The Gospel was preached from the beginning, and, according to Moses, “a decree was sent forth that it should be in the world unto the end thereof.” However, it’s important to understand that the seeds of the heroic drama, which unfolds as the Gospel of Christ is preached, or declared, among the inhabitants of the earth, by the prophets sent by God, such as Enoch, were planted long before Adam and Eve were even placed in the Garden of Eden.
The Bible contains hints of this prologue, but, for the most part, it is part of the plain and precious truth that the voices of the dust tell us was removed from the record of the Jews, by the whore of all the earth. The seminal event, which transpired before the world was, and which launched the struggle between good and evil among the children of Adam and Eve, was the rebellion of some of the children of God, a knowledge of which was given to Moses, as part of the great revelation, which he received, when he was transfigured before God upon “an exceedingly high mountain.” This revelation enables Moses to understand who he is, who God is, and who Satan is, as this knowledge was prerequisite in preparation for his important mission on the earth:
The words of God, which he spake unto Moses at a time when Moses was caught up into an exceedingly high mountain,
And he saw God face to face, and he talked with him, and the glory of God was upon Moses; therefore Moses could endure his presence.
And God spake unto Moses, saying: Behold, I am the Lord God Almighty, and Endless is my name; for I am without beginning of days or end of years; and is not this endless?
And, behold, thou art my son; wherefore look, and I will show thee the workmanship of mine hands; but not all, for my works are without end, and also my words, for they never cease.
Wherefore, no man can behold all my works, except he behold all my glory; and no man can behold all my glory, and afterwards remain in the flesh on the earth.
And I have a work for thee, Moses, my son; and thou art in the similitude of mine Only Begotten; and mine Only Begotten is and shall be the Savior, for he is full of grace and truth; but there is no God beside me, and all things are present with me, for I know them all.
And now, behold, this one thing I show unto thee, Moses, my son, for thou art in the world, and now I show it unto thee.
And it came to pass that Moses looked, and beheld the world upon which he was created; and Moses beheld the world and the ends thereof, and all the children of men which are, and which were created; of the same he greatly marveled and wondered.
And the presence of God withdrew from Moses, that his glory was not upon Moses; and Moses was left unto himself. And as he was left unto himself, he fell unto the earth.
And it came to pass that it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man; and he said unto himself: Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed.
But now mine own eyes have beheld God; but not my natural, but my spiritual eyes, for my natural eyes could not have beheld; for I should have withered and died in his presence; but his glory was upon me; and I beheld his face, for I was transfigured before him.
And it came to pass that when Moses had said these words, behold, Satan came tempting him, saying: Moses, son of man, worship me.
And it came to pass that Moses looked upon Satan and said: Who art thou? For behold, I am a son of God, in the similitude of his Only Begotten; and where is thy glory, that I should worship thee?
For behold, I could not look upon God, except his glory should come upon me, and I were transfigured before him. But I can look upon thee in the natural man. Is it not so, surely?
Blessed be the name of my God, for his Spirit hath not altogether withdrawn from me, or else where is thy glory, for it is darkness unto me? And I can judge between thee and God; for God said unto me: Worship God, for him only shalt thou serve.
Get thee hence, Satan; deceive me not; for God said unto me: Thou art after the similitude of mine Only Begotten.
And he also gave me commandments when he called unto me out of the burning bush, saying: Call upon God in the name of mine Only Begotten, and worship me.
And again Moses said: I will not cease to call upon God, I have other things to inquire of him: for his glory has been upon me, wherefore I can judge between him and thee. Depart hence, Satan.
And now, when Moses had said these words, Satan cried with a loud voice, and ranted upon the earth, and commanded, saying: I am the Only Begotten, worship me.
And it came to pass that Moses began to fear exceedingly; and as he began to fear, he saw the bitterness of hell. Nevertheless, calling upon God, he received strength, and he commanded, saying: Depart from me, Satan, for this one God only will I worship, which is the God of glory.
And now Satan began to tremble, and the earth shook; and Moses received strength, and called upon God, saying: In the name of the Only Begotten, depart hence, Satan.
And it came to pass that Satan cried with a loud voice, with weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth; and he departed hence, even from the presence of Moses, that he beheld him not. (Moses 1:1-22)
That Moses learned that he is a child of God, like the Only Begotten Son of God, is a significant departure from the teachings of the modern Judeo-Christian theology, and is the beginning of his preparation as a prophet of God. However, Moses was soon to learn that Satan, the Son of the Morning, is also a son of God. This must have been amazing to him, but perhaps not as much as it is to those of us who have been brought up in the Judeo-Christian tradition, where it is not taught that man is a child of God, who lived with him before the earth was formed, and it is not taught that angels, whether fallen or not, are children of God, as well.
