The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns secret combinations and how they work to destroy individuals, communities, and nations. With all the intrigue in government circles today, I find myself thinking more and more about secret combinations; I decided to do some research on them and found enough information for several parts. See Part 1.
Secret combinations are groups of people who use any means necessary to get power and gain and who support each other in their wickedness. Secret combinations were started by Satan and have existed since Cain killed Abel. If supported by the people, secret combinations can result in the destruction of entire nations.
“And it came to pass that thus they did agree with Akish. And Akish did administer unto them the oaths which were given by them of old who also sought power, which had been handed down even from Cain, who was a murderer from the beginning.
“And they were kept up by the power of the devil to administer these oaths unto the people, to keep them in darkness, to help such as sought power to gain power, and to murder, and to plunder, and to lie, and to commit all manner of wickedness and whoredoms….
“And it came to pass that they formed a secret combination, even as they of old; which combinations is most abominable and wicked above all, in the sight of God;
“For the Lord worketh not in secret combinations, neither doth he will that man should shed blood, but in all things hath forbidden it, from the beginning of man” (Ether 8:15-19).
Evil secret works can destroy entire societies. Secret combinations have been a major cause of the total destruction of nations in the past and will be in the future. The Jaredite and Nephite nations were destroyed because of secret combinations.
Kishkumen and Gadianton sought control of the Nephite government and set up secret combinations to do so. Kishkumen murdered one chief judge named Pahoran and sought to kill his successor Helaman; however, Helaman’s servant learned of the plan and killed Kishkumen before he could kill Helaman. Gadianton and his band of robbers escaped before they could be brought to justice. Mormon recorded, “And more of this Gadianton shall be spoken hereafter….
“And behold, in the end of this book ye shall see that this Gadianton did prove the overthrow, yea, almost the entire destruction of the people of Nephi.
“Behold I do not mean the end of the book of Helaman, but I mean the end of the book of Nephi [the end of the Book of Mormon], from which I have taken all the account which I have written” (Helaman 2:12-14).
“And now I, Moroni, do not write the manner of their oaths and combinations, for it hath been made known unto me that they are had among all people….
“And they have caused the destruction of this people of whom I am now speaking, and also the destruction of the people of Nephi.
“And whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold, they shall be destroyed; for the Lord will not suffer that the blood of his saints, which shall be shed by them, shall always cry unto him from the ground for vengeance upon them and yet he avenge them not” (Ether 8:20-22)
The Lord must destroy the secret combinations and their secret works of darkness and murder in order to fulfill His promises to His righteous children.
“Wherefore, for this cause, that my covenants may be fulfilled which I have made unto the children of men, that I will do unto them while they are in the flesh, I must needs destroy the secret works of darkness, and of murders, and of abominations.
“Wherefore, he that fighteth against Zion, both Jew and Gentile, both bond and free, both male and female, shall perish; for they are they who are the whore of all the earth; for they who are not for me are against me, saith our God” (2 Nephi 10:15-16).
Secret combinations will be among the Gentiles of the latter days just as they were among the people of old. “And the Gentiles are lifted up in the pride of their eyes, and have stumbled, because of the greatness of their stumbling block, that they have built up many churches; nevertheless, they put down the power and miracles of God, and preach up unto themselves their own wisdom and their own learning, that they may get gain and grind upon the face of the poor….
“And there are also secret combinations, even as in times of old, according to the combinations of the devil, for he is the founder of all these things; yea, the founder of murder, and works of darkness; yea, and he leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever” (2 Nephi 26:20, 22).
“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 our awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be to 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”(Ether 8:23-25).
“And even now, let him that goeth to the east teach them that shall be converted to flee to the west, and this in consequence of that which is coming on the earth, and of secret combinations” (Doctrine and Covenants 42:64).