The Origin of Evil
The Fall of Satan
Bruce H. Porter
This text is an excerpt from the "Introduction" to the research and commentary work on "Babylon" which will be included on this site shortly.
Why is evil here? How do we control it? Is it a creation of God, or self existing? Does Satan exist? If so, is he organized with a goal in mind? These are a few of the questions that have plagued the minds of philosophers, and theologians throughout history, not to mention the common individual. The answers to these questions are found, in the scriptures, and the revealed word of God to modern day prophets.
John the Revelator learns in the midst of his vision of evil and destruction surrounding the last days, that there was a A war in heaven@ and Satan was cast out with one third of the hosts of heaven (Rev. 12:4-9). Perhaps, questions of John about the origin of evil, the dragon, and the overall destruction of the wicked, prompted his vision about the war in heaven. The Apostle learned that because of this > war= and the fall of Satan, evil exists on the earth, and the justice of God will require its= destruction. Following the apostasy of the early church many A plain and precious@ truths were taken from the scriptures. (1 Nephi 13:26-29). One important truth that was lost, was the doctrine of the A war in heaven.@ Consequently, there are few clear references in the Bible of this doctrine, however, modern day scriptures (The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenant, and Pearl of Great Price) add many of the doctrinal insights, and details that are missing in the Old and New Testaments.
In fulfillment of prophecy about ancient records coming forth in the last-days, (AoF #9; D&C 107:57; Either 3:22-28; 4:5-7; 2 Ne. 29:13; 2 Ne. 27:7-8; 3 Ne. 26:6-11; D&C 93:18; D&C 8:1,11; D&C 121 26-32) there are many early texts that have been discovered containing truths consistent with modern scripture and revelation. "For I deign to reveal unto my church things which have been kept hid from before the foundation of the world, things that pertain to the dispensation of the fullness of times." (D&C 124:41.) Elder McConkie writes:
Many biblical books have been lost.
Even that portion of the divine word that we are qualified to receive has not been preserved for us within the covers of the Bible. The holy book itself makes repeated references to other prophetic books, other inspired historical accounts, and other apostolic epistles, none of which are now extant. And even within the accounts we now have there are references and allusions, by the thousands, to sermons preached, prophecies made, visions seen, and miracles performed that are not there recorded and of which we know nothing. The Bible is what it is, for which we praise the Lord, but someday in his eternal providences it will become, by the addition of the lost and withheld portions and books, what it might have been had men in general been prepared to receive more of heaven's light. Bruce R. Mcconkie, A New Wittness for the Articles of Fatih, p.397.
There is an awful A wo@ pronounced in scripture upon those who cry > I have enough= for A a bible, a bible I have a bible.@ Could we expand that A wo@ to include A a quad, a quad I have a quad@ or to those who seek out of the best books, as long as they come only, from A Deseret Book.@ The A Thirteenth Article of Faith@ declares that we should, intellectually, and energetically A seek@ after those things that are A virtuous, lovely@ and of A good report or praiseworthy.@ Latter-day Saints must be careful not to: "deny . . . the spirit of revelation" and "the spirit of prophecy." (D&C 11:25.) "Wo be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough! For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have." (2 Nephi 28:29-30.) We like to think that statements like these, found in the Book of Mormon, are for those who do not believe in this scripture, and those who will never read the words written in this inspired book. If this were true, the prophet Mormon wasted a lot of time and gold, to make sure these records were preserved for our day.
The attitude that separates the prophets like Moses, Abraham, and Joseph Smith, from the natural man, is that they continue to search for further light and truth, wherever they can find it. Abraham journeyed to Egypt, not only to impart his knowledge but to obtain it, from the ancient seat of civilization and knowledge. There are many ancient texts, that at one time were considered valuable and true. The A restoration@ has truly opened the earth, and the ancient records are A speaking out of the dust@ as prophesied. The question remains: Who is listening? The Lord in the Doctrine and Covenants declared: A How long can rolling waters remain impure? What power shall stay the heavens? As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri river in its decreed course, or to turn it up stream, as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints.@ (D&C 121:33). The only dam that will stop the Lord from A pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints,@ are the saints themselves. Knowledge and revelation will come only by desire, preparation and questions. Every Section in the Doctrine and Covenants came because the prophet was seeking an answer to a question. Revelation and knowledge can come no faster than does the preparation for further light and truth. The A Talmud@ makes the statement that there cannot be a A stirring above until there is a stirring below.@ You don= t ask for a blessing on the food, until the food is prepared. Likewise, with knowledge, and revelation.
Many of these ancient texts discuss the fall of Lucifer, and the origin of evil on the earth. Before reviewing the scriptures, and modern revelation about the war in heaven, a portion of these discovered texts are presented below, as they discuss the origin of evil, and Satan= s onslaught against mankind. Below non-textual commentary will be in italics, that it might be evident where the actual text begins and ends.
Vita Adae et Evae.
The text will begin after Satan has just appeared as an angel of light to Eve, in order to stop her repentance. Eve, and Satan (as the angel of light) come to Adam, who, immediately recognizes that Satan is not a true messenger from God. Adam begins to question Satan.
