The Premortal Existence


“There is no way to make sense out of life without a knowledge of the doctrine of premortal life. The idea that mortal birth is the beginning is preposterous. There is no way to explain life if you believe that. The notion that life ends with mortal death is ridiculous. There is no way to face life if you believe that. When we understand the doctrine of premortal life, then things fit together and make sense. We then know that little boys and little girls are not monkeys, nor are their parents, nor were theirs, to the very beginning generation. We are the children of God, created in his image. Our child‑parent relationship to God is clear. The purpose for the creation of this earth is clear. The testing that comes in mortality is clear. The need for a redeemer is clear. When we do understand that principle of the gospel, we see a Heavenly Father and a Son; we see an atonement and a redemption. We understand why ordinances and covenants are necessary. We understand the necessity for baptism by immersion for the remission of sins. We understand why we renew that covenant by partaking of the sacrament. I have but touched upon the doctrine of premortal life. We cannot, in these brief conference talks, do more than that. Oh, if we but had a day, or even an hour, to speak of it.” (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, November 1983, pg. 18)

Spirit Creation

(Moses:3:5; Jeremiah 1:5; D&C 130:4; D&C 131:7-8; D&C 77:2; Ether 3:15-16; Abraham 3:22; D&C93:21)

01 – Through the birth process, self-existing intelligence was organized into individual Spirit beings” (Marion G. Romney, Ensign, November 1978, pg. 14)

02 – “All men were first born in pre-existence as the literal spirit offspring of God our Heavenly Father. This birth constituted the beginning of the human ego as a conscious identity. By the ordained procreative process our exalted and immortal Father begat his spirit progeny in pre-existence. ‘All men and women are in the similitude of the universal Father and Mother, and are literally the sons and daughters of Deity,’ President Joseph F. Smith and his associates in the First Presidency declared.” (Improvement Era, 13, 75-81)(Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pg. 84)

03 – “No chance is possible, therefore, in the number or extent of the temporal creations of God. The population of the earth is fixed according to the number of spirits appointed to take tabernacles of flesh upon this planet; when these have all come forth in the order and time appointed, then, and not till then, shall the end come.” (James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, pg. 175)

04 – The spirit of man consists of an organization, or embodiment of the elements of spiritual matter, in the likeness and after the pattern of the fleshly tabernacle. It possesses, in fact, all the organs and parts exactly corresponding to the outward tabernacle.” (Parley P. Pratt, Key to the Science of Theology/A Voice of Warning, pg. 125)

05 – “Now, who is Jesus? He is only our brother, but happens to be the firstborn. What, the firstborn in the flesh? O no, there were millions and millions born in the flesh before he was. Then how is he the firstborn? Because he is the eldest––the first one born of the whole family of spirits and therefore he is our elder brother.” (Orson Pratt, JD, 14:241)

06 – “Lucifer being the next of heir [to Jesus Christ]... had allotted to him great power and authority, even [as the] prince of [the power of] the air (Ephesians 2:2).” (Joseph Smith, pg.172) “Jesus was the firstborn or begotten of the Father... [and]  the devil... [was] third in power, prince of the air.” (Brigham Young, pg. 178) (Eugene England, BYU Studies, Spring 1980, vol. 18)

“Lucifer, son of the morning, the next heir to Jesus Christ... lost the glory, the honor, power, and dominion of a God [the Father], and the knowledge, spirit, authority and keys of the Priesthood of the Son of God1" (John Taylor, Times and Seasons, January 1, 1845, vol. 5, pg. 758)

07 – Christ and Adam were companions and partners in preexistence.  Christ, beloved and chosen of the Father, was foreordained to be the Savior of the world; Adam, as the great Michael, led the armies of heaven when Lucifer and one-third of the spirit host rebelled.  The Lord Jesus, then reigning as the Lord Jehovah, was the number one Spirit Son; described as being ‘like unto God’ (Abraham 3:24), he then ascended the throne of eternal power; and with him, by his side and serving under his direction, was Michael, who is Adam, and who was then foreordained to be the first man and head of the human race.

