December 16th, 2012

A Forgotten Focal Point in the Book of Mormon

As a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Honduras a decade ago, I shared the Book of Mormon with all sorts of people. My personal copy became well-worn, and a line of dirt and sweat became visible over time along the pages closest to a passage from the book I would share many times daily.

This passage is the pinnacle event recorded in the Book of Mormon—the visit of Jesus Christ to his followers on the American continent after his resurrection. 3 Nephi 11, in which the story of Christ’s visit is recorded, is a culmination of centuries of prophecy by Christ’s disciples in this land who testified of his coming, abided by his teachings, and encouraged their fellow men to repent and prepare for that glorious day. It makes sense why this chapter of scripture receives so much attention among members of the Church.

But for all its importance and well-deserved attention, there is another focal point in the Book of Mormon we should similarly share with others and ponder for ourselves. And unfortunately, it seems that many within the Church pay little attention to it and fail to understand its profound importance.

Whereas the teachings of and prophesies about Christ permeate the scriptural record and come into focus in 3 Nephi 11, the warnings about secret combinations and documentation of satanic misdeeds which likewise litter the Book of Mormon come into focus in Ether 8. This secondary emphasis recorded by the book’s authors is no less significant, and is equally applicable to our day. Our collective failure to understand and respond to the warnings it contains makes us extremely susceptible to the very same result recorded by Mormon: the spiritual degradation and eventual destruction of our entire society.

Known at times as the Gadianton Robbers, the Book of Mormon’s chief antagonists arose to such power that they were able to overtake the Nephite government and oppress God’s people through the power of the state. Their nefarious deeds, including flattery, deception, infiltration, murder, plunder, and “whoredoms and all manner of wickedness, contrary to the laws of their country and also the laws of their God” led the prophet Mormon to note that the group “did prove the overthrow, yea, almost the entire destruction of the people of Nephi.” The alarming rise in wickedness amongst Nephites and their direct support of and participation in secret combinations proved to be their ultimate downfall according to many previous prophecies [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8].

When Mormon’s son, Moroni, later compiled the book of Ether to summarize what had happened to the Jaredite civilization, he likewise attributed its downfall and ultimate destruction to a Gadianton-esque group of conspiring criminals who were able “to gain power, and to murder, and to plunder, and to lie, and to commit all manner of wickedness and whoredoms.” With two examples of similar circumstances, a pattern began to emerge.

Moroni was charged with preserving and adding to the record that ultimately became the Book of Mormon as we know it today. He was able to review past writings and observe historical trends spanning more than a millenium. Taking that long view of history, he recognized and emphatically stated that evil forces had conspired to successfully dismantle the moral and functional underpinnings of two entire societies. With that observation in the forefront of his mind, he proceeded to offer counsel directly to us latter-day readers of the book, as well as convey a commandment given of God:

Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gain—and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be.

Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up.

For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies; even that same liar who beguiled our first parents, yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning; who hath hardened the hearts of men that they have murdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning.

Wherefore, I, Moroni, am commanded to write these things that evil may be done away, and that the time may come that Satan may have no power upon the hearts of the children of men, but that they may be persuaded to do good continually, that they may come unto the fountain of all righteousness and be saved.

We are told that the same abominable elements that felled two previous civilizations are likewise operating in our own day, working towards the same ends as before. We are told that God has commanded us to recognize these influences—the first step in counteracting their effects and opposing their efforts. And we are given context regarding the eternal struggle this boils down to—that it is not just some independently-operating wicked men lusting for power who are the threat, but that Satan is marshaling his forces to oppose God’s kingdom just as he always has.

Ponder the weight of this set of verses for a moment. The Book of Mormon contains a lengthy list of passages which detail the degree to which Satan and his minions have worked to oppose and oppress God’s followers. Throughout the book, we read of prophecies and warnings where God’s people were repeatedly told that if they succumbed to or supported such secret combinations, that they would be destroyed. Finally, we see how that prophecy was fulfilled, and are directly told that the same situation applies to us.

It is for this reason that Ether 8 serves as a second focal point in the Book of Mormon. While the book teaches of Christ, it likewise teaches about his antithesis. While we are invited to follow Jesus, we are also invited to reject the enemy. And while 3 Nephi 11 describes the glory of Christ’s visit, Ether 8 warns us of steering clear of its opposite. We ignore the latter chapter at our peril.

Parenthetically, it appears that this ignorance is not just individual or cultural, but also perhaps institutional. Whereas the Gospel Doctrine manual for the Book of Mormon covers the focal point of Christ’s visit in great detail for class discussion, any references to Ether 8 are buried in the supplementary “additional teaching ideas” at the bottom of the lesson.

It’s little wonder that we don’t know the hearts of men in our own land. Without this basic ability to discern between good and evil, we stand ripe and ready to be led down the same path of destruction. In his day, Mormon observed that “notwithstanding the great destruction which hung over my people, they did not repent of their evil doings.” Aiming to stave off a repetition in the latter days, he and his son Moroni warned us to learn from the mistakes they documented and “suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you.”

We’re not following their counsel. In our day, it has become taboo to even talk about such things. And so, by forgetting or ignoring this fundamental focal point in the Book of Mormon, Latter-day Saints in our generation are supporting or participating in secret combinations that are working towards the same goals as they always have.

The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. We rightly tell the world that this book contains potent and prophetic teachings about who Christ is and what we should do about it. But our summary of the book, as well as our adherence to it, is woefully inadequate if we sideline the secondary message: stay away from secret combinations, or suffer the same fate as the societies whose destruction it documents.

87 Responses to “A Forgotten Focal Point in the Book of Mormon”

  1. Jim Turner
    December 16, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    Amen Brother!!!

  2. Believe All Things
    December 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    While the Gadianton terrorists played a prominent role in the Book of Mormon, it does not necessarily follow that because they are not highlighted or prominently mentioned in the study guide that ignorance is intentionally institutionalized. Rather, with over 250,000 convert baptisms a year, the study guide appears more than adequate to serve as a guide for discussion for a 45 minute class with a diverse range of people with broad life experiences. In contrast, some have remarked that a primary purpose of the adult Gospel Doctrine class is to encourage students to do their own systematic study of the scriptures outside of class.

  3. Jon
    December 16, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    What a great article. First paragraph is my favorite since I can relate. My Libro de Mormón has the same sweat and dirt marks along the pages of 3 Nefi 11 from sharing it hundreds of times on my mission in Colombia!

    I always figured it was “pride” that brought the Nephites and Jaredites down, but Moroni explains in verse Ether 8:20-21 that it was secret combinations.

  4. Kelly W.
    December 16, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    So is the first step of implementing this other focus of the Book of Mormon to actually identify who the Secret Combinations are today? Today in our Sunday School class, the discussion didn’t even go there at all when talking about Secret Combinations of the Jaredite times.

  5. Jim Turner
    December 16, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    Yes we do need to find out who the secret combinations are today. How can anyone discuss the secret combinations of a civilization that died out 2600 years ago? That would be pure speculation. Rather we should be doing as Moroni suggests and be actively trying to expose who they are today. Awakening ourselves to the awful situation we are in. Then once we come to realize this it becomes our responsibility to warn others.

  6. jimx
    December 16, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

    I just finished a class in history, and the text mentioned that Cortez fabricated the idea of the return of the great white god, Quetzalcoatl. There probably is a belief around Quetzalcoatl, but it never was placed in that context until the time of the Spainish influence. So its distorted with the insertion of a Christian context which it never had. I was just so amazed when I read that. I had always assumed that what I had been told was correct.

    There is an irony in this posting. How many cultures have been overthrown and destroyed by Christianity? I don’t know the language of my ancestry because there was a methodical program set up by the US government and christians to attempt to destroy it. The language still exists, but there aren’t many speakers left, its been predicted to die out completely by the next generation.

    From my perspective, I could say that Christianity is a political ploy and program of destruction and assimilation. Its design is to deprive other people of their culture, spirituality, possessions, and their land.

    I sincerely doubt that Jesus Christ ever existed either in the Old world, or in the new world. The name is an incantation. Jesus means ‘may his name be blotted out’.(the name the primary god of any other culture) Christ means the annointed one. I don’t know as of yet the full significance of this meaning.

    The religion is a puppet religion of Judaism, designed to Judaify the rest of the world to a greater or lesser degree, and place it under its influence. For instance, isn’t there a belief amoung the LDS people that members blood are magically transformed into that of an Israelite? Also that major sections of the world would be ‘grafted’ into the tree of Isreal?

  7. Daron Fraley
    December 16, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    Excellent observations… I have been discussing this with my friends for months, and was quite disturbed by the fact that Ether 8 was completely skipped in class.

    Although I agree with Believe-all-Things and their statement that it is our responsibility to study our scriptures outside of class, as a former Gospel Doctrine teacher (multiple times/every ward I’ve lived in except one) and early morning Seminary teacher, I can tell you from my own experience that less than 5% of all church members STUDY their scriptures. Perhaps 20% actually read them, but studying is quite different from casual reading. Of course those stats are my own opinion, and I could be wrong on the actual numbers.

    My point is that because they DON’T study on their own, very few members pick up on the fact that Mormon and Moroni repeatedly shared writings, both word-for-word and abridged, that show not only the covenant placed upon this land (worship Christ and keep the commandments OR be swept off), but the results in painful detail of what breaking that covenant means.

