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Are we foreordained or predestined?
Matt, from Idaho Falls, Idaho

Dear Matt,
There is no such thing as predestination. The existence of such a concept would negate the entire purpose of the existence of mankind. In the pre-mortal spirit world Satan promoted the concept of predestination.

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  4:1).

Because men would be predestined to salvation, without any merit on their part, it would negate the principle of justice and the plan of happiness. Satan’s plan, that wanted everything for nothing, was justly rejected. Surprisingly, one third of the hosts of heaven, also desiring to get something for nothing, chose to follow the ways of Satan. They rebelled against God and tried to install their plan for salvation by force. Their legions were defeated and they were remanded to the custody of Satan forever, giving up the option to progress to mortality, partake of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the hope of eternal life.
Foreordination, on the other hand is a fact of life. In the pre-mortal spirit world many, because of their righteousness, were foreordained to positions of honor and authority in mortality and beyond—

Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones; And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born (Abr  3:22-23).

Although many of the noble and great ones were foreordained to become rulers in heaven–kings and queens, priests and priestesses unto the most high God–none of those blessings and responsibilities could be realized without the chosen ones obeying in mortality all of the laws of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The key to these blessings, and indeed to the happiness and fulfilment of the whole human family, depends specifically on the principle of the agency of man. Man must choose, of his own volition, to obey the requirements for promised blessings. Thus the justice of God, His kindness, love and mercy, are brought into play, and are responsible for the blessing and happiness of mankind, in accordance with the merit associated with wilful obedience to the word of God.

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