Envy, Part 1

Being Zion

Envy

I love to discover root causes. Scripture is of great value in the discovery and discernment of root causes. Scripture study is a prayer unto God that you’d like some help with His mysteries. Root causes are often a part of His mysteries. In that effort, and to lead us to our path for discussion, what, would you say, is one of the very first tales of woe in recorded history? 

This is going to get us to, arguably, the root of all evil. (This is eons before money so don’t be so quick to answer. Although lucre certainly plays a significant role in later history, as we'll see.) Our effort reveals the first instance of recorded treasonous rebellion and the resulting shower of evil that ensued, and continues even now.

In our premortal life, we watched an advanced spirit of light, who held a position of prominence, become impatient with his progress. He watched as Father’s creations obeyed Him. Willingly. Always by persuasion and longsuffering and, most of all, by faith. Now there's a mystery!

"And the Gods watched those things which they had ordered until they obeyed." (LDS Abr 4:18; RE Abr 7:5)

Lucifer wanted that. He 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)

Let's pause for a moment. Why the weeping? Weren't they getting rid of a mutinous rebel? Why not celebration?

Why the Heavens Wept

Do we celebrate Judas' suicide? Do we rejoice at Cain's ousting? Misfortune, whether self-inflicted or not, 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.

On a more personal note: My attention to our Adversary's direction caused more utter misery in my young life than I care to describe. I have heard the rattle of his chains and his diabolical laughter at my misery.

Those days are long behind me with cleansing repentance and gratitude persuading our Lord's Spirit to stay close. I join the heavens and weep for the fallen. There, but for the Grace of God, is a phrase I never take for granted. So, appropriately, the Heavens wept for Lucifer.

"...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)

“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 taught that we all attended a 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

“All Thrones and Dominions, Principalities and Powers shall be revealed…in the days of the dispensation of the fullness of times, according to that which was ordained in the midst of the council of the Eternal God of all other Gods, before this world was…” (LDS D&C 121:29-32; RE T&C 138:21)

Even though an immense amount of knowledge was in the air, as we’ll one day see, mortal salvation was the primary topic of debate. Lucifer offered to lose no one at the cost of agency; the Father offered His plan with agency, and risk. 

What we weren’t taught was some interesting detail. Lucifer, “who rebelled against God, and sought to take the kingdom of our God and his Christ” was not just a guy with a plan. 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 and resulting character, perfections and attributes.

From his lofty vantage point, Lucifer saw Father’s creations obey him because of Father’s honor. They could trust Him and know that He would never lie to them. Father administers His love, justice, and mercy, throughout His kingdom with absolute equity and exquisite perfection. 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 agency, it is unconditional. 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 didn’t understand that honor must be 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 root cause.

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