] Hales, “Agency,” 24.

[19] McConkie, Millennial Messiah, 666–67.

[20] This word comes from the Greek φωσφόρος, literally “light-bringing, lucifer, the day-star.” Souter, Lexicon to the Greek New Testament, 279. Lucifer, from the Latin derivation of הֵילֵ֣ל, heilel, means “the morning star; an epithet of Venus.” It is “a title given to the king of Babylon (Isa 14:12). The early church fathers began to apply the term to Satan, possibly due to the belief that he had fallen from heaven (Luke 10:18).” “Lucifer,” in Barry et al., Lexham Bible Dictionary.

[21] Perdition derives from the Greek ἀπώλεια, meaning “destruction, loss, perdition, thing lost.” Liddell et al., Greek-English Lexicon, 232. “The idea of a loss or destruction predominates in the use of this word.” Douglas and Tenney, New International Bible Dictionary, s.v. “perdition.”

[22] Satan is “the chief of the fallen spirits, the grand adversary of God and man.” Douglas and Tenney, New International Bible Dictionary, 899. He is “the one who opposes the person and purposes of God. Satan is especially associated with deceit, temptation and testing, through which he attempts to deflect believers from obeying God.” Manser, Dictionary of Bible Themes.

[23] Holland, “We Are All Enlisted,” 44.

[24] Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 5:189. It was Lucifer’s behavior that resulted in his downfall, not the work of God or foreordination. It was a fall into a state of perdition or destruction.

[25] The Hebrew Bible has morning star in place of the KJV Lucifer. The Latin Vulgate used the word Luciferos, which led interpreters to associate this passage with Satan.

[26] The Babylonian king seeks to situate himself in the location of Deity (heaven); thus the appropriate comparison with Lucifer’s efforts to do the same.

[27] Pit (Hebrew bôr) can also refer to the grave, a symbol of death. In this case, Lucifer’s spiritual death may underlie the comparison to the Babylonian king, and bôr may also suggest a reference to the underworld (see Stamm, Köhler, and Baumgartner, Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, 116) or, in this case, possibly hell (see Day, Collins Thesaurus of the Bible, s.v. “concavity”).

[28] Elder M. Russell Ballard taught: “Because of his premortal choices, Satan can neither return nor receive. The only thing left for him is to oppose the Father’s plan by using every possible enticement and temptation to bring us down and make us miserable like unto himself. Satan’s plan to accomplish his diabolical goal applies to every individual, generation, culture, and society. He uses loud voices—voices that seek to drown out the small and still voice of the Holy Spirit that can show us ‘all things’ we should do to return and receive.” Ballard, “Return and Receive,” 64.

[29] History, 1838–1856, volume D-1 [1 August 1842–1 July 1843], p. 1549, The Joseph Smith Papers. See discussion in Bradshaw, In God’s Image, 224.

[30] Discourses of Brigham Young, 83; and Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 80.

[31] “Satan, Devil,” in Louw and Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament.

[32] Tyler, “Recollections of the Prophet Joseph Smith,” 491–92.

[33] Eyring, “Trust in God, Then Go and Do,” 71. See Olson and Crawford, “Liar from the Beginning,” 83–107.

[34] Smith, “Witchcraft,” 562. See Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 33–34.

[35] Hales, “Agency,” 24–27.