Cwic Show- War in Heaven Grace, Works and Agency

LDS writer and thinker, Dan Ellsworth, joins me for a discussion on the War in Heaven. A topic rarely discussed in detail, Dan and I talk without a script or questions about our thoughts on the War in Heaven from the Book of Revelation with Jehovah, Michael, and the Dragon. What was it, and how does it play out today in politics, ideology, and our faith?


Raw Transcript


all right welcome to quick show i am
here with dan ellsworth
dan is a blogger and an lds writer
of some influence i would say i i dan we
were we were on twitter once
and uh we we were i think the subject
was the war in heaven you had said
in response to something i put up there
and it sounded like maybe there's some
similarity in
in some of our thoughts on the war in
and uh
my feeling about this as i try to lay
this out and have a conversation on this
is that it's not talked about that much
and it's not broken down critically
right into
into what was happening there what it
means for us today
how does it apply today uh and so i want
to talk just a little bit about that i
want to get some of your ideas on that
i've got some ideas i want to throw out
there and see what you think and
hopefully the listeners can kind of just
follow along in this discussion and
we'll see where it goes i don't know i
don't have a set agenda i don't have
any set questions um i just kind of want
to talk about it does that work
that works okay great what i'd like to
do then to start is just i'm going to go
first revelation 12. okay
okay and as we know in in the book of
this is kind of the central uh a chapter
of the whole book
and everything kind of hinges off of
this if you look at a chiastic structure
this is all built right in the center
it's the center theme so i want to go
through this and and
just bear with me to read a few of these
verses here and then from there let's
just let's just roll with it all right
okay all right i'm just gonna read the
king james version here
it says and there appeared a great
wonder in heaven a woman
clothed with the sun and the moon under
her feet
and upon her head a crown of twelve
by the way right there we get the
imagery of the sun
the moon and the stars immediately and
she being with child
cried travailing in birth and pain to be
and there appear appeared another wonder
in heaven which is a sign
and behold a great red dragon having
seven heads and ten horns
and seven crowns upon his heads and his
his tail drew the third part of the
stars of heaven
and did cast them to the earth and the
dragon stood before the woman which was
ready to be delivered
for to devour her child as soon as it
was born just a couple more
and she brought forth a man-child who
was to rule all nations with a rod of
and her child was caught up unto god and
to his throne and the woman fled into
the wilderness
where she had the place prepared of god
that they should feed her there
a thousand two hundred and three score
days that's the twelve hundred and sixty
uh full six or twelve forty i can't
remember 1260 i think and there was a
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 anymore
in heaven now there's a couple more
verses there where we talk about
the devil right and we get not only the
dragon but we get
in greek diabolos right the the devil
the accuser the
slanderer which i think is a very
important point and title
that is given there but why don't you
just start off
dan with your thoughts about that that's
set up and and
what what what why is this in the book
of revelation
why do we find it elsewhere in the
scriptures and
can you break it down a little bit to
the some of the more important points
so when we get to verse 11 of this
we'll see what the revelators is getting
um the revelator's message is that
there are uh there are things that
that are going on with the church and
he's talking about the early christian
community and
okay um and
he uh as he's he's talking about
persecutions and and these kinds of and
martyrdoms and these kinds of things
he's going to give us a background and
you know these these things that are
happening in the present they're
a continuation of things that have been
going on for a long time
and he brings up this war in heaven
and in verse 11 and we'll get to that
eventually he's
he's going to talk about how this
serpent dragon figure
is overcome uh and
and it's very uh it's very powerful
evocative imagery that he's using he's
trying to
to help the readers understand that
um they're not that they
they really are involved in this giant
cosmic struggle that dates back to
even before they were born you're
talking about the saints at john's time
right right in the revelators time
now this is also applicable to us and
and we'll talk about that as we go
um but this is a very very powerful
uh revelation 12 is is one of our
absolute core texts about the war in
heaven and there's several of those
will you go ahead and read that one yeah
yeah so revelation 12.
