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to none who are not legally eligible to marry according to the law of the land.
Marriage that shall be valid after death must be solemnized here, as must all other ordinances required of men in the flesh, and that under the authority given of God for earthly administration. The resurrected state of those, otherwise worthy, who are wedded for mortality alone and that under laws created by man, is set forth in both ancient and modern Scripture as that of angels or ministers, unblessed by eternal increase:
"For these angels did not abide my law, therefore they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity, and from henceforth are not Gods, but are angels of God, for ever and ever.” (Doctrine and Covenants 132:17.)
Primeval Conflict Over Satanic Autocracy
ND there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven." See Rev. 12:7-9.
John the Revelator beheld in vision this scene of primeval conflict between the hosts of unembodied spirits. Plainly this battle antedated the beginning of human history, for the dragon or Satan had not then been expelled from heaven, and at the time of his first recorded activity among mortals he was a fallen being.
In this antemortal contest the forces were unequally di
vided; Satan drew to his standard only a third of the spirit children of God (Rev. 12:4; Doctrine and Covenants 29: 36-38 and 76:25-27), while the majority either fought with Michael or refrained from active opposition, and so accomplished the purpose of their "first estate." The angels who followed Satan "kept not their first estate" (Jude 6) and so forfeited the glorious possibilities of an advanced or "second estate." (Pearl of Great Price, p. 66.) The victory was won by Michael and his angels; and Satan, theretofore a "son of the morning," was cast out of heaven, yea "he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." (Rev. 12:9.)
About eight centuries prior to John's time, the principal facts of these momentous occurrences were revealed to Isaiah the prophet, who lamented with inspired pathos the fall of so great a one as Lucifer, and specified selfish ambition as the cause. Read Isa. 14:12-15.
The question at issue in the war in heaven is of first importance to human-kind. From the record of Isaiah we learn that Lucifer, then of exalted rank among the spirits, sought to aggrandize himself without regard to the rights and agency of others. He aspired to the unrighteous powers of absolute autocracy. The principle for which Michael, the archangel contended, and which Lucifer sought to nullify, comprised the individual liberties or the free agency of the spirit hosts destined to be embodied in the flesh. The whole matter is set forth in a revelation given to Moses and repeated through Joseph Smith, the first prophet of the present dispensation:
"And I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine. Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying-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. But, behold, my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me-Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever. Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down. And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice." (Pearl of Great Price, pp. 15-16.)
Thus it is shown that before this earth was tenanted by man, Christ and Satan together with the hosts of the spirit offspring of God existed as intelligent individuals, with ability and power of choice, and freedom to follow the leaders whom they elected to obey. In that innumerable concourse of spirit intelligences, the Father's plan, whereby His children would be advanced to their second estate, was submitted and doubtless discussed.
Satan's plan of compulsion whereby all would be forcibly guided through mortality, bereft of freedom to act and agency to choose, so circumscribed that forfeiture of salvation would be impossible and not one soul could be lost, was rejected; and the humble offer of Jesus the Firstbornto live among men as their Exemplar, observing the sanctity of man's agency while teaching men to use aright that Divine heritage was accepted. The decision brought war, which resulted in the vanquishment of Lucifer and his angels, and they were cast out, deprived of the boundless privileges incident to the mortal or second estate,
Ever since the beginning of human existence on earth, the deposed son of the morning and his followers have been compassing the captivity of souls. The plan of salvation is the gospel of liberty. And now, in these the last days, immediately precedent to the return of Christ, who shall come to rule in righteousness on earth, the arch-fiend is making desperate effort to enthrall mankind under the autocracy of hell. The conflict under which the earth has been made to groan was a repetition of the premundane war, whereby the free agency of spirits was vindicated; and the eventual issue of the later struggle was equally assured.
WE LIVED BEFORE WE WERE BORN
Our Primeval Childhood
T is a grievous error to assume that mortal birth marks the beginning of one's individual existence. Quite as reasonable is it to hold that death means annihilation of the soul. The preexistent or antemortal state of man is as plainly affirmed by Scripture as is the fact of life beyond the grave.
We are too prone to regard the body as the man, and this mistake breeds the thought that life in the flesh is all there is to existence. There is in man an immortal spirit that existed as an intelligent being before the body was begotten, and that shall continue to exist as the same immortal individual after the body has gone to decay. Divine revelation attests the solemn truth that man is eternal.
No one who accepts the Holy Bible as the word of God can consistently deny the preexistence of the Lord Jesus
Christ. In the first chapter of the Gospel written by John, Christ is designated as the Word, and the Savior's preexistence and primeval Godship are thus set forth: "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." We read further: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." (John 1:1 and 14.)
Our Lord's personal testimony is to the same effect. Of the disciples he asked: "What and if ye shall see the Son of Man ascend up where he was before?" (John 6:62.) And on another accasion He averred "I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father." (John 16:28.) In solemn prayer He implored, "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." (John 17:5.)
Nevertheless, as to earthly birth Christ was born a Child and lived to maturity as a Man among men. Even as His bodily birth was the union of a preexistent spirit with a tabernacle of flesh and bones, such also is the birth of every human being.
Everyone of us was known by name and character to the Father, who is "the God of the spirits of all flesh" (Numbers 16:22; 27:16), in our antemortal or primeval childhood; and from among the hosts of His unembodied children God chose for special service on earth such as were best suited to the accomplishment of His purposes. In illustration consider the Lord's definite revelation to Jeremiah the prophet: "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." (Jer. 1:5.)
More than twelve centuries before Jeremiah's time God had revealed unto Abraham the fact of the preexistence of