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JAMIE - Do we need Satan for plan of salvation to work? if not then how we are going to be tested here on earth? Why Satan was not cast into outer darkness instead he was send to earth so it means he needed to tempt people on earth?
JOEL - In 2 Nephi 2:11 we read;
"For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things."
It is an eternal principle and Satan is the opposition to righteousness. This oppositon is necesary to test us to see if we will use our agency to resist temptation that Satan will inflict on us and thereby prove ourselves worthy for salvation.
Satan and all those who followed him were cast out to tempt all the people of the world. When this world comes to an end and all are judged and have received their glory, Satan and His followers will then be sent to outer darkness. (D&C 133:69-73)
JAMIE - I agree we need opposition, So it means when God creates new worlds there will be different Satan ? What we learn is Satan rebelled and he was cast out. So there might be another spirit whose going to rebel since opposition is needed to test ?
JOEL - Actually we learn in the Temple that there is only one Satan for all the worlds our God has created in our universe. Perhaps in some other universe that is ruled by its own God there is a another Satan for that universe and he also would have rebelled and be cast out. But this is mostly speculation.
JAMIE - Do we know powers of Satan? We read here and there some leaders talking about Satan powers but its not clear. Do Satan need God's permission to appear to people on earth ? Like he appear to Moses, and others in Book of Mormon. If he does not need permission then he could have appeared to many people to deceived them is that right ?
JOEL - Satan has real power and authority of some kind (D&C 76: 31). President Joseph Fielding Smith said:
"Just what authority Lucifer held before his rebellion we do not know, but he was an angel of light, his name, Lucifer, meaning torchbearer" (Church History and Modern Revelation 1:128 (1953 ed., 2 vols.), Joseph Fielding Smith)
Satan can appear or force his influence to anyone who allows him in to their heart and soul. He almost never needs permission from God to do it, although God usually will not intervene. Satan gets his permission from us when we use our agency to allow Him to have power over us.
Joseph Smith taught:
"All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not. The devil has no power over us only as we permit him. The moment we revolt at anything which comes from God, the devil takes power." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1938], p. 181.)
The Prophet Joseph Smith experienced this power as he prayed in the sacred grove and said "I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to . . . some actual being from the unseen world." (Joseph Smith–History 1:16)
Joseph Smith was not perfect, and this is not to suggest that Joseph allowed Satan to have power over him; in this case no doubt, it was Satan doing all He could to prevent the restoration of God's Church.
Satan apparently did need permission when he tempted Job (Job 1: 12). But that was a special circumstance because Job was "perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil." (Job 1:1) He would not have allowed Satan to have power over him, therefore God gave permission to Satan to torment him.
JAMIE - You said we allow Satan to influence, I am talking about Satan appearing as an Angel like he did to Moses, What is stopping Satan appearing to people as an angel and teach them wrong doctrine?
JOEL - As far as I know Satan or one of his fellow spirits would not normally need permission to appear to anyone.The only thing stopping them is us. If that should happen and we are not sure if it is an angel from God D&C 129 gives instructions on how to detect such a spirit.
4 When a messenger comes saying he has a message from God, offer him your hand and request him to shake hands with you.
5 If he be an angel he will do so, and you will feel his hand.
6 If he be the spirit of a just man made perfect he will come in his glory; for that is the only way he can appear—
7 Ask him to shake hands with you, but he will not move, because it is contrary to the order of heaven for a just man to deceive; but he will still deliver his message.
8 If it be the devil as an angel of light, when you ask him to shake hands he will offer you his hand, and you will not feel anything; you may therefore detect him.
9 These are three grand keys whereby you may know whether any administration is from God.
So they may appear to someone but it is our responsibility to detect and deny them.
JAMIE - In Mark 5:1-15 We read Man with evil spirts Jesus told evil spirts come out of man and then they were permitted to go pigs. How a evil spirit enters that man body without God's permission?
JOEL - The scriptures don't give the details of how that man acquired the evil spirit in the first place and as I said before Satan almost never needs God's permission.
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