The 1/3 of the Host of Heaven

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Featherina

Re: The 1/3 of the Host of Heaven

Post by Featherina » 04 Aug 2013, 17:29

SamBee wrote:
For kids, and the sake of simplicity, there is often polarized thinking, although it is a cognitive distortion... bad guys are portrayed as purely bad & good guys as purely good.
In reality, I think they are mixed, as none of us are 100% good nor 100% evil.
This is a common problem in children's films, and the more commercial ones.

Evil is essentially a seduction process. It doesn't come straight at you one day, and say "fancy becoming a chainsaw killer?" or "wanna rob a bank?", but more like "do this, it's only a little thing", or "well, you're already doing X, so why can't you do Y?" It's incremental, starts with the little things, and takes you on to the bigger ones. But we do get some stuff horribly wrong, and over stuff which doesn't matter a hill o' beans. Dating before sixteen is not wrong (as long as it's not someone a lot older), and doesn't necessarily lead to pregnancy. Wearing a beard, or a blue shirt, is not blasphemy. Getting two sets of earrings won't send you to hell. etc
Good point, Sam.
It's a gradual process.
It's sad when relationships grow in separate ways... & often it's so gradual that it's not realized until it's beyond "relating."

Nobody wakes up one day and says, "How can I screw up today?"
I think even the "bad guys" have intentions that they think are good, in some way, otherwise they wouldn't do it.

Featherina

Re: The 1/3 of the Host of Heaven

Post by Featherina » 17 Aug 2013, 11:03

SamBee wrote:
For kids, and the sake of simplicity, there is often polarized thinking, although it is a cognitive distortion... bad guys are portrayed as purely bad & good guys as purely good.
In reality, I think they are mixed, as none of us are 100% good nor 100% evil.
This is a common problem in children's films, and the more commercial ones.

Evil is essentially a seduction process. It doesn't come straight at you one day, and say "fancy becoming a chainsaw killer?" or "wanna rob a bank?", but more like "do this, it's only a little thing", or "well, you're already doing X, so why can't you do Y?" It's incremental, starts with the little things, and takes you on to the bigger ones. But we do get some stuff horribly wrong, and over stuff which doesn't matter a hill o' beans. Dating before sixteen is not wrong (as long as it's not someone a lot older), and doesn't necessarily lead to pregnancy. Wearing a beard, or a blue shirt, is not blasphemy. Getting two sets of earrings won't send you to hell. etc
So true, Sam.
At times, we're all misguided - trying to figure out what we want (which deep down is GOoD).
And even more perplexing is that evil and good are often indiscernible, in disguise and intermixed.
IE: War may be necessary and good from one point of view, and unjust and evil from another.

"The whole history of the world is summed up in the fact that, when nations are strong, they are not always just, and when they wish to be just, they are no longer strong." -Winston Churchill
"You get only the amount of justice you can afford, no more, no less." -Wilfrid Sheed
"The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that’s the essence of inhumanity." -George Bernard Shaw

"The human mind is generally far more eager to praise or blame than to describe and define. It wants to make every distinction a distinction of value." -C. S. Lewis
"There are no whole truths; all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil." -A. N. Whitehead
"The ambition narrows as the mind expands." -G. K. Chesterton

1/3 of the host of heaven - seems like quite the gang!
I don't know how it works in heaven/spiritual realms, but in this dimension/world - often people will act more crazy/evil in groups than they ever would on their own.
Wars are never conducted by a single individual, nor are other cases of mass suffering inflicted by one group on another.
This is why I cringe at illogically and potentially harmful group thought - but it is so pervasive - whether Theist, Atheist, political, etc.

