I found this posted on Facebook a few moments ago. I think it pretty accurately represents our (Latter-Day Saints/Mormons) beliefs and I'd never really thought about it in this way. So, I thought I'd share.
By Mike Jensen Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Mormons have intrigued me ever since Mike Huckabee back in 2007 claimed
that Mormons believe that Jesus and Satan are brothers. With the recent
election over, I decided to check out Mormons a bit more.
hope in doing this was to explain to readers who Mormons are and whether
or not 22 percent of the people were justified in opposing having a
But instead I’m going to share an intriguing
bit of Mormon theology I learned that I think makes them perhaps the
most politically wise human beings on the planet. Ironically, this story
stems from that Huckabee quote about the relationship between Jesus and
the devil, but the lesson to be learned is one that, regardless of our
political or religious views, we would all be wise to consider.
So here’s what I learned: Mormons, unlike most other Christian sects,
believe that all humans lived a life before mortality. They call this
the pre-existence or pre-earth life. At birth a veil is placed over our
minds so that we don’t remember it (you’ll see why in a minute).
In this pre-earth life, we were all in the presence of God as His spirit
children. Jesus was there—the first-born of God’s spirit children, and a
leader in the councils in Heaven. Lucifer was also there, and was
another leader among the children of God. He was called a "son of the
At some point in this existence, the Father called all
of His children together to explain how things worked. All of His
children would have to leave His presence and come to earth for a period
of testing. The goal was to see if we would live a righteous life even
when we had to live by faith, as we would no longer be able to remember
God or heaven (that’s the reason for the veil).
If we would live a
righteous life, we would be given the opportunity to return and live
with God forever. Otherwise we would forfeit that chance, because no
unclean thing can live in God’s presence. However, God knew that we
would all make mistakes, so he would provide a Savior for the world.
This Savior would live a sinless life, and because of that, he would
qualify to pay for the sins of the world through what would be called
the "Atonement." If people would sincerely repent of their sins, then
the Atonement would essentially erase their sins, and they could still
return and live with God. The Father called for volunteers to be this
savior, and two stepped forward: Jesus and Lucifer.
that he would be the savior and he would force everybody to live
righteously, thus guaranteeing that all of God’s spirit children would
return to Him in heaven. Jesus said that He would follow the Father’s
plan and allow God’s children their free agency. They could choose for
themselves whether to live righteously and take advantage of the
Atonement or whether to live in sin and forfeit the opportunity to
return and live with God.
God rejected Lucifer’s plan, causing
Lucifer to rebel and declare war on God. One-third of God’s spirit
children joined Lucifer in this rebellion. In the end, the rebellion
failed and Lucifer and his followers were cast out of heaven. They came
to earth without bodies and now, continuing the war they started in
heaven, they tempt men to do evil to one another and lose out on the
chance to return to God.
PAY ATTENTION HERE; THIS IS THE GOOD PART
Now, any traditional Christians reading this will see similarities to
their own belief system. Most traditional Christians believe that
Lucifer lived in heaven as an angel, but then declared war on God and
was cast out.. However, the causes for that war are not necessarily
clear in traditional Christian theology.
That is where Mormon
theology is so intriguing. For Mormons, the greatest of all battles, the
war in heaven, was fought over LIBERTY—or as they call it, "free
agency." Lucifer wanted to take it away, while God demanded that humans
Although a Mormon might balk at my making comparisons
between their religious beliefs and modern politics (and as I said
earlier, every Mormon I’ve ever known was a very good person, so I
apologize to any I offend), I see a direct correlation here. For a
Mormon, the battle for liberty is not unique to this life; it is the
core battle of the ages. Lucifer lost the war in heaven (he really
thought he could beat God?), but the war continues on earth. So seeing
the government become more and more tyrannical is not just a political
concern; it’s a fundamental, eternal concern.
I’m inspired by this
Mormon theological idea: God intended for humans to be free to make our
own choices and live with the consequences of those choices. The
Founding Fathers of this country said essentially the same thing in the
Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be
self-evidence, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by
their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are
Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
My study of
Mormonism has not only given me newfound respect for this people and
their religion; it has also made me evaluate my own attitude towards the
liberty that seems to be slipping through all of our fingers. Is this
just something that is nice to have, and for which I thank the Founding
Fathers? Or is it really something that is endowed by God, and that He
expects me to fight for. According to Mormon theology, I already fought
for this once. The fact that I’m here says that I was on God’s side in
the war in heaven, and fought for liberty.
A Mormon might ask, why should any of us be less willing to fight for it here than we were there?