Wednesday, November 22, 2006

What are we - Satan's plan was impossible

D&C 93:36 Tells us "The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth."
This establishes that Intelligence is light and truth.
Verse 29 says, "Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be."
This establishes that we are an Intelligence and that we can't be made.
Verse 30 "All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence."
This establishes that we wouldn't exist without freedom of choice. - So much for Satan's plan.
Verse 28 says, "He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things."
This (with what we have established so far) establishes that Our intelligence grows by learning and accepting to follow truth. As we are an intelligence, ourselves, we therefore exist more by following truth. Consequently sense says that the greater the commandments we have (that are followed) the greater our intelligence must become.
Verse 37 "Light and truth forsake that evil one."
Verse 39 says, "And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers."
From this we learn that opposing truth takes away intelligence - We exist less.
Verses 33-34 "For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy; And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy."
D&C 131 7-8 There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes; We cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter.
We have a spirit made of matter and a body made of courser material. Us having both of these increases our joy.
Hebrews 12:9 "Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?"
God is the father of our spirits - so our spirit bodies were born also.
As we wouldn't exist without freedom of choice the decision to recieve spirit bodies had to be ours, as with physical bodies.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I always like it when people think that they can come up with better reasons for why Satan's plan was wrong than Jesus could come up with in the pre-existence. Remember, Satan is not stupid and neither were all those innumerable people who followed him. If you think that choice between the two plans was this obvious, then you don't understand at least one of the plans very well.

Doug Towers said...

Thanks for your comments. You have some interesting points that are almost a subject of their own.
I am curious though as to why you feel my reasonning, in regard what is wrong with Satan's plan, conflicts with what Christ presented was wrong with it? We don't actually have any comment of what Christ presented was wrong with it. We only have that he presented an alternate plan.
But, perhaps, you feel that had Christ pointed out the flaw in Satan's plan, Satan would have just dropped his arguments against God and towed the line. I'm sure Satan was quite aware of the doctrine, but just didn't accept it.
We like to think of Satan as being cleaver and wise. After all the saying presents the question: Who is the bigger fool, the fool or the fool that follows the fool?
But look at the reality; who is it that is getting physical bodies so we can be better off? Is it the "all wise" Satan and third that rejected what God presented for OUR good?
Satan is darkness and God is light. I believe the plans were that different, and the choice that obvious to anyone with faith in God.

Ian said...

I agree that Satans plan was most likely not even possible, but not neccisarily for the reasons your stated. I often think of the great counsel in heaven like a giant general confrence or a stake confrence. Usually they present the general authorities or the stake presidencies etc. for us to sustain. I personally feel that the Plan of Salvation was presented to the population to sustain. Our father wasn't asking for an alternate plan, only for us to sustain the plan for us. Satan choose to go against God on his own accord. I definitely beleive that Satan was pretty intellegent, or he wouldn't have been able to convince the others to follow him. Satan must have either been naieve in his belief that his system would be accepted, or he knew the ultimate outcome of his decision and he went through with it anyway, purposefully deceiving his followers. I'm not quite sure which.

Jacob said...

Your view of agency is a bit to oversimplified. You are using D&C 93 to say that Satan's plan was not theoretically possible. In addition to the problem raised by anonymous, the scriptures themselves portray a more complicated view of agency than this. For example:

I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency (Moses 7:32)

And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever(2 Ne 2:26)

If we fail to exist without agency, how do you account for those scriptures? The way that I account for them is to realize that there are more than one aspect to agency. D&C 93 is referring to the bare existence of an autonomous free will. There is no such thing as an intelligence without a will. However, that intelligence can have more or less agency depending on its circumstances. Adam and Eve were given agency by being given choices between alternatives (two trees). The atonement made us free in other significant way which I won't go into here.

Given the language of these scriptures, I don't think you can declare Satan's plan impossible simply on the basis of D&C 93.

Doug Towers said...