    We get the destruction of the Nephites in 4th Nephi and Mormon.
    The destruction of the Jaredites in Ether.
    Mentions of the destruction of the Nephites again, in Ether, with a very stern warning to latter-day Gentiles.
    And then the destruction of the Nephites mentioned again in Moroni.

    Why? Exactly what you pointed out: To warn us.

    We have the ability to turn this around, if we will but listen.

    One last observation… For all of my life I have heard speculation on what this “secret combination” could be. The Mafia? Gangs? Government corruption? Communism?

    With the exception of perhaps Communism, none of these ever really seemed to fit the bill, as none were “seek(ing) to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bring(ing) to pass the destruction of all people.”

    But I can now name one which has come to light in the last couple of years, and with every passing day seems to be more and more aggressive in their desire to control the world:

    The Muslim Brotherhood, and their desire for Global Shariah Law.

    Funny that they call it a brotherhood, isn’t it?

    Do with that what you will… but in my opinion, the Muslim Brotherhood is the most dangerous organization to ever show its face. And as the umbrella, or “holding company” for groups like Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Qaeda, Hizbul, Boko Haram, and a zillion others, the Muslim Brotherhood is the most dangerous: Pressed white shirts. Suit coat. Nice tie.

    And a dagger behind their backs. Want to see what is REALLY going on in the world? Go read jihadwatch.org

  8. Connor
    December 16, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    I don’t think the Muslim Brotherhood aims to infest the government of this land. There are numerous other groups of conspiring individuals who apply. I recommend Jack Monnett’s book on the topic to understand who these groups are. It’s called Awakening to Our Awful Situation.

  9. Daron Fraley
    December 16, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    Connor, it already has. Huma Abedin (Aide to Hillary Clinton) and “her family network are deeply entrenched in the Muslim Brotherhood.”–Representative Steve King (R-IA).

    Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/11/08/iran-valerie-jarrett/

    Here is another eye-opener on Valerie Jarrett: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/shock-report-valerie-jarrett-leading-secret-talks-with-iran/

    And one more: http://www.westernjournalism.com/an-open-letter-to-communist-valerie-jarrett/

    These two examples are just the tip of the iceberg… well, perhaps not the tip. It’s my opinion that Obama himself is a card-carrying member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Let’s see what we find out with the Benghazi investigation.

  10. Daron Fraley
    December 16, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

    One more reading…

    You want it out of their own mouths? Here’s one of many in recent weeks… yes, the Muslim Brotherhood is celebrating the coming demise of America:

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2012/12/egyptian-muslim-brotherhood-member-america-is-marching-toward-its-deathamerica-is-over-it-is-a-thing.html

  11. jimx
    December 16, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

    Daron,
    The North Korean video points out the same thing, America has stolen all that it has. We don’t take care of our own, we value the wrong things. We don’t respect our leaders and allow them to lead. Actually, I am not so sure we are allowed to even see who is actually doing the leading. I posted the video on the thread about Gun free zones.

    Islam is a puppet religion, thats rather ironic, as the video you posted criticizes jews, who are favorably mentioned in the Quran. I believe its stated that they are fallen or something like that, but still elevates the same biblical characters of Abraham, Issac, Moses, Jesus, mary etc….

  12. scott
    December 16, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

    “And so, by forgetting or ignoring this fundamental focal point in the Book of Mormon, Latter-day Saints in our generation are supporting or participating in secret combinations that are working towards the same goals as they always have.”

    Which secret combinations are the Latter-day Saints participating in? Is this just a very bold unfounded generalization or do have specific details to back it up?

    “And unfortunately, it seems that many within the Church pay little attention to it and fail to understand its profound importance.”

    Again, what is the basis for this assertion? I don’t believe “many within the church” ignore this part of the Book of Mormon, unless you are referring to the 50% that don’t even go to church.

    I guess as long as it gives you something to write about, it is okay to make gross generalizations? Or maybe I am one of the ones you are writing about, blindly following the Gadianton robbers of our day.

  13. Connor
    December 16, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    Which secret combinations are the Latter-day Saints participating in?

    The military industrial complex, social welfare redistribution programs, bailouts, the propagation of secular humanism through state schools… the list is lengthy. Monnett’s book (which I referenced above) is a good starting point to identifying key players and their modus operandi.

  14. Daron Fraley
    December 16, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    Connor,
    I think the examples you give have merit… however, they do not fit the mold of a Gadianton-type secret combination. You see, in order for it to be the secret combination foretold in Ether chapter 8, it has to behave like this:

    “…yield yourselves up unto us, and unite with us and become acquainted with our secret works, and become our brethren that ye may be like unto us—not our slaves, but our brethren and partners of all our substance. And behold, I swear unto you, if ye will do this, with an oath, ye shall not be destroyed; but if ye will not do this, I swear unto you with an oath, that on the morrow month I will command that my armies shall come down against you, and they shall not stay their hand and shall spare not, but shall slay you, and shall let fall the sword upon you even until ye shall become extinct.” 3 Nephi 3:7-8

    In other words, for an organization to be a true secret combination, they have to FORCE you to join… and if you don’t join, they threaten to kill you.

    Please take some time to visit the websites listed here on the Shariah Awareness Project: http://supportsecurefreedom.org/shariahawarenessproject

    I’m not wrong on this one… Shariah, and the organizations which promote it, or even demand it, is the greatest danger this world has ever known. FYI… Egypt just voted in (some say a stolen vote), a new constitution that supports Shariah law.

    Don’t believe me that the Muslim Brotherhood and affiliates are the secret combination foretold? Go watch this video: http://www.cbn.com/media/player/index.aspx?s=/mp4/DHU227v2_WS

    It’s coming to America if we don’t stop it!

  15. Shaun Knapp
    December 17, 2012 at 3:59 am #

    I recall in my ward, or hearing the report of it just after leaving on my mission, that the Gospel Doctrine Teacher sought to “censor” the Lord, and skipped right over the whole chapter of Ether 8, saying “We know there are secret combinations, but we don’t need to…blah, blah, blah.”

    We don’t need to what? Wake up? We’ll just continue to embrace “ambitious and scheming leaders” to whom the people “succumb” who bring us into long and costly wars, burdening us with heavy taxation, they “woo the people with sophistry as they take control of the society.”

  16. Collin
    December 17, 2012 at 8:35 am #

    It’s sad to see the sorry state of our gospel manuals.
    I had similar thoughts a few weeks ago when Mormon chapter 8 was covered. The entire part where Moroni is warning and condemning the members of the Church was completely skipped over.
    We were never able to discuss why we’ve polluted the Holy Church of God and how to remove that condemnation.
    I may be an alarmist, but as a Libertarian I see the correlation department doing the same thing to our Church that the liberals are doing to our government. This watering down of doctrine is just a symptom of a greater sickness.

  17. Alma247
    December 17, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    “Secondary” emphasis? Hmmmm . . . I’m not too sure about that. Seems to me that after testifying of the Savior and his divine mission, the BoM’s main purpose is to teach men how to come unto Christ, through the principles and ordinances of the Gospel.

  18. outside the corridor
    December 17, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    Well done, Connor–

    Ironically, last night we were discussing with fellow ward members how often Ether is ignored!

    And I had not, yet, read this blog essay.

    Daron Fraley, one of the many problems I find with your reasoning (besides the numerous documentation(s) of profound secret combinations within the American government/governments of many ‘friendly’ first world’ nations)–

    about “Jihad” is that it only justifies the illegal, unethical warmongering that America has imposed upon the middle east, in the name of ‘saving’ the “West” from Jihad.

    If you are correct, and you seem quite assured of your correctness, then America needs, simply, to carry on in the effort or erradicating an entire race/religion/ethnic group in order to protect the world.

    Why is it so difficult to acknowledge that *our* “own” nation/culture/religion, etc. might share much of the blame for secret combinations in the world? And that they don’t just exist outside *our* “own” nation/culture/religion?

    What is wrong with self-introspection? How handy it is to say, “over there; the enemy is over there; we are quite innocent; there are a few traitors among us, but the ‘bad guys’ are definitely, for the most part, of a different race, religion, ethnic group, region!”–

    How very convenient.

    Have you ever heard of the concept of blow-back? Perhaps you need to get off the sites that encourage hatred of all things Islam and begin to look at the past actions of *your* “own” nation.

    Where do I begin?

    The Federal Reserve
    Goldman-Sachs
    The Military Industrial Complex
    Monsanto and all its affiliates
    CIA
    Economic Hit Men (tied to CIA and big banks)
    The Bilderbergs
    Trilateral Commission/CFR

    I’m sure I’ve left many out. Most of the time these groups/contacts within all nations, and they use any extremists they can find and train to meet their own ends. Their network is so vast that it is stupefying even to think of it–

    It is not limited to one group of radical religious extremists, though those radical religious extremists are most definitely well-used (and usually destroyed when they have served their purpose).

    Believe All Things, I have been in many gospel doctrine classes, and most of the time when ‘secret combinations’ are mentioned there is silence in the room.

    After all, there may be someone who works for a big bank in the ward!

  19. E. Zachary Knight
    December 17, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    On the topic of why such discussions are skipped in class or why they are merely footnotes to the main discussion, one merely needs to reference the scriptures.

    When Christ was speaking to the Nephites about his statements of “other sheep”, he explained why the Jews were not given that greater light and knowledge (3 Nephi 15:18):

    “And now, because of stiffneckedness and unbelief they understood not my word; therefore I was commanded to say no more of the Father concerning this thing unto them.”