um it says and and here's an interesting
part of this passage it says and i heard
a loud voice saying in heaven
uh now has come salvation and strength
and the kingdom of our god the power of
his christ for the accuser
of our brethren now the word brethren
here is sometimes translated
family like brothers and sisters the
accuser of our brothers
and brothers and sisters is cast down
which accused them before god
day and night and then
finally rounds it off with verse 11 and
they over
they overcame him and here he's talking
about the christian martyrs
they overcame this figure
people in our time overcame this ancient
by the blood of the lamb and by the word
of their testimony
and testimony is is the greek martyr
word okay so and they loved not their
lives under the death
so these early christian martyrs and and
again this applies to all
persecuted christians of all time we are
continuing a drama a war
that started before we were born
of this accuser figure and it's very
very important that we zero in on this
title of his this is where we find out
that the dragon is is the great
accuser this is how he operates
and and you know i'll just say i
working for the past few years in faith
crisis ministry in the church
i can tell you that the way that
um the church's detractors try to get
people disillusioned and and try to get
them to lose their face
their faith is they try to overwhelm
with accusations so
you and i know that you know there are
any number of
challenging questions around scripture
and church history and so
and so forth and if you apply yourself
to each one
at a time patiently and methodically you
can work through them
but if they're all dumped on you at the
same time
like a flood then it is overwhelming
and that's why accusation is such a
powerful tool in destroying people's
so let's talk about that a little bit so
that's what i want to break down if we
can look at this because then we if we
break this down a little bit i think we
can see how this happens in our own
lives not just individually but in
societies i think
as as well so why
you brought up the point i was my
question to you was going to be you kind
answered it somewhat already but my
question was going to be why
why is he called the accuser right and
you think about well
because because we usually think of evil
as a temptation maybe
towards something carnal or you know
trying to pull us away so from something
or or we we think of you know the
uh of satan as being something really
here though this kind of pierces through
those examples a little bit i think
it's it's more what we experience every
right i think of lehi's i think of
lehi's dream and it's like okay if you
are if you are at the tree of life and
you're partaking of the fruit
what is it that pulls them away right
it's shame
and and so it it it's not it's not
yelling out from up on the great and
spacious building saying
well what about joseph smith doing this
or doing that you know it's nothing like
it's it's it's shame that is hurled and
thrown down to them from
a position of pride that gets you to
away from the tree of life
yeah it seems like a it seems like a a
very powerful tool
to to bring someone into faith crisis
or or to hold somebody back from
progressing in the church
and it always has been it always has
been an effective tool it always has
been a powerful tool
and this is why we as members of the
church need to be careful
um that we don't become the thing that
we're talking about here that we don't
become our own
accuser dragons right we do need to talk
about evil and we do need to talk about
evil behavior
and evil actions that people take but we
need to say the bare minimum
of truth and and try not to
get the spirit of accusation was which
is a satanic spirit
but i you know this begs the question
though if we're talking about the war in
heaven what in the world
would the accusations be
in pre-mortality and i i'll read you a
there's a uh president oaks in april
he said in the council in heaven all the
spirit children of god were introduced
to the father's plan
including its mortal consequences and
its heavenly helps and its glorious
destiny we saw the end from the
so in pre-mortality in the pre-existence
we were shown what this life would be
like we were given
impressions or you know some kind of
representation of what it would be like
and you and i both know that it is
profoundly unfair okay this world
you know the randomness of
suffering and trials and the unfairness
of it all
so if we were shown that in
um that might have been
so if you show somebody unfairness but
you also show them the resolution of
that unfairness
some people might be able to embrace
that resolution of the unfairness
okay and in the in pre-mortality that
resolution was the person of christ
uh christ over time in the end
is going to triumph over all of this
unfairness and we read in
revelation 7 he's going to wipe away all
tears from all eyes
eventually and but
but there's going to be tears yes there
will be tears
and you can imagine a satan figure who's
disillusioned with the plan
who wants the father's power wants the
father's glory and we'll talk about
that because that's another big part of
what's going on here
um leveling accusations
like you you spirits are seriously
to embrace a plan that has that much
suffering in it
you know you and you still are are
that god is kind you know knowing that
this plan entails so much suffering and
and if you just honestly if you just
imagine in your mind you can probably
come up with 10
devastating accusations against the plan
that were probably argued in
that swayed a lot of people a lot of
and that begins the war
right what how would you how would you
well you brought up fairness right so i
mean it's just
you know there's there's people that are
born and they have a horrible health
issues and they suffer their entire life
there's others that are born in very
oppressive situations
there's others that are going to suffer
through a horrible death
there's others that are put into bondage
right and there's a lot of bad stuff
right there there is a lot of bad stuff
how do you equate
um because this is really to me the
argument today
that is brought up on that and that is
equity and equality
along with fairness and and again
as as a you know we live in a very as i
call it a bumper sticker society right
where it's like it's hard for us to
beyond just one short phrase or word or
but really underneath that phrase or or
is it it's it's pregnant with so many
different things
and you've got to be very careful to see
what is
in that right what is it what is a part
of that
because so many things lead with a
carrot and then come in afterward with a
yes right so what what are your thoughts
on on fairness and and equality
so fairness and equality are