Ian, I had never thought of the council as a big conference. That's an interesting perspective. I'd always seen it from the individual basis point of view. Perhaps we're both right and there was a bit of both, now you mention that.
In regard Satan, people sometimes appear wise who rise to the top of organisations by devious methods. People like Adolf Hitler may appear highly intelligent by influencing so many. And we have all been conned at some time in our life that those ideas some have presented (particularly Satan)were in our best interest. But time and experience has demonstrated that they were wrong. This doesn't support the idea that they are intelligent. Intelligent beings come up with something right.
What I have pointed out also, in regard Satan (and the same applies to these others), is what they have done to themselves as individuals. Does this demonstrate wisdom? The scriptures use the word "subtil" (Gen 3:1) for these, not "intelligent". I, personally, regard Satan as incredibly unintelligent, for these reasons and more.

Jacob
You also have raised some interesting questions for discussion.
Moses 7:32 I see this as pointing out that man was created free when God created him. I don't see this as a new freedom. Have I misunderstood your point?
2 Nep 2:26 I see this one as speaking of freedom from the consequences of sin: Not something referring to the freedom of intelligences to choose. Though obviously an intelligence's freedom is affected by sin.
Free will is attacked on 3 levels. But the decisions we make in all those attacks affect our intelligence. And free will is still only one thing - the right to make a decision. D&C 93 points out that making the right one will increase us as an intelligence, and making the wrong one makes us exist less.
Just a side point: In my opinion the scriptures seem to indicate that freedom is better defined as the right to make the correct choice.

Jacob said...

Doug: "Moses 7:32 I see this as pointing out that man was created free when God created him."

Adam existed before being placed in the Garden of Eden, but the scripture says that God gave Adam his agency in the Garden of Eden. What does it mean for God to "give" unto man his agency if Adam already had his agency and it was theoretically impossible for God to take it away? The obvious implication, in my mind, is that there is some important aspect of agency which is not intrinsic to intelligence.

The idea that Satan's plan was to take away our agency is derived, in large part, from Moses 4:3 where it says "Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man." It seems reasonable to read Moses 4:3 in light of Moses 7:32. Together, I don't see how they support the idea that his plan was impossible or nonsensical.

Doug Towers said...

I see your point now Jacob, thanks for that.
To me the scripture states that "man", rather than Adam (the intelligence), was given agency at creation. It is a principle _ man is being created with agency. God is the creator of the agency of man in that God created the man. The man couldn't have agency before being created. What was put into man did have, however. I don't see this as in conflict with D&C 93.
Moses 4:3 I see it as an eternal principle statement: Satan attempting to destroy the eternal concept of the agency of man (not that he could). You are reading it as a sort of here and now where he could actually destroy it.
These differences of viewing both of these scriptures would get down to our perception of the relationship between God, us and eternal laws, I suppose.
Which rendering is correct?
Here I can only refer back to D&C 93 and hold that no freedom means no existence.

Jacob said...

God is the creator of the agency of man in that God created the man. The man couldn't have agency before being created. What was put into man did have, however. I don't see this as in conflict with D&C 93.

The conflict I see with D&C 93 is that it says intelligences are uncreatable and intrisically free:

29 Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.
30 All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.

If intelligence is both uncreatable and intrinsically free as these verses say, then how does your interpretation work? You are saying man couldn't be free before being created, but these verses say they couldn't be created and they were already free. So how did God give them agency as he claims?

Doug Towers said...

I think one thing causing confusion here is the fact that D&C 93:29 uses the word "man". I see this as a kind of backward commentary. It states that "man" was in the beginning with God, to inform us that we, who are NOW "man", existed as something before coming here. It defines that existence as "intelligence". But "man" came into existence (from our point of view) at creation. In the beginning of this world we were spirits and intelligences - not "man".
D&C 93 tells us that as intelligences we always had agency. When God came along and we were born as spirits that agency continued. It could equally be stated that God gave spirit free agency when we were born as spirit children. After all he was the creator of our spirits.
Therefore at no point would our intelligence have lost freedom of right.
D&C 93 has presented that God can't interfere with us as an individual entity. Thus it is us that must progress and gain intelligence. We must choose right over wrong. He CAN'T do that for us. We are completely free. And our choices will create what we become.