“And we cannot doubt that the greatest of all female spirits was the one then chosen and foreordained to be ‘the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh’ (1 Nephi 11:18).  Nor can we do other than suppose that Eve was by her side, rejoicing in her foreordination to be the first woman, the mother of men, the consort, companion, and friend of mighty Michael.  Christ and Mary, Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, and a host of mighty men and equally glorious women comprised that group of ‘the noble and great ones,’ to whom the Lord Jesus said: ‘We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell’ (Abraham 3:22-24).  This we know:  Christ, under the Father, is the Creator; Michael, his companion and associate, presided over much of the creative work; and with them, as Abraham saw, were many of the noble and great ones.  Can we do other than conclude that Mary and Eve and Sarah and myriads of our faithful sisters were numbered among them?  Certainly these sisters labored as diligently then and fought as valiantly in the war in heaven, as did the brethren, even as they in like manner stand firm today, in mortality, in the cause of truth and righteousness.”  (Bruce R. McConkie, Woman, Eve and the Fall, pg. 59; Joseph Fld. Smith,  Doctrines of Salvation, 1:74-75)

08 – “As to this man, Joseph Smith, let us say – Here is a man who was chosen before he was born, who was numbered with the noble and great in the councils of eternity before the foundations of this world were laid.

“Along with Adam and Enoch and Noah and Abraham, he sat in council with the Gods when the plans were made to create an earth whereon the hosts of our Father’s children might dwell.

“Under the direction of the Holy One and of Michael, who became the first man, he participated in the creative enterprises of the Father.”  (Bruce R. McConkie, Ensign, May 1976, pg. 94)

–Abraham 3:1-23 - NOTES–

Stars = Spirits (vs. 18-19) / Kolob represents Christ - Kokaubeam = Mankind

Many noble and great ones among mankind. (vs. 2)

Governing ones among mankind. (vs. 3)

A set time is given to mankind. (vs. 4, 10)

Always one greater among mankind. [Law of Gradation] (vs. 8, 16)

09 – Manifestly, from this revelation, we may infer two things: first, that there were among those spirits different degrees of intelligence, varying grades of achievement, retarded and advanced spiritual attainment; second, that there were no national distinctions among those spirits such as Americans, Europeans, Asiatics, Australians, etc. Such ‘bounds of habitation’ would have to be ‘determined’ when the spirits entered their earthly existence or second estate.

...Our place in this world would then be determined by our own advancement or condition in the pre-mortal state, just as our place in our future existence will be determined by what we do do here in mortality.

“When, therefore, the Creator said to Abraham, and to others of his attainment, ‘You I will make my rulers,’ there could exist no feeling of envy or jealousy among the million other spirits, for those who were 'good and great' were but receiving their just reward, just as do members of a graduation class who have successfully completed their prescribed courses of study. The thousands of other students who have not yet attained that honor still have the privilege to seek it, or they may, if they choose, remain in satisfaction down in the grades.

“By the operation of some eternal law with which man is yet unfamiliar, spirits come through parentages for which they are worthy––some as Bushmen of Australia, some as Solomon Islanders, some as Americans, as Europeans, as Asiatics, etc., etc., with all the varying degrees of mentality and spirituality manifest in parents of the different races that inhabit the earth.” (David O. McKay;  Llewellyn R. McKay, Home Memories of President David O. McKay, pg. 229-230)

10 – “...the numbers of the children of Israel were known and the bounds of their habitation fixed, in the days of old when the Lord divided to the nations their inheritance. We conclude, therefore, that there must have been a division of the spirits of men in the spiritual world, and those who were appointed to be the children of Israel were separated and prepared for a special inheritance.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, DS, 1:59)

Agency & Sin

(Alma 13:4-5, 10; D&C 29:36; Moses 4:3; D&C 93:38; Jeremiah 1:5; JST Revelation 12:11)

09 – in the spirit birth he obtained not only an eternal organization, but power and intelligence by which he can determine and understand light from darkness, truth from error, and choose between that which is right and that which is wrong.” (Charles W. Penrose, CR, October 1914, pg. 40)