righteous impulses okay the scriptures
that it's not okay for us to have
more one person to have more than
another person
and for that reason the whole world lies
in sin
that's indoctrinated covenants right so
equality is actually a
noble a a righteous impulse
we we read in fourth nephi that when
people are converted to the lord they
have all things in common
there's no inequality but it does
require conversion to the lord
you can't achieve that zion society
without conversion
and but but again this is a
righteous impulse fairness and equality
there's these are
righteous impulses and part of satan's
is he rarely actually
comes at us with unrighteous
completely unrighteous impulses
his most devastating work is when he
takes righteous impulses
and twists them to achieve
his ends and his ends are to destroy
right destroy the father's plan
undermine the father's plan
and just wreak havoc yeah so
again you know if he he
he can take our natural our righteous
desires for fairness and
and equity and equality and pervert
those and turn those into
you know the cultural revolution under
mouse hatan
yeah where tens of millions of people
suffered and died and
people accused each other you know in
their villages
and tortured each other and it was
satan's plan on display in
maoist china uh i think also your point
to your point there about
coming in you know it really really you
know so so he operates a lot more it
seems like with
as a trojan horse right or as or is a
wolf in sheep's clothing that's going to
work the best
whether where there's there's some truth
and and more than anything i think where
there's some pulling on the heartstrings
right a little bit and and then and then
there's going to be lie that's thrown in
also right like i said the stick isn't
always there i i would always what i
always think about
on these types of things and how he
seems to work
because i think it's important to really
understand that is
is with the garden of eden right where
he's with eve
and eve has righteous desires she's got
righteous desires to progress
to move forward and so he plays on that
right and what he says is um
look with this fruit uh
you're going to be like the gods that's
right because you're going to lose
you're going to learn between good and
to me the tree represents the law of god
among many
other things i think that's what's
happening there it's the commandments
etc but so that's that's true right
you're going to progress
what he lies about is that you shall not
surely die
and and if we if we look at anciently
the way that was
that was used it was there's always a
duality there it's not just their
temporal death
right it's it's spiritual death it's sin
yes that is going to enter in and that's
why even though she has because we kind
of have this
this pendulum in the church that we
swing between a little bit on
on on mercy and then works you know
right now we're kind of moving toward
this big mercy movement you know that's
kind of let's talk more about gray and
we should right and let's talk more
about grace and
i had this discussion i've got a study
group i had yesterday and about
universalism you know and how
as they've gotten older they've gotten
more they feel better about universal i
still have a problem with that but
but it's it's uh
sin is entered in from the lie so she is
she is what my point on that was is that
we kind of want to hold eve up more and
more as a hero and she is
but she also is deceived right she's
and the way she's beguiled is on the
death part
on understanding that sin is going to
enter enter in so that's how he operates
right from the beginning
yes absolutely and and you can see
we if we're in pre-mortality and we're
a society you know with proximity to our
heavenly parents
observing their attributes and and
they they do fairness and equity to
perfection all of these things that are
that we're seeing perversions of in
um they actually do to perfection they
what love really is they understand what
order really is and and all of these
things to perfection
we take those things to satanic extremes
here in in mortality but we were there
observing them and so it's not satan's
wasn't to
you know his whole modus operandi wasn't
necessarily to
scare us with new things or
you know it was probably just to take
things that we had already latched on to
this beautiful fairness and and equity
that our heavenly parents displayed and
and so so i'm curious about what you're
thinking of that what do you what do you
mean by this beautiful equity
what does that mean so they
we are told all throughout the
scriptures that god
values everybody equally all
are alike unto them no respecter of
persons right
right that is god's heart right there in
the scriptures
and uh however you know
we are also told in in alma 13
and also in in abraham iv that
in in premortality had distinguished
uh they had kind of there
there was an order we are told in alma
this high priesthood uh this order was
established and the hierarchical
order absolutely absolutely order
usually means hierarchy it usually means
it usually means distinctions and
satan hates roles
and distinctions and that's why we get
his statement
give me thy thine honor give me thy
we hear that in in the book of moses
his his frame of mind was why do you
god have to have all that why can't i
be whatever why can't i have all that
glory that you have
why are you so special the idea that
god would somehow have a greater amount
of glory or
power that was so deeply offensive to
roles and responsibilities and
distinctions are
so deeply offensive to him
and that's why we can see you know
some of the bloodiest movements in world
history again
now is china and there are others there
are some
underway in our society in american
society now
um they want to destroy
distinctions and roles
and any kind of hierarchies by force
these things are considered oppressive
uh and and just at a at a soul level
so deeply offensive that is a satanic
of righteous impulses again right
um this idea that all are alike unto god
is a wonderful beautiful
snapshot of the heart of god
and if you pervert that
then you end up with marxism which is
down hierarchies distinctions
roles and those kinds of things so let
me back up
i'm going to come back to that the the
political side of things here in just a
minute but i want to go back to the i
want to go back to the the war in heaven
on this and get your thoughts on this uh
so there so you've got one side a third
of the host of heaven that are accusing
the other two thirds
and based on what you're saying and i
believe the same thing right there
they're they're accusing them because
they're going to allow suffering
right and and they're going to allow
what they're going to allow
if i was to to bring it down to not just
suffering one other word i think i would