A . . . > Woe unto thee, thou devil. Why dost thou attack us for no cause? What hast thou to do with us? What have we done to thee? For thou pursuest us with craft? Or why doth thy malice assail us? Have we taken away thy glory and caused thee to be without honour? Why dost thou harry us, thou enemy (and persecute us) to the death in wickedness and envy?=
And with a heavy sigh, the devil spake: > O Adam! All my hostility, envy, and sorrow is for thee, since it is for thee that I have been expelled from my glory, which I possessed in the heavens in the midst of the angels and for thee was I cast out in the earth.= Adam answered, > What dosst thou tell me? What have I done to thee or what is my fault against thee? Seeing that thou hast received no harm or injury from us, why dost thou pursue us?=
The devil replied, > Adam, what dost thou tell me? It is for thy sake that I have been hurled from that place. When thou wast formed, I was hurled out of the presence of God and banished from the company of the angels. When God blew into thee the breath of life and thy face and likeness was made in the image of God, Michael also brought thee and made (us) worship thee in the sight of God; and God the Lord spake: Here is Adam. I have made thee in our image and likeness.@
And Michael went out and called all the angels saying:
> Worship the image of God as the Lord God hath commanded.=
And Michael himself worshipped first; then he called me and said: > Worship the image of God the Lord.= And I answered, > I have no (need) to worship Adam.= And since Michael kept urging me to worship, I said to him, > Why dost thou urge me? I will not worship an inferior and younger being (than I). I am his senior in the creation, before he was made was I already made. It is his duty to worship me.=
When the angels, who were under me, heard this, they refused to worship him. And Michael saith, > Worship the image of God, but if thou wilt not worship him, the Lord God will be wrath with thee.= And I said, > If He be wrath with me, I will set my seat above the stars of heaven and will be like the Highest.=
And God the Lord was wrath with me and banished me and my angels from our glory; and on thy account were we expelled from our abodes into this world and hurled on the earth. And straightway we were overcome with grief, since we had been spoiled of so great glory. And we were grieved when we saw thee in such joy and luxury. And with guile I cheated thy wife and caused thee to be expelled through her (doing) from thy joy and luxury, as I have been driven out of my glory.=
When Adam heard the devil say this, he cried out and wept and spake: > O Lord my God, my life is in thy hands. Banish this Adversary far from me, who seeketh to destroy my soul, and give me his glory which he himself hath lost.= And at that moment, the devil vanished before him. . . .@
(R. H. Charles, The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, Vol 2, Oxford, 1977, pp.136-137).
DISCOURSE ON ABBATON
By Timothy, Archbishop of Alexandria
This Text was copied by Timothy from the existing document at the library in Jerusalem about 380-385 A.D. The Archbishop was seeking information on the origin of Satan and why death and suffering exists in the world. In his words, he was A wishing to learn concerning this fearful and terrifying being who God made, and who pursueth every soul until it yieldeth up it= s spirit.@
This text is described as the Savior= s answers to these questions asked by the Apostles:
A The Apostles asked the Savior about [Abbaton] so that they might be able to preach about him to all mankind, for they knew that men would ask them questions about everything. And the Saviour, who did not wish to disappoint them about any matter concerning which they asked Him questions, informed them saying A The day on which my Father created Abbaton . . . He made him king over all creation which he had made, because of the transgression of Adam and Eve@
This document speaks of the A Council in Heaven,@ The A War in Heaven,@ the fall of Satan and his angels. These doctrines are some of the A plain and precious things@ that have been taken out of the Bible, as Nephi reveals. There exists other ancient documents and records that teach these things, however, the Discourse on Abbaton is most complete and of a most ancient date, and may have been included in the scriptures at one time. The itlicised comments below are personal thoughts and commentary giving some insight into the text.
And it came to pass that when our Saviour, Who is the Root of all good, had finished everything, when the days of his Apocalypse were completed, and he was to ascend up to his Father, he laid His hands upon each one of His holy Apostles, and he prayed over them, and sent them forth into all the world to preach His holy Resurrection to all the heathen, and He filled them with power and with His Holy spirit, and He spake unto them, saying, > The mighty deeds and miracles which I have performed, ye yourselves also shall do. Ye shall lay your hands upon the sick and they shall have rest (or, relief). Ye shall tread upon serpents and scorpions. Ye shall take up serpents in your hands. And when ye drink deadly poisons they shall have no evil effect upon you. Baptize those who believe in Me, and in My Good Father, and the Holy Spirit, and I will forgive them [their sins]. Those who do not believe shall be condemned to the second death. Depart in peace. The peace which is Mine shall be with you. And I will never cease to walk with you even to the end of this world.=
Then the Lord answered and said unto Peter, the greatest of the Apostles, the pillar of the Church, the steward of the kingdom which is in the heavens, > Him that thou wishest to take into it, take; and him that thou wishest to reject, reject.= [And Peter] said unto the saviour, > My Lord and my God. Behold, Thou hast informed us concerning everything about which we have asked Thee, and Thou hast hidden nothing from us. And now, O my Lord and my God, behold, Thou hast sent us out into the whole world to preach Thy Holy Resurrection to all the nations, and the mighty deeds and miracles which Thou hast done, the which we have seen with our eyes, and concerning which we have heard, and Thou hast explained them all to us, even [the matter of ] Thy Mother, and Thy Birth. And, O my Lord, Thou knowest that there are very many contentious and unbelieving people who will ask questions of us concerning everything, and we wish to be able to explain unto them everything. Now therefore, O my Lord, we wish Thee to inform us concerning the day wherein Thou didst establish Abbaton, the Angel of Death, and didst make him to be awful and disturbing, and to pursue all souls until they yield up their spirits, so that we may preach concerning him to all mankind, even as we preach concerning all his fellow angels whom Thou hast created, and whom Thou hast shewn us the days of their establishing, and also that when men hear of [him on] the day of his establishing they may be afraid, and my repent, and may give charities and gifts on the day of his commemoration, just as they do to Michael and Gabriel, so that their souls may find mercy and respite on the day of Thy Holy Resurrection.=
And the Saviour, the Storehouse that is filled with mercy and compassion of every kind, who loveth everything which is good in respect of His day, Who wisheth not to cause us disappointment about anything concerning which we are asked, and said unto them, > O ye whom I have chosen from out of the whole world, I will hide nothing from you, but I will inform you how My Father established him (i.e. Abbaton) over all the created things which He had made. For I and My Father are one, according to what Philip said unto me, A Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.@ And I said unto him, A O Philip, in all the time which thou hast been with Me, hast thou not known Me? He who hath seen Me hath seen My Father, Believe thou that I am in My Father, and My Father is in Me. If it be impossible [for thee], believe His works.@ And now, O my holy members, whom I have chosen from out of the whole world, I will hide nothing from you.
