“The Author of All Sin - He Had Got Great Hold Upon the Hearts of the Nephites, That Is Satan, the Ultimate Rebel”

Ed J. Pinegar, Richard J. Allen

Satan is a pervasive presence in the chronicles of the Book of Mormon. From the perspective of an overarching view of the history of God’s people in the New World over millennia of time, Satan is truly “the author of all sin” (verse 30). The Book of Mormon confirms that Satan’s tenure is of primordial origin, for he enticed Adam and Eve to partake of the forbidden fruit, conspired with Cain to commit murder through a secret compact, motivated the building of the Tower of Babel, and spread darkness and abominations across the globe. Furthermore, Satan “is that same being who put it into the heart of Gadianton to still carry on the work of darkness, and of secret murder; and he has brought it forth from the beginning of man even down to this time” (Helaman 6:29).

Satan is mentioned in the Book of Mormon some twenty-six times. Under the guise of Lucifer, he is mentioned once: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! Art thou cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations!” (2 Nephi 24:12; compare Isaiah 14:12). Nephi outlines with precision the various strategies used by Satan (see 2 Nephi 28:20–27). Clearly, Satan has devised a complex and meticulous system of temptations to draw mankind from the pathway of righteous and into the darkened detours of life leading to the inevitable downward spiral of “captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself” (2 Nephi 2:27; compare 2 Nephi 9:9). King Benjamin declined to enumerate all the ways in which man can commit sin: “But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not” (Mosiah 4:30).

The lesson is easily understood. Let us avoid Satan and the things of the world at all costs. He destroys belief, causes wickedness and abominations to abound, and works unceasingly that we may lose the Spirit of the Lord.

Commentaries and Insights on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 2