First of all I would like to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Many of your replies have helped me gain a greater understanding of various topics, which have proved useful whilst teaching my Sunday school class. I would like to ask if you have an insight into the decisions Satan has made. For example, why did Satan put forth such a plan if he knew it would be rejected and he would be cast out forever? Did he know at that point every other God had a son who put forward the same petition and failed? It seems unfair or difficult to grasp the concept that each God would have two sons who would volunteer themselves in the same manner for the plan to work.
I first have to paraphrase your questions before I answer. Here goes:
-Why did Lucifer (he wasn’t Satan until he was cast out) put forth a contrary plan if he knew it would be rejected?
-Did he know his plan was never accepted whenever it was put forward?
Your second question almost illuminates the answer to the first. That’s the one I want to start with. Let me put forward some of my own questions.
-What if Lucifer didn’t know his idea would never work?
-What if Lucifer didn’t know his idea was not new, and never was accepted?
Your questions work only if Lucifer knew anything beyond his own current thoughts and plans. Maybe he didn’t know his very idea had been tried by others with failure as the result. What if he didn’t know at the time? I’ve never come this close to really being a devil’s advocate, but let me share with you what I understand.
The Plan of Salvation involved some very risky steps when first proposed. We would have agency. That alone would jeapordize the entire effort. Because of our agency, not only would our mortality and death keep us from returning to Heavenly Father, but the consequences of our sins would also prevent us as well. Thus it was seen as necessary from the beginning that someone go down and atone for those imperfections. Even at that, there was no guarantee of success, as each individual must choose to either accept the atonement or reject it. Further still, those who accepted it had to demonstrate their commitment to it for the rest of their lives, as best they could. It was seen even then that many would not make it back.
Lucifer, like many others then, didn’t like the risks, so he proposed a modification to the plan. A modification that would cost us our agency, and give him all glory and honor of the Father. Yes death would keep us from Heavenly Father, but the risks that individual agency exposed was too much. Take the agency away, so that no sin has the opportunity to interfere with our personal righteousness. Lucifer would then go down as the savior to atone for…..what? Nothing. And he thought his plan was so sure-fire that he immediately demanded honor from Heavenly Father for coming up with it.
You see, Lucifer was trying to work out the ultimate lottery ticket. He would volunteer to be the savior of a sinless world. Thus all he would have to do was be born, live a natural life, die, then become the first resurrected being. He wouldn’t have to suffer a thing. All of Heavenly Father’s children would then be worthy of returning to his presence upon resurrection. ‘not one soul shall be lost.’
The flaw in Lucifer’s plan was this. There is no such thing as something for nothing. The laws of justice demand it to be so. Imagine a world where we have no agency. How would we learn? How would we grow spiritually, or personally? There are many specific things we need to learn in this life, that can only be learned in this life, with our agency.
The reason we need our agency is because it is an essential tool for making choices. Without it, no decision is possible. In Satan’s scenario, we would have been little more than mere animals, mutely acting out our lives according to the instincts God planted within us. However, we have eternally been destined to be so much more than that. The catch is, in order to become as the Father is, we would have to be allowed to make our own decisions here in this life. We would need to learn and appreciate the difference between good and evil. The only real way to understand that difference is to experience it directly. We would need to be allowed to make mistakes. We would need to be allowed to be wrong and to sin.
The role of redeemer was to bridge the gap between not only death, but sin as well. Some things we only learn through failure. Learning to walk and speak are two universal examples. Only through the errant attempts at both do we arrive at an understanding of how to do them correctly.
Finally, and perhaps crucially, Lucifer knew he was rebelling against the Father in his proposal, and he knew it was an arrogant move, but he acted anyway. He may not have known it would fail, and he may not have known it had been tried before, but he knew he was opposing the Plan of Salvation immediately. To think that he was rebelling against God while yet in his presence, while experiencing the fullness of his glory….that is the epitome of enmity indeed.
It also shows that Lucifer had no interest in God’s will for us. He was only ever in it for himself. He was going to obtain the fullness of his potential at all but no cost to himself personally, and forget whatever the rest of us got as a result.