Saturday, February 7, 2009
AWAKE AND ARISE
A study on the principle of free agency,
our constitutional relationship to agency,
the threads upon which our sacred Constitution hangs,
and our relative responsibility.
by Joseph W. Grammer
To those valiant patriots, both past and present, who have given, and will yet give, their all for the cause of liberty — who are not afraid to stand up and be counted, and go through the refining process of sacrificing their personal and private interests for the righteous preservation of their personal liberty, and for the right of others to exercise their free will -- their liberty.
All rights reserved.
Copyright © 1992 Joseph W. Grammer
First Printing 1992
Second Printing 1994
Third Edition 2002
That which is contained in this book is solely my responsibility. Any opinions or views expressed by me in this book are those for which I alone am responsible. The selecting, editing and arrangement of works cited in this work are those of my choosing, and all emphasis within such quoted works are totally my responsibility.
I also wish to make clear that this is not a publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or any religious, political, or governmental organization. The opinions and views expressed in this publication are those for which I alone am responsible.
All scriptural quotations contained in this work are taken from the King James Version of the Holy Bible and the scriptural Standard Works of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
--Joseph W. Grammer
To the Third Edition
To the Third Edition
Although there have been few miner changes and updates to this addition of the book, the text still reads as it did when it was first published, and when Ezra Taft Benson was still President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His passing on May 30, 1994, did not change the importance of his messages, therefore the words in this book will remain written as though he is still speaking to us today — for indeed, he is.
Regarding changes and updates: I have only made a few minor grammatical corrections and word changes, along with very few additions to the original text — which are minimal. The text that was previously in bold type for emphasis in the earlier editions of the book has now, for the most part, been put in italics. I have also adding one new chapter, and have taken the liberty of altered the contents of the appendix at the end of the book. However, anything that was taken from the appendix has not been totally deleted, but only placed elsewhere in the book.
A lot has transpired concerning the erosion of our liberties since this book was first published in 1992, but I have not bothered to go into the text and make such notations. Like a new computer which often becomes obsolescent by the time it hits the marketplace, so it is with trying to keep up with rapid transpiring current world events. If I were to try and keep abreast of them by publishing books, the information would virtually be outdated before any such book hit the bookstore shelves.
Consequently, I believe that which is contained in the original publication of this book should be enough to enlighten the reader to what is really going on in this nation and the world regarding man’s right to freely exercise his liberty. Considering such, I recommend that the reader keep abreast of what is actually transpiring by obtaining alternative news sources rather than relying on the establishments controlled press and news media, such as television, radio, and traditional newspapers and magazines. Such alternative news, which is often shocking, is out there for those who are not afraid of learning the truth.
As stated above, this book was started and first published when Ezra Taft Benson was President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and revered by members of that Church as a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator. He was a strong promoter of the restored Church, the true gospel as revealed by Jesus Christ through the Prophet Joseph Smith, the inspiration found in the Book of Mormon, the eternal family unit, the cleansing of the inner vessel, personally coming unto Christ, and of liberty — the liberty that comes only through righteous living and love of fellow man — the kind of liberty that inspired the writing of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution for the united States of American — the kind of liberty that founded a mighty nation that had, originally, a fundamental faith in divine providence.
In all of the above values, Ezra Taft Benson found favor among all Latter-day Saints except in the last. Only in the last of this list has he been continually criticized and misunderstood. But as great as his love and service was in all of the above, it will someday be found that his greatest contribution to the church, American, and the world, was his deep love and commitment to the principle of agency and man’s right to be freed. He was not only tirelessly devoted to Jesus Christ but to the Divinely inspired Constitution for these united States of America. Few people new it as well, nor loved it as much.
Being a man inspired of God, he spoke with a unique spirit of love and with the fire of commitment. He added his warning voice to that of President David O. McKay, and other former General Authorities regarding the threats to our inspired Constitution and national freedom — being, therefore, only one of many witnesses concerning this grave subject. It was no mistake that God placed him in a position of prominence during the Eisenhower administration, becoming a witness to much of the secret combinations that threaten the peace and freedom of, not only this nation, but the entire world. Yet, few Church leaders in this century have received as much criticism as he has, and few have had their words neglected as much as his.
Let us not be surprised when many of us will have to stand before him at some future date and make an accounting of what we did with the inspired knowledge he gave to us from the Almighty regarding liberty. Rest assured — there will be an accounting. Indeed, time will reveal those hypocrites who claimed to have sustained him as a Prophet of God while he was still in the flesh, but, in reality, did not truthfully sustain or support him in his inspired words. When a Stake President, Bishop, or any other authority claims to have supported President Benson as a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, and now attempts to minimize that Prophet’s teachings, how can that leader be taken seriously by those under their authority?
This book, though having a message and purpose much broader than Ezra Taft Benson, was partly conceived to help people come to know what a great American he truly was, and that there is still a great conflict raging upon the earth over man’s liberty. His message was always timeless and sincere.
I am republishing this book in an attempt to continue informing readers of the desperate situation in this country and the world regarding the right of man to be free. Although we are to anxiously be engaged in a good cause, yet if our hearts are not right with God, and if we are not on His side, it makes little difference who’s side we are on. As put forth in the last two chapters, we need to turn our hearts to Jesus Christ, for only in Him do we have salvation. He is our only hope for true liberty.
--Joseph Warren Grammer
This work had been considered for quite some time before I undertook to write it. I had only some general ideas at first, and did not have a clear conception of how to treat all of the many controversies inherent within the topic. I knew that some of them would have to be discussed, but to what extent?
As the book proceeded, my approach began to take shape. I decided not to give an exhaustive study of the topics presented, but to give sufficient evidence that there are problems in our governmental system that had developed since, but not because of, our Founding Fathers. I felt it would be most valuable to present the information in a forthright manner without appearing to be radical, fanatical, or extremist.
I know, with all humility, that to accept the premises set forth in this work, one must have a love for truth and a desire for, and an understanding of, free agency — liberty. Freedom may not be for everyone, nor will everyone find the gospel of Jesus Christ to his liking. To accept the principle inherent in liberty, takes faith and courage. And not all people possess enough of either to warrant risking their position in life to get into the freedom battle and to stand up for truth, no matter how overwhelming the evidence of that truth.
