Tuesday, February 24, 2009

For the Natural Vampire is an Enemy to Man

By Darvell Hunt

It seems I cannot stop thinking about Bella and Edward. I suppose I can see why the books in which these characters have become so popular.

With regard to Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series, consider the following scripture from the Book of Mormon:

“For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.” (Mosiah 3:19)

I have now finished book two of the Twilight series. I think Meyer's writing has gotten better in this book and I’m glad I’ve stuck with them. I’ve made it thus far because the stories have truly engaged my mind.

Over the years, I have found it interesting to read mainstream fiction written by LDS authors, as they always seem to add LDS content into their stories, whether intentional or not, and whether covertly or not. Without giving away too many details from the Twilight books for those who haven’t yet read book two yet, consider the following possible scenario:

A coven of “natural vampires” tricks a crowd of tourists into coming into their lair, where the blood of the tourists is unceremoniously consumed to quench the thirst—and thus sustain the lives—of the coven of vampires. The death of innocents may disturb us, but it’s the “natural thing” for the vampires to do.

Now consider a “vegetarian vampire”—or a vampire who only consumes the blood of animals, not humans. Also consider the extreme self-control a “normal” vampire must exercise to “put off the natural” tendencies of his kind and not destroy human life for his own selfish purposes (oh, and not kill all the kids he goes to school with every day).

Sound familiar?

To me, this is a very close parallel of the above scripture from Mosiah 3:19. If you change the scripture slightly, you might come up with this:

“For the natural vampire is an enemy to man, and has been from the beginning, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural vampire and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord.”

Now, I don’t mean to be sacrilegious or anything with this minor scriptural editing, but it’s interesting to note that Edward is no longer a natural vampire, yet he still has natural tendencies, just like humans. But, like saints of the Church, he has to put off his natural tendencies to achieve a higher level of existence. This has not been easy for him, but he and his family have reaped the rewards of their alternate lifestyles.

I think the parallels of Stephanie Meyer’s vampires to members of the Church on earth are striking—whether or not these parallels were intended. I think it's also curious that we are cleansed from sin through the blood of Jesus Christ. The use of blood has always been a powerful symbol.

Edward fears the loss of his eternal soul because of who he is; however, perhaps his fears are not truly justified after all. Maybe his action of putting off the “natural vampire” will, in fact, save his soul, as does “putting off the natural man” has the power to save us humans.

Now, I’m not sure what happens beyond book number two, and I don’t know if this comparison of vampires to humans will hold up for the rest of the series, but It’s certainly been the source of thoughtful contemplation for me.

Now onto book number three. And by the way, did anyone ever happen to notice that Edward Cullen looks a lot like Cedric Diggory? I wonder if they might perhaps be cousins.


Laura said...

Darvell--this was interesting. I'm excited to see where you take your theory in regards to book three and, especially, book four. Do you think you might want to write it up more formally and submit it to Reading Until Dawn (http://readinguntildawn.wordpress.com/)?

LexiconLuvr said...

I never thought about it in that way before. Hmmm. That actually makes me like the story better. Thanks!

Darvell Hunt said...

Hi Laura.

I'm intrigued by your request. I certainly would consider it. Are you talking about formally submitting something similar to what I have written from book two, or wait until I've finished book four?