Ask A Mormon Woman: Do Mormons Believe Jesus Christ and Satan Are Brothers?

Feb 8, 2010 by

Question:  Do Mormons believe Jesus Christ and Satan are brothers?

Answer by Heidi**

I had the opportunity to answer this question in a high school sociology class.  The discussion of the day centered around organized religion, and it wasn’t long before Mormons became the subject of conversation.  Suddenly the misconceptions and half-truths I had heard all of my life started cropping up all over the classroom.  When someone piped up with “Mormons believe that Jesus Christ and Satan are brothers!” the electricity crackled from person to person like fire sweeping down a field of dry cornhusks.  Everyone began to babble.

Tears sprang to my eyes and my heart began such a strong and insistent thumping that I thought it would break out of my chest.  I knew that what I was feeling was my strong belief in the truthfulness and pure precepts of the gospel as well as my gratitude for the direction it gave me in my life. I wanted to defend my religion but, like most teenagers, I was afraid of ridicule and rejection.

Finally, a friend who sat behind me started kicking my chair and saying my name.  She was not a member of my faith but her expectation that I stand up for my beliefs gave me the courage to speak.  Dashing the tears from my face, I spoke in a voice shaking with emotion.: “We believe that we are all children of our Heavenly Father,” I began — but the bell rang and I was not able to say anything more. If I had had the chance, I would have told them that, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we believe that we all lived as literal spirit children of our Heavenly Father in a pre-mortal existence.  This means that all the children of our Father in Heaven are brothers and sisters, including Jesus Christ and Lucifer [otherwise known as Satan or the devil].

“Jesus Christ was with the Father from the beginning.”  This statement, as well as the following, was made by Jess L. Christensen, former Institute of Religion director at Utah State University in Logan, Utah in the June 1986 issue of the Ensign.  ”Lucifer, too, was an angel ‘who was in authority in the presence of God,’ a ‘son of the morning.’ (See Isa. 14:12; D&C 76:25–27.) Both Jesus and Lucifer were strong leaders with great knowledge and influence. But as the Firstborn of the Father, Jesus was Lucifer’s older brother. (See Col. 1:15; D&C 93:21.)”

However, as Elder M. Russell Ballard, a general authority of the LDS church, stated in a talk given on February 2, 2010, “. . . he {Satan} chose to use his agency [the power to choose] in an unrighteous way.”

Jess L. Christensen adds that

. . .he was not created evil, but became Satan by his own choice.  When our Father in Heaven presented his plan of salvation, Jesus sustained the plan and his part in it, giving the glory to God, to whom it properly belonged. Lucifer, on the other hand, sought power, honor, and glory only for himself. (See Isa. 14:13–14; Moses 4:1–2.) When his modification of the Father’s plan was rejected, he rebelled against God and was subsequently cast out of heaven with those who had sided with him. (See Rev. 12:7–9; D&C 29:36–37.)

An example in the Bible of two brothers who made dramatically different choices, choices which led to evil works in one and great and righteous works in the other, is that of Cain and Abel.  There are other examples throughout the scriptures of people choosing different paths, of the contrast between good and evil. It’s been the story from before we came to earth.

Mormons worship Jesus Christ as our Lord and Redeemer who rose above all things, who died on the cross for our sins and whose power and glory will reign forever.  We regard Satan as someone who is real and who still wants all the power and glory to be his alone.  Unlike our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ, both of whom we worship with all our hearts, Satan has no body, and can earn no glory. We strive to avoid the devil and his evil influence at all costs.

Knowing that we who live on this earth are all brothers and sisters and are potential heirs to a royal heritage is a testimony to me that our Heavenly Father has a plan for each one of us to return to live with Him again one day.  They love us and I love Them as real personages who fill powerful roles in my life.  As long as I seek to follow Christ, repent when I make mistakes, and obey the commandments, I can be with Them again.  This is what gives me the strength and the power to endure great adversity as well as the desire to be more like Jesus Christ . . . my Brother, my Savior.

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**Please note: The answers in “Ask a Mormon Woman” reflect the thoughts, perspectives, and experiences of individuals. Although here at Mormon Women: Who We Are, we strive to have our content consistent with the Church’s doctrine and teachings, we do not speak officially for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For official information about or from the Church, please visit www.mormon.org or www.lds.org.