There are those, however, who manifest sufficient qualities to follow the Lord’s commandments — all of them. And some of those commandments include, not only paying tithing, living the word of wisdom, doing home-teaching and other church assignments, but also studying the Constitution and defending their rights of liberty as given to them by God. Therefore, this work is intended to be a straightforward, documented and no-nonsense approach to the subject.
It is the purpose of this book to show that the most important principle in the realm of our Heavenly Father, next to life itself, is that of agency, and to live in an environment of freedom so we can exercise that agency. President David O. McKay said, "We must never forget that next to life itself, free agency is the greatest gift of God to man." (CR, October 1966, p. 5.)
However, it seems that when we talk of free agency in relation to the Constitution of the United States and government, many members of the Church feel it is political. In reality, it is not. President Benson made the following comments about this frame of mind in general conference when he said, "The government has penetrated so much of our lives that one can hardly speak for freedom without being accused of being political. Some might even call the war in heaven a political struggle — certainly it was controversial. Yet the valiant entered it with Michael." (CR, April 1965, p. 124.)
It may seem political to most when we might have to "jockey for position" when petitioning for our rights. Rights, however, are eternal principles and are freely given of God, as we will discover in this work. And agency (the right to exercise those rights) is the second greatest gift of God next to the breath of life.
Those rights were meant to be protected by the Constitution of the nation, but as President Brigham Young once said, quoting the Prophet Joseph Smith: "The time will come when the destiny of the nation will hang upon a single thread." (JD, 7:15) What is that thread? We will be exploring that question in this book because I feel it does have an answer. We will find that it is a very obvious and seriously overlooked answer.
It will also be my purpose to show that there are, indeed, conspiracies — great secret combinations — trying to overthrow the freedom of this and all lands, and that Lucifer is at the head of them. We will explore the fact that it is Satan’s intent to destroy our agency through these great secret combinations. It is the devil’s design also, not only to destroy our agency, but the Constitution of the United States which helps protect that Godly gift.
The reader will be shown that Satan’s secret combinations and conspiracies existed before we came to this earth and they still continue today. Our current Prophet, President Ezra Taft Benson, said in the General Conference of October 1988:
"I testify that wickedness is rapidly expanding in every segment of our society. It is more highly organized, more cleverly disguised, and more powerfully promoted than ever before. Secret combinations lusting for power, gain, and glory are flourishing. A secret combination that seeks to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries is increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world (see Ether 8:18-25)." (CR, October 1988, p. 103.)
President Benson then goes on to say that the ". . . forces of evil increase under Lucifer’s leadership." (CR, October 1988, p. 103.) Now some of these forces of evil are secret combinations, or conspiracies. There are many that do not like the word "conspiracy" because it is threatening. This word has been made unpopular by those of influence and who are also part of, or support, these great secret combinations. Making the word "conspiracy" unpopular places the truth seeker in an unfavorable light and helps bend the suspicious, pointing finger, away from the guilty.
My aim is to help the reader understand what should, and can, be done concerning these satanic plots. Information is given to the reader to help him follow the admonition found in The Book of Mormon when it speaks of these conspiracies in our day: "Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awaken to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you." (Ether 8:24.)
So this book was born with an idea to help shed light on the dark things of the world (secret combinations) thriving in the element of darkness and deception. A conspiracy, by its very nature, is secret. When knowledge reveals such secrecy, then that dark conspiracy ceases to be a conspiracy. God is truth and light; Satan is not. By shedding light on such secret works of darkness, the power of the evil one also ceases to exist. This only happens, though, when that light and knowledge is presented in a timely fashion; otherwise, some significant damage may be incurred.
There are a lot of positive aspects of the Constitution that we will be discussing. However, in covering this document, I am purposely presenting the negative aspects of what has happened to the principles contained in it and those threads upon which it hangs. We can talk about the positive aspects of it all our lives, but until we start understanding the negative ones we cannot begin to know what the dangers are to our liberties.
Perhaps we can take for example our human body, with pains, lumps and various unnatural changes going on within it. These symptoms could be because of some cancerous growth. Now, would it be wise to just talk about how wonderful life is, or should we get to the point of the problem and try and save a, possibly, dying body? The negative aspects of life must be addressed as well as the positive. Then, and only then, can we know what to do about the problem.
Although we are living in the last days spoken of in the scriptures, this work is not intended to be a book on the last days, the Second Coming, or the millennial era. It is primarily concerned with free agency, the Constitution of the United States, secret combinations, and their relationship to the above events. It is designed to inform and educate the reader about the seriousness of our current situation in this, our God-given land of liberty and about the inspired Constitution which He gave us.
Lastly, it is my intent to share with you, the reader, a few thoughts on what we can do in relation to the forgoing discussions. The Lord has a plan and we need to know of it and make it a part of our lives. It is also hoped that this book can offer some positive conclusion to this ever- continuing contest between good and evil — agency versus force.
At this point I will be so judgmental as to say that the honest-in-heart, those who do not live in a world of self-denial, will understand the purpose of this book; others will reject it. I do not intend to say this with pride or arrogance, only with what I have come to KNOW to be true.
There is in this book, although not exhaustive by any means, a profusion of quotes from scripture, leaders of the Church, our Founding Fathers, and many others; these are, of course, in support of the points I will be trying to make. If the reader feels that a quote is invalid for any reason, he or she is welcome to disregard it — mark it out, as though it were not there. The reader may find that there is enough evidence presented in this work to cover the subject and still come to the conclusion I intended.
In my opinion, the final conflict between good and evil is at the door. We must be prepared, both spiritually and temporally. We know who is going to win; it will be the Savior, Jesus Christ. The question might be asked: "What part will we be playing in the final events?"
The "American Dream" is only a dream. For a very short time in our nation’s history the concepts embraced in the Constitution of the United States were a reality. But not long after its creation, the true meaning and intent behind that sacred document were lost. Its true aim was dissipated and subverted due to ignorance, greed, and pride. It is this authors intent to help bring the "American Dream" back to life.
By offering the reader a little knowledge, understanding and incentive, perhaps we can become better prepared to stand before the Savior on that great day of reckoning, which surely will come.
--Joseph W. Grammer
"One can hardly speak for freedom
without being accused of being political.
Some might even call the war in heaven a political struggle —
certainly it was controversial.
Yet the valiant entered it with Michael."
