“And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first. And the second was angry, and kept not his first estate; and, at that day, many followed after him. (Abraham 3:27 – 28)
During conference last week, two talks drew me to think about the war in heaven and how Satan influenced a third of Father’s children to follow him and thus were cast out, never to receive physical bodies and obtain the fullness of the Plan of Salvation. One of those talks was Elder Holland’s Priesthood session address where he said,
“… Satan, or Lucifer, or the father of lies—call him what you will—is real, the very personification of evil. His motives are in every case malicious, and he convulses at the appearance of redeeming light, at the very thought of truth. Number two, he is eternally opposed to the love of God, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and the work of peace and salvation. He will fight against these whenever and wherever he can. He knows he will be defeated and cast out in the end, but he is determined to take down with him as many others as he possibly can.” (We Are All Enlisted, October 2011)
It occurred to me that a new war in heaven, here on earth, is happening at this very moment.
In the parable of the wheat and the tares, the Savior teaches that the tares will live and grow among the wheat, but will be separated at harvest time.
We see, as pointed out in Hawkgrrrl’s post earlier this week, that many younger people are becoming disinterested in church in general and the same thing happening in the LDS Church.
While this is not entirely new and has been going on since the foundations of the world were made, it seems to be accelerating in terms of the numbers of people who are being lost to Heavenly Father and Jesus. I am not talking about those who are part of another religious tradition or who adopt another faith, but those who completely lose their faith and belief in God. After all, is this not the ultimate mission of the adversary? And with that loss of faith, sometimes comes a loss of moral compass.
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20)
We’ve lamented, many times, the seeming loss of this moral compass and the wicked nature of the world around us. I’ve concluded that Satan is the best Marketing Executive the world has ever seen. Steve Jobs had nothing on him. Satan, using people here on earth, can make just about anything sound appealing, inviting and acceptable. Under the guise of nature, free speech, and allowing adults to act anyway they choose, he has introduced all kinds of things to mainstream life clearly deemed unacceptable by the Lord. And while Satan cannot compel behavior, he does a good job of swaying people to allow their natural (Mosiah 3:19) tendencies to rule their behavior, even to their own detriment. People make the choice to adopt these behaviors.
So, the question before us is simple, are we seeing a resumption of, or just a continuation of, the war in heaven right here, right now? Are we witnessing the loss of more of Father’s children as they separate themselves from Him, His plan, His Gospel, or at the very least, the moral code that has guided and directed the majority of societies for thousands of years?
Surely sin and bad behavior have always existed. It is, after all, part of the “Plan.” Some of it has been unspeakable. But, are we in a moral decline from which many will never recover? Are they casualties of this “new war?”