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15 Comments

  1. Thank you for answering this question! I have never been able to answer it in such a simple way before.

  2. Paul

    I appreciate the article, but I am wondering how you reconcile your belief with Colossians 1:16-17 “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created by Him and for Him. 17And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”

    This verse says that Satan was created by Jesus, not a brother of Jesus.

    Thank you,
    -Paul Ottenbacher

  3. mormonwomen

    Paul,

    Thank you for visiting our site. You ask an interesting question, and I think the simple answer is that we interpret that scripture a little differently. We do not interpret that verse to include the creation of our spirits in the pre-mortal existence, although I can see how it could be interpreted in that way.

    Additional prophetic revelation through latter-day prophets has helped clarify these points of doctrine, helping us know and understand our Father in Heaven as the Father of our spirits, and the Savior as the creator of the earth (under the direction of the Father — His Father, our Father). We also worship the Savior as the Father of our salvation, the One who was instrumental in God’s plan for our salvation and exaltation.

    Although I imagine you are already familiar with many of the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I’ll still suggest for any who might share this question to search lds.org on “the plan of salvation” (for some information and references on that topic, see here).

    I’ll share another site that I find useful (a favorite of mine). If you are interested in finding talks by prophets and other Church leaders that include and expound upon specific scriptures, see this index.

    I hope this helps.

    I have to say that I love that phrase, “In Him all things hold together.” I feel that way about the Savior in my life, and I am moved as I ponder what that might mean in terms of the bigger picture of God’s plan for us.

    Warm regards,

    ~Michelle, editor at MW

  4. I appreciate this explanation of Satan. It helps me combat his negative influence in my life when I know who he really is and why he fights against all good – that he isn’t just a caricature or mystical creature. It is good to know that I have control over myself and the ability to resist temptation. It also is comforting to know that although Satan is constantly fighting against good that God is over all and I need not fear.

  5. Paul

    Thank you, I will look into this material!

    -Paul Ottenbacher

  6. Janelle

    I like how this post explains that God is the Father of all of our Spirits, but he didn’t create Satan. Satan created Satan, through greed, disobedience and selfishness. I also appreciated the comparison to Cain and Abel. Our thoughts, words and actions make us who we are.

    Thank you Heidi for answering a tough question.

  7. Chris

    Dear Michelle,

    You said: “Additional prophetic revelation through latter-day prophets has helped clarify these points of doctrine, helping us know and understand our Father in Heaven as the Father of our spirits, and the Savior as the creator of the earth (under the direction of the Father — His Father, our Father).”

    Colossians 1:16-17 says that Jesus created everything invisible (spirits) as well as visible.

    Its right there in the passage. It says “both” “invisible or visible”

    Colossians 1:16-17 “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created by Him and for Him. 17And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”

    Chris

  8. mormonwomen

    Chris,

    Thanks for stopping by. As with Paul’s comment I can understand why you would read that verse in such a way, but similar to my answer to Paul, it’s clear that we interpret these verses a little differently. We love the Bible, but we also have other scripture and prophetic teachings to help expound points of doctrine like this.

    If you are interested in reading more of such references, links such as the following might be helpful:

    For more information about the creation, see the references and articles listed under the lds.org index entry “Creation”

    You can also find more of our beliefs explained in the entry on the Plan of Salvation.

    You could also search on topics such as the Godhead, Child of God, Jehovah as creator, and other related topics.

    Thanks,
    ~Michelle

  9. mormonwomen

    By the way, these doctrines in no way diminish the Savior’s central role in God’s plan, as Creator, as the Atoning One, as our Redeemer and Lord and God. But we also revere our Heavenly Father as the Father of our Spirits, the creator of the plan of salvation, and the One under whom the creation happened, and whose will was followed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

  10. Brose from the Philppines

    My KJV 1611Bible says, satan is a great deceiver from the book of Genesis down to the book of Revelation. He deceived the whole world by using the word of God also. In Genesis he twisted the word of God to deceived Eve and Adam, the same in Matthew chapter 4, he tried to deceived my Savior. That’s what he did to all believers of mormonism, he uses the KJV Bible to insist that Jesus my Savior and (he) satan are brothers. Now, you are also using Colosians 1: 16,17. Have you notice the verse 17, that…”he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Meaning, satan is not his brother, he is just his creation. Creation who become ungrateful to his creator. I hope you will realize these, because if you don’t, you have no place in his mansion in heaven. We are all brothers and sisters in creation, but we could not be–spiritually–if we don’t believe that Jesus Christ is God and if we don’t have relationship with him. “Except a man be born again, (spiritually) he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

  11. mormonwomen

    Brose,
    Thanks for stopping by. Have you had a chance to look at the other comments? Others have brought up the verse in Colossians and I shared some thoughts in return.

