Abraham 3:22 - 28 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;
And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou was chosen before thou wast born.
And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;
And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;
And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.
And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first.
And the second was angry, and kept not his first estate; and, at that day, many followed after him.
Like Abraham, the "noble and great ones" that this scripture refers to are us. We lived as spirit children with our Heavenly Father. He saw the potential that each of us has to become like him one day. He gathered us all together, and explained that we would be sent to earth to be tried and tested, so that we would be able to progress and realize our full potential.
The man who first responded to our Heavenly Father's question of "whom shall I send" was Jesus Christ. He supported Heavenly Father's plan for us and proposed that everyone should have the right to choose whether to follow Heavenly Father's plan or not. The second person who responded was Lucifer, or Satan, who at that time also lived with us. He argued that peoples' right to choose should be taken away from us. The following scripture in Moses 4:1 - 4 explains this a bit further:
Moses 4:1 - 4 And I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou has commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying - Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.
But, behold, my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me - Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.
Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down;
And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to decieve and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.
In our pre-mortal life, we were given the opportunity to exercise our agency. We were given the choice to either accept the plan that our Heavenly Father had for us, and to choose Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer, or choose not to follow the plan and follow Satan. Those who chose to follow Jesus Christ kept their "first estate", as Abraham puts it, and were allowed to come to this world to gain a physical body and take part in Heavenly Father's plan. Those who chose to follow Satan did not keep their "first estate", and were cast out along with Satan.
Knowing that we have chosen to follow Heavenly Father's plan in our pre-mortal life gives us the courage to continue to follow the plan, for if we had not used our agency wisely, we would not have had the opportunity to come to this earth and experience mortality.
A further exaplanation of Agency and the role it plays in Heavenly Father's Plan will be given in next month's posts.