Was the War in Heaven the Only War Ever Fought in Heaven?
It is difficult sometimes to imagine what life was like in the pre-mortal realm since we remember nothing of it. We know that we lived under the tutelage of our Heavenly Parents who wanted us to be able to become like Them at some point. I believe we spent time together as family members where we enjoyed one another’s company and worried about these people as we left our heavenly home for mortality.
We know that when the Father presented a plan for our progress, Lucifer gave a different option which would not accomplish the purposes of our Father. Elder Robert D. Hales explained, “Because of Lucifer’s rebellion, a great spiritual conflict ensued. Each of Heavenly Father’s children had the opportunity to exercise the agency Heavenly Father had given him or her. We chose to have faith in the Savior Jesus Christ—to come unto Him, follow Him, and accept the plan Heavenly Father presented for our sakes. But a third of Heavenly Father’s children did not have faith to follow the Savior and chose to follow Lucifer, or Satan, instead. And God said, “Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, … I caused that he should be cast down.” Those who followed Satan lost the opportunity to receive a mortal body, live on earth, and progress. Because of the way they used their agency, they lost their agency.”1
Thus, began the divide between brothers and sisters. As I think about who the great rebel was and how he works, I am quite sure that with his smooth voice, he assured all those who would listen that if they would only follow him, they would make it back for certain. He most likely started out calmly with gentle persuasion until the testimonies of others corrected his plan, bringing it back to our Eldest Brother to forge the sacrificial path. I believe the opposition grew fierce until the war raged among the spirits. How must our Heavenly Parents have felt to know some of their most beloved spirits were choosing to leave Their presence forever? The great war in heaven was a singular, ongoing event yet I imagine there were many battles.
Elder Hales also taught, “Agency is essential to the plan of salvation. … Without agency we would be unable to make right choices and progress.”1
In the previous existence, we loved and cared for one another, living under the heavenly light and influence of perfect parents who loved each one of us more than we can describe. How could there have been any kind of war between brothers and sisters? Not until it came time to decide how we would be able to overcome sin and death to return to our Heavenly Parents’ presence did the rebellion grow in strength, instigated by a soul motivated solely by power and greed.
1 “Agency: Essential to the Plan of Life”, Elder Robert D. Hales, October 2010 General Conference