"Insanity in individuals is rare—but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs, it is the rule." -Friedrich Nietzsche

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SamBee
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Re: The 1/3 of the Host of Heaven

Post by SamBee » 19 Aug 2013, 11:46

Great quotes btw Ray.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

johnh
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Post by johnh » 23 Aug 2013, 01:29

I believe God can and will save the ones who want it. Pretty unfair to condemn them forever for their first bad choice..a choice made in ignorance

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Riceandbeans
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Re: The 1/3 of the Host of Heaven

Post by Riceandbeans » 24 Aug 2013, 17:45

dash1730 wrote:I'm scratching my head over this story, as it is related to some other stories I remember learning, but for the life of me don't know their source. As I recall, Lucifer and his 1/3 is banished to earth, and his influence is limited to inhabitants on this planets. He cannot tempt people on other planets, even though Christ's atonement covers them, too. But as a result earth is the most wicked of all among God's creation. If this story is true then other inhabitants on planets are able to live out their mortality in rather challenging conditions. I am forced to wonder why we then got stuck with a raw deal.

Does this story ring a bell with anyone?
I think this is one of those "pretzels" that Wayfarer wrote about: a more-or-less folk doctrine that grew out of interpolation and now enjoys official status because people don't look closely. Someone correct me if needed:

The 1/3 of the hosts of heaven thing is from the Revelation of John, right? From a vision so thoroughly symbolic, the only reason we would take that as a literal thing is because our capacity for thinking in symbolic and mythic terms is so undeveloped as a church still. The revelation in Section 29 quotes on it and builds on it, but I don't see that as requiring an insistence on its literal factuality; Joseph's revelations came according to his understanding and that of the early converts, from whom I think we inherited our symbological handicaps.

The idea of this world being the most wicked comes from Enoch's vision in Moses 7, and applies specifically to Enoch's time; it could be taken to apply to ours as well, but I don't see that as necessary.

Characteristic of a literalist-oriented, mythically-impaired, cocksure and downright lazy mindset, Mormon "thought" has strung the "doctrine" you just described together from these sources, as so many of our other doctrines are strung, cobbled and nailed together from hopping around the scriptures. Not only are we bad at thinking symbologically and mythically, we're bad at asking deeper questions of what we're told, and we're bad at rigorously analyzing scriptural sources.
“Of course, I should have known,” said Steinar. “I should have guessed that immersion alone does not take you far. What costs you nothing is worth nothing. Excuse me, but what has it cost you, if I may ask?”
“What’s that to you?” asked the bishop.
-- Halldór Laxness, Paradise Reclaimed

Riceandbeans
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Re: The 1/3 of the Host of Heaven

Post by Riceandbeans » 24 Aug 2013, 18:04

Furthermore, this opens up a big can of worms about the nature of spirits, intelligences and consciousness. The idea of billions of sinister anthropomorphic ghosties with highly developed psychic identities lurking here and there and tempting us shows the common assumption that premortal spirits have form (just because Jehovah could show himself to the Brother of Jared in human form) and consciousness as we experience it in our material bodies and brains. This is more an assumption than anything explicitly revealed.

In another post I mentioned a book by the psychoanalyst James Hillman, The Soul's Code. He talks about the ancient idea of a daimon, which he casts as "the acorn theory." It's a fascinating idea, thousands of years old (he cites a myth presented by Plato): each of us has a calling, a destiny, an image of a life to be led. It's a sort of intuitive wholeness that is distinct from our ego and even from our talents. The idea of forgetting one's fate or calling at birth is part of the old myth too.

Even a cursory bit of research into theories of the unconscious will be very rewarding in consideration of the bare doctrines we have, stripped of parascriptural assumptions. It gives scientific evidence (yes!) to the doctrine while at the same time showing how little we really understand. Obviously we can't equate ego entirely with spirit, since the things we have forgotten are by definition unconscious. I've been reflecting on the idea of a daimon: is that the spirit? Is it part of it? Are individual spirits more like Atman than autonomous atoms? I like that idea, in light of what psychology tells us about the Collective Unconscious.

In any case, I think it's assuming maybe too much to say that Satan and his angels are or have developed egos or consciousness.
“Of course, I should have known,” said Steinar. “I should have guessed that immersion alone does not take you far. What costs you nothing is worth nothing. Excuse me, but what has it cost you, if I may ask?”
“What’s that to you?” asked the bishop.
-- Halldór Laxness, Paradise Reclaimed

dash1730
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Re: The 1/3 of the Host of Heaven

Post by dash1730 » 20 Oct 2013, 18:29

Thanks riceandbeans for your comment. I am in no position to make judgement on the veracity of the "1/3 of the host of heaven". The scriptures cite it, the G15 teach it, and until I get further info, I will accept it, particularly as long as I don't have to make some critical decision about it.