    This is but one place, many other verses are found in the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and the Bible. God warns repeatedly that if we ignore certain aspects of the Gospel, the Lord will condemn us through our own ignorance.

  20. Daron Fraley
    December 17, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    outside the corridor: You have completely misunderstood what I was saying, obvious by this statement: “…to carry on in the effort or erradicating an entire race/religion/ethnic group in order to protect the world.”

    All of the organizations that I mentioned are radicalized off-shoots of a generally peaceful religion. I absolutely want to give Muslims the benefit of the doubt. If they can live in the United States peacefully, and under constitutional law, without demanding that the government be changed so that they can practice shariah, then they are welcome to the great melting pot.

    I never called for eradication of any race, religion, or ethnic group. Those are your words, not mine.

    Also, you have assumed too much. Just because I pointed to these radical groups as being secret combinations, does not mean that I think there aren’t any others that deserve our intense scrutiny.

    And again, you assume WAY TOO MUCH by suggesting with your questions/statements that I am against introspection, or that I think the bad guys are “those people”, or whatever nonsense like that which you wish to pin on my lapel.

    I never said any such thing. All is NOT well in Zion. America is in deep trouble, mostly on account of its own need for godly sorrow and sincere repentance… on MANY fronts: Our own lack of faithfulness, obedience, charity, honor, integrity… you name it.

    Sorry, but your assumptions about what I believe are borderline accusations, and therefore almost offensive. Be careful about what you assume.

    I will agree with you on one thing: Your list is very scary. I agree that there are huge problems with those companies/organizations. I’ll pick just one, as an example:

    Monsanto. Not many people know who they are, I have found. But I know who they are. And the fact that our entire food supply is in jeopardy should send a shiver down everyone’s backs. All because of greed. The love of money, and power. And THAT is the essence of a secret combination. But I still put them as a second-tier combination. Because at least they don’t scream, “Death to America! Death to Israel!”

  21. Connor
    December 17, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    …Because at least they don’t scream, “Death to America! Death to Israel!”

    I think people who say this are the least of our concern in terms of who will infiltrate the government and use its power to oppress the people, who will promote immorality, etc. etc.

    It gets back to one of the points I made in the article: our focus on external enemies suggests that we don’t know the hearts of men in our own land.

    Even more alarming is this pattern in the Book of Mormon regarding where the real threat lies.

  22. Daron Fraley
    December 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    Connor, I don’t disagree. But take it one step further:

    When the hearts of men in our own land are in this kind of state, scriptural types and shadows show what happens next: Nebudchanezzar marches in. Sennacherib promises to lay waste. The Lamanites destroy.

    When the tool of destruction is made manifest, then we know that we are at the final warning.

    They go hand in hand. The destroyer is merely an outward sign of a rotting inner vessel.

    I think we are a LOT closer on this than you think we are. :)

  23. Connor
    December 17, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    Sure, opposing forces capitalize upon the condition of the people. But they are not credited with the internal demise of the society. Lamanites were finally able to kill off the Nephites only after the Nephites allowed the secret combinations (a different group from the external enemy) to rot the underpinnings of their society.

    I agree that we are close. I merely wish to make a distinction between the cause and effect of our condition.

  24. Daron Fraley
    December 17, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    Then forgive me if you understood me as saying that the secret combinations are the cause, because they are not.

    The Lamanites at one point eradicated the Gadiantons. Why? Because they repented.

    You are right… wickedness is the ROOT cause.
    I’m only saying that the tool of destruction will be the ultimate cause of our destruction (Mormon and Moroni warned us it would be), IF we don’t repent.

    I choose to say that we completely agree. :)

  25. L. Brown
    December 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    Last Sunday our Sunday School teacher stated that she didn’t get into the secret combination part because it would be an all day discussion. Luckily she asked who wanted to teach the following week….I quickly took the opportunity….because I was going to cover that which she missed…..lol. It was a good lesson and I received many good comments during the lesson…..but I don’t know what good it did for the members of my branch. Some still think that biker gangs are the secret combinations and that they’ll simply kill each other off and leave the general public alone……I can’t help but let a sigh and try to resist the urge to hit my head against a hard surface….lol. Anyways. Let us move forward to educate the rest of the chosen generation!

  26. Shaun Knapp
    December 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    From the prophet who stunned the astute listener standing in his first general conference as President with the prophetic mantle, with the thunderous shock that the whole church is yet under condemnation, a scourge, and judgement, we have him paralleling 3 Ne to our day, saying:

    “Secret combinations flourished because, as Helaman tells us, the Gadianton robbers ‘had seduced the more part of the righteous until they had come down to believe in their works and partake of their spoils’ (Helaman 6:38)…even as today!” (Conference Report, April 1987, Ensign, May 1987, p. 4.)

    Yeah, Latter-day Saints absolutely uphold secret combinations. All who cast ballots for Romney uphold secret combinations, for they are not rooted in constitutional principles of righteousness, but rather, are seduced to believe in the works of and partake of the spoils of the Gadianton robbers. Such robbers live in America and look and speak just like we do. Many are popular with the people, including Latter-day Saints.

    Also take note:

    “The sad and shocking story of what has happened in America in recent years must be told. Our people must have the facts. There is safety in an informed public. There is real danger in a complacent, uninformed citizenry. This is our real danger today. Yes, the truth must be told even at the risk of destroying, in large measure, the influence of men who are widely respected and loved by the American people. The stakes are high. Freedom and survival is the issue.” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 582.)

  27. jimx
    December 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    Connor,
    Is there any O.T. or N.T. similiar examples of the concept of a Gadianton robber? I hope you don’t mind me saying this, but the concept sounds rather paranoid. And maybe there is a reality to that, but I can’t really think of anything equal to this concept anywhere else.

  28. jimx
    December 17, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    Daron Fraley,
    As for post #14, it makes me think of the Spainish inquisition, holy wars and the like. Right now I can’t think of the Arabic word for holy war. Anyways, there are ways that regular religious thought can operate like that.

    Some saw Spencer W. Kimballs aggressive missionary plan to appear like some attempt at world domination. Of course the belief is that its by willing participation, and it is for the most part isn’t it? But have heard some ‘gentiles’ complain about the social and economic pressures placed on them by the LDS population. One even told me that his LDS employer placed an automatic tithing withdraw on his paycheck, and that he had a difficult time retrieving the money taken out.

    In any case there is ‘spiritual warfare’ that occurs all the time. Its on a more subtle level, and it really makes me wonder why? For instance I used to think it was wonderful that Christians were ballooning over one of the gospels to North Korea. But now I think why? they obviously don’t want it, and see it as an aggressive act.

  29. Jon
    December 17, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

    Secret combinations of today:
    From The Black Eyed Peas:

    Overseas, yeah, we try to stop terrorism
    But we still got terrorists here livin’
    In the USA, the big CIA
    The Bloods and The Crips and the KKK

    But if you only have love for your own race
    Then you only leave space to discriminate
    And to discriminate only generates hate
    And when you hate then you’re bound to get irate, yeah

    Madness is what you demonstrate
    And that’s exactly how anger works and operates
    Man, you gotta have love just to set it straight
    Take control of your mind and meditate
    Let your soul gravitate to the love, y’all, y’all

    People killin’, people dyin’
    Children hurt and you hear them cryin’
    Can you practice what you preach
    And would you turn the other cheek

    Father, Father, Father help us
    Send some guidance from above
    ‘Cause people got me, got me questionin’
    Where is the love (Love)

    To add to the list:

    FBI
    Policemen
    Police Unions that uphold corrupt cops
    Judges who protect corrupt cops
    Juries who uphold corrupt cops

    Oh, we could go on forever couldn’t we?

  30. jimx
    December 18, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    Jon,
    Is this really a foundational part of the LDS faith? It sounds so paranoid. It doesn’t sound like a great foundation, how do you think those organizations function?

    I generally don’t think of Christians as functioning from a state of paranoia, generally. Also not from a sense of persecution. I think they do have some psychological things to examine, but those are minimal elements currently in the larger christian thought.

  31. Jon
    December 18, 2012 at 7:56 am #

    jimx,

    So do you deny that people conspire?

  32. Jim Turner
    December 18, 2012 at 9:00 am #

    @ outside the corridor

    You are absolutely right. Our own Government has caused much of the hatred toward us by our policies. By choosing which dictator to prop up and then topple our Government has been the tool of Secret Combinations.

    And even in our own religion we have Secret combinations All one had to do is watch what happened at the Republican National Convention this year to see the secret combinations at work. And Mitt Romney Smugly sat by and not only let that disgrace happen but endorsed it by accepting his parties nomination.

    The Lord’s Cleansing will begin in his own House because the secret combinations and abominations will be there too.

    Introspection as a nation and as a people is something we lack. LDS who buy into American exceptional-ism fall prey to the politicians who are the puppets of the Secret Combinations. America is not beyond humility and American exceptional-ism doesn’t allow for it. The America should never apologize rhetoric is national hubris. And when a nation becomes that prideful it is ripe for destruction.

  33. outside the corridor
    December 18, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    Daron Fraley,

    I was only responding to what you said–

    You focused on the Muslim Brotherhood–

    you didn’t mention anyone else–

    Daron, are you not aware that, because groups like the Muslim Brotherhood (especially Al Quaeda) exist and operate, their existence and operation has been used as a jumping off point/excuse for America to launch massive attacks of all sorts in the middle east and cause the death of over 100,000 civilians (it could be closer to half a million)?

