Envy, Part 1

Being Zion

What, would you say, is one of the very first tales of woe in recorded history? 

The inescapable answer leads us to a fundamental cause of all evil. (This is eons before money, so that isn't it.) Scripture reveals our pre-mortal history and the first instance of recorded treasonous rebellion. The ensuing shower of evil continues even now.

In our premortal life, we watched an advanced spirit of light and knowledge become impatient with his progress. He watched as Father's creations willingly obeyed him. Always by persuasion and longsuffering and, most of all, by faith.

"And the Gods watched those things which they had ordered until they obeyed." (LDS Abr 4:18; RE Abr 7:5, See also the Lectures on Faith 1:14-16)

Lucifer lusted to be obeyed by any means necessary. His methodology was rejected and he rebelled:

“…an angel of God who was in authority in the presence of God, who rebelled against the Only Begotten Son whom the Father loved and who was in the bosom of the Father, was thrust down from the presence of God and the Son, and was called Perdition, for the heavens wept over him..." (LDS D&C 76:25-26; RE T&C 69:6)

But why the weeping? Weren't they getting rid of a mutinous rebel? Why not celebration?

Why the Heavens Wept

Misfortune, self-inflicted or otherwise, is not cause for festivity. Have any of Father’s children fallen further than Lucifer? As an appropriate answer to this question, the heavens wept.

"...he was Lucifer, a son of the morning…he is fallen…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.” (LDS D&C 76:27-29; RE T&C 69:6)

Isaiah laments:

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning…For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God…I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (LDS Isa 14:12-14; RE Isa. 6:6)

LDS members have been well taught about a particularly critical Heavenly Council in our premortal existence. 

“In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it.” TPJS, pg. 349

Our mortal salvation was the primary topic of debate. Lucifer offered to lose no one at the cost of agency; Father offered His plan with agency, and risk. 

Lucifer, “who rebelled against God, and sought to take the kingdom of our God and his Christ” was not simply a tantrum-throwing teenager. He was guilty of treason and mutiny. His desire was to usurp Heavenly Father’s kingdom. He saw what Father had and wanted it, without the necessary effort, experience, and resulting character, perfections, and attributes.

Lucifer saw Father’s creations obey him because of Father’s honor. They trusted Him and knew He would never lie to them. Father administers His love, justice, and mercy with absolute equity and exquisite perfection throughout His kingdom. This is known throughout Father’s creation and is the reason for willing obedience. You cannot counterfeit honor.

Lucifer was impatient and lusted after a shortcut to being obeyed. He did not understand honor. Father explained what happened later when He told Moses: 

"...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..." (LDS D&C 29:36; RE T&C 9:11)

And Father let them go. When God promises unconditional agency, it is unconditional. (He is not a politician.) Tragically sad as circumstances can be, at times, our agency is that important. Lucifer made his case the best he could:

"Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor." (LDS Moses 4:1; RE Gen 2:15)

Lucifer did not understand that honor is earned. Like the oil in the virgin’s lamps, honor is not transferable, or conferrable. Lucifer suffered envy for what Father had earned by His successful climb up Jacob’s ladder. And so, we find envy at the root of all the evil we suffer at the hands of Satanic forces. Envy is the angry fire behind it all. Envy is a fundamental cause.

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