Nevertheless, after Satan left him, the glory of God came upon Moses once again, and he was shown many things that greatly enlarged his understanding of the work of the Father, in bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. He learned, among other things, that this earth is only one of “worlds without number,” which God has created, and while this earth shall pass away, and all things shall become new, the work of the Father continues, worlds without end:
…worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten.
And the first man of all men have I called Adam, which is many.
But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.
And it came to pass that Moses spake unto the Lord, saying: Be merciful unto thy servant, O God, and tell me concerning this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, and also the heavens, and then thy servant will be content.
And the Lord God spake unto Moses, saying: The heavens, they are many, and they cannot be numbered unto man; but they are numbered unto me, for they are mine.
And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words.
For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
And now, Moses, my son, I will speak unto thee concerning this earth upon which thou standest; and thou shalt write the things which I shall speak.
And in a day when the children of men shall esteem my words as naught and take many of them from the book which thou shalt write, behold, I will raise up another like unto thee; and they shall be had again among the children of men—among as many as shall believe. (Moses 1:33-42)
After Moses was taught these things, he received an account of the creation, as recorded in the Book of Genesis, but with one thing made much clearer: The creation of life was special in that life forms that were placed upon the earth had existed in a spiritual state prior to their taking a physical form:
And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew. For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth. For I, the Lord God, had not caused it to rain upon the face of the earth. And I, the Lord God, had created all the children of men; and not yet a man to till the ground; for in heaven created I them; and there was not yet flesh upon the earth, neither in the water, neither in the air; (Moses 3:5)
This pre-existent spiritual life plays an important role in our mortal life here on earth, as the events that occurred there are not unrelated to those that occur here, as Moses found out:
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. (Moses 4:1-4)
In this remarkable passage, we hear it straight from the lips of God himself that Satan was once in his presence and “came before” him and spoke to him boldly and rebelliously, vaunting himself, seeking to rob mankind of their God-given right to choose. As a consequence, he, and his followers, a third of the host of heaven, were cast out and he became the accuser of mankind, setting up the scene for the battle between good and evil that was to follow, once the earth was created and prepared for those spirits who did not rebel, for those who were to advance in their existence, by taking upon them the flesh and blood of the physical state.
Moses was not the only prophet to testify of these things. Abraham had been shown these things too. The Lord said unto him:
I dwell in the midst of them all; I now, therefore, have come down unto thee to declare unto thee the works which my hands have made, wherein my wisdom excelleth them all, for I rule in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath, in all wisdom and prudence, over all the intelligences thine eyes have seen from the beginning; I came down in the beginning in the midst of all the intelligences thou hast seen.
Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;
And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.
And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;
And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;
And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.
And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first.
And the second was angry, and kept not his first estate; and, at that day, many followed after him. (Abraham 3:21-28)
Yet, those that did not rebel, “shouted for joy” and “sang together,” as the Lord reminded Job, because they looked forward to mortality and a chance to exercise their free agency, clothed with flesh and bones, which is the great privilege and blessing that those who rebelled against God and his plan will never have because they sought, and still do seek, to destroy the agency of man. They seek to take all men captive, to destroy them, as the Lord, who preserved the record of these things and caused that they should come forth out of the earth in our days, has now revealed anew:
And it came to pass that Adam, being tempted of the devil—for, behold, the devil was before Adam, for he rebelled against me, saying, Give me thine honor, which is my power; and also a third part of the hosts of heaven turned he away from me because of their agency;
And they were thrust down, and thus came the devil and his angels;
And, behold, there is a place prepared for them from the beginning, which place is hell.
And it must needs be that the devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto themselves; for if they never should have bitter they could not know the sweet— Wherefore, it came to pass that the devil tempted Adam, and he partook of the forbidden fruit and transgressed the commandment, wherein he became subject to the will of the devil, because he yielded unto temptation. (Doctrine and Covenants Section 29:36-40)
Clearly, our existence on earth has a purpose and is only part of a greater picture. “Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting,” as the poet Wordsworth wrote, “the soul that rises with us, our life’s Star, hath had elsewhere its setting, and cometh from afar.” Here, we are to be tested, proved in this vale of tears, to see if we will “do all things whatsoever the Lord [our] God shall command [us],” in spite of the opposition of all hell.