Premortal Life

Doctrine and Covenants 29:36–37

36 And it came to pass that Adam, being tempted of the devil—for, behold, the devil was before Adam, for he rebelled against me, saying, Give me thine honor, which is my power; and also a third part of the hosts of heaven turned he away from me because of their agency;
37 And they were thrust down, and thus came the devil and his angels . . .

Elder Hyrum M. Smith and Janne M. Sjödahl wrote:

“. . . Our first ancestor was actually tempted. This was possible, because he was endowed with free agency. There can be no free agency where there is no possibility to choose between right and wrong. If only one course of action is open to us, we are not free agents. Freedom presupposes a law which can be broken as well as kept. Hence, God gave the law concerning the fruit of the trees in the garden. Adam was tempted, but, as Paul informs us, ‘he was not deceived’ [1 Timothy 2:14], as was Eve. He partook of the forbidden fruit in order not to be separated from his wife, fully understanding the consequences. ‘Adam fell that [men] might be’ [2 Nephi 2:25].

The devil [is] the adversary of God and His Son, Jesus Christ, and the tempter and accuser of man. He is called the ‘angel of the bottomless pit,’ the ‘messenger’ or representative, of the ‘abysm,’ [Revelation 9:11], as our Lord is the Messenger of the Great Council, or Counselor [see Isaiah 9:6; The Doctrine and Covenants Commentary, 51]. The word ‘devil,’ from ‘diabolus,’ means ‘calumniator,’ ‘accuser,’ and calumny is his principal weapon of warfare. No wonder if the children of this world, whose ‘god’ he is, employ that weapon against the Saints of the Most High!

‘They were thrust down.’ . . . See The Doctrine and Covenants Commentary, 51. This has reference to the rebellion in heaven. See . . . Moses 4:3–4; Revelation [12:4, 7–9].”

(The Doctrine and Covenants Commentary, rev. ed. [1951], 158.)

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