    The emotion I witnessed against Islam even among fellow ward members when 9/11 happened . . .

    was frightening to me, and when I see that kind of blind fear/panic and what it leads to–

    I respond to it.

    If you had mentioned the corruption within America that has been going on for a long time–

    it would have provoked a different response to me, but you focused on Islam–

    and that is the root of much of the problem–

    I stand behind what I have said. You tell me to ‘be careful’.

    Why? About what? Why do I need to be careful?

    Jimx, there are many people who aren’t Christians who believe in secret combinations.

    I believe that there were secret combinations involved in the child sacrifice that is so often mentioned in the Old Testament; the people killed their own children to satisfy Moloch–

    Abraham’s father tried to kill him; virgins were sacrificed all the time; it’s something found in every culture.

    As to Christians believing in it, it’s just like believing that the French Revolution went too far; there were constant conspiracies among the European royalty–

    Conspiracies ended the lives of many Chinese emperors–

    Conspiracies were behind much of what happened in the world wars and throughout the world–

    Some of these conspiracies have been proven, but it’s not easy to make those who have perpetuated them accountable; often they are in high places.

    I have become aware recently that in some countries in Africa witchcraft is a very prevalent thing; good people are ashamed of it, but they fear exposing it, because those who practice it are powerful and cunning–

    It isn’t easy to talk about, though–

    and the power of love can break through the darkness; I do believe that-

    Some people are better off focusing on doing just that, rather than uncovering evil–

    but some people feel driven to uncover evil.

    I can tell you that some in my family have suffered from secret combinations, so I feel driven to uncover it.

    I can’t/won’t go into detail, but I do have proof. And the suffering causes is acute and extends through generations–

    the conspiracies involved had nothing to do with Islam, either–

    it was all very definitely based here in America, designed by Americans–

  34. outside the corridor
    December 18, 2012 at 10:35 am #

    Jimx, you seem interested in Asian things (I am, too)–

    I am a non-violence proponent; yes, I am a pacifist, but I find Sun Tzu fascinating–

    one of the things that is attributed to him:

    “the supreme art of war is to subdue your enemy without fighting”–

    A person can’t do that without knowing who his enemy is or understanding the motivations of the enemy.

    I would rather be wise than fight–

    which is why I study conspiracies. Most evil is done in darkness, though obviously not all–

    and darkness generally equals secret combination–

    If I am to be successful at not being violent, then I need to understand what people are doing in the darkness that might affect me–

    Jesus did say, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”–

    When I discovered what had happened in my own family that was a secret combination (done to a close family member) it helped me greatly and opened a new world to me–

    yes, it was hard, but it also opened my mind–

    Jim Turner and others who appreciated what I had to say–

    Thank you; I agree with you about hubris, Jim–

  35. Val
    December 18, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    I agree with Connor’s remarks. H. Verlan Andersen taught the same principles many years ago and was considered by Ezra Taft Benson to be the most critical author concerning the proper role of government that he knew. All 5 of Andersen’s books are free to download and I believe they are only bettered by the Book of Mormon itself in giving a clear understanding of this current subject.

  36. jimx
    December 18, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    Oh man, I really tried. I guess I should try a little harder. Is it possible to be so deep in a conspiracy that you don’t even know your involved? Thats one to think about. Maybe its a distraction to point to something or someone else somewhere and say thats a conspiracy.

  37. Amber
    December 18, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    I believe there is another cure for the secret combinations. The righteous Lamanites used it when they first discovered secret combinations in their midst: they sought out the wicked groups, and preached the gospel to them. I’m sure it wasn’t any watered-down gospel, either, that made them feel good about themselves, but one that called them to inspect what they were doing and repent.

    The full gospel, I believe, is the best defense against these secret combinations. Only the gospel can change the hearts of men so that they would no longer wish to do evil.

  38. Jon
    December 18, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

    Is it possible to be so deep in a conspiracy that you don’t even know your involved?

    That’s what the BoM says. So, according to it, yes. Of course, it also talks of open conspiracy for all to see.

  39. Kelly W.
    December 18, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

    Thanks for your comments, Jim Turner. Our country is run by a secret, shadow, invisible government. The POTUS and congress are simply controlled by the shadow government, having all been bought out already. Who do you think write all those thousand-page bills like the mis-named Patriot Act or ObamaCare (or RomneyCare), or even the soon to come gun control bill that was promised to us the other day after the elementary school shooting. These bills are sitting on the shelves of the shadow government just waiting for the time when they can be thrown in front of congress, who doesn’t even have time to read these bills before voting on them because they are so lengthy! Just try to find the authors of the Patriot Act or ObamaCare! The authors are the people who really have the power to control this country and also the world. If you read in Helaman 6:39, you will find that the secret combinations of the Gadiantons had obtained sole management of the government. This is the situation that exists now, with our laws being forced upon us the Powers That Be who are the real ones behind the curtains pulling the strings. This is where you will find the roots of the secret combinations of today. So I suggest you start looking for today’s secret combinations today by looking to the ones who author things like the Patriot Act, ObamaCare or, like Jim Tanner suggests to who are writing the scripts being read over the teleprompters read at the Republican and Democratic conventions! Our government is now solely controlled by these secret people just as is described in Helaman chapter 6. I would go as far as to suggest that some of the other secret combiations (always plural in the B of M) might include the ruling elite in the Republican and Democratic Parties and the Fed.

  40. Kelly W.
    December 18, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

    I classify the Skull and Bones as a Secret Combination, also.

  41. Jim Turner
    December 19, 2012 at 8:16 am #

    Which brings me to believe that Romney ( a Latter-Day Saint) is involved in the secret combinations. He was pre-selected to be the Nominee for the Republicans. His policies were not very much different than Obama’s and since they weren’t Obama who was already selected by the secret Combinations and was reelected. The one Candidate who woudln’t have bowed to the Secret Combinations was Ostracized, Made fun of by Media and finally when they saw that none of that worked he was locked out of delegate votes at the convention due to an on the spot rule change.

    I believe Orrin Hatch is part of the Secret Combinations We are living in the time when the Constitution Hangs by a thread. Many of the members of my wards see there is something wrong and yet they are so scared of being labeled a conspiracy theorist they won’t admit the true problem to themselves let alone in public. I accept the Label of Crazy conspiracy theorist as long as i am right. And the more you research the more you will discover dark scary truths about what really is going on in the world.

  42. outside the corridor
    December 19, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

    Jimx, yes, we are all involved in “Babylon”, everyone in the world–

    it wasn’t meant to be this way; God never intended that men should enslave each other or profit from each other, and, yes, the church is part of that (it is a corporation, by the way)–

    preparing for Zion is the LDS dream, but some of us actually take it seriously and try to live in such a way that we help others and do less harm–

    I try to be careful what I buy; I buy local food as much as possible from organic family farmers (not agribusiness)–

    and I try not to buy things from China; it’s very hard–

    especially since I’m not rich myself–LOL!

    This is why some of *us* try to find out about secret combinations, because we don’t want to be involved–

    finding out can keep us from being duped into being part of as much as possible–

    I don’t want the blood of innocents on my hands (or guilties for that matter), which is why I protest the ongoing wars–

    and supported a man for POTUS who was against those wars–

  43. jimx
    December 19, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

    OTC,
    Babylon is ‘the gateway of god’ or ‘The gateway of the God” in Summarian. I think it was just another cultural hub in the ancient world.

    Interesting admission that the LDS church is a corporation. How many other religious organizations are corporations? is this a common practice that you know of? Does all the corporate functions get a tax shelter because its a religion?

    I am still a little skeptical. How does one really differentiate between a ‘combination’ and just very shrewd and efficient business plan? Or coordination of events to bring about a particular outcome? The people doing this could actually have the best intentions in the world, and honestly be trying to do something great for the world, but to others it looks suspect simply because they don’t understand it, or they were not a part of it, and not directly benefiting.

  44. Kelly W.
    December 20, 2012 at 8:01 am #

    Many people are aware of the secret combinations that really run this world, and these people are not even members of the church. They rightfully point to Wall Street insiders, the military/industrial complex, the international bankers and the people in Skull and Bones, 33rd degree Masons, CFR and Bilderbergers, etc. as the secret people really behind the curtains running this world. When these non-Mormon people who are aware of secret combinations take a look at the Mormon Church, they immediately are skeptical of us because of secret things like temple rites and garments. Many of these same people were very quick to attack Mitt and the Republicans as just another secret combination.

  45. jimx
    December 20, 2012 at 8:32 am #

    Kelly,
    So what exactly is the difference?

  46. jimx
    December 20, 2012 at 8:39 am #

    I should clarify. Yes, there could be people and organizations that are trying to cause damage consciously. But maybe some are thinking that are doing something great, but may end up doing something entirely unexpected, not according to plans. Or maybe some people get hurt from the best intentions in the world, just because its impossible to take into account every possible interest.

    Or is it possible to create a great outcome for everyone and everything? I should remain open to that. How does one do that? I suspect that something greater can only cause that to happen, and that is out of our control.

  47. AV
    December 20, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    Those who support or vote for evil are evil, even if they don’t realize they are doing so, for they prove they aren’t living worthy of the Holy Spirit to detect evil and they prove they don’t study and live Christ’s laws.

    We have no one to blame but ourselves for our present situation. There will always be Gadiantons in this world, at every level of society, but only an unrighteous and slothful people allow them to get control of their government.