— Ezra Taft Benson
An Introduction — Getting Attitudes Together
"Where there is no vision, the people perish:
but he that keepeth the law,
happy is he."
An Introduction — Getting Attitudes Together
"Where there is no vision, the people perish:
but he that keepeth the law,
happy is he."
This great nation, the United States of America, is unlike any nation that has existed since the dawn of man. Not only the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but many other Christian churches and people believe it was instituted by divine wisdom and the hand of a loving God. It is not only the doctrine of this, the "Mormon" Church, but that of many other people, that God established its inspired Constitution. It is also the belief of many that America’s forefathers wisely followed His guidelines — they having been "raised up unto this very purpose." (D&C 101:80.) They established the noblest government with the greatest amount of freedom any nation or people have ever known.
It is unfortunate, however, that many of Americans are ignorant of the real purpose of the founding of our nation and the contents of our sacred document, the Constitution of the United States. This is also even very true for some Latter-day Saints.
In a High Priests group meeting one Sunday the instructor of the class asked its members how many had read the Constitution of the United States. Out of about 25 or 30 men, only three raised their hands. We have been told by our Prophet Ezra Taft Benson to ". . . learn the principles of the Constitution in the tradition of the Founding Fathers." (The Ensign, November, 1987, p. 7.) It is sobering to ask ourselves, "Have we followed his counsel?"
We Have Heroes
In the past, our Founding Fathers have been the beacons by which our governmental "ship of State" has been steered. Their thoughts and ideals have been the spirit behind critical decision making. Those wise and noble men have influenced not only our great country, but other nations as well. Today, however, the ideals and values of those inspired founders are being more and more disregarded.
As we strive for meaning and direction in our lives during these trying times, we often look to heroes for stability, like our forefathers have been. In doing so we develop modern day heroes to rally around. These heroes can be people we trust, such as the President of the U.S., a Church official, some ethnic leader, renowned scientist, etc.
Heroes are not always people. They can also be heroic causes we believe in, like: the Iraq-Kuwait/Middle-East conflict; standing up for, or against, abortion or homosexuality; or things like saving the whales or the White Spotted Owl. Such heroic efforts are important for some of us. But what happens when someone comes along and tries to tell us that our modern day hero, or cause, is something less than we suppose? Would we have a tendency to take offense? As some people know, the truth can hurt. And offense can come to many because of truth.
Now what is the point of all of this one might be asking. The point that we will be making in this book is the fact that many of our popular government leaders and pet programs may not be all they are presented to be. And by so discovering this, the reader may take offense.
We also have a tendency to protect our belief systems when we do become offended. At the risk of playing with words we might say, "To believe something or not to believe something, that is the question." — to believe in God or not to believe in God; to believe in freedom for all or not too believe it is for all; to believe there is a threat to the Constitution or not to believe such a threat exists; to believe in conspiracies or not to believe in these satanic secret combinations; to get involved in issues or not to get so involved. These are some of the critical questions we will be addressing in this book; and these issues play a part in our belief system in one way or another.
Because they are part of our belief system, we must know where we stand in regard to them; and the best way to do that is to confront that belief system with information. Then, and only then, can we make wise and appropriate choices for the good of our temporal existence and eternal salvation. Heroes are not always what they seem to be on the surface. But when they are attacked, our belief system is challenged and we take offense.
When the prophet Alma was sorrowing because of the wickedness of his people, he wrote: "they began to be offended because of the strictness of the word." (Alma 35:15.) Speaking of the last days, the Lord said, "And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another." (Matt. 24:10; JS-Matt. 8.) And it tells us in the book of Matthew: "when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended." (Matt. 13:21.) We therefore may find it hard to accept truth. "Thou hast declared unto us hard things, more than we are able to bear," said the brothers of Nephi. And Nephi responded: "Wherefore, the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center."(1 Ne. 16:1-2.)
Depending on the situation and our nature at the time, we can become defensive of our own position, and of the person or principle we support — becoming hurt and angry, and closing our eyes, ears, minds and hearts.
However, we can also be a believing person if we choose to be. Believing with the spirit of faith, when truth is recognized, is not gullibility. For those with the spirit of meekness, this statement from the Lord can add strength: "And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me." (Matt. 11:6.) Blessings can come to us when we are not offended in the Savior’s life, His works, His teachings or commandments.
A Time for Truth
Truth can be a powerful force for good when it is accepted in faith. Wouldn’t it have been a tragedy if our forefathers had not believed what they read and were told by those who took the time to learn the facts? If the reader is afraid that his belief system will be upset because of what follows in this book, then perhaps he or she ought not to continue reading. Because if they do, they will be presented information, that if taken in a serious manner, could change this country around from the deadly direction in which it is headed.
True information received, contrary to our belief system, can be very uncomfortable, especially when it involves our elected government officials. Some may say, "It is un-American and disloyal to make such claims as there being a secret combination," — or as we might call it today, a conspiracy. Others may say, "My free agency isn’t threatened; we should support our President and elected officials, and have more faith in their programs. Don’t try and make me lose faith in our government leaders and their policies. Besides, no one is perfect anyway."
The Book of Mormon tells us of the wicked King Noah. Should he not have been called to repentance? What was his fate and that of those who supported him? Can we not learn from such stories? There are those who, like King Noah, without studying the facts or listening to warnings, will continue in their wicked ways supporting that which is evil.
Most of us know of the proverbial "handwriting on the wall" syndrome, where we have a tendency to ignore warning signs when things seem to be going well. President J. Reuben Clark, a past member of the First Presidency, said, "There always comes a time when unpleasant truths must be retold, even though the retelling disturbs the ease and quiet of a luxurious error. Today seems to be such a time. On such occasions, the criticism, slander, misrepresentation that one gets, are of no consequence." (CR, April 1963, p. 111.)
When confronted with such a problem in our lives, perhaps we can look, listen and investigate, in order to learn the truth for ourselves rather than becoming offended or defensive.
It is a fact that good people and causes are slandered by prejudice, bias and sometimes designing individuals. However, it is also true that there are those out there that need to be exposed for what they are. We, as God’s children, have been commanded to learn truth, act upon that truth and to take that truth to others.
An oft-quoted scripture related to this subject is John 8:32: "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Truth is all-powerful. Truth not only helps us understand our relationship with God, it can also make us free from bondage, but only as we choose to act. However, many of us do not discern truth for what it is and therefore cannot act upon it.