10 – AGENCY AND PROGRESSION IN PRE-EXISTENCE.  “God gave his children their free agency even in the spirit world, by which the individual spirits had the privilege, just as men have here, of choosing the good and rejecting the evil, or partaking of the evil to suffer the consequences of their sins. Because of this, some even there were more faithful than others in keeping the commandments of the Lord. Some were of greater intelligence than others, as we find it here, and were honored accordingly.”  (Joseph Fielding Smith, DS, 1:58-59)

11 – “Among the two-thirds who remained, it is highly probable, that, there were many who were not valiant in the war, but whose sins were of such a nature that they could be forgiven through faith in the future sufferings of the Only Begotten of the Father, and through their sincere repentance and reformation.  We see no impropriety in Jesus offering Himself as an acceptable offering and sacrifice before the Father to atone for the sins of His brethren, committed, not only in the second, but also in the first estate.  Certain it was, that the work which Jesus was to accomplish, was known in the Grand Council where the rebellion broke cut; it was known that man would sin in his second estate; for it was upon the subject of his redemption that the assembly became divided, and which resulted in war.  John, the revelator, speaking of a certain power, says, ‘And all that swell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.’

“Christ suffered, not only in body, but also in spirit.  By the sufferings of His body He atoned for the sins of men committed in and by the body:  by the sufferings of His spirit, He atoned for the sins committed by the spirit; hence, the atonement redeems both body and spirit.  It is reasonable, therefore, to suppose that is spirits in the first estate sinned, they might be forgiven through their faith and repentance, by virtue of the future sufferings of Christ.”  (Orson Pratt, The Seer, pg. 55-56)

12 – This doctrine that man could, and did in many instances, sin before he was born, was well understood in ancient times. We have the instance of the question put to the Savior regarding the man born blind. If this question had been an improper one, and the doctrine false, the Savior would have corrected it by saying, ‘Ye do err, for no man could sin before he was born.’ This the Lord did not do, but by implication seemed to confirm the doctrine in his answer: ‘Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.’“  (Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection, pg. 44)

Organization & Authority

(Alma 13:3-7; D&C29:36; D&C76:25)

13 – It is reasonable to believe that there was a Church organization there. The heavenly beings were living in a perfectly arranged society. Every person knew his place. Priesthood, without any question, had been conferred and the leaders were chosen to officiate. Ordinances pertaining to that pre-existence were required and the love of God prevailed. Under such conditions it was natural for our Father to discern and choose those who were most worthy and evaluate the talents of each individual. He knew not only what each of us could do, but what each of us would do when put to the test and when responsibility was given us.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection, pg. 51)

14 – With regard to the holding of the priesthood in the preexistence, I will say that there was an organization there just as well as an organization here, and men there held authority. Men chosen to positions of trust in the spirit world held the priesthood.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, CR, October 1966, pg. 84)

15 – We received the priesthood first in the premortal existence and then again as mortals.”   (Bruce R. McConkie, Ensign, May 1982, pg. 32)

Equality & Inequality

(Abraham 3:2-23; Alma 13:4-5)

16 – SPIRITS GREATER THAN OTHERS. “The spirits of men had their free agency, some were greater than others, and from among them the Father called and foreordained his prophets and rulers. Jeremiah and Abraham were two of them. . . . The spirits of men were not equal. They may have had an equal start, and we know they were all innocent in the beginning; but the right of free agency which was given to them enabled some to outstrip others, and thus, through the eons of immortal existence, to become more intelligent, more faithful, for they were free to act for themselves, to think for themselves, to receive the truth or rebel against it.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:59)

17 – The ‘spirits of the eternal world’ are as diverse from each other in their dispositions as mortals are on the earth. Some of them are aspiring, ambitious, and even desire to bring other spirits into subjection to them As man is liable to [have] enemies there [in the spirit world] as well as here [on the earth] it is necessary for him to be placed beyond their power in order to be saved. This is done by our taking bodies (keeping our first estate) and having the Power of the Resurrection pass upon us whereby we are enabled to gain the ascendancy over the disembodied spirits.” (pg. 208)

