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TOM - I'm having trouble making sense of something in Alma 30:53. Korihor says that the devil appeared to him in the form of an angel. I'm aware of the footnotes...2 Cor. 11:14 (and surrounding verses), and also 2 Nephi 9:9 and D&C 129:8. Also, in D&C 128:20, it says that when the devil appeared to Joseph as an angel of light that Michael could be heard warning Joseph that the angel was in fact the devil.
I'm aware that Korihor could have lied about the devil appearing to him in the form of an angel, but even if that were the case my questions would remain.
What can you tell me about this? How can the devil be allowed to appear to people in the form of an angel to deceive people. If this were the case for Korihor, would Alma and the Lord forgive him if he was truly deceived? Perhaps the spirit did whisper to him and warn him who the angel was...but it still seems odd that satan could do such a thing. Korihor says himself that he "withstood the truth" in verse 53...but there is part of me that feels like he was "straight up" deceived and that he got the "short end of the stick" with how he was dealt with.

JOEL - In the premortal world we were all angels of light, even Satan and his followers. Because He was cast down to earth without a body, he is still an angel of light, and therefore if he were to appear to someone, it would be as an angel of light. Such was the case when he appeared to Korihor.
Korihor got what he deserved and what was needed to save all those whom he deceived. Korihor was probably a very evil person even before Satan appeared to him. He was deceived by Satan, but it was his own fault for being deceived. An angel comes and tells him there is no God, and that's why he doesn't believe in God? Most normal people who have an angel appear to them and tell them there is no God are going to know, just by the light of Christ inside them, that something about that is not right. His sinful nature and preaching against Christ and the gospel had snuffed out the light of Christ that was once in him and what made him a true anti-Christ. He was too carnal and worldly to be receptive to the spirit for any warning. He relied too much on the arm of the flesh and wanted everyone else to be like him. Even though he finally acknowledged the existence and power of God (something Satan himself would admit to) through the sign that was given him, it did nothing to improve his spirituality, because faith does not come by signs, but only through belief in God and the witness of the spirit. Korihor was ultimately punished to serve as an example of the consequences of fighting against God and as a means to convert all who believed him back to Christ. His "the devel made me do it" attitude did not convince God of his innocence. God knew Korihor's heart and knew he could not truly be converted and would again lead the hearts of the people away:

"But Alma said unto him: If this curse should be taken from thee thou wouldst again lead away the hearts of this people; therefore, it shall be unto thee even as the Lord will." (Alma 30:55)

therefore, once again, one man was allowed to perish to save an entire group of people (1 Nep 4:13)

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