use is disparity
right there's going to be disparity
there will be
and and so why is there disparity it's
because in a world
where there are options
there's always going to be disparity
there's perfect love right that's the
only way unless you're the city of enoch
unless you're melchizedek and salem
there's no way that you can do that
charity right all the way around so if
that means that agency
right because that's the that's the core
argument as i see it
the core argument is agency if we allow
to enter into the world
then you know on the other third that
didn't want it right they're saying
we can't allow it or not that much
agency because if we allow
choice like that that much freedom
then there are going to be there's going
to be disparity
because individuals peoples
cities nations etc are going to both
individually and collectively make
certain decisions
and and and it's going to create a
hierarchical structure of abundance
it's going to create a uh a you know
there's going to be disparity everywhere
and so we don't want that we don't want
the suffering
we don't want the unfairness of it
therefore if we take away at least a
portion maybe all i don't know how that
would have worked but
take away agency to some degree
we're going to flatten everything out
and make
everything all the same right
why i and you can see like you said you
can see why that is going to pull on
someone's heart strings it's like oh
we don't want to leave it it's like it's
you know the navy seals right we don't
ever we never leave a man behind right
so it's like
so so under under maoist china
they during the cultural revolution if
anybody started behaving in any way
that might look like they were excelling
or prospering more than anybody else
they would accuse them and they would
call them a capitalist
and subject them to torture and these
struggle sessions
where they would just gather people
around and humiliate them and
and accuse them that is the plan that is
satan's plan on display it was
a brutally enforced
uh leveling of hierarchies that's what
it was
um and and it's interesting that you
bring up agency too because
we know that in pre-mortality
we did have some amount of agency
uh here we are experiencing a different
kind of agency we're experiencing
a a much more rich
and clear choice
between options that we we could
only vaguely perceive back there
and so i i've i've heard it
said and you you can't i
i won't get too specific about this but
i heard it said
somewhere that um
a an authority in the church said to a
group of church members
and i love this but the purpose of this
is to show us what we really want
so that god can give that to us
and that's it that's what we're here for
is to
like really have these choices and we
will know at the end of this life what
we really want
or not and um
even in pre-mortality if
if that was our understanding then there
probably was
you know some panic and despair among
some spirits like i don't know if i
really want
this i don't know if i really want
a system that does have unfairness in it
and you know randomness and some of
these things
well it's not just that right it's a
matter of
to make it work you you
you have to suffer
yeah right it's not just like the
fairness of you know wishing that other
people didn't
weren't unfortunate or or they're
you're going to suffer for them
right you're going to suffer for others
you're going to it's the baptismal
covenant you're going to bear
everybody else's burdens and that's how
you do it
that is the way forward that's the icon
that's christ
right he bore everybody's burdens he was
the ultimate
sacrifice of that right and and and uh
or or
example of that and so i i think it's
not just the fairness of others and what
they're gonna happen but it's also to
it's like this is going to be hard yeah
yeah this is going to be a hard trick
and that's why president oak says
we were shown our mortal consequences
and trials
and also heavenly helps we were shown
that there would be divine involvement
we would have access to
some amount of heaven along the way
especially if we're
repenting and and serving the lord and
um and and people who haven't received
the gospel just
living with you know in accordance to
with whatever amount of light they're
able to receive
um they will be helped by heaven you
know based on how they respond to
form or amount of light they're they're
so it's also seems to me that
we get a a a a a confirmation of this
that this is going to be hard but it's
the right course
with the garden of eden again right
uh restorative means we understand
that eve's attitude after partaking of
the fruit
was that it's better for us to go
through these trials
so that we can know these things and so
that we can progress
she's she's affirming the war in heaven
the cause
to me that's what you know she's
affirming the cause of the war in heaven
and and and the disparity and the
suffering and the difficulty in earth
on earth of having these opposites in
this context and these
these variables this hierarchy this
is it's better it's better for it she
doesn't say that's always going to be
that way she says it's better for us to
go through it
yeah yeah and and there are
in we see that principle in
in a number of things that we do our
church callings are a good example
serving a mission
for me was a great example my eyes were
and it was extraordinarily difficult i
served a brutal
mission but i i love it i would
there's no way i would trade my mission
for anything you know
the things i saw the things i learned
um over those two years i wouldn't trade
it for the world
but man it was hard uh you know the
thorns and thistles
like we hear in the in in god's
uh in his words to adam and eve um
so so yeah i mean but you can kind of
you can kind of see why when we talk
about the war in heaven
i have a couple of pet peeves
in terms of our language in the church
and one of my pet peeves is when
when we say hey why are we here on earth
and people say
to keep the commandments and so we can
go and return to live with father in
and i i always want to say why did we
leave that
we were there why did we leave
and you know you might say well we
needed to get a body well couldn't god
have just
formed bodies out of existing matter
in the universe and created us a bunch
of bodies
or all go through a quick birth and
death and be done with it
right why why did we leave
and we are not
here to return
to heavenly father's presence we are
here to become the kind of
souls who feel comfortable
in that presence so that we can return
to his presence
and that is a very very
difficult process it's not just a matter
snapping our fingers and oh hey we're
back and
yay we're all back together again not
everybody's gonna feel comfortable in
heavenly father's presence
and this is something that universalists
