I have been reading and thinking and reading and thinking.

I am LDS and as such, I believe in the Book of Mormon and in modern Prophets with vital messages for our day.

The Book of Mormon teaches us about preparing for the Second Coming. Here is a talk by President Bensen about it. The Book of Mormon also teaches us that there are secret combinations that are very powerful and are specifically interested in government power. Simple righteousness was not enough to save the people from these secret combinations, but it did help.

Here are just a few examples of the secret combinations found in the Book of Mormon. (For ease of definition, a secret combination is just two or more people conspiring to do a bad thing).

Laman and Lemuel (2 Nephi 5:1-5): They conspired to murder Nephi to have governance of the people. This is in the pattern of Cain murdering for gain.

The King Men (Alma 51): They wanted to get rid of the Reign of the Judges and to establish a king. Verse 8: “Now those who were in favor of kings were those of high birth, and they sought to be kings; and they were supported by those who sought power and authority over the people.” They were put down, and when the Lamanites came to attack again, they refused to take up arms to defend their liberties.

Amalickiah (link to citations here): He could not have accomplished his designs alone. His co-conspirators are not named (other than Ammoron, his brother). He sought power by stirring up the desire for power among the lower judges. When that did not work, he went over to the Lamanites and with a combination of intrigue and murder became the king to prosecute a war against the Nephites to be made a king over them which was his design in the first place.
Notice that Amalakiah was a Nephite by birth who sold out his people to try to become their king, then became king of the Lamanites in a continued bid to enslave the Nephites. Amalakiah was eventually aided by the King Men already mentioned.

Unnamed People in Alma 61: These people were working to undermine from the inside the Nephite efforts to maintain their freedom. These people were continuing to aid Ammoron, Amalakiah’s brother.

Kishkumen and Gadianton (Helaman 1-2, generally): These men conspired to avenge the death of Paanchi (who was going to resort to rebellion to obtain the judgment seat), and seek to have their own man (Gadianton) placed on the judgment seat. They succeeded in murdering Pahoran and almost succeeded in murdering Helaman as well. They were chased out of the city, and later formed the Gadianton Robbers.

Giddianhi, the Gadianton leader (3 Nephi 3): The Gadianton Robbers sought to take control of the government of the people.

Lawyers, High Priests, and Kindred (3 Nephi 6):

27 Now it came to pass that those judges had many friends and kindreds; and the remainder, yea, even almost all the lawyers and the high priests, did gather themselves together, and unite with the kindreds of those judges who were to be tried according to the law.
28 And they did enter into a covenant one with another, yea, even into that covenant which was given by them of old, which covenant was given and administered by the devil, to combine against all righteousness.
29 Therefore they did combine against the people of the Lord, and enter into a covenant to destroy them, and to deliver those who were guilty of murder from the grasp of justice, which was about to be administered according to the law.
30 And they did set at defiance the law and the rights of their country; and they did covenant one with another to destroy the governor, and to establish a king over the land, that the land should no more be at liberty but should be subject unto kings.

This episode led to the disintegration of the Nephite Reign of the Judges and split the people into tribes by family.

Jared, the Daughter of Jared, and Akish, (Ether 8-9): This is one of the more disturbing stories of a secret combination. Jared was king and was put out of power. The Daughter of Jared put it into the heart of Jared to have her dance before Akish to “please him” that he should want to marry her and that Jared would allow the marriage on the condition that Akish obtain the head of Jared’s father, the king.
The plotting was successful, but here it how it ended for Jared:

4 And it came to pass that Jared was anointed king over the people, by the hand of wickedness; and he gave unto Akish his daughter to wife.
5 And it came to pass that Akish sought the life of his father-in-law; and he applied unto those whom he had sworn by the oath of the ancients, and they obtained the head of his father-in-law, as he sat upon his throne, giving audience to his people.
6 For so great had been the spreading of this wicked and secret society that it had corrupted the hearts of all the people; therefore Jared was murdered upon his throne, and Akish reigned in his stead.

Ummmmmmmmm, the Daughter of Jared was now in part responsible for the brutal murders of her Grandfather and her Father. I suspect that if she whined about it, Akish knew what to do about it.

These descriptions of secret combinations show that they are regularly seeking government power, often as kings, often to destroy liberty. Always at the bidding of Satan. Satan’s plan was to destroy the agency(liberty) of man. The liberty(agency) of man was paid for by the Atonement.

These descriptions also indicate that murder is regularly part of the process for these combinations seeking power. Murder on a grand scale (warfare) or assassination was used by these groups. I am not aware of any scriptures that say when a people is righteous, their government will be free of the influences of these secret combinations seeking government power.

The First Presidency Message for January 2007 speaks about Satan and our power to overcome him. Specifically, Satan is described as being very successful in this day.

The First Presidency described Satan: ‘He is working under such perfect disguise that many do not recognize either him or his methods. There is no crime he would not commit, no debauchery he would not set up, no plague he would not send, no heart he would not break, no life he would not take, no soul he would not destroy. He comes as a thief in the night; he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.‘ Satan is the world’s master in the use of flattery, and he knows the great power of speech, a power his servants often employ. He has always been one of the great forces of the world.

Given the goal of Satan and his Secret Combinations, it would seem to make sense that he is infiltrating as many governments as he possibly can. And because Satan seeks to maximize his power, he would very likely seek to infiltrate the U.S. Government as well.

From the same article:

I once heard Ernest LeRoy Hatch, former president of the Guatemala City temple, say, ‘The devil is not smart because he is the devil; he is smart because he is old.’ Indeed, th
e devil is old, and he was not always the devil. Initially, he was not the perpetrator of evil. He was with the hosts of heaven in the beginning. He was “an angel of God who was in authority in the presence of God.

And this gem too: “Satan has had great success with this gullible generation.”

What struck me about this final quote is that the article is addressed to the Latter Day Saints, for the Hometeachers to take out to their families. The quote did not say, that the Saints have not been deceived or that we are not gullible. It has made me re-think what things I may have been gullible about.

The United States is not Immune from Secret Combinations: Assassinations of Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy (he had just won the California Presidential Primary in 1968), and an attempt on the life of Ronald Reagan seem to indicate dark forces at work. Given the messages from the Book of Mormon, Pres. Bensen, and Pres. Faust just this month, I have really started looking at things in a new way.

We often think that certain messages are not really intended for us. We look at the world and notice many of the signs of the times like increasing wickedness, wars and rumors of wars, the elements in commotion, the seas heaving beyond their bounds, earthquakes in divers places, and other things, but we(I) have failed to notice the advancement of secret combinations concurrent with time advancing toward the Second Coming. That is every bit a sign of the times just like wars and rumors of wars. The hard part in identifying these groups is that they are in fact, secret and Satan has had a loooong time to perfect his disguise and tactics.

Comments are welcome.