    If we allow ourselves to be deceived to support and vote for corrupt leaders, in a church or government, we will be held partly accountable for what those leaders do while in office.

    Our salvation rests on if we have the Spirit to discern right from wrong, truth from error and devils from saints or not.

    Whether or not we can be deceived to support evil or evil persons, has always been the determining factor if we earn Celestial glory or not. (see D&C 46 & 76)

    The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who do nothing about it, (and who go along with & vote for leaders who don’t stand for freedom and the Constitution)

    Everyone, even in the Church, including all leaders, except a rare few, appear to be deceived to support and do evil today.

    Thus, not even the LDS can talk or act like they are righteous, for they have sinned against even greater light (the BoM).

    Just another indication that the ‘Holy Church of God’ has fallen into the deep ‘latter day apostasy’ that was foresaw & foretold by ancient BoM prophets.

    The question is can we see this apostasy and repent ourselves, to stop supporting evil?

  48. outside the corridor
    December 20, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    churches that become corporations are very difficult–

    it is a shame that the LDS church ever became a corporation, and it wasn’t what *our* founder, Joseph Smith, wanted–

    who knows why it happened; was it coercion; I don’t know, but it has caused problems for all religions that have incorporated–

    Yes, Jimx, you make some good points–

    shrewd business dealings usually hurt someone, and that is my test–

    Of course, it’s impossible to live in this world without hurting others, but at least *we* can be aware of it and not pretend that we aren’t hurting anyone–

    Self-awareness is important, and that is a principle taught especially in the New Testament–

    the idea of searching one’s heart–

    Kelly W., I don’t think people are threatened by temple rites; I don’t think the mistrust of Romney comes from that–

    there are other religions that have temples–

    yes, the entrance to *our* temples is restricted, and you may have a point that this has led them to mistrust Mormons, but Romney has done enough damage in the business world, has done enough unethical business himself to lead suspicion to himself, without contemplating the temple service he has engaged in–

    Jimx, I worry about that a lot–

    What if I, thinking I am doing good, am hurting others? Oh, yes, that is a great concern–

    and yes missionaries have done damage–

    people with good intentions do hurt all the time, so–

    where does a person go with it? Well, if a person truly has a good heart, that person will use the atonement of Jesus Christ and acknowledge his/her own weakness and carnal nature and ask for forgiveness constantly–

    watching him/herself–

    I think that is what Alma and Mormon (in the Book of Mormon) and Paul in the New Testament tried to say when they said, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling”–

    once a person becomes arrogant or self-assured or thinks he/she is righteous, that person has taken a fall–

    constant humility is the only way to be ‘safe’, and even then there is no ‘safety’–

    we really do need to watch where we step, how we treat others, etc.–

    Your last paragraph; Jesus does that; He is the ‘something greater’–

    but few people, even Christians, even LDS, understand–

    people talk about Jesus, but they don’t understand . . .

    they think that they can go to church on Sunday and then do whatever they want to do to ‘make a buck’, and everything will be all right–

    I’m even confusing myself now–

    LOL!

    But the fact is that the minute I think I am a righteous person I have taken a dive–

  49. outside the corridor
    December 20, 2012 at 11:18 am #

    ha, and I said that before reading your post, AV–

  50. AV
    December 20, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    OTC,

    You make some good points, but I believe it’s ok, even necessary, for us to realize we are ‘righteous’, if we get to that high a point, which is hard. It’s the fact that we don’t ‘think, see or care’ that we are doing ‘wrong’ that makes us prideful.

    Humble people ‘can and should’ realize they are righteous and right with God, and be greatful for God’s help and inspiration for helping them repent and learn truth, for no one can do it on their own, but they also realize that even if they are righteous and have the Spirit they know they can fall at any time and thus they try to stay alert to any weaknesses they may yet have and thus stay close to God for his guidance, always questioning anyone and anything they hear, especially from religious leaders.

    That’s why ‘true’ prophets will ‘never’ say or teach that they can’t fall and lead others astray, for they know they are very human too and thus they warn everyone to always question and prove even what they as prophets say, to make sure it’s right.

    False prophets are the one’s who usually claim they can’t lead anyone or a church astray. They don’t realize that God gives people what they want, even false prophets who lead them astray, if they refuse to be righteous and lean only on God.

  51. jimx
    December 20, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

    OTC,
    You have a great ability to see things from many sides. I think that is a real gem to hold on to. I have never noticed this before, but christians in general seem to have a self esteem problem. It seems like they are never good enough, always guilty of something. Guilt is something generated internally. Its a function of conscience, which is good, thats what keeps one human, but it seems to be over done. I think chrisitans are fearful of arogance. But thats in negative terms, the positive term is confidence.

    I find that I feel more energy and compassion with regular meditation, especially chakra cleansing to remove karma. I also started doing regular grounding with the earth. That is I am physically connected with a grounding wire connected to the ground outlet. (the mouth of the wall outlet) I have made it myself, but if one doesn’t know what they are doing its best to buy one. Grounding pads are available through various outlets online. I didn’t become aware of a particular benefit until I recently forgot to use it for a few days. I felt very spacy, irritable, foggy and ‘ungrounded’. I feel much more spiritually centered being on the same electric potential as the earth.

    My understanding of the ‘holy spirit’ is that is the collective bio-eletric energy of the gods. Humans are quite receptive to their energy, in closer proximity people report their hair standing on end, an elevated heart beat, and sometimes they have insomnia. Other senses of the ‘holy spirit’ is a thoughform, difficult to explain, but its a mental process a sort of agreement amoung a mass of people. Like a collective thought.

    It does take an effort to regularly mediate, obtain some sort of grounding, and keep oneself healthy in every way to be ‘worthy’ to see things in the proper light.

  52. Clumpy
    December 21, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    Quick summary of this thread for anybody who doesn’t want to read twenty pages of everybody running with or subverting the premise:

    * People interpreting “Secret Combinations” more and more loosely to include any group they don’t personally like, and unintentionally validating the idea of applying the concept of Secret Combinations carefully.

    * The Muslim Brotherhood is going to send millions of people across the Atlantic Ocean and conquer the nation with the largest military on Earth, Red Dawn-style. We know this because an intern in Washington has Muslim family members!

    * Christians sure are crazy! Anyway, off to collect bio-electric god energy from the wall outlet!

  53. jimx
    December 21, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

    Clumpy,
    Lol! I am glad you bring humor to the board. Yes, lets keep it light and manageable.

    Anyways about bio-energy from the earth. Thats actually neutral, I think anyone could benefit from becoming grounded to the earth. So if anyone is interested, here is some information about grounding. Otherwise known as ‘earthing’.

    http://www.earthing.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=1847&Click=132

  54. jimx
    December 21, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

    Clumpy,
    LOL! I think nobody will see a wall outlet in quite the same light. Actually there is a conspiracy theory about electricity available in wall outlets. Apparently the US is the only country that uses a frequency that is out of harmony with the natural frequency of the human mind. I don’t remember where I read that, or heard of that. But it just goes to show you that one can see or imagine conspiracies anywere. *visualize someone inspecting a wall outlet with suspicion before use!

  55. Sean
    December 23, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    While I’m obviously late for the party, after reading about the feared threat of the Muslim Brotherhood, and by extension, Islam, and their desire for global Shariah law, I decided to attend the party nonetheless. Of course, addressing these points in the space allotted is quite difficult given the complexity of the issues. But let me take a few stabs at it here and there.

    First, when Iimx referred to holy wars he mentioned that he couldn’t remember its name in the Muslim world. That’s because the expression, as used in the West, doesn’t exist in Islam, at least not in the way we in the West think of it. Yet most in the West view “jihad” as the term for holy war. However, our perceptions of the Islamic concepts of jihad is greatly distorted. In Islam there are two kinds of jihad, which better translates as the English “struggle.” The first jihad is known as the “greater jihad,” which is the struggle, or war if you like, that each of us has to conquer our human weaknesses and sins and submit our will to that of God. Christianity and Mormonism have a similar idea–we believe in putting of the natural man and becoming a new man in Christ, but submitting our wills to that of God and Christ. We also refer to it as being born again or crucifying the old man. The second jihad is the lesser jihad which is the duty Muslims ave to defend themselves, their family, their home, and their religion. Sounds a lot like Captain Moroni’s flag, doesn’t it? But just as was the case with the Nephites, this lesser jihad is strictly defensive, just as it is in the BOM and the D&C. Any kind of jihad beyond this is a perversion of Islamic teachings. Hence, wars of aggression are perversions of Islamic teachings, just as they once were with us in the US.

    I suspect I’m out of space at this point, so my next post will briefly addres the threat of Islam and the fear of Shariah.

  56. Shaun Knapp
    December 24, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

    I was just at a client’s house today and she mentioned her making a few mild references to government yesterday in her ward (very affluent part of Provo, her ward filled with multimillionaires) in relation to Ether 8, which the teacher had been discussing.

    She said that the teacher looked at her as if she were out of her mind, and it would seem, based on past experience, so too was most of the rest of the ward, absolutely clueless. Yes, they can read about Secret Combinations, but in no way do they have a clue how they apply to our day and time—certainly not “literally,” can the scriptures apply!

  57. iimx
    December 25, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

    I found this interesting video about ancient aliens and deadly cults. Perhaps these fit the definition of gadianton robbers. The thuggy cult of india seems like a very close match for perhaps how such a thing might operate.