    One of the things that informs the “Mormon” view on this topic is latter-day prophets who have clarified some things, including receiving scripture that we use with the Bible. We love the Bible. We study from it, teach from it, learn from it. Other scriptures and teachings from living prophets help expand upon our understanding of the Bible.

    We do not disagree with the need to be born again spiritually. We do not disagree that the devil deceives and fights against God. He has no standing with God. Satan is His enemy and our enemy.

    Please consider reading again the post that explains our view of how the devil became the devil. As I mentioned earlier, we do not believe this takes away at all from the focus on our Savior, Jesus Christ. In fact, we think it helps underscore his majesty and wonder as He volunteered to be the One to make Heavenly Father’s plan work for us, and to be our Perfect Exemplar with His life on earth.

    In fact, I love learning about the premortal presentation of the plan, because I think it helps us understand even more the nature of Jesus Christ and His perfect willingness to be our Savior and to give His Father the glory — just as we see when we read the New Testament. (I was struck by that just this past Sunday in Sunday School (we are studying the New Testament this year) when I was reading John 5.

    Anyway, I realize that we may disagree on some of this, but I hope this helps explain. Again, you might be interested in some of the links above, both in the original post and in the comments.

  12. Lisa

    I think the answer to everyone’s question is John 3:16. For God so loved the world that he gave his ONLY begotten son that whosever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. Satan and Jesus were not spirit brothers. I also think that Revelations 22:18 should be acknowledged. If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book. I pray for everyone’s salvation without judgement. Everyone has the right to choose their own beliefs. However I felt the need to share what I believe.

    Thank you.

  13. mormonwomen

    Lisa,

    Thank you for your comment and for sharing your perspective on this.

    I think what I said to someone above about the role living prophets play in the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints underscores how we might engage some of these scriptures differently, but I respect the fact that you followed what you felt and shared what you believe.

    ~Michelle
    Editor

  14. jt

    Why then is Satan described as the “anointed Cherub” in the book of Ezekiel chapter 28:13. Cherubs are angels. Read your Bible guys. Satan is never referred to as a “son” of God. Mormons don’t believe in the Trinity (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit). In Genesis 1:26 it says “let US make man in our image.” Us indicates more than one. Remember when Matthew 1:23 the angel said to Joseph “and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, GOD WITH US. God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ to redeem mankind back to himself. Remember no one can forgive sin but God.

  15. Rita Miller

    @jt
    The verse you are referring to is actually 28:14, “Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.” The reference is to the king of Tyre (cf Barnes Notes on the Bible, “The prince of Tyre was also anointed as a sovereign priest – covering or protecting the minor states, like the cherubim with outstretched wings covering the mercy-Seat.”)Satan can be inferred, although it is not necessary to the text. In LDS theology, the three Persons referred to in scripture are called ‘the Godhead’; the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are most definitely known and worshipped, but as three separate Personages, not one. They are one in purpose, outlook and goal, but not in being. The apostle Paul maintained that separation throughout his epistles, consistently referring to the Father and Son as separate persons (for example, Heb 1:1-3,
    1God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
    2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
    3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high). The early Church Fathers understood this, and it wasn’t until the Council of Nicea almost 300 years later that that the idea of a “Trinity”, 3 persons in one, became church doctrine.
    LDS theology most definitely asserts the primacy of Christ as Creator of the world, Savior and Redeemer, and the only name under Heaven whereby salvation may be obtained. He is our Mediator with the Father, and, having provided us with the reconciliation necessary to return to our Creator, has become the Father of our souls. The fact that we do not believe in a 3rd century decision concerning the characteristics of God in no way negates our Christianity, or our devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ.

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