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I was teaching a lesson on Christ's Atonement the other week in church and part of it was concerning the war in heaven. As I expounded on my thoughts while teaching I came across this idea in my brain: The war in heaven was fought over our rights to be damned. Each of us, having kept our first estates, stood on the side of Christ, and that side was a war against the concept that we should all be saved. It was not a matter of freedom of choice of action so much, methinks, as it was (as taught in the 2nd Nephi 2) a matter of freedom of choice between damnation and salvation (which, of course, requires some level of freedom of choice of action as well). Point being, salvation was on the table either way. It was damnation that was in question. We were championing hell and damnation in opposition to their proposed eradication.

We can appropriately, I believe, therefore refer to the war henceforth as The Damnation War. (Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.)

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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I don't really see it this way. At all. I know the teachings we often hear about "Satan's plan", and how Satan would have "made us to right" by disallowing our choices for evil. The problem is that I find zero scriptural support for this view. Not a single verse of scripture substantiates this. Rather, Satan is all about destroying our agency -- which is far different from "making us do good". Satan continues to seek to destroy our agency, and you can bet it's not by forcing us to do the right thing.

No, we had the "right" (strange choice of word) to be damned before Satan rebelled. Any creature with agency gets to choose for whom or what s/he's an agent. If you choose to be an agent for those in opposition to God, the eventual and inevitable outcome is damnation.

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17 minutes ago, Vort said:

I don't really see it this way. At all.

That's because you're smart enough to know that the "right" (ability, whatever) to be damned cannot be taken away and the war was really about whether we believed a lie or not.

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19 minutes ago, Vort said:

 I know the teachings we often hear about "Satan's plan", and how Satan would have "made us to right" by disallowing our choices for evil. The problem is that I find zero scriptural support for this view.

Incidentally...I didn't say or even mean to imply this concept in any regard at all.

19 minutes ago, Vort said:

Rather, Satan is all about destroying our agency -- which is far different from "making us do good".

Right. It was just as likely about saving us despite our having done bad. In other words, removing our ability to be damned.

Satan's plan amounted to the removal of damnation as an option.

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1 hour ago, The Folk Prophet said:

I was teaching a lesson on Christ's Atonement the other week in church and part of it was concerning the war in heaven. As I expounded on my thoughts while teaching I came across this idea in my brain: The war in heaven was fought over our rights to be damned. Each of us, having kept our first estates, stood on the side of Christ, and that side was a war against the concept that we should all be saved. It was not a matter of freedom of choice of action so much, methinks, as it was (as taught in the 2nd Nephi 2) a matter of freedom of choice between damnation and salvation (which, of course, requires some level of freedom of choice of action as well). Point being, salvation was on the table either way. It was damnation that was in question. We were championing hell and damnation in opposition to their proposed eradication.

We can appropriately, I believe, therefore refer to the war henceforth as The Damnation War. (Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.)

We assume certain things that dont make much sense. One principle we cant ignore is 5hat Gods laws arent negotiable nor changeable. Perhaps Satan thought he could overthrow the kingdom and a war ensued. But, what was the war really about? It was about good versus evil, light vs. darkness. On Christs side he was on task to be the Savior and save mankind from sin. On Lucifers side was the idea of his self reigning over Gods children in his own kingdom unrighteously in sin. Whatever Satan thought he could or couldnt do, he knew not the mind of God and the path of righteousness and principles of truth. Perhaps he honestly thought he could trick God into him giving his power of immortality to him while he secretly lived in sin. That is why he lied about wanting to be the savior to fill that role. But it was all his big lie to gain the power of godliness and continue to live in sin and trap all of Gods children in his own kingdom making us his slaves.

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28 minutes ago, Rob Osborn said:

We assume certain things that dont make much sense. One principle we cant ignore is 5hat Gods laws arent negotiable nor changeable. Perhaps Satan thought he could overthrow the kingdom and a war ensued. But, what was the war really about? It was about good versus evil, light vs. darkness. On Christs side he was on task to be the Savior and save mankind from sin. On Lucifers side was the idea of his self reigning over Gods children in his own kingdom unrighteously in sin. Whatever Satan thought he could or couldnt do, he knew not the mind of God and the path of righteousness and principles of truth. Perhaps he honestly thought he could trick God into him giving his power of immortality to him while he secretly lived in sin. That is why he lied about wanting to be the savior to fill that role. But it was all his big lie to gain the power of godliness and continue to live in sin and trap all of Gods children in his own kingdom making us his slaves.