    Oddly enough, there are a few examples of deadly christian cults. Very odd. Its very shocking so be warned if one watches it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoQ9gqMuHH4

  58. outside the corridor
    December 26, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    I have no doubt it exists in every culture/every religion–

  59. the commish
    January 6, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    conner, my wife and i have become acutely aware of this issue and the almost complete unwillingness to let the book of mormon speak. Instead, it seems the church has developed a sort of cultural liturgy that poses for a real understanding of what the book actually says.

    to give u an example (and i suspect this happens all the time in many ways throughout the church) in our gospel doctrine class. when we got to the discussion of the kingmen and captain moroni’s title of liberty–the activity was to design ur own TOL and what would ur’s say…the examples given were from an 8 yr old boy whose TOL talked about the things he liked…this exercise passes for “application” of the scripture to our own lives and is omni-present in the church.

    The bofm has something to say…while it’s good to apply it to our lives, we need to apply what it actually says…not supplant it with our mormon cultural interpretation. If u let the book talk, it literally screams at the gentile nation, from cover to cover warning the western christian nations and specifically the USA to change its ways…but this past year in our gospel doctrine class we never once addressed this message–i doubt this was a unique experience.

    i don’t mention this to be negative about this teacher or this class–after all, u can only teach what u know. rather i think it’s an indictment of the past 20-30 years of general education about the bofm and the desire to be “accepted” and non controversial etc. to be very blunt, i think it’s actually a rebound effect from pres. ETB and shows the pent up anger and frustration that existed in the church because he dared to speak so bluntly and so clearly about things that actually mattered in the realm of church and politics and the bofm…but that’s just my opinion.

    but the bofm says what it says and we cannot avoid the outcomes of which we are warned repeatedly. I suspect we have passed the tipping point of voluntarily making the necessary changes that would lead to a restoration of freedom and that the forced process is inevitable now. BUT, we do have a promise that we will be permitted to assist the remnant of the house of jacob (which is NOT the american indian or central and south american indian/lamanite) in building the NJ if we are prepared.

    so i think individual understanding and desire for freedom is all that is left to us at this exact point in time. however, ultimately freedom will prevail and that will probably be the first order of business when the NJ begins. Of course this is my own opinion…

    interested in what u think…

  60. iimx
    January 7, 2013 at 6:04 am #

    Commish,
    Interesting I read something the other night about the use of church manuals in teaching. It was a critique and they give a different reason, that LDS scriptures are too haphazard for direct use. They claim that most LDS church members don’t know how to make sense of their scripture without the use of a teaching aid, or are at least uncomfortable doing so without approval from the general church body.

    Thats interesting, the use of the word gentile. In non LDS terms, thats anyone thats not a jew. So from an outside point of view, the BOM should be addressing many different countries, any of which are not primarily jewish. But I think the LDS point of view, its anyone that isn’t LDS? am I correct. Any point of clarification would be great.

    I am not sure what you are talking about in regard to freedom and a forced process of restoring freedom. I would be interested in knowing more about this. Any forced process by definition is not freedom.

  61. Kelly W.
    January 7, 2013 at 8:14 am #

    Yesterday, while beginning reading the D&C in correlation with the new year’s change from studying the B of M to studying the D&C, I was reading in section 5 of how Martin Harris was sinful, not from losing the 116 pages, but by not being humble enough to follow follow Joseph’s commands and yielding to the persuasions of men (verses 21 and 32). The Lord then commands Joseph to stop translating any more for a season and to just lie low, because there are many that lie in wait to destroy thee from off the face of the earth; and for this cause, that thy days may be prolonged….I have said: Stop and stand still until I command… (verses 30, 32-34)

    It immediately came to my mind that the reason we have seen a stop from the teachings of David O. McKay and Ezra Taft Benson on the message of the BofM correlating with our Constitution is the same reason. Commish in #59 mentions a tipping point, and I suggest he’s probably correct. After we passed the tipping point, the prophets quit teaching about the real message of the BofM, in an effort to lie in wait. (Hinckley tried to get us to re-read the BofM in the light of it being as current as our morning newspaper, but for the most part the LDS tried to find reasons OTHER than it being our morning newspaper.)

    I suppose this cessation of using the BofM’s real message was a result of the Lord commanding our leaders to lie low so as not to attract the attention of those Secret Combinations to our own destruction.

    I also suggest the same happened during WWII with the saints in Germany. The Church had no official stance for the German saints on Hitler. This allowed the German saints to keep a low profile and in the end arise on the other side of the war to continue on with their open worshiping and growth. In retrospect, we see that some German LDS hated Hitler, yet others tried to follow Hitler on the grounds of the A of F saying to be subject to kings, presidents and rulers.

    Are we now seeing a very similar thing happening? Have LDS become oblivious to the teachings of David O. McKay and ETB because the present prophets aren’t so explicit in their language?

    Maybe we’ll just have to wait-out the inevitable with the current situation of our Gadianton government since the day of the tipping point back in Benson’s time.

  62. outside the corridor
    January 7, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

    the commish, I agree with you, pretty much, on what you say about the discussions on the Book of Mormon being watered down–

    but why aren’t native Americans part of the ‘remnant of Jacob’? I, too, read the Book of Mormon regularly, and I see no reason why they are not.

    I believe that there are other ‘remnants of Jacob’, but I believe they are quite numerous, and some of them may surprise most Americans/LDS.

    There are African Jews, for example, tribal Africans. And many of those *we* consider ‘anti-Jew’ actually have much Jewish blood (Persians/Arabs)–

    Some claim that the Hmong have returned to America, because they are descended from Hagoth, and it is understood by most LDS from the beginning of the church that Polynesians have at least some of the blood of Judah in them–

    There are many who are of the ‘remnant of Judah’, and it would be unreasonable to suppose that *we* all know exactly who they are. Some might openly be Jews. But the fact is that those who have believed themselves for millennia to be superior (Europeans/Americans) will have to stand back for once–*I* do believe this–

    Jimx, I agree–Mormons don’t know how to study their scriptures without an ‘aid’, and that is sad. I have never used ‘aids’ to study the scriptures; I think that they have to be biased; I figure I was given a brain and the Spirit to guide me–

    The fact is that the Book of Mormon (back to the commish) makes it clear that only those Father in Heaven want in America have come here, and this is quite a melting pot; perhaps many of those who have been considered ‘dross’ are the ‘remnant of Jacob’–

    such as African Americans, Asians, etc.–

    Jesus knows who everyone is–

    *we* don’t–

    I don’t know if you are aware of this, but several Indian tribes have been seeking true sovereignty; one tribe has invited like-minded people to come to their area and help them build a better community, a healthier place, a place where children are safe–

    Indian reservations are some of the most unhealthy places in the world, and many native Americans know this, and they are beginning to ‘take back’ their birthright; they are beginning to fight back by inviting those who want a better world to come and help them–

    I think this is an interesting thing and possibly a preparation–

    so, don’t discount native Americans; they have been discounted long enough!

    (as have South Americans who are native)

    Even as LDS (and maybe especially as) they have been overlooked for too long–

  63. the commish
    January 7, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    iimx,

    it’s difficult to discuss some of these concepts without sounding angry, arrogant or confrontational. it’s not my intent–so if it comes across that way, my wife was right…

    to ur first point about the need for teaching aids. i think ur right…and anyone who has been paying attention over the years can tell that the general level of teaching and the number of topics and the depth of study (on sunday) has changed…obviously there are reasons for it…i can’t imagine the headaches at church hq trying to create a one size fits all for 13+m people in almost every country on the planet and many (maybe most) recent to sorta-recent converts. also as the church grows, it unavoidably must deal with the bureaucratic mess that creeps into any large organization.

    that said, the problem i see, is that this process continues to dumb down (in my opinion–i have to keep saying that–sorry) the overall level of understanding, discussion, and insight. the danger is that the gospel begins to become a set of sayings or mormonisms and loses the richness. We have developed a mormon catechism that is a caricature of the gospel in many respects–not all. We seem to be very good at teaching the fundamental concepts of love and service–and that’s huge. but there is more. The concept and role of freedom and its application to our daily individual and corporate lives is almost non-existent. Yet that principle is the pre-eminent of all principles (before the atonement, before love, before anything–without freedom, which is the absence of force, nothing else can exist).

    But we have stopped teaching this principle. I think Kelly W. is prolly right as to why–in a nutshell, the moment has passed–so standing still and waiting seems like a cogent response to our moment. The current moment seems dedicated to basic fundamentals of love and service and growing the church without making waves.

    However, none of this can erase or stall the outcomes prophesied in the bofm and i think we benefit from at least being aware, even while we wait.

    You can say all u want about “well study on ur own”…(not u, but one could…and i hear it), but if u NEVER hear the richer stuff discussed in the open with the sorta “seal of approval” that comes from a SS class or similar formal mtg, then people start to think the “liturgy” is the gospel and they’ve heard the rote stories so many times, they think that’s it and they “get it”…they’ve heard the repetition since primary…they think they get the bofm…the mormony interpretation of the stories become the bofm. This sort of process leads directly to a Gospel Doctrine class discussion about the TOL just LIKE government schools now discuss MLK’s “I Have a Dream.”

    in place of studying what MLK actually said–that someday we could live in a color blind world etc…the discussion becomes “well johnny and suzzie, what is ur dream”…so in gospel doctrine we discuss “what would be on our TOL”…well u know what–who cares what would be on my TOL or anyone else’s…we should discuss what MORONI wrote on his…the same guy who MORMON said was the model for destroying the kingdom of Satan on earth, who named his own son after him, who saw our day and told us point blank…u better change or change will be forced on u. the same Captain M who explained who the remnant of the house of jacob really is. we should spend a few moments digesting what he had to say.

    i really don’t mean to sound negative about this particular teacher…this person is the kindest person u could imagine…they can only teach what they know, but it’s such a perfect example how our system has morphed…i hope they never see this though…

    i could say more, but i think it would just repeat.