The Danger of Pride
Some possess such pride, gross apathy, and chosen ignorance that they remain unmoved by evil events and the seriousness of those circumstance. Many have heard someone say something like: "I know enough of that person not to believe what he says?" Or perhaps something like: "I’ve heard about that and I just can’t believe such a fantastic story?" And so they proceed, through prejudice, defending their stance, continuing to wear their blinders as they are led "carefully" away saying "all is well." The New Testament warns us about such attitudes in the last days:
"Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie." (2 Thes. 2:9-11.)
There are many of the proud and stubborn who will talk against the Church, disbelieve its leaders, and continue on supporting the antichrist and unholy principles. We know the results when Cain, Pharaoh, Laman and Lemuel were warned and they continued in their evil and deceptive ways.
Choosing to disregard warning signs about a deadly disease in our bodies could prove fatal. Choosing to disregard the warning signs of a deadly disease in the world, and in this noble country of ours, could also be very deadly. The secrecy, the people destroyed, the nations ruined, the bondage of humanity, etc., can be so appalling and hideous that many of us do not want to face them. So we turn our faces and stick our heads in the proverbial sand. It is like many people are saying, "Why, we still get a paycheck, Congress is still in session — so the Constitution must still be alive and well, and we are still free to be complacent."
We Have Been Warned
Then, there are others who feel that if secret combinations are so serious, the Prophet would surely say something about it; otherwise, we shouldn’t get involved in such things. Well, the fact is that the prophets have raised a warning voice for over a hundred years, and especially within the past forty years. But, have we been listening and have we had ears to hear their messages? An example can be cited, in reference to just such a warning, from our current Prophet. Did we hear the message which he gave in General Conference, October 1988? Here are his words, once again:
"I testify that wickedness is rapidly expanding in every segment of our society. It is more highly organized, more cleverly disguised, and more powerfully promoted than ever before. Secret combinations lusting for power, gain, and glory are flourishing. A secret combination that seeks to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries is increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world." (CR, October, 1988, p. 103.)
As we study that monumental talk, we discover the spirit in which he spoke; for, starting with his third sentence of that talk, he said, "As a special witness of Jesus Christ, and as His humble servant, it is my obligation and privilege, as the Spirit dictates, to bear pure testimony and witness to that which I know to be true. This I will do."
Now, may we ask ourselves, what is a "special witness?" What did he mean, "as the Spirit dictates?" What does it mean to bear "pure testimony?" What does it mean when you "know" something to be true? To those who understand what he said here, it means that he spoke by revelation — not personal opinion, bias, prejudice, or some other personal inclination — but revelation from the Lord.
In this same spirit he said that this wickedness is "more highly organized, more cleverly disguised, and more powerfully promoted than ever before." That means TODAY — more so than EVER BEFORE in history. Does that sound like things are getting better? Are we going to ignore this warning of our Prophet?
We may not hear much more about this subject over the general pulpit as we did in the past due to the sensitive work taking place behind the "Iron Curtain," as it was once called. As we gain a true understanding of the events in Eastern Europe, we will find his words are still very applicable. The wall is down and missionaries are in Russia. Nevertheless, we have been warned and counseled and it behooves us to heed those words. The lack of a warning voice does not mean things are much better, for as we study the contents that are to come, many may still be concerned.
We must consider our relationship to a Prophet’s warning voice. We must remember that the Lord forbid Mormon to "preach unto them" because they had "wilfully rebelled against their God." (Morm.1:16.) A scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants may be of value here: "And all they who receive the oracles of God, let them beware how they hold them lest they are accounted as a light thing, and are brought under condemnation thereby, and stumble and fall when the storms descend, and the winds blow, and the rains descend, and beat upon their house." (D&C 90:5.)
There are those even among Church members, including those in leadership and sensitive positions, who have their own beliefs based on prejudice and bias philosophies. Ezra Taft Benson in, An Enemy Hath Done This, is quoted as saying, ". . . this fight for freedom might never become popular in our day. And if you wait until everybody agrees in this Church, you will be waiting through the second coming of the Lord." (AEHDT, p. 276.)
We know the results when the children of Israel and the Nephites were warned concerning their wickedness and didn’t take heed. Are we not also the children of Israel, descending from the Israelites? Why should we be so arrogant as to think we are more righteous than our forefathers? It is unfortunate that some of us find for ourselves a very comfortable niche in life and feel it hard or inconvenient to change, be it right or wrong.
All Is Not Well in Zion
Satan, the father of lies, establishes these great and secret combinations. Let us ask ourselves: "What is a secret?" It is, as Webster says: "Keeping from knowledge of others, something not revealed, keep private," etc.
And Satan, who is the father of lies, cannot tell the truth and desires to hide his works from others; and to do so he must deceive. If there is a conspiracy, would those responsible tell the truth about it? No, they would not, for a conspiracy, by its nature is a lie. And Satan cannot tell the truth. The scriptures testify to that. As Jesus was talking to the Pharisees, He said,
"Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." (John 8:43-44.)
So we see here that Satan is incapable of telling the truth, and he teaches his followers here on this earth to also lie. It is his nature to deceive, for the truth is not in him. He must, and does, deceive. And so do his disciples.
If the devil is the author of secret combinations, or conspiracies, then he surely wouldn’t want anyone to know they exist. The whole premise of a conspiracy is that it is secret; and if he, the devil allowed all to know one existed, then it would destroy the premise of a conspiracy and people would not be deceived.
Part of this deep and dark craftiness is to convince the deceived that everything is okay; or, that it is so bad, why try fighting it. Some common attitudes among us are: "People only make mountains out of molehills, so why get excited about something we cannot do anything about anyway?" And, "Just mind your own business, keep the commandments, and God will handle the rest." However, the scriptures warn us of this type of logic and give us these words:
"And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well — and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell. And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none — and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance." (2 Ne. 28:21-22.)
Consequently, Latter-day Saints, along with most Americans, are misled by those calling good evil and evil good; for the scriptures say, "if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."
Satan is so diabolically clever that he influences man to discredit that which is good, especially when it comes to unraveling the mysteries of secret combinations.