What I do know is that abject evil is alive and well and doing it's thing on the planet. Here are three examples that are valid for me:

First, while on my mission, we rang a doorbell and as the door opened, I had an overpowering feeling of evil emitting from the apartment. I used my crudest German to get through the door approach, and as she closed it, the feeling of evil withdrew. Without saying a word we turned around and got out of that apartment bldg. ASAP

Second, not long ago, at a local gym, I had a similar feeling about a guy who was working out there. I saw him many times over the course of several months, and each time I did, I felt an overpowering feeling of evil from him. He wasn't dressed unusually, did not look unusual. I never spoke to him nor was there ever a need to, but I got that same unmistakable sense of evil from him.

My third example is the degradation of society. I am old enough to remember when honest politicians were more the norm, requirements that TV stations served the public good, and language in movies was nothing stronger than a "damn". Today, I would rather trust a used car salesman than a politician with my wallet, I am routinely offended when I can find nothing but violence and sleaze on any TV station, and even Walt Disney movies are suspect, and most everything else celebrates the worse in all of humanity. And all this is before mentioning sickos who are into Devil worship, child molestation and beyond.

While I don't know if the phrase "1/3 host of heaven" is literally accurate or not, I believe in evil, in fact I have a testimony of it!
I may not walk the straight and narrow, but I try to cross it as often as I can.
---J Golden Kimball

nibbler
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Re: The 1/3 of the Host of Heaven

Post by nibbler » 15 Nov 2013, 08:48

Ok, I know I’m chiming in on a thread that was created over a year ago but I did want to add a few of my thoughts to the discussion. I’m not very good at articulating my thoughts so most of this may appear to be random, disorganized ramblings. Probably because that’s what it is ;) I also tend to the verbose.

First off, I really enjoyed reading the tread. It really got me thinking about the war in heaven for the first time. I guess there’s no need for the disclaimer that my comments represent my thoughts and that my faith in the underlying source material to the war in heaven doctrine has somewhat eroded but there it is.

Going back to the OP, I don’t believe that there was a ”you must be at least this righteous” cutoff point to determine whether an individual had kept their first estate. I’m sure there were some spirits that could be considered “bad” that kept their first estate and I’m sure there were some spirits that could be considered “good” that didn’t. I see the division as being related to which plan a spirit wished to follow, a decision which I view as being independent from one's current level of righteousness.

Reading between the lines a bit, I think it may be time to reevaluate what I’ve always understood by the phrase “cast out.” Were the spirits that sided with Satan compelled to leave, or did they leave of their own volition? Think of it this way… if you were a member of a like-minded group and your ideals evolved away from the group ideals to the point of contention would you stick around until someone asked you to leave? Anyone relate? ;) It’s said to have been a war, so parting ways was likely mutual. Compelled to leave but with no argument from the other party perhaps.

Semantics I guess but leaving on your own volition preserves the agency above all narrative (which is also mentioned in D&C 29:36). This also meshes well with the notion that God does not depart from his children, they depart from him. In support of a literal forcing out… there are eternal laws that bound God (justice, etc.) and there are consequences for every decision. Even then it's still the case that a loving God didn't force his children into a state of misery, his hands were tied as they reaped the consequences of their own decisions. This is starting to feel like the answer to a question no one asked, so I'll leave it at that.

Riceandbeans’ post got me thinking… there really aren’t that many scriptures related to the topic at hand. I had to search a bit to find scriptures that related to the “third” that was cast out. The scriptural references are scant. I may not have found all the references.