have a hard time with
is um a lot of people have just
come up with this sentimental idea that
oh god loves us so much that he's just
gonna kind of wrap his arms around
everybody and bring us all back
there are a lot of souls who simply are
not going to feel comfortable in
celestial society
and celestial society is where god lives
and that's a place it's a very very
different kind of
environment than we have now yeah and i
think that's right and that was part of
the discussion i had yesterday as it was
i think i think i surprised some people
but i i was like wait a minute here this
because to me grace is taken too far
sometimes right yes it's eternal yes
it's never ending and yes i know this is
going against so much of what we hear
the last several years
from from i i don't know from from
from influencers online and stuff but
but merit matters
and our works matter because the only
way we
become right like god
is through our agency and so we need to
learn to use it right we need to
figure that out i think it's really
interesting that you know you go back to
that war in heaven
we're told that you know in in in the
experience of
of of of the garden of eden story
um which i believe is simply temple
liturgy right
i think it's just it's it's written for
the temple i believe
for us right where we are this is a
story about
us and and so michael
in the beginning in the war in heaven
and in the creation process
right michael means being like god
be like god right one who is like god
one who is like god or or you know if
you if you want to
give it to some something a phrase
that's more familiar to us
in the image of god and so
that's us right and and so we're we're
involved with that from the very very
and and we're given in a sense i think
that's a title for us
also we are like god we are made in his
and so we're supposed to learn to be
like that to live up to that image
and and become like him and that means
that means adversity that means
unfairness and suffering
and and difficulty yeah
and and it means having an authentic
it means and and this is this is the
problem with
satan's proposal he said i i will
make all of this happen but there won't
all of these downsides right well we
will be able to
to get this all done without losing a
single soul and just give me your glory
and why not right why do you have to
have it and i can't
don't you love me don't you want me to
be like you
and and you can just imagine
these little insinuations and these
clever rhetorical arguments that he
would have used
that would have persuaded a lot of
people to follow him
and that's what happened a lot of people
just willingly
followed him they were persuaded god
couldn't wave a magic wand and
and have them stay they they made a
and so so this is
again universalism this is
one of its flaws is and again it's for
for the listeners just an understanding
if you don't know what universalism is
it's basically saying
that everything is fair but in the end
everybody kind of is accepted back in
and embraces the lord and and
hunky-dory for everybody regardless
right everything is tolerated and
everything's fine right right in the end
has the same outcome we're all back
in heavenly father's presence and i
that's a lovely
thought greg but realistically
you know based on what we know of
and what we're seeing here in mortality
there are a lot of people who really do
get exposure to
a lot of god's influence a lot of god's
a lot of a zion society
and they just do not want it
they just decide they don't want it i
have had periods of my own life where
i've been
disillusioned and you know in the face
you know it in the presence of a lot of
just not wanted it and fortunately i've
i've been able to you know make
to my life and and do things to where i
i really do
crave more of the gospel i crave more
light that
that's called conversion right um
but i i can really see i can honestly
how uh a lot of people
simply may not feel comfortable in a
celestial society for eternity
a couple things on that universalism
before we let it go and you know the
other one is the scripture in the new
testament i i'm trying to think of where
it is but it's
um you know don't worry about it
there'll be you'll get a couple stripes
is that what it says
you have a couple stripes and then
everything will be okay right
right and you have jesus saying straight
is the gate
narrow is the way few there be you know
many are called that few are chosen you
have jesus
being the one who's who's saying it it's
not going to be a lot of people who
who actually choose eternal life
relatively speaking
i mean that is god's life is hard
and that's another unique latter-day
saint perspective is
uh there are a lot of people in the
christian world who think that
heaven you know heaven after this life
is just bliss
you just kind of exist in bliss for
no god's life is really hard and
that if we understood that back
in the time of the war in heaven again
that's another reason
why uh a lot of people might not have
chosen to
continue and you know keep their first
yeah yeah it's very much not a an
anti-calvinistic thought you know
in understanding that look god suffers
and in god's sorrows because in my mind
if he doesn't suffer
in sorrow then he doesn't love
right i mean that's ultimately what is
the greatest
uh the greatest act of love we've seen
it's it's suffering
it's the suffering of christ that's what
the love that's for the pure love of
christ really comes down to it's it's
bearing burdens of others that you love
exactly and i agree and and it's
when i write articles and posts and
things i one of the
there's a two concepts that i i try to
distinguish between
one of them is peace and the other is
okay relief yeah relief
like if i put down a burden
i feel if i'm you know wearing a heavy
backpack and i put it down that's relief
but i can carry that same backpack
and be struggling with it but also feel
deep and profound
peace while i'm struggling
and part of that has to do with who's
around me
am i around other people who know how to
struggle who are
who have just been made beautiful by by
life's struggles
right i can carry a very heavy burden
and be at peace and that is
part of eternal life the the life that
god lives
god suffers god struggles god
weeps we we're told in the scriptures
but god also has a profound
peace and sometimes
even gives us glimpses of that um
and so these are all things that that
might have been i it's hard to say you
know how much of these things we were
able to really
perceive in pre-mortality um
but yeah i mean these perceptions were
definitely part of
the arguments in the war yeah
i want to get to back to the political
side of things i want to go over
something here i'm going to share
something on the screen for those of you
that are