Another way of looking at what Satan sought to destroy rather than "agency" or "the right to choose damnation" would by in the term justice. In other words, Satan sought to destroy justice. Justice, by another term, is fairness. We often think of fairness in terms of being treated poorly, but unfair is also related to being treated too well. Justice mandates that we get what we deserve. Damnation for sin, salvation for righteousness. What Lucifer did not understand (or chose to blatantly ignore) concerning the mind of God was that God is, was, will be, and must be JUST -- or, in other words -- FAIR. Fairness (in other words, justice) is equivalent to Godliness. God does what He says, means what he says, treats all equitably, and is no respector of persons. In order that justice might be served, because if it was not, God could not be God, He presented the plan of salvation, whereby justice would be served, and mercy extended as part of that justice. Satan, alternatively, essentially planned to cast justice out the proverbial window.

So really the war in heaven was The Justice War. (Copyright 2017. All rights reserved).

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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12 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Another way of looking at what Satan sought to destroy rather than "agency" or "the right to choose damnation" would by in the term justice. In other words, Satan sought to destroy justice. Justice, by another term, is fairness. We often think of fairness in terms of being treated poorly, but unfair is also related to being treated too well. Justice mandates that we get what we deserve. Damnation for sin, salvation for righteousness. What Lucifer did not understand (or chose to blatantly ignore) concerning the mind of God was that God is, was, will be, and must be JUST -- or, in other words -- FAIR. Fairness (in other words, justice) is equivalent to Godliness. God does what He says, means what he says, treats all equitably, and is no respector of persons. In order that justice might be served, because if it was not, God could not be God, He presented the plan of salvation, whereby justice would be served, and mercy extended as part of that justice. Satan, alternatively, essentially planned to cast justice out the proverbial window.

So really the war in heaven was The Justice War. (Copyright 2017. All rights reserved).

Aye. Satan sought to become a law unto his own pleasures and desires. That is the patent move of all evil design- justifying it as okay.

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Often when I analyze (try to understand) something complex – I gather together all the elements (bits and pieces of understanding) that I can or have been given and then try or attempt to put some order or understanding to it.  Usually I find levels of order.  Scientifically or mathematically these levels of order are called fractals.   I believe these levels of order or referred to by Isaiah as “line upon line upon line and precept upon precept upon precept.

This thread is about “damnation”.  We are told by Nephi that everything has it opposite.  I believe the opposite of damnation is exaltation and eternal life.  I think that eternal life is quite complex and involves order.  The kind of order that can only be achieved with light and truth.  Damnation is also quite complex and is the result of disorder (chaos) and is achieved with “darkness” – which “darkness” opposes light and truth.

Another element of exaltation and eternal life is what we understand as or call “Agency”.  I am not sure I understand agency as well as I would like to think - because I am not sure what the opposite of agency is or how to describe it.  But I believe Satan has lost his “Agency” because of the “Darkness” that is in him and has achieved the opposite of agency.  It seems to me that whatever agency is that he (Satan) intends to deprive us of our agency and this is done but getting us involved in disorder (chaos) that is contrary to the divine order of G-d.  I believe that what I am calling “disorder” or chaos is the opposite of the order of G-d and is the order of Satan.  Interestingly this disorder or chaos of Satan is both power and priesthoods.  Satan seems to be a g-d of disorder and chaos that has power (priesthood) over all those that are damned.

Another term of the damned is perdition – this is a term that is defined as total ruin – which is that which cannot be salvaged or redeemed because there is no light or truth in it.  I thought to write more concerning my understanding but I am thinking that already there is enough to chew on or discuss if there is interest. 

 

The Traveler

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3 hours ago, Traveler said:

 

Often when I analyze (try to understand) something complex – I gather together all the elements (bits and pieces of understanding) that I can or have been given and then try or attempt to put some order or understanding to it.  Usually I find levels of order.  Scientifically or mathematically these levels of order are called fractals.   I believe these levels of order or referred to by Isaiah as “line upon line upon line and precept upon precept upon precept.

This thread is about “damnation”.  We are told by Nephi that everything has it opposite.  I believe the opposite of damnation is exaltation and eternal life.  I think that eternal life is quite complex and involves order.  The kind of order that can only be achieved with light and truth.  Damnation is also quite complex and is the result of disorder (chaos) and is achieved with “darkness” – which “darkness” opposes light and truth.

Another element of exaltation and eternal life is what we understand as or call “Agency”.  I am not sure I understand agency as well as I would like to think - because I am not sure what the opposite of agency is or how to describe it.  But I believe Satan has lost his “Agency” because of the “Darkness” that is in him and has achieved the opposite of agency.  It seems to me that whatever agency is that he (Satan) intends to deprive us of our agency and this is done but getting us involved in disorder (chaos) that is contrary to the divine order of G-d.  I believe that what I am calling “disorder” or chaos is the opposite of the order of G-d and is the order of Satan.  Interestingly this disorder or chaos of Satan is both power and priesthoods.  Satan seems to be a g-d of disorder and chaos that has power (priesthood) over all those that are damned.

