Last week, as we were walking to school, my 6 year old spontaneously started telling me about his latest Primary lesson. He does this often, and usually reports the talking points accurately.
“I learned about the bad side of Jesus,” he said.
“Really? Jesus has a bad side?” I responded, wandering if they had talked about casting moneychangers out of the temple.
“Yes. A very bad side. You know, when we were all in heaven, and he decided that one third of the spirits shouldn’t be allowed to have bodies, and that made them really sad, and Jesus did that, so that was the bad side of Jesus. Can you believe Jesus did that?”
So that particular lesson about the plan of salvation and the pre-existence didn’t get through as clearly as his teachers must have hoped. But I do like the way that slightly distorted view casts a different light on those experiences we lost when we passed through the veil of forgetfulness.
Imagine, for a moment, that Jesus and Lucifer were brothers, close brothers who look alike, maybe even share the same mannerisms and charisma. Imagine them as twins even. Somehow, through chance or fate or choice, Lucifer got the role of the evil twin, the bad side of Jesus. After all, it’s not hard to imagine them as equal in potential to do good or evil, equal in potential for glory and honor. But our story has to have a black hat as well as a white hat, defiance to define submission. We had to have both Jesus and the bad side of Jesus.