on youtube or facebook and a couple
other avenues here
or venues here mediums um let's see if
i've got this here
if not you can still follow along if you
are on
audio here uh do you see that dan
uh yes i do okay so this is some one of
the one of what i call
i've got a number of different what i
call interpreters for understanding
the scriptures and this is one of the
things that that i talk about is the
four phases of the priesthood and if you
look at them
you probably can recognize them a little
but this goes to the war in heaven for
me right so
i i'm just gonna outline it here number
one is agency
and that to me is at the core of
everything and and it's an aaronic
priesthood function to me and it and
it's the same thing as saying
is it's if we think of john the baptist
there's two things we can think of with
in the aaronic priesthood and one is
repenchy rapenchy
right he's out in the desert crying
repentance we get that all the way back
in isaiah as well
and and and then speech right he's
he's crying repentance in the desert and
these are things that we get at an
aaronic priesthood level which i think
are i i would classify the aaronic
priesthood as the priesthood of the
it's the priest it's it's a temporal
carnal it's called the carnal priesthood
not that it's bad
but it's temporal right it's about a
temporal a a temporal world
going beyond that is where we start
moving beyond ourselves
and so we go into the melchizedek
priesthood and we go to family
and family then says okay i'm gonna have
to stretch now i'm going out from just
my own decisions
my own choices and my own expressions
and speech
and and i need to take on the burdens of
my family first
and and help them and help guide them
and of course
that is a melchizedek priesthood
function right that's that's
moving out beyond yourself and then the
fourth is zion
and that's going even beyond your family
right that's going outside of your tribe
that is that is talking about all of
mankind that is
a big theme in as i see it in the book
of mormon
where we keep talking about the jews and
the gentiles right and and
all the isles of the seed and there's no
respecter of persons anywhere
as i see the war in heaven on this and
as i see
looking at the the extreme
uh maladies of the 20th century
right i i see the following i see
for those of you on audio i'm i'm
writing this on here if it's gonna yep
got it to work okay
what i see is a crossing out
each of these right
it's coming in and the war of heaven is
saying look i'm gonna first of all it's
all about the agency to start with i'm
gonna take away your agency
because we don't want the disparity we
don't want the variables
we don't want the unfairness then i'm
going to take away your speech
you're not going to be able to express
something different from this because we
have to have a cohesive
understanding together right we have to
stay in our tribe under our
orthodoxy and
stick with yeah we can't have uh a
rebellion against our thoughts right
and then the third is family right we're
gonna cross out family
and so what tries what they try to do
here in these scenarios i'm talking
about the 20th century here
is they try and create a zion or we can
call it a utopia
right going all the way to the top on
because again it's it's all about the
carrot it's all about
fairness it's all about being one in a
way it's a perversion of oneness
of one heart and one mind right and but
the only way you can do that
by jumping all of these these other
three steps
which require charity and
and obedience and humility
is is by crossing them out you have to
get rid of them
and so on the two ends of this political
spectrum you can look first at nazi
germany for example
and so what i see there kind of like
what what i think would have gone on in
the war in heaven is you have a
instead of an inclusive
uh oneness right they're going to get
rid of everything on the outside
they're going to push it away and and
they're still going to require
your agency they're still you know a
lack of your agency they're still going
to require
the raw proper speech a one out of three
kids in nazi germany
was a spy to the nazi party
right and they so they were telling on
their parents all the time the same
thing happened in in maoist germany the
same thing happens in north korea all
the time
they become accusers they're they are
made right let me finish this thought
same as the family right the family is
next well you have to have the idea of
utopia above the family
because if you don't then you've got a
values hierarchy issue that the state
can't hold up
and so they have to eliminate that so
it's the same thing in nazi germany you
got rid of the family
as the family was fine as long as it was
under the state orthodoxy
and then of course on the other side and
we can look at lenin and and uh go over
pol pot we can go to castro and and
mao etc etc the difference there is
instead of getting rid of all of the
outside to have oneness
they're going to flatten the hierarchy
all the way
they still get rid of these three steps
and move to a utopia and
and uh but again the only way that
happens on both ends of the political
is tyranny right you you cannot
you cannot jump up to step four here
tyranny it's impossible so as as
nice as that can seem if you are a
nationalist or you are
you know someone who wants to be within
your tribe and feel good about that
that might be the first good thought but
there's a lot of bad coming from that
and on the other end of the spectrum if
you want total inclusiveness
which we do but if you want total
inclusiveness but you want to
force the hierarchy you want to flatten
the hierarchy
and make everybody the same which is
more the movement that we have today in
the west
you're there's only one way to do it you
can't get rid of hierarchies you can't
get rid of value hierarchies
it's impossible unless you force it
through tyranny right and so when i
think of i think
uh uh the dragon of of lucifer
wanting all the glory i think he had to
have it i think he would have had to
have had it
to uh to be able to make that work
what are your thoughts on that
absolutely i and and it's interesting
uh as you read in revelation 12 it says
his tail uh brought
these you know the one-third of the
stars of heaven
and cast them down uh you know they
it's not like they were surrounding or
they were following him
they were they were you know behind
him and um because he needed to be
this this leader and again you know i
i i'm not making a comment on american
politics here i'm just saying
in uh coercive movements like you're
saying where they try to achieve
some kind of perversion of zion
you know this this evil twin of zion
where they they try to create some kind
of an ideal society they usually do
have to have one single person
in whom you know everybody trusts
