Satan, what are you thinking?

Carl Bloch - Denying Satan

Denying Satan - Carl Bloch

I’m sure Satan hates those that speak as if they know him; he surely must be proud enough of his own power and abilities that any explanation of the Great Mahan seems like an attack on one that is so “great” and “powerful” in his own eyes that none could or should be able to fully understand him.  Despite that personality trait, Satan’s plans are easy to understand.  Furthermore, despite his best efforts to disrupt it, Satan provides the means for the Lord to bring about the fulfillment of the Plan of Salvation. Heavenly Father wrote the Plan for all of us to receive salvation, “For behold, this is my work and my glory– to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39), and within that plan opposition is essential.  Satan auditioned and got the part as the antagonist to provide most all opposition in the earth. With Heavenly Father’s plan, both God and Jesus Christ made the appropriate and omniscient prophecies knowing the Adversary would provide the setup that would necessitate the Lord paying for our sins and Him later returning.

If the plan is so obvious, and the adversary-role so vital, why does he continue the fight?  Why not throw in the towel? Does he really just want miserable company, or is there something more motivating him?

This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive analysis of Satan, but we can learn a few things from the scriptures. First, we can see what Satan truly desires… it was to bring everyone salvation, right?  That’s what he told Heavenly Father before we all came to earth.. Let’s read the account once more: Moses 4:1, “…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.”  You can practically map out Satan’s priorities here (I’ve listed them in the order they are given with the importance rating next to them.. sorry I’m a political scientist, we explain things like this): 1) Send me, I will be thy son 2) I will redeem all mankind 3) One soul shall not be lost 2) Surely I will do it 1) Wherefore give me thine honor.  He’s hungry for the honor and the spotlight!  He shows his true intentions for his plan through the prideful ambitions that surrounds the actual plan to save us! Is there any other evidence of Satan’s goals? D&C 29:36, “And it came to pass that Adam, being tempted of the devil–for, behold, the devil was before Adam, for he rebelled against me (Heavenly Father), saying, Give me thine honor (Heavenly Father’s honor), which is my power (Satan’s greatest desire); and also a third part of the hosts of heaven turned he away from me because of their agency.” Finally (for this post at least), Satan spills the beans as he commands Moses in Moses 1:19, “…Satan cried with a loud voice, and ranted upon the earth, and commanded, saying: I am the Only Begotten, worship me.” Upon which Moses commands Satan in the name of the real Only Begotten (the very title he was professing to be) to depart from him. Satan must have been really bitter at this point since he was being cast out by the very title and honor that he wanted to assume, proving once again that Satan has no power, and no honor, even if he lies and says that he does.

It doesn’t seem like Satan ever wanted to help humankind.  His plan was to ask everybody to use their agency and choose not to have agency on earth.  His goals are to seek and steal honor from the Only Begotten and Heavenly Father.  With this honor he’ll somehow become great enough to earn a divine position in eternity.  Sadly, his reward for his choices has already been given.  And he will never receive a hallowed word on his behalf, both in this world or in the eternity to come. For he is the opposition and adversary to goodness. He is the enemy of righteousness. He chose in the pre-mortal existence where he would end. We, on the other hand, have yet to receive our judgement. Let’s be sure and choose the winning side.

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