This is the creation and the council in heaven, which each and every world created by our Father must have. The spiritual offspring must all have a chance to approve of the plan or reject it. A Without agency there is no existence.@
It came to pass that when My Father was creating the heavens, and the earth, and the things which are therein, He spake the word, and they all came into being, angel, and Archangel, and cherubim, and Seraphim, and Thrones, and divine Governors, and Dominions, and all the Powers that are in the heavens, and all the army of heaven. And he made the earth also, [and] the wild animals, and the reptiles, and the cattle, and the birds, and everything which moveth upon it. And He planted also a paradise in the eastern part of the earth. And My Father saw that the whole world was a desert, and that there was no one to work it. And My Father said, A Let us make a man in Our image and likeness, that he may continue to praise us by day and by night, and that [every one] may know that it is the hand of the Lord that hath made all these things; for I existed before these things were.@ And My Father commanded and angel saying, A By My wish and by My command get thee to the land of Edem (i.e. A kerem,@ the East land), and bring to Me some virgin earth in order that I may make a man in Our image and likeness therewith, so that he may ascribe blessing unto Us by day and by night.@
Abraham 3:24-26; states that the Gods created this earth to see if we will be obedient, and show our love to our Father in Heaven, by this obedience with the promise that if we keep our first estate we will be added upon in the second estate, which if we are obedient here on this earth (the second estate) we will receive glory upon our A heads for ever and ever.@
> And the angel went to the land of Edem, according to My Father= s command. And he stood upon the earth, and he reached out his hand to gather together some of it and take it to My Father. And straightway the earth cried out with a loud voice, saying, A I swear unto thee by Him Who sent thee to Me, that if thou takest me to Him, He will mold me into a form, and I shall become a man, and a living soul. And very many sins shall come forth from my heart (or, body), and many fornications, and slanderous abuse, and jealousy, and hatred and contention shall come forth from his hand, and many murders and sheddings of blood shall come forth from his hand. And they shall cast me out to the dogs, and to the cats, and into pits and holes in the ground, and into streams of water before my time, and after all these things they will finally cast me into punishment, and they will punish me by day and by night. Let me stay here, and go back to the ground and be quiet.@
> And when the Angel of God had heard these things he was afraid of My father= s name, and he returned and came to My Father, and said, A My Lord, when I heard Thy awful Name I did not wish to bring the earth unto Thee.@ And straightway My Father commanded an angel a second time to go to it, and then a third angel, and so on even unto seven angels, and not one of them wished to approach the earth because it took awful oaths by mighty [names]. And when My Father saw that none of the angels wished to bring the earth to him, He sent the angel Mouriel to the earth, saying unto him, A Go thou by My command to the land of Edem, and bring unto me some virgin earth so that I may fashion a man therefrom, after Mine own image and likeness, that he may ascribe blessing unto Us by day and by night.@
> And when the Angel of God had departed to the earth he stood upon it in great power and might, and in the commandment of God. And he reached out his hand to take some of it, and straightway the dust (or, clay) cried out with a loud voice, saying, A I swear unto thee by the name of Him that created the heavens, and the earth, and the things that are therein, that thou shalt not approach me to take me unto God.@ And the angel Mouriel was not afraid at [the mention of ] the Name of My Father when he heard it, and he paid no heed thereto, but he went to it, and he laid hold of it with firmness and determination, and he brought it to My Father [Who] rejoiced over it.
Mankind must be made of the dust of this earth, at least those who will be, or have had temporal bodies on this earth. This is so, because, in order to be governed by A natural law@ our physical bodies must be made from the elements from the A sphere in which God has placed it@ (D&C 93:28) Other worlds may not have the same elements as ours therefore, the physical bodies there must be made from those other elements in order to have natural law (death, disease, pain, sickness, etc. etc.) govern them.
And He took the clay from the hand of the angel, and made Adam according to Our image and likeness, and He left him lying for forty days and forty nights without putting breath into him. And he heaved sighs over him daily, saying, A If I put breath into this [man], he must suffer many pains.@
The plan of salvation is presented, and the Savior accepts the responsibility to become the redeemer of the offspring of the Father.
And I said unto My Father, A Put breath into him; I will be an advocate for him.@ And My Father said unto Me, A If I put breath into him, My beloved son, Thou wilt be obliged to go down into the world, and to suffer many pains for him before Thou shalt have redeemed him, and made him to come back to primal state.@ And I said unto My Father, A Put breath into him; I will be his advocate, and I will go down into the world, and will fulfill Thy command.@
> And whilst He was wishing to put breath into him He took a book, and wrote therein [the names of] those who should come forth from him and who should enter into the kingdom which is in the heavens, according to what is written, A These are they whose names are written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the World.@
The names of the righteous are written in the A Lambs Book of Life@ before the foundation of this world.
And He put breath into him in this way; He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life three times, saying, A Live! Live! Live! According to the type of My Divinity.@ And the man lived straightway, and became a living soul, according to the image and likeness of God. And when Adam had risen up he cast himself down before [My] father, saying, A My Lord and my God! Thou hast made me to come into being [from a state in which] I did not exist.@
The spirit of Adam (Michael) is placed into the created body now that the plan of salvation was accepted and the redeemer is made known. Adam is excited above stating that he can feel the difference that a body makes, saying A My Lord and My God! Thou hast made me to come into being [from a state in which] I did not exist.@
Thereupon My Father set him upon a great throne, and he placed on his head a crown of glory, and he put a royal scepter [in his hand],
Adam is given the priesthood, this is the A wa= as@ scepter in Egypt that represents the priesthood, and authority of god to be a prophet, priest, and king, or in the Case of Adam the first man A a patriarch.@
and My Father made every order [of angels] in the heavens to come and worship him, wether angel or archangel. And all the hosts of heaven worshiped God first of all, and then they worshiped Adam, saying, A Hail, thou image and likeness of God!@
This perhaps, is the doctrine behind the origin of the A Adam God Theory@ and is more complete once it is understood in the correct context. The Father has all worship Him first, as their God and Father of their spirits, He then has all of heaven (those coming to this earth) worship (bad translation, should be > give homage= honor or respect) to Adam the god and father of their physical bodies. Adam, or Michael, because of his righteousness and valiancy in the pre-earth life (see Alma 13:3-5) was chosen to become the first physical man (patriarch) on the newly created earth, and to hold all the keys, rights, and powers and privileges of the priesthood, under the direction of Christ, and our Father in Heaven. This places Adam as the A Ancient of Days@ the A Grand Patriarch@ the A Prophet, Priest, and King@ of all the Father= s spiritual offspring that will come to this earth. This choice of Michael, a younger but more righteous spirit doesn't set well with the A Son of the Morning@ an older spirit child. (Christ is the Firstborn of all our Father= s spiritual offspring. Could Satan be the firstborn of the spirit children that were to come to A THIS EARTH@ , but Adam or Michael was more righteous and received the honor of being the first patriarch, and A Ancient of Days@ for this world? The Doctrine and Covenants teach that A the devil was before Adam@ (D&C 29:36). Could Abraham 3:27 be speaking of the one who would be the first patriarch? A Michael@ means A like unto God.@ in Hebrew. This would account for the assumed discrepancy between Moses 4, and Abraham 3.) This is a pattern seen throughout biblical history. Cain/Abel, Isaac/Ishmael, Jacob/Esau, Joseph/Reuben, Laman/Nephi, and Adam/Satan. The pattern is there for a reason.