The design of God before the foundation of the world was that we should take tabernacles that through faithfulness we should overcome & thereby obtain a resurrection from the dead, in this wise obtain glory honor power and dominion for this thing is needful, inasmuch as the Spirits in the Eternal world, glory in bringing other Spirits in Subjection unto them, Striving continually for the mastery, He who rules in the heavens when he has a certain work to do calls the Spirits before him to organize them. They present themselves and offer their Services– (pg. 207)

God is good and all his acts [are] for the benefit of inferior intelligences–God saw that those intellegences had not power to defend themselves against those that had a tabernacle therefore the Lord calls them together in counsel and agrees to form them tabernacle so that he might gender the spirit and the tabernacle together so as to create sympathy for their fellowman–for it is a natural thing with those spirits that [have] the most power to [bear] down on those of lesser power so we see the devil is without a tabernacle and the Lord [has] set bo[u]nds to all Spirits.” (pg. 68)

Before [the] foundation of the earth in the Grand Counsel that the spirits of all men ware subject to oppression and the express purpose of God in giving it a tabernacle was to arm it against the power of Darkness.” (pg. 62)

“The relationship we have with God places us in a situation to advance in knowledge. God has power to institute laws to instruct the weaker intelligences, that they may be exalted [like] Himself.” (pg. 346)

All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not. The devil has no power over us only as we permit him; the moment we revolt at anything which comes from God the Devil takes power.” (pg. 60) (Joseph Smith; Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, The Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph)

18 – Being subject to law, and having their agency, all the spirits of men, while yet in the Eternal presence, developed aptitudes, talents, capacities, and abilities of every sort, kind, and degree.  During the long expanse of life which then was, an infinite verity of talents and abilities came into being.  As the ages rolled on, no two spirits remained alike.  Mozart became a musician; Einstein centered his interest in mathematics; Michelangelo turned his attention to painting.  Cain was a liar, a schemer, a rebel who maintained a close affinity to Lucifer.  Abraham and Moses and all of the prophets sought and obtained the talent for spirituality.  Mary and Eve were two of the greatest of all the spirits daughters of the Father.  The whole house of Israel, known and segregated out from their fellows, was inclined toward spiritual things.  And so it went through all the hosts of heaven, each individual developing such talents and abilities as his soul desired... The Firstborn excelled all of us in all things... Similarly, when we fall from preexistence to mortality, we bring with us the talents and traits there developed. True, we forget what went before because we are here being test, but the capacities and abilities that when were ours are yet resident within us.  Mozart is still a musician; Einstein retains his mathematical abilities; Michelangelo his artistic talents; Abraham, Moses, and the prophets their spiritual talents and abilities.  Cain still lies and schemes.  And all men with their infinitely varied talents and personalities pick up the course of progression where they left it off when they left the heavenly realms.”  (Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah, 1:23-25)

Predisposition & Rewards

(Acts 17:26; Alma 13:3-7Abraham 3:22-23, 26; Jeremiah 1:5)

19 – If the Lord appointed unto the nations the bounds of their habitations, then there must have been a selection of spirits to form these nations.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection, pg.  47)

20 – “Now then, to make a summary of what I have just read, may I ask each of you again the question, “Who are you?” You are all the sons and daughters of God. Your spirits were created and lived as organized intelligences before the world was. You have been blessed to have a physical body because of your obedience to certain commandments in that premortal state. You are now born into a family to which you have come, into the nations through which you have come, as a reward for the kind of lives you lived before you came here and at a time in the world’s history, as the apostle Paul taught the men of Athens and as the Lord revealed to Moses, determined by the faithfulness of each of those who lived before this world was created.”  (Harold B. Lee, Ensign, January 1974, pg. 5)

21 – “This election to a chosen lineage is based on pre-existent worthiness and is thus made ‘according to the foreknowledge of God.’ (1 Pet. 1:2.) Those so grouped together during their mortal probation have more abundant opportunities to make and keep the covenants of salvation, a right which they earned by pre-existent devotion to the cause of righteousness. As part of this election, Abraham and others of the noble and great spirits were chosen before they were born for the particular missions assigned them in this life (Abraham 3:22-24).

