Robert Kirby: Remembering the first contested election — in Mormonism’s preexistence

Robert Kirby

Much as it seems, even here in Utah, the current election is not the most important the world has ever seen. Not according to the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

According to Mormon theology, there was an election in what is known as the “preexistence,” the time when we all lived as created spirits with God.

Without going into too much detail, there came a point when we were all (yes, including you) given a choice between supporting the platforms of Jesus or Satan. This choosing of sides is commonly referred to as “the war in heaven.”

Note: This is all revealed doctrine, which is why we don’t remember it. Our memory of the preexistence and the war in heaven was wiped clean upon birth.

Except mine. I can still recall that time period and can tell you that it wasn’t much of war. Nobody got killed. Hell, we weren’t even alive yet. It was actually more of a struggle as God’s children had to choose which of the two candidates they would follow.

Take my word for it, the process was every bit as fractious and immature as the one we’re going through now — endless recounts, protests and rioting. It just lasted a billion or so years longer.

Satan had a more dictatorial agenda. He would take us to Earth, force us to behave, and then bring us back to heaven, where he would collect the glory for himself. In short, nobody would go to hell and God would get shortchanged.

Christ touted a plan to fetch us down here, let us choose for ourselves as to whether we wanted to behave, and then, when the bell rang, return with those who did. Those who didn’t went to hell. But all of the props would go to God.

Being a preexistence independent, I could see the ups and downs of both sides. But neither of them called to me. I resented the idea of someone forcing me to toe the line, but I also didn’t trust myself enough to make the right choices.

Long story short, Satan lost this preelection and was given the boot. Again, this came only after endless recounts, lawsuits, protests, riots, ruined friendships and other behaviors that had a third of the electorate kicked out with him.

As with your typical earthly politicians, Lucifer vowed revenge on the supporters of Jesus. All the screaming and yelling and spiritual looting got on my nerves.

So, I didn’t vote. In the preexistence, I mean. I always vote down here on Earth, if for no other reason than because I like to tell people my pick just to piss them off. It sounds immature, but then it’s not far from the way many of us are behaving in the current election.

If the current behavior regarding the Trump-Biden fight is any indication, Christ’s platform was and is a failure from the start. If the 2020 election is any indication of how we’re doing by choosing for ourselves, we might as well give up pretending to behave and simply decide matters with a rock fight.

There’s still a chance, though, for some of us. Regardless of who wins down here, try to behave as if we respect and care about one another. Ultimately, it’s the only thing that will really matter.

Robert Kirby is The Salt Lake Tribune’s humor columnist. Follow Kirby on Facebook.