And He intended that the order of the angels who were fashioned [before Adam] should worship him, and My Father said unto him (i.e. their chief), A Come, thou thyself shalt worship my image and likeness.@ And he, a being of great pride, drew himself up in a shameless manner, and said, A It is meet that this [man Adam] should come and worship me, for I existed before he came into being.@
The pride of Satan cannot allow a being younger than himself to rule over him. This same pride turns Cain against Abel, producing murder for gain, secret oaths and combinations, Master Mahan, and the first > son of Satan, (perdition). D&C 29:36-37 states: A And it came to pass that Adam, Being tempted of the devil--for, behold, the devil was before Adam, for he rebelled against me, saying Give me thine honor, which is my power; 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.@
> And when My Father saw his great pride, and that his wickedness and his evil-doing were complete, (had reached their highest pitch)
The Father gave Satan every chance. Agency would require Satan to know, and understand completely what the consequences would be for the exercise of his agency, or the consequence would unjust and unrighteous. Satan chose his path, his A pride was complete@ he would never turn back. He rebelled against God and was cast out.
He commanded all the armies of heaven, saying, A Remove the writing [which is] in the hand of the proud one, strip ye off his armor, and cast ye him down upon the earth, for his time hath come. For he is the greatest of them all, (the rebellious angels) he is the head over them and is like a king, and he commandeth them as the general of an army [commandeth his] soldiers; he is the head over them, and their names are written in his hand.@
A The writing in his hand@ is the priesthood authority that he had been give before his fall to perdition. This is the same writing in Pharaoh= s hand, depicted in the statues in Egypt. This A writing@ is his A line of authority,@ the right to rule as A son of god@ on earth. Anciently only the king could claim the right, and rite, of the king of kings, that of the son of god. This A writing@ proved that the king or pharaoh came with authority and power. The conflict between Abraham and Nimrod, Abimelech, and Pharaoh was that Abraham had the A right@ and true priesthood authority for the A rites@ to be the patriarch, and theocratic ruler on earth. Abraham had participated in the A rites of the firstborn@ (the endowment of power) and became a A rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers.@ (Abr. 1:2-4).
Thus is it with this cunning one, and the [names of the] angels were written in his hand. And all the angels gathered together to him, and they did not wish to remove the writing from his hand. And my Father commanded them to bring a sharp reaping-knife, and to stab him therewith on this side and that, right through his body to the vertebrae of his shoulders, and he was unable to hold himself up. And straightway My Father commanded a mighty Cherubim, and he smote him, and cast him down from heaven upon the earth, because of his pride, and he broke his wings and his ribs and made helpless, and those whom he had brought with him became devils with him.
The A reaping-knife@ is the ancient sign of Satan, as his middle finger is arched in the shape of the reaping-knife. This reaping-knife is used to preform the oath which he had taken in the pre-earth existence. He was stabbed from his shoulder, and cut to the vertebrae, across the body to his other shoulder. This completes the loss of his powers and priesthoods, as he had A altogether turned therefrom@ his oath and covenant of the priesthood which he had made with the Father. The braking of his wings symbolize that his power to move about was taken, he was on the earth to stay, his limits were set. This lone and dreary world became his kingdom, and he became, in name only, A the god of this world.@ seeking the > misery of all mankind.=
The Enoch Texts are found in: The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, Vol 1, Edited by James H. Charlesworth, Doubleday, Garden City, New York, 1983.
In 2 Enoch 29:4-6, Enoch is viewing the creation with angelic assistance, much like Abraham, and Moses in the Pearl of Great Price. Enoch seeing the orders of angels is told, by God, that:
A One from the order of the archangels deviated, together with the division that was under his authority. He thought up the impossible idea, that he might place his throne higher than the clouds which are above the earth, and that he might become equal to my power.
And I hurled him out from the height, together with his angels.@ (p.148).
In the Doctrine and Covenants, section 76, the prophet Joseph Smith receives a number of visions. The first, a vision of Christ on the right hand of the Father, the second vision, was the fall of Satan. The third vision was the punishments of the wicked. Likewise, in 2 Enoch, the same pattern exists. First the vision of God, and His kingdom, then the punishments of the wicked, followed by a vision of the glories of the righteous. The vision of punishments that Enoch sees, provokes Enoch to question his guide:
A Why are these ones being tormented unceasingly?@ Enoch is answered that: A These are those who turned away from the Lord, who did not obey the Lord= s commandments, but of their own will plotted together and turned away with their prince . . .@ (p.114).
The Gospel of Bartholomew
This text is found in: M. R. James, The Apocryphal New Testament, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1980 ed. Pp. 175, 178.
In this text the Apostles are seeking answers to questions about evil and the origin of Satan. Bartholomew asks the Lord the questions, and to his surprise, the resurrected Savior shows him how to control Satan then tells Bartholomew to ask Satan himself.
