Hey guys, so Latter-day Saints believe that ALL of the spirit children of God—you, me, and billions of others—are all spirit brothers and sisters. We believe that Jesus Christ, who is perfect and a divine member of the Godhead, is also one of the Father’s children. We also believe that Satan is technically a rebellious spirit child of God, a “fallen angel” if you will. Thus, you could say that among our billions of spirit siblings, even Jesus and Satan are spirit brothers.
In the Latter-day Saints belief system, this association between Christ and Lucifer isn’t much more than a footnote. But to a lot of Christians, it’s a huge deal. On one popular Christian website, this belief was even cited as supporting evidence for why Latter-day Saints will probably be “cast into the lake of fire” and have “no hope of salvation.” So on that note, let’s talk about this belief, give it some context, and see if we can learn something along the way.
As we’ve talked about in these videos which you should go watch if you haven’t yet, Latter-day Saints believe that before this life, we all lived with God the Father as His spirit children. We believe that while Christ’s (and everyone’s) being is eternal, He was the first to be organized with a spirit body by Heavenly Parents, God’s firstborn spirit son, and God’s only son begotten in the flesh. Christ is our perfect Savior and Redeemer—a member of the Godhead. But in a strictly “spirit family” sense, we also consider Christ to be our elder spirit brother.
Latter-day Saints believe that before this life, our Heavenly Father presented us, His spirit children, with His “Plan of Salvation.” The plan would involve coming to earth, receiving a physical body, choosing between good and evil, and ultimately returning to live with God again at the end of it all. But the thing about freedom of choice is that mistakes would be made, and sins would be committed. So, our Heavenly Father explained that a Savior would be needed.
There were two volunteers. “And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me.” “Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.” The other said, “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; therefore give me thine honor.”
The one who was chosen was our elder brother, Jesus Christ. The one who was not chosen was, of course, another spirit brother of ours by the name of Lucifer. Lucifer wasn’t a fan of God’s plan, because giving people their freedom to choose implies that there are going to be some who choose not to follow God’s plan. Lucifer’s counter-proposal was to remove that freedom of choice, guarantee eternal life for all of humanity, and usurp the throne of God in the process. It was a flawed plan and was never a real option.
But Lucifer didn’t back down. Our scriptures describe him as “an angel of God who was in authority in the presence of God, who rebelled against the Only Begotten Son…” In fact, he convinced many of our other spirit brothers and sisters, to rebel as well. “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; … 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.”
Referring to Luke 10:18, the early Christian father Origen taught that “[Jesus] compares [Satan] to lightning, and says that he fell from heaven, that He might show by this that he had been at one time in heaven, and had had a place among the saints, and had enjoyed a share in that light in which all the saints participate, by which they are made angels of light.” Satan and his fellow fallen angels are still rebelling against God to this day, tempting you and me to disobey God’s commandments at every turn.
Anyway, back to the original question: Are Satan and Jesus brothers? In the sense that Jesus, Lucifer, you, me, and billions of others are spirit children of God, yes. But for Latter-day Saints, this association really has no impact on our view of Christ’s divinity or on our view of Satan’s crappiness. In our mind, the association there makes Satan no better than the snake that he is, and it makes Christ nothing less than the perfect, divine member of the Godhead that He is. We don’t believe this association elevates Satan in any way, nor does it denigrate Christ in any way.
So we’ve all got that shared “spirit family” association there, and that’s relevant and important, but sometimes we tend to emphasize that association so much that we miss out on some of the rich meaning that comes from some other really important relationships. For example, even though Christ is technically our spirit brother, the Book of Mormon explains how, as we accept Christ and His gospel, He becomes our covenant father.
“And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters. And under this head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free. There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh…”
In Matthew 12 Christ talks about family in a way that surpasses a mere parent-child association: “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” In these senses, Satan is the furthest thing from a brother to Christ.
Now, there’s a lot more to be said on this subject. This idea that Christ is a spirit son of God the Father opens up a whole can of theological worms having to do with trinitarianism, and creator versus creation—stuff that hopefully we’ll get around to another time. But in the meantime, I hope this gives you some food for thought. Check out the resources in the YouTube description for more info, and have a great day!
- “The Children of Christ,” by Neal A. Maxwell: http://bit.ly/30eufbV
- “How can Jesus and Lucifer be spirit brothers when their characters are so utterly opposed?” from the Church’s website (June 1986 Ensign): https://bit.ly/3c7qXge
- “Do you believe that Christ and Satan are brothers???” by Jeff Lindsay: http://bit.ly/3t626R5
- “Answering Media Questions About Jesus and Satan,” Newsroom of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: http://bit.ly/38e2btS
- An important article (from the Church’s website) on Lucifer’s rebellion: http://bit.ly/3clfkm0
- And a similar one from BYU: http://bit.ly/3crvKcu
- From “Ask a Mormon Woman”: https://bit.ly/3c77QDa