Another term of the damned is perdition – this is a term that is defined as total ruin – which is that which cannot be salvaged or redeemed because there is no light or truth in it.  I thought to write more concerning my understanding but I am thinking that already there is enough to chew on or discuss if there is interest. 

 

The Traveler

The opposite of or loss of agency is "captivity". the opposite of damnation is salvation.

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22 minutes ago, Rob Osborn said:

The opposite of or loss of agency is "captivity". 

Is it? Can someone run around and do whatever they want with complete freedom from any level of accountability be said to have agency? I think not. But that state is certainly not captivity, and yet still is in opposition to agency.

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29 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Is it? Can someone run around and do whatever they want with complete freedom from any level of accountability be said to have agency? I think not. But that state is certainly not captivity, and yet still is in opposition to agency.

They are led captive to Satans will. The charge given in the Book of Mormon is to-

13 O that ye would awake; awake from a deep sleep, yea, even from the sleep of hell, and shake off the awful chains by which ye are bound, which are the chains which bind the children of men, that they are carried away captive down to the eternal gulf of misery and woe. (2 Nephi 1:13)

 

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7 minutes ago, Rob Osborn said:

They are led captive to Satans will. The charge given in the Book of Mormon is to-

13 O that ye would awake; awake from a deep sleep, yea, even from the sleep of hell, and shake off the awful chains by which ye are bound, which are the chains which bind the children of men, that they are carried away captive down to the eternal gulf of misery and woe. (2 Nephi 1:13)

 

You lost me. I wonder if I lost you first.

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4 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

You lost me. I wonder if I lost you first.

Okay, I will explain. The Pearl of Great Price in the book of Moses tells us that it was Satans plan to destroy our agency. The correct definition of agency in context of the scriptures is this-

:the capacity, condition, or state of acting or of exerting power :operation (Merrium-Webster)

The key word here is "operation". Its synonymous to agency. The definition of operation in context, using same dictionary is-

a :an exertion of power or influence 

As you can see they have the same relative definition. When we fall into the traps and snares of Satan we no longer exert the power or influence of the spirit which is godliness. It is thus said we are led "captive" to the will of Satan. The definition of "captive" is-

:held under control of another but having the appearance of independence; 

As we can readily see then that to follow Satan is becoming bound into captivity of his will and under his influence of control and we are no longer in control of ourselves. Thus a loss or destruction of our agency.

 

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I will grant that it's a definitional discussion...but. In the gospel sense, agency is the ability to choose for oneself between salvation and damnation by action and choice. It is, as the Young Women call it, Choice AND Accountability. The fact that it is tied into salvation or damnation is because "agency" implies accountability. If I am an agent of something I am taking responsibility for that thing. In the case of moral agency, I am accountable for my moral choices. Captivity, in my thinking, is a consequence. It is part of agency, yes. But opposite too? I will grant you that captivity is a form of no agency. But I'm not sure, theoretically, and by my understanding of the word, that it is the pure black-and-white opposite. Why? Because I can take you captive and it does not eliminate your agency. If you cannot act because of me, then you are not accountable for failing to act. If I force (and I mean literally force) you to act then you aren't accountable either. I'm not sure agency actually has an opposite. It is simply the reality that when we have choice, we also have accountability for those choices.

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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4 minutes ago, eVa said:

I remember the war in Heaven was over 2 plans: 1. Lucifer wanted the glory for saving making (with no agency) 2. Jehovah's plan allowed agency, provided a savior and gave all the honor and glory to God.  I do see where @The Folk Prophet is drawing his thought though.  Very interesting!

A slight clarification: Lucifer's plan was Lucifer's. Christ accepted the Father's plan. The Father presented the plan of agency.

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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I'm not saying I have the answer here - on the contrary, I don't much like it - but thinking out loud...

Oddly enough, "innocence" (I'm thinking of childlike innocence here) is as close as I can come to an opposite of "agency".  The former is not responsible for their actions, the latter is responsible for their actions.  If agency is some combination of the ability to choose and responsibility for one's choices, then the opposite is the inability to choose and lack of responsibility.  Ignorance and innocence are as close as I can come right now.

Hmm.  If I take it another direction, in the world, an agent represents someone else and is responsible for their choices as that representative.  The opposite would be someone who does not represent anyone else - someone who is independent.  In scripture, it talks about Satan (and others, I believe) wanting to become a law unto himself.  Maybe the opposite of agency is complete independence (which, in a universe where we are all dependent on God and Christ for all good things, would be a terrible thing).