and they put all that they put all their
trust and and this person is
honored 24 hours a day
face plastered everywhere he's
absolutely he's an idol
yes i lived in baghdad from 2005 to 2006
during the war
and you know saddam his image
was it was being taken down but man it
everywhere and he
again you know just another example of i
will create an ideal society
but i need all the honor uh but i'm
gonna coerce
and force the rest of you to stay in
and behave right so
it's just again this is satan's plan
on display and we
here in mortality we see it and if we
can see it with clarity
then we can actually choose is this what
we want or not
um so just a continuation of what was
happening before
you know that again one of the places i
the things i really anchor my my
thoughts on
uh with the gospel and these types of
things is lehi's dream
and and i refer to it a lot and to me
it's just another templation
and uh as i look at the difference
between the plan
in heaven you know at the council which
for most people by the way if you ever
see in the beginning
it's usually referring to the council
that says this is exactly what it's
referring to
and it's
i i see i see the the uh
in my estimation the the tree of life is
the doctrine of christ
and the the great and spacious building
is the doctrine of lucifer
and so it because you know they're
they're opposites right they're across
the chasm across the valley of judgment
from each other
and uh if we look at the doctrine of
christ as being
hey i'm gonna lower myself with humility
to through
you know to the father gets all the
glory not me
it's the exact opposite of what what
lucifer is saying
where he's going to take the pride he's
going to take a prideful approach
and lift himself up with all the glory
right because that's one of the
clear distinctions that we get between
the two of them
in that council is look i
i lucifer wants to raise himself up and
he's a little bit more equal than
everybody else
right everybody else will be flattened
out in the hierarchy there's no
and and but except for except for him
he's going to have all of the glory
and then on the other end of that you
have the tree of life where it's
the doctrine of christ which is to me
humility you know it's i'm going to
lower myself
not only below the father but i'm gonna
lower myself below all of you
in in the sense that i am going to put
your burdens on my back
and and lift you up and i'm gonna lead
as a savior i'm going to leave this
not not as a tyrant but i'm going to
lead you
offering you all of your agency and
paying for all of your mistakes
and and and and suffering and loving you
instead and so to me that reminds me a
of you know because you know lehigh
talks about this even
in second nephi too he talks about the
fall of lucifer
and uh after you know obviously several
years after he has his dream
but that's how i see it right i see
those two sides as
those two approaches that you see in in
the war in heaven
yeah and i've always been taught my
mission president taught us that
the war in heaven was a war of teaching
and persuading and
so we
all of us were persuading each other
and this is kind of an important point
to make
because when i talk about these kinds of
doctrines and and principles one of the
questions that comes to mind is
okay are we just talking about something
in the abstract
that that's kind of all in our heads or
you know intellectually trying to make
sense of
some things we see in scripture or are
there ways that we can actually
know that the thing that we're talking
about is a real thing
turns out with the war in heaven there
are ways that we
actually we have a lot of witness
as members of the church and i wrote
about this a while ago
i i did a post called revelation as
and i took some examples of stories uh
converts to the church who when they
were taking the discussions
and learning about the gospel they said
it felt like what was happening to them
was they were remembering
things that they had been taught before
there are missionaries who have found
converts and have had this impression
we've met before we've talked before we
persuaded each other before
and uh one of the stories that i i put
in there was
the the last person i baptized on my
mission in brazil
was a lady who had been attending church
a non-member for 22 years
and every week this lady was attending
and missionaries had been trying and
trying to
teach and baptize her and she just said
no and the reason that she gave
every set of missionaries was she said
i'm i'm waiting for the person who is
supposed to teach me
and baptize me and we would always say
who i'm here right every missionary who
taught her
like you've had the discussion so many
times you're ready you've been going to
church forever she said no i'm waiting
for the person
26 days before the end of my mission i
got a new missionary companion
and uh you know another guy from
southern california which is where i'm
so it's great um but yeah like
the first uh first sunday we were there
he bore his testimony in in our
sacrament meeting
and she came up to me afterwards and
said that's the one and she got baptized
that was my last baptism of my mission
she just
recognized a soul from
somewhere before um
there are other ways of knowing for
the stories of of demonic possession in
the new testament
and we actually have a lot of witness
in the church now about exorcism and
demonic possession
we don't talk about it very much and
there are very good reasons
why we don't go into that very much it's
a little odd
it is and but missionaries who have
served in certain parts of the world
you know have experience with that and
we have a lot of actual factual witness
testimony by
sober-minded credible people about this
so it's not like the war in heaven is
just some abstraction
like we there are ways that we can
actual there are things that we can
point to that say
wait a minute you know we've we've seen
this before
we we know this so so that's why a lot
of times when we talk about it it just
feels like so familiar to us
right yeah
what what are your do you have any
additional points that you would add
to you know we we've talked about
revelation here but some of the a couple
of the other accounts from like moses
three and four from or abraham three and
four moses four
is there anything else additional that
brings more context to you
from other parts of the scripture isaiah
14 or isaiah 14
and ezekiel 28 are both texts
that are they're kind of similar and and
they um
they talk about the fall of satan and
uh but they're framed in terms of the
fall of a
of a king figure in the ancient world um
it's almost kind of this dualistic
poem that is that is told but they are
talking about
the fall of of a member of the divine
in both of those texts isaiah 14 and
ezekiel 28.