Hollywood is no exception. Movies and television have been one of the biggest tools in this deception. Movies like "Red Dawn," about a communist invasion of the U.S. by foreign troops coming in from the South, is one example. Another one is: "They Live," about aliens from some other planet that take over the world appearing as humans which you can only detect by wearing special sunglasses. And of course there are many others seemingly far-fetched movies that could be mentioned.
By filling the heads of the public with fantastic stories it leads one to disbelieve the truth when a REAL fantastic story appears. So now when someone uncovers a secret plot in some business or government they are accused of witch hunting, watching too much TV, or just plain being gullible. But, in reality, this is just the type of attitude these conspirators want us to take towards the true and alert patriots — to call them crazy and say to them, "You go to too many movies. That’s only Hollywood make-believe, not real life. All is well in Happy Valley, USA (Zion)."
There Is No Excuse
Among much of his wise counsel and warnings, Ezra Taft Benson has also said, "There is no excuse that can compensate for the loss of liberty." (AEHDT, p. 314.)
And the Prophet Hosea tells us, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: Because thou hast rejected knowledge . . . seeing thou hast forgotten the law of God." (Hosea 4:6.)
Let us not remain uninformed and ignorant of our condition but seek to find knowledge to enlighten our path. The Apostle Paul declares to the Corinthians, "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices." (2 Cor. 2:11.)
By recognizing that there is an enemy — knowing what form he takes, what his purpose is and how to protect ourselves from his attacks — can arm us with knowledge, which is power. Knowledge is the first step in fighting the evil one. But, we must be aware that an insight into a problem is not a solution without a plan of action to rid ourselves of the problem. As we pursue this course of thought in this book we must remember that involvement is paramount to the security of our liberties — knowledge, alone, will not suffice.
No matter how convincing an argument might be there will always be those who will not believe it, or will not accept it if they did believe it. The proud will only scoff at it, and unwittingly perhaps, give support to those devilish plans of the adversary. We must remember that Laman and Lemuel received personal angelic revelation but still continued to choose wickedness. (1 Ne. 3:29-31.)
The honest-in-heart will be meek and teachable enough to understand the message presented herein and truly desire to see a positive change. They will not live in gross apathy and chosen ignorance but will prayerfully ask for God’s intervention and, at the same time, will extend themselves into this eternal conflict. They will desire to follow the admonition of the Lord when He spoke to Captain Moroni through Pahoran, head of the Nephite government:
"We would subject ourselves to the yoke of bondage if it were requisite with the justice of God, or if he should command us so to do. But behold he doth not command us that we shall subject ourselves to our enemies, but that we should put our trust in him, and he will deliver us. Therefore, my beloved brother, Moroni, let us resist evil, and whatsoever evil we cannot resist with our words, yea, such as rebellions and dissensions, let us resist them with our swords, that we may retain our freedom, that we may rejoice in the great privilege of our church, and in the cause of our Redeemer and our God. Therefore . . . the Spirit of God . . . is also the spirit of freedom. See that ye . . . fear not, for God will deliver . . . yea, and all those who stand fast in that liberty wherewith God hath made them free." (Alma 61:12-15, 21.)
They, the meek, will understand this Spirit of God, or the spirit of freedom. This spirit upholds the principle of agency and a free environment to exercise that agency. They will also understand what the Lord meant when He spoke in the Doctrine and Covenants:
"And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom. Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand; Of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms — That ye may be prepared in all things. . . . Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor." (D&C 88:77-81.)
We are not only commanded to acquire and share this knowledge of various kinds; we are also admonished to be in a condition to receive and understand it. We certainly cannot teach others that which we do not comprehend. Therefore, we read again from the Doctrine and Covenants: "Let him that is ignorant learn wisdom by humbling himself and calling upon the Lord his God, that his eyes may be opened that he may see, and his ears opened that he may hear; For my Spirit is sent forth into the world to enlighten the humble and contrite, and to the condemnation of the ungodly." (D&C 136:32-33.)
President Benson Testifies
Now, we have received similar counsel. In that same talk which he gave in October conference of 1988, where he spoke as a "Witness," as the "Spirit dictates," and with "pure testimony," President Benson also counseled us as follows:
"I testify that it is time for every man to set in order his own house both temporally and spiritually. . . . It is time for us, as members of the Church, to walk in all the ways of the Lord, to use our influence to make popular that which is sound and to make unpopular that which is unsound. We have the scriptures, the prophets, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Now we need eyes that will see, ears that will hear, and hearts that will hearken to God’s direction." (CR, October, 1988, p. 103-10.)
Have we followed his counsel? Have we been getting our lives in order? And, have we been using our influence in making "popular that which is sound and to make unpopular that which is unsound?" Do we have eyes to see, ears that hear, and hearts that hearken? Have we done, as the scriptures have told us to do: "testify and warn the people," for "it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor."
As we continue reading on, we will discover the Lord’s will in regard to man’s government structure, its operations, and our free agency in relationship to that government. We will also learn what He, the Lord, expects of all of us, so that we might not only live free in this life, but experience eternal life in the life to come.
Agency — A God-given Right
"I . . . have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves."
— D&C 104:17.
"God would not exert any compulsory means, and the devil could not . . . all was voluntary."
— Joseph Smith
Agency — A God-given Right
"I . . . have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves."
— D&C 104:17.
"God would not exert any compulsory means, and the devil could not . . . all was voluntary."
— Joseph Smith
In this chapter we will take up the subject of free agency. As we start to peruse the topic, and the eternal aspects of the subject, it will be good to start at the beginning, and that beginning will take us back to the very creation of man. That is, his creation in the pre-earth life where he dwelt with God our Heavenly Father as His spiritual offspring. The purpose of doing so is to touch on the principle of free agency and how that agency relates to the subject of secret combinations.
But, before we do so it will be mentioned here that the term, "free agency," is not mentioned in the scriptural "standard works" of the Church. Agency is not free. There is a price to pay for all of us to retain it. A price was paid in the pre-earth life and a war in Heaven was fought over this sacred principle. A bloody revolution raged in the land of America for the establishment of a free environment where man’s agency could be exercised without restraint. Throughout history, many such wars and revolutions have been for the establishment and protection of this God-given principle. A relevant statement from Elder Ezra Taft Benson regarding our creation may be of interest here:
"Our governmental system, like the systems of ancient Israel and biblical Christianity, recognizes man as a special creation of God. He is not, as some theorists reason, a product of chance or merely an educated animal. His paternal origin is from God. Thus, man inherently possesses God-implanted attributes and potential: reason, free agency, judgment, compassion, initiative, and a personal striving for perfection." (TNSI, p. 84.)