“As with every basic doctrine of the gospel, the Lord's system of election based on pre-existent faithfulness has been changed and perverted by an apostate Christendom. So absurd have been the false conclusions reached in this field that millions of sincere though deceived persons have devoutly believed that in accordance with the divine will men were pre-destined to receive salvation or damnation which no act on their part could change (TPJS, pg. 189).” (Bruce R. McConkie, DNTC, 2:274)

22 – The work to be done by John the Baptist, by the ancient Twelve, by Columbus, by the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and by the framers of the Constitution of the United States was all known and arranged for in advance. And all these are but illustrations and patterns, for all of the Lord’s work is planned and prepared in advance, and those who are called and chosen to do the work receive their commission and ordination from him, first in the preexistence and then, if they remain true and faithful, again here in mortality.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Ensign, May 1974, pg. 73)

First Lessons Learned

(D&C 138:56)

23 – All those salient truths which come home so forcibly to the head and heart seem but the awakening of the memories of the spirit. Can we know anything here that we did not know before we came?... But by the power of the Spirit, in the redemption of Christ, through obedience, we often catch a spark from the awakened memories of the immortal soul, which lights up our whole being as with the glory of our former home.” ––Contributor, 1883, Vol. 4, pp. 114, 115. (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, pg. 13-14)

24 – “And when of great truths we can come to say ‘I know,’ that powerful spiritual witness may also carry with it the sense of our having known before. With rediscovery, what we are really saying is, ‘I know - - again!” No wonder that so often real teaching is mere reminding.” (Neal A. Maxwell, BYU, Speeches of the Year, 1979, pg. 156)

25 – I want to tell you, each and every one of you, that you are well acquainted with God our Heavenly Father, or the great Elohim. You are all well acquainted with him, for there is not a soul of you but what has lived in his house and dwelt with him year after year; and yet you are seeking to become acquainted with him, when the fact is, you have merely forgotten what you did know.

“There is not a person here today but what is a son or a daughter of that Being. In the spirit world their spirits were first begotten and brought forth, and they lived there with their parents for ages before they came here. This, perhaps, is hard for many to believe, but it is the greatest nonsense in the world not to believe it. If you do not believe it, cease to call him Father; and when you pray, pray to some other character.” (Brigham Young,  Discourses of Brigham Young, pg. 50)

Place and Purpose

(Abraham 3:4; Abraham 5:13)

26 – It has been a doctrine taught by this church that we were in the Grand Council amongst the Gods when the organization of this world was contemplated and that the laws of government were all made and sanctioned by all present and all the ordinances and ceremonies decreed upon.” (William Clayton; Andrew F. Ehat, BYU Studies, Spring 1980, vol. 20, pg. 269)

26.5 – One of the saddest examples of a misconceived and twisted knowledge of an otherwise glorious concept is the all-too-common heresy that there were two plans of salvation; that the Father (presumptively at a loss to know what to do) asked others for proposals; that Christ offered a plan involving agency and Lucifer proposed a plan denying agency; that the Father chose between them; and that Lucifer, his plan being rejected, rebelled, and then there was war in heaven.

“Even a cursory knowledge of the overall scheme of things reassures spiritually discerning persons that all things center in the Father; that the plan of salvation which he designed was to save his children, Christ included; and that neither Christ nor Lucifer could of themselves save anyone. As Jesus said: “The Son can do nothing of himself. . . . I can of mine own self do nothing” (John 5:19).

