Elder Oak’s talk on the role of opposition in the plan of salvation has been noticed primarily for his controversial statement that there is no “loyal opposition” in the Church. In a way this focus is unfortunate, but it obscures the strength of the rest of the talk on the Plan of Salvation which I found to be exceptionally well done.
In particular, I loved Elder Oak’s focus on one of themes that most intrigues me, namely the fact that while Satan tried to oppose God’s plan his opposition ultimately furthered it.
“So it is that the evil one, who opposed and sought to destroy the Father’s plan, actually facilitated it, because it is opposition that enables choice and it is the opportunity of making the right choices that leads to the growth that is the purpose of the Father’s plan.”
I love knowing that Satan, while full of rage and thunder, is ultimately an impotent adversary in many ways. At best, he is relegated to achieving tactical victories at the expense of grand strategic loseses. Satan thinks he knows how the frustrate the plan of God, but his every move ultimately furthers God’s masterful strategy.
In the Book of Mormon, early in Helaman, the Lamanite armies make a similar mistake. They plunge deep into the center of the Nephite land. They have victories on the way, but are ultimately surrounded and utterly destroyed. Their zeal led to their undoing.
Satan ultimately suffers the same fate. His actions led to the unfolding of God’s plan. His actions led to the fulfillment of the atonement of Christ. And his actions will bring about the Millenial reign. We should take great comfort knowing that he will not and cannot win.