Source of Evil...
Me and my good friend Scott chatted for far too long today about a very interesting subject. The subject was brought about by this article
, which, in essence is just a conversation between an aethiestic professor and two of his students.
In a nutshell, the professor makes the claim of God creating Satan, and thus creating evil, and thereby is evil himself. He presents this to two of his Christian students, one of whom goes on to compare Good and Evil to the likes of "hot and cold" and "light and darkness". Light exists from a source. Darkness exists when there is no light, so darkness is nothing in and of itself but the absense of light. Hot and cold is the same thing. There really is no source for cold. Cold is the mere absense of heat.
So, it goes on to make the same analogy for good and evil. Evil is simply the absense of the light of Christ. Evil in and of itself is nothing. It just replaces the space left behind when good leaves.
This got me to thinking whether or not we members of the LDS church believe the same. There are a variety of scriptures stating that evil comes from "the devil", but through Scott and my discussion, I'm only left with one major contention that evil comes from Satan.
The following scripture states thus: Moroni 7:12
"Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually.
So, that can easily be correctly interpreted that Satan is not the source of evil, but rather the proveyor of it. The spreader, if you will, of evil. Evil's master and controller, even. It could be interpreted as the source, but it also could easily be something else.
There are other scriptures which fall in the category, and even ceremonial statemtents which might cause one to conclude that Satan is the source of all evil, but when carefully considered, could also mean something else.
The one scripture which has me baffled is this one, found in Helaman 6:30:
"And behold, it is he who is the author of all sin. And behold, he doth carry on his works of darkness and secret murder, and doth hand down their plots, and their oaths, and their covenants, and their plans of awful wickedness, from generation to generation according as he can get hold upon the hearts of the children of men.
Now, after much deliberation between Scott and I, I still can't come to any firm conclusion that being an "author" can mean anything but being "the creator" of something. If Satan is the author of sin, it can only mean that he created sin, sin being the manifestation of evil through action.
If anyone has any insight into this, please feel free. I really want the analogy drawn by the Chrstian student in our story to be true. How cool would it be to find out that evil is nothing but the absence of the Spirit of Christ!