With respect to the quantity, the scriptures consistently say third “part.” The traditional interpretation has been 33⅓ % of everyone, but there are several alternate interpretations. Perhaps it simply means that there were three “parts” with no mention as to the quantity of people making up each part. This new interpretation begs the question… what are the other two parts? Ok, I assume that one of the two parts is people that kept their first estate. And the remaining part, perhaps celestial beings? So three parts to the makeup of the preexistence: 1) Celestial beings. 2) The spirits that kept their first estate. 3) The spirits that did not keep their first estate. The quantity of people in each “part” being purely speculative. This is taking things way too literally though, even if it is in a different vein. I’m just spitballing ideas that came to me while studying the word “third.”

I’ve got a few other thoughts but I’m worried this is getting too wordy, so to be continued…

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Heber13
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Re: The 1/3 of the Host of Heaven

Post by Heber13 » 15 Nov 2013, 09:35

nibbler wrote:The quantity of people in each “part” being purely speculative.
I really like this thought!! Certainly quantities and measures are not exact from biblical sources (days, populations in armies, time, etc).
nibbler wrote:Think of it this way… if you were a member of a like-minded group and your ideals evolved away from the group ideals to the point of contention would you stick around until someone asked you to leave? Anyone relate?
I think this could be a big part, but I have no problem thinking God the Father would send some away to protect the flock. Think of our experiences in this world. There are times the church excommunicates some people so they are separated. But way more people leave the church on their own then get excommunicated simply because they don't want to be a part of it anymore. So what you say makes sense, if you were no longer wanting to be in the group, you leave on your own...but I can see some people won't, and need to be cut-off.

That also makes me think of the Atonement, and it being infinite. Wouldn't you think, just like the excommunicated member can repent and work back into the church, wouldn't you think the 1/3 cast out from the first estate, could be given a chance to return...although it wouldn't be easy...it would be possible somehow, sometime, in some way? Why not, right? What would the Lord have to lose if they really wanted to return?

Sometimes in church people like to feel better about ourselves...we chose right...and those poor souls who didn't keep their first estate are damned...and I'm glad I'm not them. But clearly the Lord's teachings of the laborers in the vineyard warns us against thinking wages have to be fair based on how we think it should be fair to us. Right?
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Re: The 1/3 of the Host of Heaven

Post by nibbler » 15 Nov 2013, 10:11

I also had a few thoughts with respect to the notion that the third part that followed Satan were a necessary part of the plan of salvation and that theirs was the true/ultimate sacrifice. It really got me thinking about the purpose of sacrifice.

I think the purpose of sacrifice is to assist someone with their own personal progression. We understand the purpose of Jesus’ sacrifice as it relates to us, but I also think that the atonement benefited Jesus in that his light had grown brighter and brighter until that perfect day. I think that we too grow when we willingly sacrifice our own wants and needs.

Now on to that third part of heaven…
There are a few things that indicate to me that what they are doing does not constitute true sacrifice:

1) I think a sacrifice has to be willing. First off, this group was cast out, right off the bat that doesn’t imply willing participation in the plan. Also, it is said of Satan’s followers that they are captive to his will. Again, this shows a lack of willingness on the part of Satan’s followers. They become slaves to his will.
2) We have to know how our sacrifice fits into the plan in order for us to benefit from it. Intent is clear in the case of Jesus’ sacrifice. Moses 4:6 says that Satan tried to tempt Eve because he didn’t understand the mind of God. He didn’t think he had made a sacrifice to facilitate the plan of salvation, he thought he was out destroying the work.
3) Motive. The dictionary says that sacrifice (ok, I’ve now ventured into full blown sacrament talk mode now :( ) is an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy. I doubt that this group considered the need for tempting spirits and only followed Satan for the greater good.

I don’t know whether the hosts of heaven that followed Satan are full and willing participants and I don’t know whether they even know how they fit in the plan (but one would think that they have eavesdropped this bit from us over the years). I’m fairly confident that they didn’t do it for the greater good. All this in mind I find myself asking how much actual personal progress they are getting out of their sacrifice and the answer makes me wonder whether what they did constitutes a sacrifice at all.

I get what the OP was saying though. It certainly paints these people in a different light, one of compassion, and that can only draw people closer to Jesus. It was also very good food for thought. If anything it helped me think along the lines of a TBM (had to look that one up) again. Everyone’s comments in this thread were really edifying. Thanks.

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