Jacob said...

Doug,

Your explanation is almost a direct contradiction of what the verse says.

D&C 93:29 "Man was also in the beginning with God."

Doug: But "man" came into existence (from our point of view) at creation. In the beginning of this world we were spirits and intelligences - not "man".

Needless to say, I am not buying your exegesis.

Beyond this, you still have not provided any substantive meaning to God's statement that he "gave" man his agency. In your view, there is no sense in which God "gave" man agency. The only thing it means for you (as you've described above) is that God didn't destroy man's agency when he created man. So, you are saying it means that God was kind enough not to do something he didn't have the power to do in the first place, and then God described this lack of destroying man's agency by that by saying "in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency" (Moses 7:32).

To respond briefly to your analysis of 2 Ne. 2:26, you said the following:

I see this one as speaking of freedom from the consequences of sin: Not something referring to the freedom of intelligences to choose.

This, too, is almost directly opposite what the verse in question says:

26 And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.

You said it give freedom from the consequences of sin, but the verse gives only one exception to the kind of freedom provided and that is "save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day." So, it is not freedom from the consequences of sin, that is the one thing we are not free from. You said it is not referring to intelligences freedom to choose, but the verse says it made them free "to act for themselves and not to be acted upon." That is the exact same language used in D&C 93:30, which is the basis of the argument in your post:

30 All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.

Doug Towers said...

Gen 1:27 "So God created man.."
Conclusion - "Man" didn't exist before this time.
How do you relate this to D&C 93:29 "Man was also in the beginning with God"?
If you believe there to be a conflict in how I'm saying this should be read, you have "man" coming into existence on a day of creation but being there in the beginning.
"in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency" (Moses 7:32).
Conclusion - "Man" has agency given to him at creation - so he didn't have it before.
30 All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.
Conclusion - Intelligence always had agency.
How do you tie this in? - invent a new agency?
2 Ne. 2:26 - "..And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever.." You've said "sin, that is the one thing we are not free from".

The best I can do for you is to testify to you that we can have forgiveness of whatever sins we have committed, except the unforgiveable sin. Satan cannot help you. It is through Christs atonement and a change of life that you can gain true happiness, no other way. Joy is in love and Gods way only - no shortcuts or other ways.

Jacob said...

Doug, I appreciate your testimony of forgiveness. I have a testimony of forgiveness as well. I haven't done much to explain my own view of these scriptures because I was trying to probe into your understanding of them, applying pressure where I think your analysis shows a weakness. I mean no offense, I hope I have not given offense. If so, I apologize.

One thing, though. In your last comment you quoted me as saying "sin, that is the one thing we are not free from." Please be a bit more careful when excising a portion of a sentence to quote, since what I said was:

"So, it is not freedom from the consequences of sin, that is the one thing we are not free from."

By leaving off the beginning, you changed the meaning of what I said dramatically.

Thanks for the interesting discussion.

Doug Towers said...

Jacob
Sorry for the misquote. I see your direction there now.
I didn't take offence at your statements, so don't worry there. I was just a bit concerned that our conversation didn't seem to be progressing. That is why I tried a more mathematical approach relative to scripture we were dealing with.
You are right that I'm holding back on the subject. I feel some things are best not stated to an audience that may not be ready for certain concepts. And this is a fairly open forum. So with you attempting to pin me down I did feel a bit limited in answering. Obviously you've noticed this.
I do feel that it does get down to our perception of the relationship between us, God and eternal laws.
Our opinions here seem to differ at this time. This is where the problem appears to me to lay.
Thanks though for the comments.