“There is, of course, a sense in which we may refer to Lucifer’s proposed modifications of the Father’s plan as Lucifer’s plan, and Christ made the Father's plan his own by adoption. But what is basically important in this respect is to know that the power to save is vested in the Father, and that he originated, ordained, created, and established his own plan; that he announced it to his children; and that he then asked for a volunteer to be the Redeemer, the Deliverer, the Messiah, who would put the eternal plan of the Eternal Father into eternal operation.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mortal Messiah, 1:48-49, ftn #1)

27 – When we contemplate the antiquity and eternal nature of the plan of salvation, we conclude that the Grand Council in Heaven, as it is sometimes called, was not a single meeting but rather a series of meetings–an entire education, so to speak–in which we, as the sons and daughters of God, were taught the gospel and became acquainted with eternal principles and with the great and noble personages who would be the future leaders of the kingdom of God on the earth.  The Savior, the prophets, the wives and mothers of the prophets, and other noble and great ones were all selected in that premortal world according to their obedience to the plan of salvation, the same plan that is now taught to us on the earth through the scriptures and the living prophets.”  (Joseph F. Smith; Joseph Fielding McConkie, The Man Adam, ‘The Revelation of the Gospel to Adam: The Meaning of the Atonement’, pg. 71)

28 – It is not likely that the final decision of the contending armies took place immediately. Many, no doubt, were unsettled in their views, unstable in their minds, and undecided as to which force to join: there may have been, for aught we know, many deserters from both armies: and there may have been a long period before the division line was so strictly drawn as to become unalterable. Laws, without doubt, were enacted, and penalties affixed, according to the nature of the offenses or crimes: those who altogether turned from the Lord, and were determined to maintain the cause of Satan, and who proceeded to the utmost extremities of wickedness, placed themselves without the reach of redemption: therefore, such were prohibited from entering into a second probationary state, and had no privilege of receiving bodies of flesh and bones. A second estate, to them would have been of no advantage, because they had sinned to that extent that the Spirit of the Lord had entirely left them, and light and truth no longer dwelt in them, therefore, they could not feel a disposition to repent; and if they had been permitted to enter another state of trial, they would have continued their unholy warfare.” (Orson Pratt, The Seer, pg. 54-55)

No Scriptural Justification

29 – “Concerning a universal application or general principle, the First Presidency in 1971 stated that “we have no revealed word to the effect that when we were in the preexistent state we chose our parents and our husbands and wives.” (Steve F. Gilliland, Ensign, “I Have a Question”, June 1977, pg. 40)

30 – We have no scriptural justification...for the belief that we had the privilege of choosing our parents and our life companions in the spirit world.  This belief has been advocated by some, and it is possible that in some instances it is true, but it would require too great a stretch of the imagination to believe it to be so in all, or even in the majority of cases.  Most likely we came where those in authority decided to send us.  Our agency may not have been exercised to the extent of making choice of parents and posterity.”  (Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection, pg. 44-45)

Promises & Covenants

(D&C132:63; Titus 1:2)

31 – Had we not known before we came the necessity of our coming, the importance of obtaining tabernacles, the glory to be achieved in posterity, the grand object to be attained by being tried and tested–– weighed in the balance, in the exercise of the divine attributes, god-like powers and free agency with which we are endowed; whereby, after descending below all things, Christ-like, we might ascend above all things, and become like our Father, Mother and Elder Brother, Almighty and Eternal!––we never would have come; that is, if we could have stayed away.” (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, pg. 13)

32 – We made vows, sacred vows, in the heavens before we came to this mortal life....

We have made covenants.  We made them before we accepted our position here on the earth [Abraham 3:25].  Now we made this commitment, ‘...all things whatsoever the Lord our God shall command us.’  We committed ourselves to our Heavenly Father, that if He would send us to the earth and give us bodies and give to us the priceless opportunities that earth life afforded, we would keep our lives clean and would marry in the holy temple and would rear a family and teach them righteousness.  This was a solemn oath, a solemn promise.  He promised us an eventful mortal life with untold privileges and providing that we qualified in the way of righteousness, we would receive eternal life, and happiness and progress.  There is no other way to receive these rewards.”  (Spencer W. Kimball, U of U Devotional, ‘Be Ye Therefore Perfect,’ [ January 10, 1975])

33 – “In our [premortal] state, in the day of the great council, we made a certain agreement with the Almighty. The Lord proposed a plan, conceived by him. We accepted it. Since the plan is intended for all men, we became parties to the salvation of every person under the plan. We agreed, right then and there, to be not only saviors for ourselves but measurably, saviors for the whole human family. We went into a partnership with the Lord. The working out of the plan became then not merely the Father’s work, and the Savior’s work, but also our work. The least of us, the humblest, is in partnership with the Almighty in achieving the purpose of the eternal plan of salvation.” (John A. Widtsoe, Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine 1934, pg. 189)