    Gentiles: in my opinion, the gentiles most often referred to by bofm prophets is the generic west and specifically the USA. also, there are several references in the bofm to the “gentile nations” plural–We (USA) are a gentile nation…aka a Christian nation–
    i don’t think the bofm prophets were speaking of gentiles as non-LDS…i think we are included within the scope of the gentile nations and specifically the great gentile nation. the bofm prophets repeatedly warned the gentile nation of its destruction and we (LDS) are part and parcel of this nation and will suffer equally with what comes (barring any sort of a culling or separation) but regardless we are part of the whole.

    Forced freedom: i was not very clear in my wording…sorry. I meant to convey the point that there was a time–prolly the 1900-1970 or so where it would have been possible to restore freedom through the political process (what i called voluntary). However, that moment is gone. i think we have long passed the tipping point where we could use the “voluntary” system to restore our fundamental rights. Nevertheless, real freedom will come…it will come at last when the NJ is established…that process will be preceded by the ROHJ trodding down the corrupt Great and Abominable system that dominates our western world…led by Christ and using the ROHJ it will happen like a lion among lambs–tearing in pieces the old system which will allow the vacuum necessary to establish a new political governmental system based on the principles of the DOI where individual freedom will be protected at all cost…where no other earthly power can hurt or make afraid or have any influence. that is when the people of the earth will see a new system and will come–not necessarily caring about our religion, but recognizing a system of freedom that is prospering and safe and fair…that is how the remnant of the house of israel will be delivered and a system of government established on this continent…sometime later another event will occur that will open the door for the spiritual world center in jerusalem–the obvious 2nd coming.

    so we’ve lost the opportunity to “voluntarily” restore freedom and force will be used via a cleansing. But God cannot act capriciously…he must protect and defend freedom. so he cannot exert that level of force unless and until it is justified–which is why we have to wait for what seems like too long and witness so much violence–a cleansing via force must be justified and that only happens when we have completely ripened in iniquity and not before….again…this is all my opinion…although i could support everything with scripture…it’s still my interpretation of scripture. i’m always open to re-evaluation, but this is what i believe at this time.

    Kelly W.
    I really appreciate what u said: Stop and stand still until i command. I believe that could very well directly apply to our day…the time is not yet–but it is so very difficult to wait and so very frustrating to have followed the commands of DOM, ETB, J. Ruben Clark, et al and now it feels like David has commanded his troops to withdraw from uriah…like being on an island.

    But the Lord calls people with the skills needed for that moment. We have not had a DOM or ETB or similar because the time does not call for it. However, i seriously doubt that the mid-level leadership (at least from the stake presidency down to ward level) is aware of the gap…it’s been 25-30 years of lost opportunity and an entire generation has developed with this giant gap in their understanding and they are leaders now. Eventually i think the time must come for this information to return…I have a difficult time every time in EQ when someone talks about the Elders of Israel leading the charge. We could not lead a charge because we do not know what direction to charge, nor do we have the conviction or understanding of freedom…the EOI that Joseph Smith allegedly spoke about, i believe are the same group referred to in the bofm as the remnant of the house of jacob–the ones that Christ will direct to trod and to build…in fact, i don’t think this group will be mostly LDS–it will be those who understand and love freedom and are willing to defend it…those that already have the conviction and don’t need to be prodded and coerced and pushed along, but rather can’t be held back…again…all my opinion.

  64. iimx
    January 8, 2013 at 6:18 am #

    Commish,
    I can guess some of the acrynomns and look some up, but what is ROHJ and TOL? I could be totally wrong, but I understood Gentile simply not jewish. Might be christian, but could be Hindu, Buddhist, atheist etc thats not jewish. The NT often refered to Roman polytheists as gentiles, even after conversion to the Christian faith.

    I can see how the great gentile nation could refer to USA, but could also refer to China. That actually has a larger population, and a much longer history of existence. Its interesting that the number 666 appears in the christian NT. Most of the time it seems to be refering to a person, but perhaps it might be a nation or leader of a nation. 666 is actually thought of as being an auspicious number in some chinese numberology.

  65. the commish
    January 8, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    sorry for all the acronyms…i get writing and going too fast and lazy…ROHJ (remnant of the house of jacob) TOL (title of liberty)

    i’ll put together a couple of bofm sites that support the idea that usa and west is usually what bofm use of “gentile” and “gentile nation” is referring to…again my opinion

  66. Heath
    January 10, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

    The coming nuclear attack to this nation was spoken of by President J. Rueben Clark, Jr. It will be the culmination of the conspiracy that rests upon this nation, for few are aware of it, and even fewer are willing to speak out against it. This is what Harold B. Lee heard J. Rueben Clark, Jr. state about the coming decimation of this nation: “We heard him reply in answer to a question as to why he had put his life’s savings into his presently owned Grantsville ranch: ‘ This is all I have to leave my family when I die, and if they are not too lazy to work it, they won’t starve. I have told them that when the first atomic bomb is dropped here in America, that they are to go out there on the ranch and stay until it is all over.’ This last seemed not only to be wise counsel, but also a prophesy. . . .” (Harold B. Lee, “President J. Reuben Clark, Jr. An Appreciation on his Ninetieth Birthday” The Improvement Era, Sept. 1961 pp.632-633.)

    Here is a good book on how the black arts of conspiracy are perpetuated upon a people.

    http://www.amazon.com/New-Lies-Old-Anatoliy-Golitsyn/dp/0945001088/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1357577420&sr=8-2&keywords=New+Lies+for+Old

    It is time to shout from the rooftops and warn our neighbors.

  67. AV
    January 12, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    Commish,

    I really appreciate you sharing your views, I agree with your opinions of things, for they are in line with my impressions also.

    I agree that our window of opportunity has passed to regain our liberties by voluntary means, and I agree that the Church does not generally teach, nor do most members understand the vital messages (or teachings) of the Book of Mormon, including much more than just the winding up scenes of the last days, but also the awful situation of the Holy Church of God in these last days.

    Do you have any further ideas of how or how soon the establishment of Zion will happen? It seems to me that it should occur soon, I believe we are about at the point of justification for God to step in, or maybe even past it, and he is giving his children alittle more time to repent.

    I see little to no talk of all this in the Church, it’s like the huge elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about or notice. I have wondered why the leaders don’t at least talk about it all and try to awaken the people, given our current situation. Unfortunately though, the more I learn about the Brethren the more it seems that most of them don’t see it either.

    For we are all in deep bondage, as much as any Nephites ever were in the BoM. And when they were in bondage to the Lamanites their every day & free moment was spent talking with one another about how to get out of bondage. But it seems that most all members and even leaders, don’t even realize we are in deep bondage, let alone do they feel the need to discuss it and solve it.

    And there is so little talk of Zion, which I would think would constantly be on all the minds of the members & leaders today.

    I would really like to hear more of your views, either here or in some other way. It’ s great to talk with like minds, though I realize you may not agree with me on all my opinions, but I have found very few people who understand and can see things as you apparently do.

  68. Heath
    January 12, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    AV,

    The reason there is not a lot of talk, concerning the secret combinations, is that the brethren tried to spell it out long ago for the members. But guess what, it fell on deaf ears. We should not have to be commanded in all things, for the Lord has given us a brain to use. He has also given us the Holy Scriptures to read and to cultivate a walk with him on a daily basis, which would result in personal revelation from the Spirit.

    The only thing left to happen for the establishment of Zion to occur is for this nation to be cleansed, even the Church (D&C 112:23-26). The Lord must see who is on his side now, thus, the commencement of a scourge and judgement awaits this nation.

  69. AV
    January 12, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    Heath,

    I used to think that was the reason too, why the leaders were mostly quiet on these issues, now I realize other reasons why they are not saying much.

    I agree that some church leaders have warned us, but I don’t believe that true Prophets would stop talking about the problem, even if only a few listened. I believe they would continue to warn and try to awake the people as long as they kept coming to Church and at least some listened.

    Also, true prophets would not support socialism and those politicians who push it and they also would not take advantage of it’s spoils.

    True Prophets would also all agree with each other and not be divided in their ideas of politics or doctrine, etc. They would all stand firm for and speak out on Constitutional principles.

    True prophets would follow the Book of Mormon’s & Christ’s teachings and not teach contrary to them.

    I agree that we shouldn’t have to be commanded in all things, we should have the Holy Spirit to give us daily revelation about anything needful for our understanding, even everything Prophets would and should be saying. The Spirit would also tell us the real reason why church leaders today aren’t talking about these things.

  70. Heath
    January 12, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

    Why would you try to awaken a people that will not listen, but instead continuously rebels? The Lord can only say what he has to say though his Prophets, which J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Ezra Taft Benson, David O. McKay, Gordon B. Hinckley and serval others stated and warned about emphatically, concerning the coming storm to this nation. The meat that so often was given to the people was rejected, so, justly, the Lord only gives us milk. Nevertheless, when the cup of the wrath of the Lord’s indignation is full, and many have rejected the prophets, then the Lord will preach his own sermon with destruction and desolation upon this land.