Intelligence Is Agency
In the beginning, or pre-earth life, we were created by God and are known as His spirit children. He said to the prophet Enoch: "Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them. . . ." (Moses 7:32.)
So God created man and gave him knowledge and intelligence. In some manner, currently unknown to mortals, God organized a substance called intelligence (Abr. 3:22) and, out of it, created His spirit children. From the Doctrine and Covenants we learn, among other things, some very important points in relation to our creation and agency. In section 93, verse 29, we read: "Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be."
Here we learn that "Intelligence" is "the light of truth," and cannot be "created or made." So when man was created he was given intelligence or, in other words, he was given truth, which is light. This intelligence, or the light of truth, has always existed and will always exist. It cannot be made or created but only organized. Now let’s go on and read a couple more verses from this section:
"All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence. Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light." (D&C 93:30-31.)
Here we find that "truth" and "intelligence" is "agency." We now find that all truth and intelligence, or light, are independent "to act" for themselves. We also find that without this light and truth, and intelligence, we could not exist. With this existence, man has "agency," with the capacity to act and be "independent."
This, then, is the beginning existence of man, when he was created and given the ability to be free and independent (D&C 104:17; 2 Ne. 2:26), having his agency to make choices relevant to the "light of truth" that is in him. The scripture goes on and says: "and here is the condemnation of man; because . . . they receive not the light." It could also be said, however: "Here is the glory of man, because he receives the light."
Glory Is Light and Truth
Skipping down to verse 36 it states: "The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth." Here we find that God’s glory consists of intelligence, which is light and truth. We have learned, also, that truth and intelligence is agency. Therefore, we come to understand that since glory is intelligence, light and truth, glory also consists of agency. That which is emitted from such perfected intelligence, truth, and agency is light. That light is so refined that it glows and becomes His glory and He is made glorious. He is honored, He is praised, He is exalted, and His splendid and radiant magnificence is due to perfected intelligence, truth, and agency.
Verse 39 says, "And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth. . . ." Since light and truth is agency, as just discussed, then by taking away light and truth he also takes away our agency. We find that the "wicked one," Satan, can indeed take away light and truth by telling us lies and by deceptions. By believing in his lies we relinquish our freedom to exercise our agency, and we subject ourselves to his will and become slaves. Or, to put it another way: By believing in his treachery, we give power to him, or to his followers in this world, over our liberties.
By being deceived into believing and accepting Satan’s principles, or false doctrine, we indeed lose a portion of truth, or light. The process might be likened to a vacuum; when there is emptiness, something must fill it. The more darkness we accept, the more light we lose. The more we accept light, the less darkness is in us. It is either one or the other. Therefore, the more we allow ourselves to yield to his deceptions and his ways, the more we lose light and truth.
To become glorious as the Father and the Son are Glorious, we must do as they have done. We must learn truth, not falsehoods. We must be willing to live God’s laws, not Satan’s. We must make wise choices by the light that is in us. We must very carefully guard our God-given agency. Our future salvation and glory is dependent upon how we exercise our agency, use our intelligence in choosing truth and light and deciding whom we will follow.
The Heavenly Council
Sometime after the creation of man in the pre-earth life — we do not know how long after — there was a council held in heaven and God stood among "the intelligences that were organized before the world was" created. There was one of "them that was like unto God" who said, ". . . we will make an earth whereon these [intelligences] may dwell." What was the reason for an earth? One reason was for us to be proven or tested. As was stated: "And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them." (Abr. 3:22-25.) The earth, therefore, was to be a proving ground for God’s children. It was to be this way so that not only God, but we, could see how well we would use our agency and to see what type of choices we would make. The creation of the earth was so needed and important that "all the sons of God shouted for joy." (Job 38:7.)
The Plan of Salvation
Because all, except Jesus, would make choices that would keep them from God’s eternal presence, someone had to provide a plan of salvation, to give opportunity for His children to enter back into His presence when this trial on earth was finished. "And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here Am I, send me." At this time another also wanted to have that privilege. "And another answered and said: Here am I, send me."(Abr. 3:27.) We do not know how many others might have offered their services, but we do know of two offers and the resulting conflict that followed that of the second.
This second intelligence was Satan, who "was from the beginning" (Moses 4:1), and was "an angel of God who was in authority in the presence of God." (D&C 76:25.) Lucifer was "a son of the morning" (D&C 76:26; Isa. 14:12), which leaves us to assume that there was more than one son of the morning. We also find that "the devil was before Adam" (D&C 29:36), or as it may sound: Lucifer was spiritually created before Adam was spiritually created. Whatever the case may be, it seems that he had influence, and he said, "Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it." (Moses 4:1.)
By his design, he "sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him." (Moses 4:3.) He planned to accomplish this by not giving man a chance to exercise his agency and to make choices. Man would be forced into submission, whether he wanted to submit or not. This is not God’s way. The Prophet Joseph Smith stated:
"We deem it a just principle, and it is one the force of which we believe ought to be duly considered by every individual, that all men are created equal, and that all have the privilege of thinking for themselves upon all matters relative to conscience. Consequently, then, we are not disposed, had we the power, to deprive any one of exercising that free independence of mind which heaven has so graciously bestowed upon the human family as one of its choicest gifts. . . ." (TPJS, p. 49.)
That Which Was Evil
Not only did Lucifer want total power and control over the spirit children of God, but he wanted God’s honor, His power and His glory.
Nephi tells us that Satan "sought that which was evil before God." (2 Ne. 2:17.) What was that evil thing? The scriptures tell us what it was: Lucifer wanted to be the "Son," and he wanted God’s "honor" which is God’s "power." (Moses 4:1-3; D&C 29:36.) By so doing, Satan "sought to take the kingdom of our God and his Christ." (D&C 76:28.) The devil also said in his heart: ". . . I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High." (Isa. 14:13-14.)