And Bartholomew saith unto him: Tell me who thou art and what is thy name. Ane he said to him: lighten me a little, and I will tell thee who I am and how I came higher, and what my work is and what my power is. 24. And he lightened him and saith to him: Say all that thou has done and all that thou doest. 25. And Beliar answered and said: If you wilt know my name, at the first I was called Satanael, which is interpreted a messenger of God, but when I rejected the image of God my name was called Satanas, that is an angel the keepeth hell (Tartarus). 26. And again bartholomew saith unto him: Reveal unto me all things and hide nothing from me. 27. Ane he said unto him: I swear unto thee by the power of the glory of God that even if I would have aught, I cannot, for he is near that would convict me. For if I were able I would have destroyed you like one of them that were before you. 28. For, indeed, I was formed (al. called) the first angel: for when God made the heavens, he took a handful of fire and formed me first, Michael second [Vienna MS. Here has these sentences: A for he had his Son before the heavens and the earth and we were formed (for when he took thought to create all things, his Son spake a word), so that we also were created by the will of the Son and the consent of the Father. He formed I say, first me, next Michael the chief captain of the hosts that are above], Gabriel third, Uriel fourth, Raphael fifth, Nathanael sixth, and other angels of whom I cannot tell the names.
This doctrine -- alluded to in the scriptures that we have -- should be discussed here. Satan reveals to Bartholomew that he was the first born, or first spirit offspring of the Father for this earth, with Michael being the second. (A for, behold, the devil was before Adam@ D&C 29:36.). Satan is not the first born of the spirit, just the first born that would come to A this earth@ but his pride negated his elder position to the next righteous born, Michael (This according to the A law of inheritance@ found in Genesis, the A Patriarchal Priesthood Manual@ ). This is the paradigm that comes not by coincidence, but, by setting a purposeful pattern, discovered in the scriptures, of: Satanael and Michael, Satan and Adam, Cain and Abel, Japheth and Shem, Ishmael and Isaac, Esau and Jacob, Ruben and Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, Aaron and Moses, Adonijah and Solomon, Laman and Nephi, and others. Understanding this makes it clear that Abraham 3:27-28 is speaking of who shall become the A first flesh@ (Moses 3:7) and primal patriarch for this earth. Satan could not usurp the authority and place of Christ, as the A firstborn of the spirit,@ but, by claiming that the Son of God, and the atonement, was not needed on this earth, because he (Satan) would redeem mankind, A that one soul shall not be lost.@ This he could do by destroying the agency of man (Moses 4:1-4), demanding the A honor@ of God, which is His A power@ (D&C 29:36; Moses 4:1, 3). By this evil, and prideful plan he could A exalt (his) throne above the stars of God@ ascending A above the heights of the clouds@ claiming that he, A will be like the most High@ (Isa. 14:13-14) and A exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.@ (2 Thess.2:4). Thus, Satan thought that he could rise, even above the Father and the Son, by saving all mankind, doing away with the need of a Savior, seeking then the A honor@ and A glory@ that would belong to the Father through the power of the salvation, and exaltation of His offspring. (See D&C 132:30-31).
Satan has two goals now that he has been cast out of his former glory. He fights against God, and the divine Sonship of Christ by (1) destroying the necessity of the Atonement, (faith and repentance, or the redemption of man) and (2) the nature of God the Father, (A that the Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man= s@ D&C 130:22, which is the doctrine of the exaltation of man). Satan= s pre-earth plan for A this world@ was to do away with the need of Jesus Christ, by forcing the salvation, or exaltation of all. Thus, the atonement, faith, repentance, or the A gospel of Jesus Christ@ would not be required for salvation. Satan knew that he could not take the place of Christ in power, position, or authority as the A firstborn@ of all the spirit children the Father. Consequently, his plan was to do away with the need of Christ. With the guarantee of salvation and exaltation of all the spirits that were to come to this earth, then demand the glory that would be the Father= s by the guaranteed exaltation of God= s offspring. Because he was cast out from the presence of God, for rebellion ( for no unclean thing can dwell in the presence of god) Satan retains the same goals in this world. The A gospel of Satan@ is: that (1) there is no need of the atonement (the exercise of A faith unto repentance@ ) required for salvation. (2) Destroy the true nature of God. The A church of the devil teaches the philosophies of men mingled with scripture, promising salvation to those that say only, that they A believe@ being saved by grace and nothing else. This does away with righteousness, ordinance and authority, faith unto repentance, and the A Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God.@ The ambassadors of Babylon require: no authority from God,(because they don= t have it) no ordinances of salvation (because that would require authority) and being saved by grace alone, saves the sinner A in his sins.@ Salvation by grace alone seeks A to destroy the agency of man@ and the power of choice, which power, can exalt, or damn mankind. The second goal of Satan: > to destroy the true nature of God= (which falls into two categories: the physical nature, and the separate nature of the godhead) is successful in doing away with the doctrine of exaltation. Because Satan lost his first estate, and his right to a physical body, his gospel proclaims that God must be like him. A God without body or parts, a body of spirit, every where, but no where. If God is a spirit there is no exaltation, God then, could not be an exalted man, and man cannot be exalted. Coupled with this concept is the separateness of the Godhead. Satan declares, that the Father is the Son, one and the same, and they are the same as the Holy Ghost. Thus, Christ becomes the Father A incarnate@ Satan= s success is seen in the A Apostles Creed@ or the A Nicene Creed.@ In this one document Satan destroyed the individual and divine nature of the A Son of God@ , and the physical nature of the Father.@ This is called in modern A Christian@ religions as A historical Christianity.@ Satan is successful in becoming the A God of this world@ as the world accepts his definition of deity (which is himself), doing away with guilt, and repentance, teaching that you can have anything in this world for money.
Every world will have its= own A council in heaven,@ and in every council will stand the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, the firstborn of the spirit, for they existed before all creation. ( Before the heavens and earths were created, before mankind and angels existed.)