  71. AV
    January 12, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

    The Lord will always continue to say what he has to say through the Holy Ghost, to anyone who is intune, with or without a Prophet saying the same things.

    Not everyone rejected the ‘meat’, just the majority. Some were and still are listening to truth.

    As long as good, though deceived, people still keep coming to Church I believe God & a true prophet would still keep trying to teach and awaken the people. For many can be awakened.

    Unless, most of the Saints had rejected a true prophet and his warnings long ago & thus he was taken from them, and we don’t have one anymore to keep teaching us.

    Still the Holy Spirit would tell the righteous what a true prophet would say ‘if’ he were here.

  72. Heath
    January 12, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

    It is true that the Lord through his Spirit will and can speak to individuals with or without the prophet. This is the focus of the general authorities messages today that I have derived from their talks. The time for borrowed light is over and being guided by the Spirit is paramount.

    The Lord will work with those who are listening, but is unable to a whole lot with the proud who think that destruction cannot come to our shores. The Lord has stated in the Book of Mormon emphatically what is headed our way, so that should suffice. The problem is that most members do not even have a clue when it comes to knowing the Book of Mormon or any other scripture for that matter. Many are spiritual socialists, expecting everything given to them on a platter by the Lord, when in his scriptures and from various conference talks, it is apparent that one must sacrifice before the Lord. A trial of their faith is always necessary, before a witness will come (Ether 12:6).

    There are plenty of examples where the Lord does not allow His prophets to continue to give certain revelations, for he wishes to try the faith of his people. In 3 Nephi 26:9-11. In this passage, the Lord is concerned about us using the Book of Mormon for its purpose, but will not give anymore to us collectively, until we do so. Also, the prophet Nephi is forbidden by the Lord to continue on about what he saw, concerning the destruction of this land in our day in 2 Nephi 32:7, for he spent his time writing in 1 Nephi and 2 Nephi mostly on this subject, but it is subtle. Nephi spend his time giving commentary on and placing excerpts from the Book of Isaiah, hoping that we would get the picture.

    So what happens when you reject what the Lord has offered, well you digress in light and knowledge. I am not worried, however, for as soon as the purge comes to the Church our faith will be tried and in the furnace of affliction the valiant will rise to the occasion.

  73. iimx
    January 14, 2013 at 6:08 am #

    Heath,
    Thats rather odd, why not continue in the description in 2 Nephi 32:7? Doesnt the BOM stop like that alot? Does this occur anywhere in the Bible?

  74. Eric
    February 8, 2013 at 8:03 am #

    The old “the gadianton robbers are gangs, the mafia, and al qaida/islamic extremists”

    ::facepalm::

  75. Shaun Knapp
    February 8, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    You got it Eric. Sounds like the Glenn Beck version of secret combinations, “it’s them mooslims in Iran,” that we should be concerned with, and a vast threat of Shariah law. Meanwhile, Beck has frothed at the mouth with fury and indignation at any questioning the crime scene of his masters, those who pulled off 9/11 from within. Those behind that evil attack were not cave dwellers half a world away, but rather—the prophetic voice declared to those with ears to hear—it was a “vicious, oath bound, and secret organization bent on evil and destruction,” whose object is to “bring down the church,” they “woo the people with sophistry as they take control of the society.”

    Hey folks, (Glenn Beck groupies), we ain’t talkin’ Osama nor Saddam. They didn’t unshelved and pass the Patriot act nor the more recent and satanic NDAA. They don’t woo me with sophistry. I don’t even know what they sound like nor do they speak in my tongue.

    Yep, it’s as “current as the morning newspaper,” but the majority of LDS that I see are hostile to this reality being pushed forward, and the highest they’ll concede are drug cartels, mafia, and “them Muslims.”

  76. Kelly W.
    February 9, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    In the Last Days, even the very elect will be deceived. Prophecy fulfilled.

  77. AV
    February 10, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

    Every one of your churches has become polluted. Why have ye polluted the Holy Church of God?”

    “There are none, save a few only, who do not lift themselves up in pride & persecution & all manner of iniquities.” Mormon 8

  78. AV
    February 10, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    “Why do you build up your secret abominations to get gain & cause that widows should mourn & also orphans to mourn? Mormon 8

  79. joel adams
    March 22, 2013 at 6:38 am #

    One of the most profound prophetic pictures that emerges from the Book of Mormon is the witness of the two Moroni’s.
    The first Moroni is known for the torn remnant and the patriotic call to defense a century before Jesus came and gave his law. The first Moroni opearated when the Law of Moses was still observed. Military force was the norm and Moroni was successful for a while.
    The second Moroni is the last witness to the death of the Nephite civilization. He and his father, Mormon led the military but failed because they had gone beyond just defending. The men they commanded were out for blood revenge.
    I am building to a comparison or modern application of the contrast of the two Moroni’s with the introduction of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount to the Nephite’s. After his introductionof these teachings the so-called golden are of three generations of peace came in.
    While the violence used to counter violence under the first Moroni worked for awhile it took God’s intervention to break the cycle of violence which saw the rise of the gaddianton robbers. The intervention was timed with the resurection of Jesus and his visitation among the survivors who had not denied or persecuted the prophets.
    The applicationtoday is that patriotism is finisihed because it has become nationalism. Loading up on guns will not work, no matter how noble the cause of patriots may appear.
    Witness how super sniper Chris Kyle lived with the sword and was a hero for many patriot/nationalists. He died with the sword though his school to arm patriots may live on; the arms of men will fail them. The arm of the Lord is being revealed and the Holy One of Israel yet reign in the midst of gathered Israel in Zion. patriots

  80. Joe Dirt
    June 3, 2013 at 8:57 am #

    Great article, but I stayed for the comments. Who the latter day Gadianton Robbers are is OBVIOUS. “And upon my house shall it begin”… Muslm Brotherhoood…. LOL…. Who created “Alkeida”? Who was Osama Bin Laden? What was his connection and his family’s connection with the CIA and the Bush’s? Who is plotting and murdering to get gain? Who is trying to create a one world government? Book of Revelations anyone? Who created the Federal Reserve? How about the UN? What is the Bildeberg group? CFR? Trilateral commission? What few companies control 97% of what you see, read and hear? What families have funded both sides of every conflict for the last 200+ years? Did you know that over 70% of what you eat is genetically modified, and has been for over a decade? Who controls that? Just a few questions that I would suggest finding answers for.

  81. Wallace C Whitehead
    June 17, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

    Read the War chapters. In there you will find a type of Satan and a type of Christ. It points it out in black and white. Moral of the story people. DON’T COME DOWN THE MOUNTAIN LEHONTI!”

  82. antodav
    March 2, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

    A lot of apostasy and delusional attitudes in the comments, but the article itself makes a very important point. I disagree that the problem is “institutional” though. Just because we deem a particular subject to be vitally important to teach doesn’t mean that the Lord, who directs the Church and its curriculum, sees things the same way. It is up to us to figure out how the principles and teachings of the Book of Mormon should be applied to our political ideologies. The Lord isn’t going to do it for us.

    And to expect prophets to have unanimity of thought when it comes to various political ideas, or else they aren’t really prophets, is wholly unrealistic. They are unanimous when it comes to that which truly matters most of all: the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The rest of it is up for us to figure out. We have intellect, we have agency, and we have all the tools we need to be able to live righteously and create Zion here on Earth now. If we are too lazy to do so, we have no one to blame for it but ourselves—and we become part of the secret combinations, or at least, we contribute to their advancement.

    Also questioning the historicity of Jesus Christ is a quick and easy way to get dismissed as a fringe lunatic with little to nothing of intellectual value to contribute to a conversation about religion or politics.

  83. Tom R
    March 3, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

    This article misses the mark.

    “True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the Gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior. Preoccupation with unworthy behavior can lead to unworthy behavior. That is why we stress so forcefully the study of the doctrines of the Gospel.” -President Boyd K. Packer

    Ether 8 is an important chapter. The Lord ensured its translation was included in the Book of Mormon for a wise purpose. The warnings included are prophetic, meaningful, and applicable. They should not be ignored…but certainly regarded by all.

    We should be mindful of the prophecies about secret combinations in the last days. The best way to prevent secret combinations is by the preaching of the gospel. As our hearts are turned toward the Lord, our desires are directed toward righteousness. We will discern between good and evil and will advocate the good.

    “True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior.”

    Understanding is more than mental acknowledgement. Understanding takes place also in the heart. Bishop Gary E. Stevenson offered a wonderful talk titled “Lean Not Unto Thine Own Understanding.”

    http://www.byutv.org/watch/37fe6dda-d386-4eca-9e85-5a06b4299be6/byu-devotional-address-bishop-gary-e-stevenson-11414

    I really recommend this talk to anyone. It’s affected me a lot in the past month or so.

    But as I alluded previously, I do not believe we should increase our emphasis on Ether 8 any more than it is already regarded. The study of secret combinations is the study of a behavior. What led to those secret combinations? The neglect of the gospel in the lives of those that advocated them. The doctrines of the Gospel must continue to be the focal point of all our lessons and discussions.

  84. Joe Rawlins
    March 7, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    I’d be interested to hear your assessment of the failing of the Kirtland Safety Society and the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor if you are going to lecture about the corrupt practices of Priestcraft and Secret Combinations.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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