Satan’s Plan Rejected
However, his plan was not accepted because of his pride and his disrespect for the agency of man. God said, "But, behold, my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me, — Father, thy will be done." (Moses 4:2.) The Beloved Son wanted His Father’s will to prevail which included respect for the agency of man. The Son also displayed a respect for the Father’s position and meekly submitted Himself to the Father’s will, and said, "the glory be thine forever." (Ibid.) This was in sharp contrast to Satan’s plan, to take the power and honor of God, and disenfranchise man of his agency. So God said, "I will send the first." (Abr. 3:27.) Because of this decision, we are told that "Satan, that old serpent, even the devil" rebelled against God, and the Only Begotten Son.(D&C 76:25, 28; Moses 4:3.)
The spirit children of our Heavenly Father were told that if they remained faithful in their pre-earth existence they would receive glory and be "added upon." Abraham records this account in the following manner: "And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate. . . ." (Abr. 3:26.)
War in Heaven
The second intelligence, Satan, "was angry, and kept not his first estate; and, at that day, many followed after him." (Abr. 3:28.) This "angel in authority" and "son of the morning" must have had great influence, because, as the scriptures say, "a third part of the hosts of heaven turned he away from" God; and "his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth." (D&C 29:36; Rev. 12:4.) Because of his rebellion and influence there was a war in heaven: "Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not." Rev. 12:7-8)
Elder Bruce R. McConkie helps explain what type of war that was that raged in the heavens. In his excellent work, The Millennial Messiah, he illustrates:
"That war was a war of words; it was a conflict of ideologies; it was a rebellion against God and His laws. Lucifer sought to dethrone God, to sit himself on the divine throne, and to save all men without reference to their works. He sought to deny men their agency so they could not sin. He offered a mortal life of carnality and sensuality, of evil and crime and murder, following which all men would be saved.
"And so, in the courts of heaven, the war of wars was waged. Christ and Michael and a mighty host of noble and great spirits preached the gospel of God and exhorted their brethren to follow the Father. Lucifer and his lieutenants preached another gospel, a gospel of fear and hate and lasciviousness and compulsion. They sought salvation without keeping the commandments, without overcoming the world, without choosing between opposites." (The Millennial Messiah, pp. 666-67.)
That "war of words," and that "conflict of ideologies," raged in heaven and is still raging in the socialistic philosophies of the world today. It is raging for the purpose to destroy man’s agency. As President David O. McKay said in conference in April of 1942: "An attempt to rob man of his free agency caused dissension even in heaven. . . . To deprive an intelligent human being of his free agency is to commit the crime of the ages." He then went on to say,
"So fundamental in man’s eternal progress is his inherent right to choose, that the Lord would defend it even at the price of war. Without freedom of thought, freedom of choice, freedom of action within lawful bounds, man cannot progress. The Lord recognized this. . . . Men have sought for it, fought for it, have died for it. Ancient freemen prized it, slaves longed for it, the Magna Charta demanded it, the Constitution of the United States declared it." (PPNS, p. 476, from CR, April 1942, pp. 72-73.)
Lucifer Cast Out
The scriptures tell us that Lucifer, "having sought that which was evil before God," became "the great dragon," and "as lightning," had "fallen from heaven" and was "cast out into the earth."(2 Ne. 2:17; Rev. 12:9; Luke 10:18; Isa. 14:12.) This angel, who rebelled, therefore, "was thrust down from the presence of God and the Son" by the power of the "Only Begotten." (D&C 76:25; Moses 4:3.) "He became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies" (Moses 4:4; 2 Ne. 2:17), "and was called Perdition . . . he was Lucifer" (D&C 76:26.), "that old serpent." (Rev. 12:9; D&C 76:28.)
As the story continues we find that, "at that day, many followed after him" (Abr. 3:28.), and that "also a third part of the hosts of heaven turned he away from" God "because of their agency" (D&C 29:36.), "and his angels were cast out with him" (Rev. 12:9), "and they were thrust down, and thus came the devil and his angels." (D&C 29:37.) Why were they turned away and cast out? "Because of their agency." They were free to make a choice, and their choice was to be on the side of that which was good or that which was evil. There was no other choice to make. Elder Alvin R. Dyer, in his book, The Meaning of Truth, tells us that there were no neutrals in that conflict. He writes:
"Some have said that there were neutral spirits in the pre-mortal state . . . there were no neutrals in that estate of existence, all sustained one position or the other. Some were occupied by complete rebellion and became sons of perdition and as such were not permitted to be born into the probation of mortality." (The Meaning of Truth, p. 57.)
Because of their defiance and revolt, and because of their stance due to the conflict in ideologies, there was no "place found any more in heaven" for Satan and his followers. (Rev. 12:8; Jude 1:6.)
Even in the pre-earth life of Heaven, we had our agency to make choices and receive the rewards of those choices. One third of the hosts of Heaven exercised their agency in full view of reality and knew the consequences if they failed. And fail they did.
Agency Given on Earth
It is recorded that God said, ". . . in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency." (Moses 7:32.) This does not mean that this was the first time man received his agency because we just discussed the fact that the rebellious spirits in Heaven had their agency and that agency was from the beginning. God is just reiterating the fact that from the beginning of mortality we also had our agency.
The principle of agency was so important to God that after He placed Adam in the Garden of Eden, the first thing that He did was to give Adam the "breath of life," and then a choice to make, even before Eve is introduced onto the scene and the commandment to "multiply, and replenish the earth" was given to them.
Now the book of Genesis is not as clear and as complete in the story of the creation as the book of Abraham, which is found in the Pearl of Great Price. So it will be that latter work we will concern ourselves with at this time.
In the fourth chapter of Abraham we find a creation, just as we do in Genesis chapter one. But in chapterf five of Abraham we find another creation; the first was a spiritual creation (Abr. 5:4-5; Gen. 2:4-5) while the second was the temporal one. We find in verse seven (also Genesis 2:7) that ". . . the Gods formed man." In verses 12-13 (see Genesis 2:16-17) God commanded Adam, "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it." It wasn’t until the verses 14-16 (verses 21-22 of Genesis) that Eve was created. So we see from this that the first thing that God did was to give life to Adam and then gave him a commandment so he could exercise his agency. This was done even before he was told to "multiply, and replenish the earth." That is how important agency is to our Heavenly Father.
