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 and Part 2.
The Lord cursed the American continents against secret combinations, and His judgments come upon all workers of darkness and secret combinations. He brings the secret works out of darkness into the light. The secret works but not the secret oaths and covenants of the Jaredites would be shown to the Nephites to teach them that the Jaredites were destroyed because they supported secret combinations.
“And now I will speak unto you concerning those twenty-four plates, that ye keep them, that the mysteries and the works of darkness, and their secret works, or the secret works of those people who have been destroyed, may be made manifest unto this people; yea, all their murders, and robbings, and their plunderings, and all their wickedness and abominations, may be made unto this people; yea, and that ye preserve these interpreters [Urim and Thummin]….
“And now, my son, these interpreters were prepared that the word of God might be fulfilled, which he spake, saying:
“I will bring forth out of darkness unto light all their secret works and their abominations; and except they repent, I will destroy them from off the face of the earth; and I will bring to light all their secrets and abominations, unto every nation that shall hereafter possess the land.
“And now, my son, we see that they did not repent; therefore they have been destroyed, and thus far the word of God has been fulfilled; yea, their secret abominations have been brought out of darkness and made known to us….
“For behold, there is a curse upon all this land, that destruction shall come upon all those workers of darkness, according to the power of God, when they are fully ripe….
“Yea, and cursed be the land forever and ever unto those workers of darkness and secret combinations, even unto destruction, except they repent before they are fully ripe” (Alma 37:21, 24-26, 28, 31).
Secret combinations have secret signs and words (code words that only their members know), and they make covenants to protect each other from suffering the consequences of their wicked works.
“And now behold, those murders and plunderers were a band who had been formed by Kishkumen and Gadianton…. But behold, they were more numerous among the more wicked part … and were called Gadianton’s robbers and murderers….
“And it came to pass that they did have their signs, yea, their secret signs, and their secret words; and this that they might distinguish a brother who had entered into the covenant, that whatsoever wickedness his brother should do he should not be injured by his brother, nor by those who did belong to his band, who had taken this covenant.
“And thus they might murder, and plunder, and steal, and commit whoredoms and all manner of wickedness, contrary to the laws of their country and also the laws of their God.
“And whosoever of those who belonged to their band should reveal unto the world of their wickedness and their abominations, should be tried, not according to the laws of their country, but according to the laws of their wickedness, which had been given by Gadianton and Kishkumen” (Helaman 6:18, 22-24).
Secret combinations prosper when the people support their wickedness.
“And now behold, those murders and plunderers were a band who had been formed by Kishkumen and Gadianton. And now it had come to pass that there were many, even among the Nephites, of Gadianton’s band. But behold, they were more numerous among the more wicked part of the Lamanites. And they were called Gadianton’s robbers and murderers.
“And it was they who did murder the chief judge Cezoram, and his son, while in the judgment-seat; and behold they were not found.
“And now it came to pass that when the Lamanites found that there were robbers among them they were exceedingly sorrowful; and they did use every means in their power to destroy them off the face of the earth.
“But behold, Satan did stir up the hearts of the more part of the Nephites, insomuch that they did unite with those bands of robbers, and did enter into their covenants and their oaths, that they would protect and preserve one another in whatsoever difficult circumstances they should be placed, that they should not suffer for their murders, and their plunderings, and their stealings” (Helaman 6:18-21).
“Yea, wo be unto you because of that great abomination which has come among you; and ye have united yourselves unto it, yea, to that secret band which was established by Gadianton!” (Helaman 7:25).