Risk Factor

(Abraham 3:25-26)

34 – “Free agency is prerequisite to any character-building plan, and while with free agency any plan is inevitably crammed with risk, we, with all the sons of God, accepted that risk and shouted for joy at the prospect of earth life.” (Hugh B. Brown, CR, April 1956, pg. 105)

35 – “We were informed, and the matter was made very clear, that we would have to walk by faith, not by sight. Moreover, many would yield to temptation and sin and would refuse to accept the divine law of the Gospel which should be given us for our guidance and by means of which we could come back into the presence of the Father and the Son. We understood the dangers and the risk of failure in making the journey through the mortal life, yet we rejoiced and were glad to have the opportunity to come and receive all that mortality offered. What we accepted there, without doubt, was accepted by all with eyes open and with understanding of the dangers and advantages fully understood.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, The Progress of Man, pg. 65- 66)

36 – This total dependence on the atonement of Jesus Christ was no doubt known in the premortal world by the spirits who would be coming to earth to gain mortal bodies and was a trial to those who had not strong faith in and a testimony of Jesus Christ. It was no doubt a factor in causing some to align themselves with the "guaranteed," "no-risk," "no-effort," "no-individual-responsibility" seduction of Lucifer.” (Robert J. Matthews; Joseph Fielding McConkie and Robert L. Millet, The Man Adam pg. 73)

War in Heaven

(D&C 29:36-38; D&C 76:25-28; Moses 4:1-4; Abraham 3:27-28; JST Revelation 12:6-11; Isaiah 14:12-15; Moroni 7:17; Alma 11:34, 37; Helaman 5:10-11)

37 – Lucifer lost his [first estate] by offering to save men in their sins on the honor of a God, or on his Father’s honor.” (W.W. Phelps, Times and Seasons, January 1, 1844, vol. 5, pg. 758)

38 – “And so, in the courts of heaven, the war of wars was waged. Christ and Michael and a mighty host of noble and great spirits preached the gospel of God and exhorted their brethren to follow the Father. Lucifer and his lieutenants preached another gospel, a gospel of fear and hate and lasciviousness and compulsion. They sought salvation without keeping the commandments, without overcoming the world, without choosing between opposites.” (Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man, pg. 667)

39 – Satan (it is possible) being opposed to the will of his Father, wished to avoid the responsibilities of this position, and rather than assume the consequences of the acceptance of the plan of the Father, he would deprive man of his free agency, and render it impossible for him to obtain that exaltation which God designed. It would further seem probable that he refused to take the position of redeemer, and assume all the consequences associated therewith, but he did propose, as stated before, to take another plan and deprive man of his agency, and he probably intended to make men atone for their own acts by an act of coercion, and the shedding of their own blood as an atonement for their sins.” (John Taylor, Mediation and Atonement, pg. 96 - 97)

40 – “he [Satan] sought to turn them away and convert them to his plan. But he did not succeed. He did succeed in leading away about one-third part of that great family of spirits, because of their agency. They hearkened to his proposition; they thought it would be a very great and important thing to destroy the agency of man in the future creation that was about to be made, and to redeem them all in their sins, and consequently they joined with this rebellious character; hence came the fallen angels.” (Orson Pratt, JD, 21: 290-291)

41 – “We should beware concerning ourselves because it now is and has always been the objective of Satan to destroy the Priesthood of God. As long ago as the war in heaven, he sought to usurp the power of the priesthood.” (Marion G. Romney, CR, October 1960, pg. 74)

42 – “When the Eternal Father announced his plan of salvation–a plan that called for a mortal probation for all his spirit children; a plan that required a Redeemer to ransom men from the coming fall; a plan that could only operate if mortal men had agency–when the Father announced his plan, when he chose Christ as the Redeemer and rejected Lucifer, then 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. There must needs be an opposition in all things. Unless there are opposites, there is nothing. There can be no light without darkness, no heat without cold, no virtue without vice, no good without evil, no salvation without damnation.”  (Bruce R. McConkie, Millennial Messiah, pg. 666-667)

