"For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light..."

Are Jesus and Satan Brothers?

by W. John Walsh

This is a common question asked by those exposed to Anti-Mormon literature. Anti-Mormons often twist doctrines out of context to make it sound like Mormons believe that Latter-Day Saints consider Satan and the Lord to be equals. Of course, anyone familiar with Mormon beliefs about Jesus Christ knows that this is simply not true. Mormons have the utmost respect and reverence for the Savior and Redeemer.

First, Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God the Father (and is therefore divine) and the mortal virgin Mary. Satan, a malignant spirit, does not share this parental heritage of Jesus, and cannot be considered divine in any respect. Therefore, in the usual way that we speak of brothers and sisters, Jesus and Satan are not brothers.

However, Latter-day Saints believe that God is our Father in Heaven. Before we came to this world, we all lived as spirits under his care and guidance. We believe that God begat or created the spirits of Jesus, Lucifer, and all of the human family as his children. Our Heavenly Father is literally the father of our spirits. Jesus Christ is considered the preeminent "firstborn" or "firstbegotten" (see Hebrews 1:4-6; Firstborn in the Spirit)

Even though God the Father created all of our spirits, we were not equal in that premortal state. Jesus was a member of the Eternal Godhead, through his own innate worthiness, and created the universe under the Father’s direction. The Godhead is comprised of our Heavenly Father, his Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. Since the Fall of Adam, the Father has represented himself to the world through Jesus Christ. Jesus was Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament.

Lucifer, who was never a member of the Godhead like Jesus, rebelled against God, and was forever cast out. He became Satan, our adversary. Unlike Jesus or us, Lucifer will never be born into a physical body.

Latter-day Saint scriptures summarize this issue as follows:

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. (The Pearl of Great Price, Moses 4:1-4)

So it can be said that Jesus and Lucifer were brothers, in the sense of both being spiritually begotten by the Father, but it is a misrepresentation to say so without giving the contextual background. Whatever similarities in background exist between Jesus and Satan pale compared to the differences. Jesus is the Beloved and Chosen, who is the Only Begotten Son of God in the flesh.

(See Response to Criticism home page; Accusatory Questions home page)


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