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11 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

I will grant that it's a definitional discussion...but. In the gospel sense, agency is the ability to choose for oneself between salvation and damnation by action and choice. It is, as the Young Women call it, Choice AND Accountability. The fact that it is tied into salvation or damnation is because "agency" implies accountability. If I am an agent of something I am taking responsibility for that thing. In the case of moral agency, I am accountable for my moral choices. Captivity, in my thinking, is a consequence. It is part of agency, yes. But opposite too? I will grant you that captivity is a form of no agency. But I'm not sure, theoretically, and by my understanding of the word, that it is the pure black-and-white opposite. Why? Because I can take you captive and it does not eliminate your agency. If you cannot act because of me, then you are not accountable for failing to act. If I force (and I mean literally force) you to act then you aren't accountable either. I'm not sure agency actually has an opposite. It is simply the reality that when we have choice, we also have accountability for those choices.

Agency entails more than the typical seminary answer. Its rather more of a philisophical definition. As we correctly understand the power and freedom we exercise when we choose the right that power itself is the power and mechanism of "agency". Its about the true philosophy of free will. Free will truly only exists when the correct principles of righteousness are followed and obeyed. It is this spirit or influence that gives us instrumentality with our Maker- access to the absolute self control and peace that governs our spirit and body. I have seen many an addict or great sinner that whise spirit is held captive by the devil and they dont even know it. They themselves cannot even explain why they keep doing bad things. Its because they no longer have instrumentality over themselves and what they know to be right.

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17 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

A slight clarification: Lucifer's plan was Lucifer's. Christ accepted the Father's plan. The Father presented the plan of agency.

That is right....been a while!  Father called a council and presented His plan.  The plan called for a savior and so on.  Thanks for the clarification.

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On ‎11‎/‎7‎/‎2017 at 12:49 PM, The Folk Prophet said:

Another way of looking at what Satan sought to destroy rather than "agency" or "the right to choose damnation" would by in the term justice. In other words, Satan sought to destroy justice. Justice, by another term, is fairness. We often think of fairness in terms of being treated poorly, but unfair is also related to being treated too well. Justice mandates that we get what we deserve. Damnation for sin, salvation for righteousness. What Lucifer did not understand (or chose to blatantly ignore) concerning the mind of God was that God is, was, will be, and must be JUST -- or, in other words -- FAIR. Fairness (in other words, justice) is equivalent to Godliness. God does what He says, means what he says, treats all equitably, and is no respector of persons. In order that justice might be served, because if it was not, God could not be God, He presented the plan of salvation, whereby justice would be served, and mercy extended as part of that justice. Satan, alternatively, essentially planned to cast justice out the proverbial window.

So really the war in heaven was The Justice War. (Copyright 2017. All rights reserved).

If I might suggest a paradigm shift, you are looking at justice from the bottom up or in other words how justice treats mankind.  If we keep in mind that mankind has already received a completely just judgment in the Garden of Eden and that we have already been assigned a penalty of death and are cast out then maybe we might ask a different question.

What if we looked at justice from the top down.  It is a big deal made about the fact that Christ paid with "innocent" blood.  From the very beginning in the Old Testament we are being taught concerning elements that contribute to an understanding of the atonement and the mechanics of how it works.  Cain slays Abel and again there is a very big deal made about Abel's blood being undeservedly spilt.  A claim is made that Abel's blood calls out for justice for this travesty. Of course in Abel's case we know it is Jehovah / Christ that responds to his demands for justice. How do you suppose justice responds when Christ requires justice to respond to his innocent blood being spilt.  When it is his voice that insists upon justice Who is it that he pleads to and why is there any obligation for there to be a response to his plea for justice.  How does this influence the mechanics of the atonement?  Is it possible that it is because of the law of Justice that we are saved? And how so?  Can mercy even rob a justice already administered from the Garden of Eden which placed mankind in a state of being castoff? Or is it more likely that if Justice was not met when Christ required it that there might be an actual situation where mercy could be in a position to rob justice if those please were not responded to.  How would God the Father appease the demands of justice of the only citizen of His kingdom to retain the rights of His protection for never having broken the law that required mankind to be cast off?

Lot's of questions but when you come at it from this direction one can begin to see certain mechanics of the atonement that we do not grasp for looking at justice for how it applies to us who deserve no justice but which can become visible when we consider how the Atonement bought our souls and enabled a return to the presence of the Father because Christ required justice for his innocent blood being spilt.

 

Now I am not exactly agreeing with the idea that Satan wanted to destroy justice, as I lean more to the agency side of the debate.  However if justice were destroyed from our direction of looking at how it impacts us there would be no impact on God the Father as he has already administered a just decision when he condemned all of mankind as all were lost.  However, if he destroyed justice from the top looking down as to how it affected citizens of God's kingdom such as Christ, that would have the capacity to cause God to cease to be God and would have grave ramifications if he chose not to grant that justice. 

Edited by brlenox
Clarification

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28 minutes ago, brlenox said:

Try to grasp the entire picture I am suggesting. 

If you're really interested in having a discussion with someone, perhaps leave the condescension out of it. Just a thought.

I'm considering your thoughts.

 

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