43 – NO NEUTRALS IN HEAVEN. “There were no neutrals in the war in heaven. All took sides either with Christ or with Satan. Every man had his agency there, and men receive rewards here based upon their actions there, just as they will receive rewards hereafter for deeds done in the body. (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1: 65)

44 – “There [were] no neutral spirits in heaven. At the time of the rebellion all took sides..” (Joseph Smith; Brigham Young; Elden J. Watson, Brigham Young Addresses, 4:196)

45 – There were, of course, no neutral spirits in the war in heaven, any more than there are or can be neutrals in this life where choices between righteousness and unrighteousness are involved. ‘He that is not with me is against me,’ saith the Lord, ‘and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad’.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pg. 828)

46 – “In regard to the battle in heaven,... how much of a battle it was I have forgotten. I cannot relate the principal circumstances, it is so long since it happened; but I do not think it lasted very long; for when Lucifer, the Son of the Morning, claimed the privilege of having the control of this earth, and redeeming it, a contention arose; but I do not think it took long to cast down one-third of the hosts of heaven, as it is written in the Bible. But let me tell you that it was one-third part of the spirits who were prepared to take tabernacles upon this earth, and who rebelled against the other two-thirds of the heavenly host; and they were cast down to this world. It is written that they were cast down to the earth. They were cast down to this globe––to this terra firma that you and I walk upon, and whose atmosphere we breathe. One-third part of the spirits that were prepared for this earth rebelled against Jesus Christ, and were cast down to the earth, and they have been opposed to him from that day to this, with Lucifer at their head. He is their general––Lucifer, the Son of the Morning. He was once a brilliant and influential character in heaven, and we will know more about him hereafter.” (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, pg. 54)

47 – “[JST Revelation 12:17] “...we live in that day” (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1986, pg. 79)

48 – “...the war goes on. It is as it was in the beginning.... The victims who fall are as precious as those who have fallen in the past. It is an ongoing battle.... We cannot be unclean and expect the help of the Almighty....

We are engaged in a great eternal struggle that concerns the very souls of the sons and daughters of God. We are not losing. We are winning. We will continue to win if we will be faithful and true. We can do it. We must do it. We will do it.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, November 1986, pg. 44)(BD, pg. 788)

49 – “Our mortal probation is a war, a continuation of the war in heaven, a war against the world, against evil, against Satan. And there are no neutrals; all men are for the Lord or they are against him; they either serve under his banner or they live after the manner of the world and are in the bondage of sin. The only way for the Christian soldiers to come off victorious is to put on the whole armor of God. Paul did, and as his life drew to a close he was able to affirm, "I have fought a good fight, … I have kept the faith." (2 Timothy 4:7) (Bruce R. McConkie, DNTC, 2: 524)

50 – Our most deadly contest in life is not with human enemies.” (Harold B. Lee, Stand Ye in Holy Places, pg. 330)

51 – “…the devil has the world so perfectly at his disposal that it requires few devils to keep it in subjection” and that “the whole legion of devils has nothing to do but look after the ‘Mormons’ and stir up the hearts of the children of men to destroy them–to put them out of existence.” [JD, 5:364] (George Albert Smith; Carlos E. Asay, Ensign, November 1981, pg. 67)

52 – “Look at the number of devils we have around us. We have, I should say, one hundred to every man, woman, and child.” (Wilford Woodruff, JD, 21:125-126)

53 – True Christian soldiers are more than weekend warriors.” (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, November 1996, pg. 22)

54 – The men and women who desire to obtain seats in the celestial kingdom, will find that they must battle everyday.” (Brigham Young, JD, 11:14)

55 – But having made that decision, why should we have to make it again and again after our birth into mortality? I cannot understand why so many have betrayed in life the decision they once made when the great war occurred in heaven.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, May 2004, pg. 81)

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