and um and
it was amazing you know these like
isaiah 14
how art thou fallen the lucifer
son of the morning it was incredible to
see this
a member of the divine council the
inner circle around our heavenly parents
fall so far right that was incredible
um and that's why this scriptural
language is in awe
of what happened it's not like some
wandering around fell and
lost his way this was a member of the
divine council
yeah yeah a morning star
yep yeah
you bring up the dualism on that just on
a little bit of a tangent
it it's it's interesting to me i i see
actually i see this in lds scholarship
sometimes too but a
traditional biblical studies
go over the old testament in in not of
not often a very christian friendly way
right right and and
i see this sometimes in lds scholarship
too where where
where this background of biblical
studies seems to come into the writing
a little bit and and there's a
how do i say there's there's a uh um
there's almost a a a separation
of uh of of
doctrine lds doctrine from the bible
because there's not they're not looking
at it in a dualistic way
right they're looking at it like you
said they're talking about a babylonian
king well they probably are
but they're framing it
in in in an eternal plan they're they're
framing it
in in in a way that it fits into us a
lesson and it's like it's like
it's like christ like jesus telling a
it's it's the same type of idea it's
putting in it's in as a metaphor
the same thing with isaiah um throughout
you know the suffering servant and and
etc i mean there's a lot of biblical
studies now where where
they're they're they're not going to
tell you that that suffering servant is
jesus christ right they're going to say
that it's not jesus they have yeah
you know or whatever it might be and
that's fine it probably is but again
it's and this is why i believe so much
in temple drama
because i really think a lot of these
things are couched in ritual i think
they're couched into drama
and and they're they're playing it out
with that existing king or whoever it
might be
but it's a representation of the king
it's a representation of
jehovah right yeah and if you're
if you're in the field of secular
biblical studies
you have a very different set of
operating parameters that you have to
stay within
and you can't write a an article for a
secular journal saying that isaiah 53 is
about jesus christ of course you can't
do that because then you're
evangelizing you know other
university researchers and academic
researchers and stuff so
so they have to operate within some
different parameters
it's not that there's not value to that
they actually do come up with some
really amazing insights
absolutely but you know like you
you said i mean you have people saying
that isaiah 53 is about hezekiah or
josiah or
whoever you know they scramble and
they're just kind of flailing trying to
trying to explain something that to you
and me is as plain as day
right but isaiah it's interesting with
in isaiah 6 verses 9 through 10
you have this passage where the lord
says to isaiah
make the heart of this people fat make
their eyes heavy
uh unless they see with their eyes and
hear with their
ears and and uh and turn and be
and i heal them and biblical scholars
struggle with that passage it's like god
telling isaiah to make sure
that the people don't understand the
message somehow
and why why why would god tell the
people to
tell isaiah to obfuscate to
to make his message deliberately hard to
um but that is what isaiah did
and his writings and his teachings
they are going to have these elements of
dualism and allegory
and these kinds of things that are
really foreign to us
but isaiah 14 really is a great example
of this where you
if you're trying to make a secular
argument that it's
just about a babylonian king that's not
going to work the language doesn't
isaiah doesn't give you that luxury with
some of the words that he uses that
allude to supernatural things right so
anyway that's that is definitely a whole
tangent in itself but it's an
interesting one yeah
and i i think it's great and i read a
lot of those scholars of secular
scholars and i get a lot out of them
i just i don't like to see it coming to
lds scholarship
right no no as long as we're able to
talk about what's happening
right and not we will never ever
give that ground i personally will not
whatever bully pulpit i have no i'm
gonna i'm gonna defend
you know the restoration the restoration
is in the bible
whether scholars feel comfortable with
that fact or not
so but yeah i mean this this is a
a very important text you know going
back to our subject matter here isaiah
14 is a very important text
discussing the war in heaven
what what have we not touched on that
you think is important to cover about
the war of
war in heaven i
what i would recommend what i would love
for members of the church to do
is just take some time to ponder it
quietly you know whatever meditation or
pondering time
you can allow for it if you go for a
walk or if you're
out in nature just try to think
back on think about what you know about
the war in heaven from scripture
and kind of game it out in your mind
and you will be surprised at the
impressions that come to you
you'll be absolutely amazed at the
insights and how they
feel so familiar like you've heard them
and i again i kind of like
you said when we were beginning you know
this is a subject that we
we usually go through kind of a very
routine typical discussion about it but
there's so much more to it
yeah i appreciate that i think when
you're contemplating that contemplate
the the uh the idea ideologies
the trends and the things that are
happening today
regardless of where you are and we've
got listeners all over the world here
and and
just try and see you know which
is it just a carrot in front with a
stick in the back or
or is there is this is this an idea
that is not just a utopian idea but one
one that is built on charity is it built
on love
and and is it and is it is does it again
something that would follow the doctrine
of christ i think that's real important
again it's it's lucifer here the dragon
i mean he
he uses the trojan horse all the time
and and it's uh it's concerning when we
don't recognize it i i've been fooled
you know i mean i've been fooled for
so me too me too i
just just remember you know we when we
talk about the war in heaven
we generally think about it in in the
past tense but it's still happening
we're still doing it it's still underway
just a different
theater battle that's what we're in
right now yep
dan really appreciate your time and uh
let's let's do this again
soon sounds good thanks greg



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