Did Heavenly Father Forgive Satan?
Last October, President Nelson asked us to consider how our lives would be different without the knowledge that comes from the Book of Mormon. As I pondered this idea more in depth, I realized that I have often taken for granted just how much knowledge we have, thanks to the scriptures. The Plan of Salvation is a big piece of the puzzle that not everyone understands. This plan has other names as well. It goes by the plan of redemption, the plan of mercy or the plan of happiness, none of which survived the passing of the precious Holy Bible from hand to hand. Thanks to the Book of Mormon, we have a greater understanding of our life before we came to the earth.
We learned there that we lived as brothers and sisters, all with varying degrees of light. When Heavenly Father proposed a plan, it was our Eldest brother who volunteered to take the role giving all glory to God the Father. Lucifer however, wanted to force everyone to obey, ignoring the need for progress and the need to choose for ourselves. When he rebelled, he caused a war of testimony, persuading many of Heavenly Father’s children to never have the chance to gain a body or know the redemptive love of the Savior. When Lucifer was cast down with his many followers, I am sure we all wept.
Did Heavenly Father forgive Satan for his rebellions and for tearing a third of his children away from light and truth? I think that all depends on the enemy’s actions. Did Satan ask for forgiveness? No, he did not seek forgiveness but swore to take as many souls with him as possible. That does not sound like repentant behavior which qualifies for forgiveness.
In Mosiah 16:5, we are taught about what happens to those who become an enemy to God. It says, “But remember that he that persists in his own carnal nature and goes on in the ways of sin and rebellion against God, remaineth in his fallen state and the devil hath all power over him. Therefore, he is as though there was no redemption made, being an enemy to God; and also is the devil an enemy to God.”
Our adversary rejected Jesus Christ and not only went on in rebellion for himself but caused many “murders” of the souls of Father’s children. Without the eternal redemption of Christ, we know that all man would be subject to the law of justice, having been cut off from God’s presence (Alma
42). That justice declares that man must pay for their own sins, unless they come to Jesus Christ and lay hold upon His redemptive power. Knowing this, our enemy is doomed to a dark future. Speaking of Lucifer’s future, Elder Holland stated, “Only the adversary, the enemy of us all, would try to convince us that the ideals outlined in general conference are depressing and unrealistic, that people don’t really improve, that no one really progresses. And why does Lucifer give that speech? Because he knows he can’t improve, he can’t progress, that worlds without end he will never have a bright tomorrow. He is a miserable man bound by eternal limitations, and he wants you to be miserable too.”1
In my personal opinion, I feel that Heavenly Father is sorrowful about his son’s rebellious actions which destroyed so many souls both then and now, but Father cannot forgive him of the wicked and selfish actions of such magnitude without a recognition of the Savior’s selfless sacrifice on behalf of us all. Our eternal enemy will not ever humble himself to the Savior’s conditions. Even if he did desire to do so, it is far too late.
1. “Tomorrow the Lord Will Do Wonders Among You”, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, General Conference, April 2016