Last week I discussed this issue with Craig, a member of our HP quorum. He said that it wasn’t 1/3 of the hosts of heaven; rather, it was a “third part” (D&C 29:43) which, in all likelihood, is much smaller than 1/3 of the whole. In other words, he claims that 3 groups were present during the war in heaven: (1) the noble and great ones who are leaders; (2) those who kept their first estate; and (3) those who rejected God’s plan. According to this viewpoint, these 3 groups were NOT equal in size. Those who did not keep their first estate in group 3 were likely much smaller than 1/3 of the entire whole.
To put this theory into blueberry pie terms, there are three slices of pie: a very small piece representing the leaders; a very large piece representing those who kept their first estate; and a smaller piece representing those who did not keep their first estate. The last small piece is taken out and thrown away. I’d feel better knowing that just a small piece of the yummy pie was tossed out.
So which is it? 1/3 or a third part?
The Bible Dictionary (BD) says it is 1/3. It reads: “The war broke out because one-third of the spirits refused to accept the appointment of Jesus Christ as the Savior.” However, the BD is not canonized scripture and the introduction even states “It is not intended as an official or revealed endorsement by the Church of the doctrinal, historical, cultural, and other matters set forth.” Also, the scriptures never say one-third; they say “a third part”.
I’d like to think that those who did not keep their first estate were a third part smaller in size than 1/3 of the whole. Yet having been taught for so long that it was 1/3, I tend to think that it was one-third of the whole.
To help me decide, I am putting it to a vote.