Our First Estate or the Pre-Earth Life: Part IV

8 Feb

In the article titled “The Gospel part II: The Plan of Salvation” I spoke of three different estates that we must pass through in order to attain exaltation in Celestial Glory. Of these the first estate is our Preexistence as spirit children of our Heavenly Father. This series is written to give a more in depth explanation of what that estate was, and what happened there.

This brings us to the third event; the War in Heaven. We read in the Joseph Smith Translation of Revelation 12: 6-8
“And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought against Michael; And the dragon prevailed not against Michael, neither the child, nor the woman which was the church of God, who had been delivered of her pains, and brought forth the kingdom of our God and his Christ. Neither was there place found in heaven for the great dragon, who was cast out; that old serpent called the devil, and also called Satan, which deceiveth the whole world; he was cast out into the earth; and his angels were cast out with him.”
Take note of one thing. This war was fought between the followers of God and the followers of Satan, but it was Michael that lead the heavenly host that eventually cast Satan out. Who is Michael? We learn in Doctrine and Covenants 27: 11 that Michael is “Adam, the father of all, the prince of all, the ancient of days” So Christ did not lead the faithful against the Rebels, but Adam, who was then blessed with being the first of all men to live on this earth, and thus be the prince over it. Thus we see that greatness of Adam in the preexistence.

But, returning to the subject of the War in Heaven, I think some can be said of the nature of this war. In the great vision of the degrees of Glory that Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon enjoyed, they record the following:
“…we beheld Satan, that old serpent, even the devil, who rebelled against God, and sought to take the kingdom of our God and his Christ—Wherefore, he maketh war with the saints of God, and encompasseth them round about. And we saw a vision of the sufferings of those with whom he made war and overcame…” (D&C 76: 28-29)
From this we can see the type of warfare that was waged, both in heaven and here on earth. This was not a battle with swords and armor, or guns and tanks. It was a war of words; a debate between Lucifer and Michael and all the rest. It was a court intrigue that Satan was attempting, through which he hoped to dethrone God and take his place. He works on earth through that same subtle intrigue, still making war on those who chose God in the preexistence.

There are two more things concerning this war that it is important to remember. The first is known by all members of the church, and that is that one third of children of God sided with Satan in that great war, and were cast out with him. In Revelation John tells us that the Dragon, who is Satan, “drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth.” (Revelation 12: 4) This is confirmed in D&C 29: 36-37 “the devil…rebelled against me… and also a third part of the hosts of heaven turned he away from me because of their agency; And they were thrust down, and thus came the devil and his angels”
However, what many people may not realize is the power by which Michael was enabled to win in this war and cast Lucifer and his followers out of heaven. In Revelation 12: 10-11 we read “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
Even in the preexistence we relied on the atoning sacrifice of Christ to bring about that first victory in which Satan was cast out. By the word of the Testimony of the faithful, believing on the sacrifice that was to come in our mortal lives, Satan was cast out of Heaven and became the devil. It is an encouraging thought that what saves us in this life is what saved us in then. For if it worked once, it will work again.

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