In regard to the battle in heaven, that brother Truman O. Angel referred to, how much of a battle it was I have forgotten. I cannot relate the principal circumstances, it is so long since it happened: but I do not think it lasted very long; for when Lucifer, the Son of the Morning, claimed the privilege of having the control of this earth and redeeming it, a contention rose; but I do not think it took long to cast down one-third of the hosts of heaven, as it is written in the Bible. But let me tell you that it was one-third part of the spirits who were prepared to take tabernacles upon this earth, and who rebelled against the other two thirds of the heavenly host; and they were cast down to this world. It is written that they were cast down to the earth. They were cast down to this globe--to this terra firma that you and I walk upon, and whose atmosphere we breathe. One-third part of the spirits that were prepared for this earth rebelled against Jesus Christ, and were cast down to the earth, and they have been opposed to him from that day to this, with Lucifer at their head. He is their great General--Lucifer, the Son of the Morning. He was once a brilliant and influential character in heaven, and we will know more about him hereafter. (Brigham Young, J.D. 5:55)
Satan and one-third of the spirit hosts destined for life on this earth came out in open rebellion against the Father. The rebels "sought to destroy the agency of man" and to modify the Father's plan so that salvation would come automatically to all who passed through mortality. (Moses 4:1-4; Abra. 3:24-28; D. & C. 29:36-38; Isa. 14:12-20; Luke 10:18.) (Bruce R. McConkie, MD, Pg.828 WAR IN HEAVEN)
Devils are the spirit beings who followed Lucifer in his war of rebellion in pre-existence. They comprise one-third of those spirit children of the Father who were destined to pass through a mortal probation on this earth. (D. & C. 29:36-41; Rev. 12:3-9.) They were cast down to earth, and have been forever denied physical bodies, a fact which causes them to seek habitation in the bodies of other persons. By the power of faith and the authority of the priesthood, devils are frequently cast out of such afflicted persons. (Mark 1:23-34; 16:15-17.) (Bruce R. McConkie, MD, Pg.195, DEVILS)
Every council in heaven, and every world created, will have a first born spirit for that particular world, and a A first flesh@ (the first flesh that is the offspring of God) for that earth. (In the Old Testament these concepts appear as the A firstborn@ [first of all] and the A firstfruits@ [first of the season, or world]). Satan declares that he is the first spirit for this world, and was created before Michael, or Adam, (who will be the first flesh) and that he, (Satan) should be the A Grand Patriarch,@ the A Ancient of Days,@ holding the authority, honor and glory of the Father (the Patriarchal Priesthood), and the power of the Son of God (the Melchizedek Priesthood).
Satan makes it clear to Bartholomew that the A Son@ existed before any and all creation (Col. 1:15), and all creation was by the A will of the Son and the consent of the Father@ and created by the A word of power@ (Moses 1:32-33). It must be understood and clear that Christ is the firstborn of all the spiritual offspring, of our Father in Heaven. The Savior is the A first born of the spirit, and the only begotten in the flesh.@ Christ, A was, is and shall be,@ because He is the first born of all spirits, the firstborn and firstfruits of our God and Father, and stands next to Elohim in all creation. As the First Born, under the A Patriarchal@ rule and order, the Savior becomes responsible for the spiritual and temporal welfare of all His Father= s children. (The concept of A prophet, priest, and king@ ) Thus, Joseph declares: A we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father--That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.@ (D&C 76:23-24). It is the A firstborn@ that must become the A Savior@ and A Redeemer@ of his Father= s offspring. Because of this position in creation and responsibility of spiritual birth, there is an inherent power that lies within Jesus Christ. Not the power of the Father, (that is patriarchal) but, the power and authority of the firstborn unto God, known as A the Holy Priesthood after the Order of the Son of God.@ (D&C 107:3). This A power@ inherent in Jesus Christ, gives Him the right, and authority to become the A Savior@ of all God= s children, who are as innumerable as the stars; or, if ye were to count the sand upon the seashore ye could not number them@ (D&C 130:30.). These are they, who, live on A worlds with out number,@ created by the A Only Begotten Son.@ (Moses 1:32-33).
The A lamb prepared before the foundation of the world,@ (Rev. 13:8; 1 Pet. 1:19-20, that is A before the foundation@ of this world and worlds without number) is Jesus Christ, whoA was, is, and shall be@ an A infinite and eternal sacrifice@ (Alma 34:10); a sacrifice that A will be the Son of God, yea, infinite and eternal.@ (Alma 34:14). The atonement of the Creator, the Son of a God, will A bring about the bowels of mercy which overpowereth justice . . . and thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice@ (Alma 34:14-15). The A wages of sin are death@ (Rom. 6:23) and the demands of justice can only be satisfied by the death (physical, and spiritual) of the sinner, or by the death of the sinless lawgiver. (The demands of justice require (from man or god), the physical death of the body and also the spiritual death, or separation from God. It was only because Christ was A sinless@ that the spiritual death could have no power over him, and the fact that he is a God gave him power over the physical death, thus, the demands of justice were satisfied, and overcome without prejudice. This makes the sacrifice of Jesus Christ infinite and eternal, a sacrifice that will suffice for all eternity, (2 Ne 9:6-7) for all the spiritual offspring that the Father has had or ever will have, spirits that will populate the worlds without number, worlds that have passed away, or have yet to be created (Moses 1:38). The resurrected body is required to stand before God to be judged, (2 Ne. 2:10; Mormon 9:13), and to stand before the veil for exaltation. The Savior had to present himself to the Father, at the veil after the resurrection, having been true and faithful in all things, and free from sin, [not because he was washed and pronounced clean, but because he was perfectly clean and sinless], and without the earthly and bloody blemishes of mortality, and the wickedness of the natural man. The A presentation@ of Christ to the Father took place after he appeared to Mary in the Garden, for this reason the Savior said A touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to my Father in Heaven.