Interim Content



A fallen angel, or son of God, known by many names, including Lucifer, the devil, the father of lies, the prince of darkness, perdition, and the adversary. In the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and JS’s Bible revisions, Satan was described as a tempter of men, who continually tries to overthrow God’s plans. According to JS’s own account, JS was seized by the power of the adversary, “some actual being from the unseen world,” just prior to his first vision of Deity. As early as 1829, a revelation referred to Satan by name and instructed JS to “be diligent” in order to overcome his influence. A JS revelation explained that Satan was “an angel of God who was in authority” in the premortal world. According to JS, Satan sought to alter God’s plan for the redemption of mankind and obtain God’s glory for himself. His plan was rejected, and he rebelled and was thrust out of God’s presence. JS taught that Satan’s rebellion precluded him from receiving a physical body. JS explained that Satan had great power and could appear as an “angel of light” or speak in tongues to deceive men. Those opposed to JS or the church were frequently described as being blinded and influenced by Satan. Individuals under church censure were sometimes described as being given over to the “buffetings of Satan.” JS taught that those who “sin against the Holy Ghost” become “sons of perdition” like Satan. A JS revelation declared that Satan has no power to “tempt little children,” who are redeemed by Jesus Christ and therefore cannot sin. Other JS revelations and teachings explained that in the Millennium, Satan would be bound and have no power over humankind. Although he would be loosed for a short time just before the end of the world, he would be defeated in the final battle and cast away, where he would no longer have power over any of the Saints.