One of my favorite â€œdoctrinesâ€ within the LDS faith is the charge to go and seek out the good of other faiths and to bring them home to Mormonism. This is an effort to do this. If anyone out there is a true expert on Hinduism, apologies abound and corrections are welcome.
The Problem of Evil has been a delightful pointy stick which many have used to argue against the existence of God. For a long time, I thought the LDS church had a unique out for this particular problem, the eternal existence of souls. I was wrong, but not in the way you may be thinking.
In Hinduism, the jiva (soul, also sometimes used interchangeably with atman or true â€œselfâ€) is also without beginning or end. Most Scholars believe that Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world that is still in practice today. Many also consider the religion to be henotheistic (devoted to a single God while allowing and accepting the existence of other divine beings). The parallels with Mormonism are interesting, and seeing as Hinduism has had such a long life, compared to the relative newness of the LDS faith, it can be very worthwhile to seek out those things which are of â€œgood reportâ€ within the Hindu faith.
One such example is AvidyÄ. In the Hindu philosophy, avidyÄ is the causeless source of evil in the universe, and â€œconnotes the principle of differentiation which is implicit in human thinking. It stands for that delusion which breaks up the original unity of what is real and presents it as subject and object and as doer and result of the deed. What keeps Man captive is this avidyÄ. This ignorance is not lack of erudition; it is ignorance about the nature of Being. It is a limitation that is natural to human sensory or intellectual apparatus. This is responsible for all the misery of man.â€ 
Joining this concept with LDS teachings, we could tie this easily in the ideas of pride and self-deception, and thus further into sins. AvidyÄ is the â€œdeep and unmet needâ€ which springs for sin. AvidyÄ is the delusion which comes from self-deception, which is, of course, being false to the true â€œselfâ€.
Further, Some Schools of thought hold that it is the eradication of avidyÄ which should be the ultimate goal of every person, as it will lead automatically to the realization of the self (atman), in context with the whole (Brahman â€“ a concept somewhere between Super String Theory, Divine Universal Law, and â€œthe supreme spiritâ€, God, Heavenly Father, etc. ). This realization is called moksha, which is a â€œtranscendence of phenomenal beingâ€. Think of it as sort of a â€œsix sigmaâ€ approach to divine improvement, where a person works on their weaknesses over the course of their life until the reach Nirvana, or a stilling of cravings (putting off the natural man? Determinism?). Of course, in LDS thought, there is the teaching that man can not ultimately eradicate avidyÄ from himself, and ultimately needs help from beyond himself to do such. This is where the Plan of Salvation and Atonement come into play in the soteriology in the LDS camp. I am currently unaware of a corollary in Hinduism, but I definitely wish I hadnâ€™t tossed out the Bhagavad Gita I owned in college.
- here. Interestingly, the concept of avidyÄ is also found in Buddhism as well.
- here. For Geoff, this is related to â€œliberation from the cycle of death and rebirth and all of the suffering and limitation of worldly existenceâ€ Pf Course, even without the concept of MMP, I think this idea is fairly compelling from an LDS worldview.