@ The A presentation@ must be done in all cleanliness, without the stains of mortality A in or on@ the resurrected body. [it is because of this event, and the mortality of the blood, that there were laws of cleanliness in the Mosaic law, especially those of women, and the issue of blood (mortality)]) These doctrines and elements in the life of Christ, cannot be separated from our own endowment and presentation at the veil. We must be washed in the Blood of the Lamb, to be pronounced clean and free from sin (3 Ne. 27:19). We must be resurrected to the celestial glory, (D&C 88:28-29) by the A power of the resurrection@ which can only come by the power of an A infinite atonement@ (2 Ne. 9:7). The cleansing and resurrection are provided by Jesus Christ. This is the essence of A His Gospel@ (3 Ne. 27:13-21) or A His Doctrine@ (3 Ne. 11:31-40), the purpose for which he came to earth is to provide the infinite A atonement@ that is required for us to approach God. There is one A mediator between God and man@ (1 Tim. 2:5) Jesus Christ is the mediator. The > doctrine of mediation= is that mankind cannot approach the Father, in any way, without the power and authority, of Jesus Christ. This is the power of the A gospel of Jesus Christ:@ to be cleansed, and resurrected, and prepared for our presentation at the veil. These are the initiatory ordinances, which are preparatory to our endowment of power. The initiatory ordinances, are the A washings and anointings@ (D&C 124:37, 39). Worthy members are washed with water and pronounced clean, through the A blood of the Lamb,@ and then parts of the body are anointed with oil to function properly as they come forth in the first resurrection. These initiatory ordinances, are the priesthood ordinances of cleansing (washing), and resurrection (anointing), that come only by the power of the infinite atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Thus, Christ is the A mediator@ between man and God. We cannot present ourselves at the veil until we worthily participate in the initiatory ordinances of the mediating Gospel of Jesus Christ, for there is no A other name given whereby salvation cometh@ (Mosiah 5:8) and as the Savior said, that A no man cometh unto the Father but by me.@
We must then be presented to the Father, as was Christ, to be A encircled@ in his arms ( 2 Ne. 1:15; Alma 5:33; Alma 34:16), in a sinless and celestial body, with the A spirit and element, inseparably connected@ to A receive a fulness of joy@ (D&C 93:33) and to be endowed with the power that makes God, God, entering into his A rest, which rest is a fullness of his glory@ (D&C 84:24), now prepared to A receive the Father= s kingdom, and all that the Father hath@ (D&C 84:38) as he declares A Behold, thou art one in me, a son of God; and thus may all become my sons.@ (Moses 6:68). By the mercy and grace of the infinite and eternal sacrifice of the lawgiver, and God, may the demands of justice be satisfied.
14 And behold, this is the whole meaning of the law, every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice; and that great and last sacrifice will be the Son of God, yea, infinite and eternal.
15 And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance.
16 And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption. (Alma 34:14-16)
This authority and power of Christ, the firstborn of the spirit, is given to mankind as the Melchizedek priesthood, and allows mankind to officiate in the ordinances of salvation, and exaltation, becoming a A savior on Mount Zion@ to our Father= s children. This authority can be exercised outside of family lines because it is the power of Christ, and is the authority of the firstborn, providing, and preforming the ordinances of salvation for the offspring of the Father. The A patriarchal priesthood@ (see TPJS pp. 322-323; D&C 107:40-41) is the power (the power of the Father) that man and woman participate in, as they A enter into this order of the priesthood, [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage] (D&C 131:2) which belong to the ordinances of exaltation.
enough for the A gee whiz@ file,-- back to the text--
52. But the devil said: Suffer me, and I will tell thee how I was cast down into this place and how the Lord did make man. 53. I was going to and fro in the world, and god said unto Michael: Bring me a clod from the four corners of the earth, and water out of the four rivers of paradise. (The world has been created, and the council in heaven takes place along with the physical creation of Adam) And when Michael brought them God formed Adam in the regions of the east, ( A the east@ represents the pre-earth council in heaven , or the residence of God, the Savior will come from A the east@ ) and shaped the clod which was shapeless, and stretched sinews and veins upon it and established it with joints; and he worshipped him, himself for his own sake first, because he was the image of God, therefore he worshipped him. 54. And when I came from the ends of the earth Michael said: Worship thou the image of God, which he hath made according to his likeness. But I said: I am fire of fire, I was the first angel formed, and shall I worship clay and matter? 55. And Michael saith to me: Worship, lest God be wroth with thee. But I said to him: God will not be wroth with me; but I will set my throne over against his throne, and I will be as he is. Then was God wroth with me and cast me down, having commanded the windows of heaven to be opened. 56. And when I was cast down, he asked also the six hundred that were under me, if they would worship: but they said: Like as we have seen the first angel do, neither will we worship him that is less than ourselves. Then were the six hundred also cast down by him with me.
Following the Devil= s explination of the A war in heaven,@ and the A fall of Satan,@ Bartholomew asks:
Lord is it lawful for me to reveal these mysteries unto every man? 67. Jesus saith unto him: Bartholomew, my beloved, as many as are faithful and are able to keep them unto themselves, to them mayest thou entrust these things. For some there are that be worthy of them, but there are also other some unto whom it is not fit to entrust them:
This response is similar to the Lord= s instruction to the Prophet Joseph Smith, in the opening verses of the Book of Moses, which contains the same information on the the A war in heaven.@ (These words were spoken unto Moses in the mount, the name of which shall not be known among the children of men. And now they are spoken unto you. Show them not unto any except them that believe. Even so. Amen.) (Moses 1:42). Likewise, Alma teaches that A it is given unto many to know the mysteries of god; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men@ (Alma 12:9).
The Book of John the Evangelist
This text is found in: M. R. James, The Apocryphal New Testament, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1980 ed. Pp. 188-189
This text is in response to the questions of John, about evil, and the fall of Satan.
And I said: Lord, before Satan fell, in what glory abode he with thy Father? And he said unto me: In such glory was he that he commanded the powers of the heavens: but I sat with my Father; and he did order all the followers of the Father, and went down from heaven unto the deep and ascended up out of the deep unto the throne of the invisible Father. And he saw the glory of him that moveth the heavens, and he thought to set his seat above the clouds of heaven and desired to be like unto the Most High.
The text explains how Satan convinced the other angels to follow him, promising them that they A I will reign with you world without end@ thus, A seducing the angels of the invisible Father.@
Then the Father commanded his angels, saying: Take away their garments. And the angels took away their garments and their thrones and their crowns from all the angels that harkened unto him.
And I asked of the Lord: When Satan fell, in what place dwelt he? Ane he answered me: My Father changed his appearance because of his pride, and the light was taked from him, and his face became like unto heated iron, and his face became wholly like that of a man: and he dreq with his tail the third part of the angels of God, and was cast out from the seat of God and from the stewardship of the heavens. And Satan came down into this firmament, and he could find (make) no rest for himself nor for them that were with his.
The Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan
From: R. H. Platt Jr. ed. The Forgotten Books of Eden, Bell Publishing Co., New York, 1980. pp. 36-37.
This particular text discusses the many A conflicts@ or confrontations that Adam and Eve have with Satan, who, often appears as an angel of light. We begin after the fall of Adam and Eve, they are visited by the angels sent from the presence of God to give them instruction. Adam, asking about Satan, is given the following information.
Then the angels said unto Adam, A Thou didst harken to Satan, and didst forsake the Word of God who created thee; But now, O Adam, we will make known to thee, what came upon us through him, before his fall from heaven.
He gathered together his hosts, and deceived them, promising them to give them a great kingdom, a divine nature; and other promises he made them.
His hosts belived that his word was true, so they yielded to him, and renounced the glory of God.
He then sent for us -- according to the orders in which we were -- to come under his command, and to hearken to his vain promise. But we would not, and we took not his advice.
Then after he had fought with God, and had dealt forwardly with Him, he gathered together his hosts, and made war with us. And if it had not been for God= s strength that was with us, we could not have prevailed aagainst him to hurl him from heaven.
But when he fell from among us, there was great joy in heaven, because of his going down from us. For had he continued in heaven, nothing, not even one angel would have remained in it.
But God in his mercy, drove him from among us to this dark earth; for he had become darkness itself and a worker of unrighteousness.
And he has continued, O Adam, to maake war aaginst thee, until he geguiled thee and made thee come out of the garden, to this strange land, where all these trials have come to thee. And death, which god brought upon him he has also brought to thee, O Adam, because thou didst obey him, and didst transgress against god.@
The Koran is not considered an ancient text, but, contains excerpts from texts that were considered inspired scripture, within the early Christian, and Jewish communities.
The Koran written by Mohammad between 600-650 c.e. (a.d.) is considered for Muslims the infallible Word of God. Traveling with trading caravans, Mohammed, would have come under the influence of Jewish and Christian scholars and teachings, and may have collected many ancient documents upon which he based some of the teachings of the Koran.
Below are excerpts from different A surahs@ or chapters in the Koran, with their corresponding verse or paragraph numbers.
In surah 2:30 The satanic angels claim that Adam is not as intelligent as they, wherein God proves that the chosen patriarch is more intelligent than all the angels.
Saurah 2:34A And when We said to the angels: > Prostrate yourselves before Adam,= they all prostrated themselves except Satan, who in his pride refused and became and unbeliever.@
Surah 7:11-18We created you (Adam) and gave you form. Then We said to the angels: > Prostrate yourselves before Adam.= They all prostrated themselves except Satan, who refused to prostrate himself.
> Why did you not prostrate yourself when I commanded you?= He asked.
> I am nobler than he,= he replied. > You created me of fire, but You created him of clay.=
He said: > Off with you hence! This is no place for you contemptuous pride. Away with you! Henceforth you shall be humble.=
He replied: > Reprieve me (allow me my way) till the Day of Resurrection.=
> You arre reprieved,= said He.
> Because You have led me into sin,= he declared, > I will waylay Your servants as they walk on Your straight path, and spring upon them from the front and from the rear, from their right and from their left. Then you will find the greater part of them ungrateful.=
> Begone!= He said. > A despicable outcast you shall henceforth be. As for those that follow you, I shall fill Hell with you all.=
Surah 15:22-29We Created man from dry clay, from black moulded loam, and before him Satan from smokeless fire. Your Lord said to the angels: > I am creating man from dry clay, from black moulded loam. When I have fashioned him and breathed of My spirit into him, kneel down and prostrate yourselves before him.=
The angels, one and all, prostrated themselves, except Satan. He refused to prostrate himself with the others.
> Satan,= said god, > why do you not prostrate yourself?=
He replied: > I will not bow to a mortal whom You created of dry clay, of black moulded loam.=
> Begone,= said God, > you are accursed. My curse shall be on you till JudgementB day.=
> Lord,= said Satan, > reprieve me till the Day of Resurrection.=
He answered: > You are reprieved till the Appointed Day.=
> Lord,= said Satan, > since You have thus seduced me, I will tempt mankind on earth: I will seduce them all, except those of them who are your faithful servants.=
See also A surahs@ 17:61-63; 18:50; 20:115-124; 38:67-88.
(For other scriptures about the A war in heaven@ and the fall of Satan see: 2 Nephi 2:16-18; 2 Nephi 9:8; D&C 29:36-39; D&C 76: 25-28; Moses 4:3-4; Abr. 3:24-28; Jude 6; Isaiah 14:12-16; Luke 10:18; Revelation 12:3-9).
The texts above, show the common thread of the A war in heaven@ running throughout. It is evident that this doctrine played an important part in understanding the origin of evil, the existence of Satan or the Devil, and his goal to destroy the work of God. The prophet Lehi, in the Book of Mormon, teaches his son Jacob about the fall of Satan saying: A 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@ (2 Ne. 2:17). Lehi continues to teach about the goal of Satan, stating that after his fall from heaven, he became A miserable forever,@ therefore, A he sought also the misery of all mankind@ (2 Ne. 2:18, 27). To bring about this A misery@ Satan A stirreth up the children of men unto secret combinations of murder and all manner of secret works of darkness@ (2 Nephi 9:9). Moses expands on the goal of Satan, saying, that he became: A the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will.@ Those that Satan will lead A captive at his will@ must be lead voluntarily, for he can only lead, as the Lord states: A as many as would not harken unto my voice@ (Moses 4:4). Disobedience to our Father in Heaven places mankind on the precipice of Satan= s will. Jacob warns about disobedience to our knowledge of truth: A But wo unto him that has the law given, yea, that has all the commandments of God, like unto us, and that transgresseth them, and that wasteth the days of his probation, for awful is his state!@ (2 Nephi 9:27). A O that cunning plan of the evil one!@ declares Jacob, understanding that Satan will use the pride of knowledge: A O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they harken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves@ (2 Nephi 9:28).