[The following is a brief passage from my book The Hero Doctrine that didn’t make the final cut. In the context of the book it is meant to contrast some of Satan’s goals and methods of achieving those goals to Heavenly Father’s. It is not comprehensive by any means—the novel I am working on now, Sea of Chaos, will be closer to that—but I think it is still insightful. After this passage is a short poem I wrote on Lucifer’s perspective that, alas, did not get far the in the Mormon Lit Blitz last year.]
“…Satan …sought to destroy the agency of man…to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.” (Moses 4:3-4)
Satan, our common enemy, also works with particular methods, and they have only been refined over the thousands of years this war has been waged. It will be a worthwhile thing to briefly go over a few of those methods Satan uses to counter the work of our Father in Heaven, for only in knowing the strategies of the enemy can we hope to avoid his attacks.
Satan’s primary objective is to reverse the process of growth towards godhood, and distort those truths that govern eternity. Satan wants us to see this world and this life as having little meaning or purpose other than living for one’s self. Above all Satan seeks to deprive us of our agency, and thus deprive us of our potential to become like Heavenly Father.
To do this he has convinced many in the world that we are animals, bundles of fleshy matter that possess no agency, slaves to passion and impulse, living by instincts and desires alone. If he tricks us into seeing ourselves only as animals, we take from ourselves our own agency, claiming we are simply “born this way” and there’s simply nothing we can do about it but indulge. This kind of thinking burns the bridge between us and God, leaving us seemingly willingly stranded on the island of a lower kingdom.
In the plan he presented to the grand council in heaven, Lucifer would take consequences away, hence destroying the foundation of the world: cause and consequence, choice and accountability. He also tries to erase guilt from our collective culture, the primary way by which God lets us know we’ve done something wrong.
In many religious cultures, Satan has preached the poison that God is actually a spirit without a body, a being closer to Satan himself, all to lower God to his own level, and to persuade us to hate our bodies as something evil and sinful. He also has denigrated the holy act of having children, and turned our society away from the most sacred of duties—caring for a brand new life, giving a baby love and food and protection, producing and raising and molding an entirely new soul. The ideal of parenthood as the greatest of goods and children as the most precious of assets is fading, crumbling, and treated lightly, even crudely. Parents these days are expected to merely stand by and let the child decide everything for themselves, and be who and what they’re born as, rather than teach these children who and what they may become.
Children are commonly seen as an inconvenience rather than a blessing, and their termination in the womb is a casual, everyday thing, a normalized way of sidestepping responsibility for the choice that created the developing child in the first place. Bear in mind, in terminating a developing embryo or fetus, one also terminates the consequences of that original procreative choice, thus finding another channel to eradicate agency. It is ironic that to be “pro-choice” one must support an action that extinguishes the consequence of previously made choices.
And so instead of heeding the most important of callings, people are convinced that whatever work they do outside the home has the most bearing on society. As if every single worker out there in the world is as irreplaceable as a loving father or mother!
I’ll admit, this paradigm fills me with genuine outrage. Why is the desire to create life and foster its development — the very measure of our creation — so looked down upon by the world? Why is it considered a lesser calling? Satan is quashing that divinely-inherited instinct to create human beings with the far lower desire to create a business; he is crushing true creation in the eyes of the world, destroying, in people’s minds, God’s own work and glory. The institutions of marriage and family are falling away, dissolving into an amorphous, undefined state in which they can mean anything and everything a person wants them to mean.
This, in turn, erodes conceptions of God. Elder Quentin L. Cook taught that “Efforts to distort and destroy the family are designed to keep the Father’s children from feeling His love drawing them back home to Him. Abusive male authority figures, out-of-wedlock births, unwanted children, and other social challenges of our day make it harder for those who suffer them to comprehend, hope for, and have faith in a righteous, loving, and caring Father. Just as the Father seeks to help us know Him, the adversary uses every means possible to come between the Father and us. Fortunately, there is no power, sin, or condition that can keep us from the love of the Father. Because God loved us first, we can come to know Him and love Him.”
THE GOD THAT NEVER WAS
The first thing he saw was God.
He saw the majestic sweep of His arm,
How it bid mountains bow, and winds still,
How it arranged atoms and framed stars,
How it curled to cradle his brothers and sisters.
He saw all this and hungered for it.
At the grand council he put forth his plan:
Anoint him, and embrace simplicity, mercy, and ease.
Redemption for all no matter their path.
And he, he would be their beloved god.
But Father’s arm held him back.
A god must be free to fall, He said.
So let them know the world entire,
To walk past the angels one day on their own feet,
Or to venture down forbidden paths—like you.
Rejected! His plan of ease and mercy!
Spurned by the lights he tried to bring forth,
He walked his own path down to the deep.
Followed by angels of his own,
He plotted a chaos he could command.
To hell with simplicity.
The children wanted knowledge?
Then he’d deliver them God’s flame of glory,
Stolen from the great Soulsmith’s forge—
Fire meant for purging, a furnace meant for refining—
And burn them with it.