1

I noted from an earlier question that, according to Mormons, the "Sons of God" that married "daughters of men" in Genesis 6 were human males.

Based on this I had wanted to ask about three New Testament passages that seem to refer to some wrong actions committed by spirit beings or angels.

The passage at 1 Peter 3:19,20 seems to say that the action happened at the time of Noah:

19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

The passage at 2 Peter 2:4,5 seems to say pretty much the same as above, but refers to the creatures as "angels" rather than "spirits":

4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

And the passage in Jude 6 and 7 seems to relate their action to the fornication and "going after strange flesh" in Sodom and Gomorrah:

6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. 7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

Possibly related to above passages (but not part of this question) is this one in 1 Corinthians 6:3:

Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

What wrongful action by spirit beings do these passages refer to?

  • It appears that it is referring to the fallen angels that followed Satan. I'm not sure why they are referred to next to Sodom and Gomorrah and the preflood people. Perhaps because they both were in open rebellion against God? – PyRulez Jul 5 '17 at 6:04
  • 1
    hi @PyRulez, thank you for your comment. 1 Peter 3:20 seems to imply it was at the time Noah, just before the flood. I thought that according to Mormons those angels that took Satans side did so before humans Adam and Eve were on earth, so maybe this is some other situation? Although the Jude 7 verse has that expression "Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication," that seems to relate the action of the angels improper sexual behavior. – SherlockEinstein Jul 5 '17 at 12:47
5

First, it's important to understand what an angel is. In Doctrine and Covenants 129:1-3 it says:

1 There are two kinds of beings in heaven, namely: Angels, who are resurrected personages, having bodies of flesh and bones—

2 For instance, Jesus said: Handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

3 Secondly: the spirits of just men made perfect, they who are not resurrected, but inherit the same glory.

Both spirits and resurrected beings are considered angels.

These passages that you mention are actions of people before they died, in this case in the time of Noah. In the spirit world, there are two parts: spirit prison (usually referred to as hell) and spirit paradise (sometimes referred to as heaven). In 1 Peter3:19,20 the author is saying Jesus went and preached to those in spirit prison, and some of those people in spirit prison were those who sinned in the times of Noah.

The second passage in 2 Peter 2:4,5 refers to spirits as angels (which Mormons believe to be synonymous, but we know from the first passage what type of angels (spirits)) and how they are in hell or spirit prison awaiting judgment.

The third passage in Jude 1:6,7 mentions angels who kept not their first estate. From the Encyclopedia of Mormonism it says:

First estate refers to the unspecified period of time otherwise known as premortal life. The words "first estate" in Jude 1:6 are the King James translation of the Greek arché. In other English versions the word is translated as "principality," "domain," "dominion," "appointed spheres," "responsibilities," and "original rank." In the context of Jude 1:6 each of these implies that certain intelligent beings existed in significant positions in the pre-earth life and fell from their favored status with God.

This is all part of the Plan of Salvation. Mormons believe that before we lived on earth everyone lived in the Pre-mortal life with God as spirits. He presented a plan where we could come down to earth to gain a physical body. The plan involved us (man) to have a veil placed over our mind (so we wouldn't remember the pre-earth life) and we'd have agency, or the ability to choose and act for ourselves. This would mean some would sin and fall away, thereby not retaining one's first estate, or standing with God in the pre-existence. Man would also have the choice to be obedient and be able to return to live with God again (retaining their first estate).

To be clear the wrong actions these angels performed (before they were angels, when they were men) were various sins, but it does not necessarily say what sins except that they were disobedient (1st passage), they sinned(2nd passage), and it mentions fornication and going after strange flesh (3rd passage).

emphasis added

  • 2
    One clarification: In Mormon cosmology, the "Spirit World" is a temporary place where spirits live between death and resurrection. It is separate from the kingdom that one receives after the final judgement. – resplin Jul 6 '17 at 23:53
  • 1
    Also, the record of Moses revealed to Joseph Smith in the Pearl of Great Price expands on what sins were common before the flood: Moses 7:33 "And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood;" Moses 8:28 "The earth was corrupt before God, and it was filled with violence." Besides showing what Mormons believe on this topic, those two chapters are great reading. lds.org/scriptures/pgp/moses/7 – resplin Jul 7 '17 at 0:00
  • OK so you write that the first estate refers to premortal life and that "In the context of Jude 1:6 each of these implies that certain intelligent beings existed in significant positions in the pre-earth life and fell from their favored status with God." This would imply that the sin was something that they did before they were human...But then you write that "To be clear the wrong actions these angels performed (before they were angels, when they were men)" ...So was this sin during their "pre-earth life", or "when they were men"..? – coderworks Jul 7 '17 at 2:52
  • @coderworks how does it imply it was before they were human? God know each of us, even when we have the veil over our mind and don't remember Him. As man is when we sin or lose status with God. – depperm Jul 7 '17 at 12:09
  • @depperm, "how does it imply it was before they were human?", the answer is: it sounds like that when you wrote that "In the context of Jude 1:6 each of these implies that certain intelligent beings existed in significant positions in the pre-earth life and fell from their favored status with God." – coderworks Jul 7 '17 at 17:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.