Brothers and Sisters I would ask that you take a moment to imagine what life would have been like on the Earth had Satan’s plan been chosen as the way to save mankind instead of the plan that God had intended for us to follow.
Please turn with me to the Pearl of Great Price while we read from Moses chapter 4 together. I will quote the relevant parts below:
“Satan....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.
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.”
From these scriptures we learn that Satan sought to save all mankind by taking away the agency of man. He also sought to have the honor bestowed upon him that is reserved for God the Father alone. Agency is a precious gift from God; it is essential to His plan for His children. Agency is to act with accountability and responsibility for our actions. Without agency we would be unable to make right choices and progress. Yet with agency we risk making wrong choices, committing sin, and losing the opportunity to be with Heavenly Father again.
Satan’s plan was to take away our agency and make us go back to heaven with coercion and force. In his plan all would have been saved but not through their own choice.
While we do not know exactly how life would have been under the plan of Satan in my mind there would have been two main points to the plan:
1. We would have been discouraged from thinking for ourselves.
2. Any deviation from the plan would have been punished in such a way that conformity would have been more appealing.
With regards to not thinking for ourselves I believe that individuality would have been discouraged to the point where we would all look and think alike. I imagine that we men might have been forced to have similar haircuts and styles, with only specific lengths being allowed. Our shirts would likely be the same color with any deviation being frowned upon. We may have been required to be all clean shaven that there be no inequality amongst us. We would all speak alike and would have been encouraged to state our allegiance to Satan and his earthly leaders.
If the women were allowed to wear jewelry such as earrings perhaps the amount they could wear would be clearly spelled out to them lest there be any confusion. I imagine they might all wear similar clothing in terms of skirt length and shoe type. They might be told specifically what their role is in life that they may achieve the purposes as set forth by Satan.
I suspect that our days would be filled with many non essential tasks to ensure that no time for deviating thoughts could take place. We might have a family get together each morning to study Satan’s words followed by prayers to him. After our work day our evenings may well be taken up with meetings to discuss any deviators or perhaps we would be engaged in visits to the homes of others to ensure they are doing all that they should. In brief our days would be planned out for us in such a way that we would be kept busy and free from the burden of thinking and planning for ourselves.
With regards to deviation any such action would be reported to those in authority and would be dealt with swiftly and harshly. For example if someone chose to consume something that had been deemed harmful by Satan that person might be denied entrance to the most sacred and holy places of worship where special ceremonies may be missed. In this way free agency would become a useless and painful burden upon us and we would give in to what we would perceive as the blessings of conformity.
But enough of such dreary talk! In complete contrast to Satan’s plan we have agency and are free to choose for ourselves. Modern revelation makes it clear that agency is a gift from our Heavenly Father to allow us to choose obedience, which leads to eternal life.
Apostle Robert D. Hales in his 2010 General Conference talk entitled ‘Agency: Essential to the Plan of Life’ asked the following question:
My brothers and sisters, are we hearkening with exactness to the voice of the Lord and His prophets?
I am pleased that I can choose to exercise my agency in righteousness and that in so doing I have the opportunity and blessing of showing that I support and sustain my priesthood leaders upon the Earth.
I am thankful for the plan of happiness that our leaders have so clearly defined for all of us. I know that as you and I follow this plan with the exactness spoken of by Elder Hales we will be happy and will enjoy the bounteous blessings the Lord has in store for us. I humbly leave these thoughts with you in the most holy and sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.