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Dear Gramps, Every person get the bad qualities from his surroundings. So Satan was with God, where only good things happened. From where did he get the devilish quality? How? Babit, from Chennai, Tamilnadu, India Dear Babit, We must first examine your premise. If every person received his bad qualities from his surroundings, we must assume that “surroundings” are independently possessed of the qualities of good and evil. I would suggest that “surroundings” have not moral character, and are things not to act but to be acted upon. It takes moral agency to act upon our environment to produce either evil or good, according to the disposition of our own natures. It was Lucifer’s (Satan’s) innate desire for power, glory, fame and domination that prompted him to oppose all that was good and righteous. We read father Lehi’s words from the Book of Mormon—

And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon. And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter. Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other. And I, Lehi, according to the things which I have read, must needs suppose that an angel of God, according to that which is written, had fallen from heaven; wherefore, he became a devil, having sought that which was evil before God. And because he had fallen from heaven, and had become miserable forever, he sought also the misery of all mankind. Wherefore, he said unto Eve, yea, even that old serpent, who is the devil, who is the father of all lies, wherefore he said: Partake of the forbidden fruit, and ye shall not die, but ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil. And after Adam and Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit they were driven out of the garden of Eden, to till the earth. And they have brought forth children; yea, even the family of all the earth (2 Nephi 2:14-20).

There is a fundamental difference between the family of Adam and Eve and all the other creations of God. Adam and Eve, as well as all the rest of mankind, are the literal offspring of the Eternal God of Heaven and Earth. Thus men have within themselves the seeds of godliness; they have been made to act upon their environment, and not be acted upon as innate matter. Satan is at one end of the spectrum–the embodiment of wickedness , while Jehovah, or Jesus Christ, the first born son of God in the spirit world is at the other end of the spectrum, the embodiment of righteousness. All of the children of God have their agency to make whatever moral choices they are inclined to make. They will range from those who elect to follow and embody the teachings of Jesus that will lead them back into the presence of God, or to embody and follow the temptings of Satan that will lead them to an endless misery and woe–each one following the dictates of his own conscience. Gramps

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