In the council in Heaven we were told, "They who keep their second estate (faithfulness in mortal earth life) shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever." (Abr. 3:26.) So God gave man commandments to see if he would keep his second estate and to see if man "will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them."(Abr. 3:25.) He gave them the first and second greatest commandments, to Love God and their neighbor. As Moses records it: "And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father. . . ." (Moses 7:33.)
But then Moses goes on in the same verse and says, . . . "they are without affection, and they hate their own blood." This happened because Satan was "to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto" the voice of the Lord.(Moses 4:4.) Indeed, that great dragon "deceiveth the whole world" (Rev. 12:9) even from the beginning unto this very day.
War Against the Saints
Now the scriptures are clear that "power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations" (Rev. 13:7; Isa. 14:12), and that "it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them." (Rev. 13:7) "Wherefore, he maketh war with the saints of God, and encompasseth them round about." (D&C 76:29.) President Harold B. Lee, writing in his, Stand Ye in Holy Places, gives some interesting thoughts on this continuing conflict:
"Have you ever tried to think through that suggested analogy of life likened to a ‘battle’? To have a battle as we understand it, there must first have been an issue or principle over which opposing forces contend. . . .
"To be successful, each such army must train its soldiers in the science of war, in rigid discipline. . . . As a prelude to the actual clash of arms, spies and fifth columnists have been at work behind the lines of the enemy forces to . . . spread propaganda among the enemy in an attempt to demoralize and to spread confusion.
"That there is a force of evil in the world is as certain as that there is being directed a work of righteousness, and that between these two forces there is an eternal conflict with the price of the human soul as the stake.
"Satan commands a mighty force comprising one-third of all God’s spirit children who were cast out with him — tangible and real although not always discernible by sight, and under whose masterful direction there goes forward constantly propaganda of lying and deceit." (Stand Ye in Holy Places, pp. 327-29.)
Why is it necessary for such conflicts or war to occur? The Lord explains it, although it is hard for many to comprehend. To really grasp the full importance of it, one needs to have the Holy Spirit as his or her guide. The Lord has said to us: "And it must needs be that the devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto themselves; for if they never should have bitter they could not know the sweet. . . ." (D&C 29:39.)
Again, in his book, The Millennial Messiah, Elder McConkie presents some explanation into Satan’s offer of forced salvation, in these words: "His offer was a philosophical impossibility. There must needs be an opposition in all things. Unless there are opposites, there is nothing. There can be no light without darkness, no heat without cold, no virtue without vice, no good without evil, no salvation without damnation." (The Millennial Messiah, p. 667.)
The Constitution Protects Rights
The expressed purpose behind the inspiration of our Constitution was to provide an environment whereby God’s children could be free to exercise their agency and be account-able for that agency. As we read in the Doctrine and Covenants, we find:
". . . the laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles; . . . That every man may act . . . according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment. Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another. And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land. . . ." (D&C 101:77-80.)
Do we put government before moral and righteous value, or do we put God and His will first? As one anonymous person said, "If you don’t put God first, it doesn’t matter what you put first."
Do we seek for government intervention and economic handouts for person and state and let some other entity choose our life style for us? or do we exercise our own agency and work out our own temporal salvation?
Do we give up our liberty and God-given rights with the rationalization that, by so doing, it’s for the good of all? or do we jealously guard those liberties with our "Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor"? (The last words from The Declaration of Independence.)
Do we choose to stay ignorant of God’s laws and His ways, believing government when they tell us that all is well? or do we seek alternative information for learning truth rather than the traditional news media?
Are we so comfortable in our situated complacency that we become blind to the evil nature of things around us? or are we willing to venture out of our comfort zone to live a lifestyle which is pleasing to the Lord instead of pleasing to those around us?
There are many more questions that could be asked concerning the many conflicting ideologies that plague mankind. Every man is given his "moral agency" and is to "be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment." How can this be done when we want to shift blame and responsibility, for our uncomfortable choices, to something or to someone else? "We the People" have exercised our agency, and many of the choices made have put us in bondage. The purpose of this book is to help the many honest-in-heart to "awaken" to the reality of their "awful situation." (Ether 8:24; Mosiah 2:40.)
Agency, the Free Gift
Free agency does not automatically mean "the right." We might have the freedom to take a life but we do not have the right to do so. Life is a gift of God and no one has the right to take it from another person, nor for a person to take it from himself. Likewise, freedom is a gift of God and no one has a right to take it from us, nor do we have a right to put that freedom in jeopardy through debts, contracts, agreements or any other means. Our responsibility and obligation is to honor and cherish our God-given agency and freedom as we would our lives, respecting and protecting them at all costs. President David O. McKay warned us about the possible loss of our agency in a conference address in 1966 when he said, "Efforts are being made to deprive man of his free agency, to steal from the individual his liberty; and we must never forget that next to life itself, free agency is the greatest gift of God to man." (CR, October 1966, p. 5.)
While speaking in general conference, of the impending judgments of God and the duties of the saints, President John Taylor had the following to say about agency:
"Besides the preaching of the Gospel, we have another mission, namely, the perpetuation of the free agency of man and the maintenance of liberty, freedom, and the rights of man." (JD, 23:63.)
Eternal progression is based upon the principle of agency and the freedom to choose and exercise that agency in a free environment. That was the entire purpose of the creation of the Constitution: to provide a free environment where man would be free, to exercise his own agency, and be "accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment."
Secret Combinations in the Latter Days
"The war that began in heaven is not yet over.
The conflict continues on the battlefield of mortality.
And one of Lucifer’s primary strategies has been
to restrict our agency
through the power of earthly governments."
— Ezra Taft Benson
Secret Combinations in the Latter Days
"The war that began in heaven is not yet over.
The conflict continues on the battlefield of mortality.
And one of Lucifer’s primary strategies has been
to restrict our agency
through the power of earthly governments."
— Ezra Taft Benson
In the foregoing chapter we have discussed Lucifer’s desire to control the will of man. His goal is not money, for that is an earthly commodity. His aim is power over the minds and bodies of God’s children here on the earth. The war in heaven was over agency.
Why would anyone want to control another? Why would one person want to enslave another? Why do some wilfully rebel against authority? Why are there mass-murderers? Why are there rapists? Why are there child molesters? and so forth. President Benson asked: "What would anyone gain by wanting to create a conspiracy? Maybe pride, financial gain, power, etc." (CR, April 1989.) Many people cannot fathom the mind of such a person. The answer seems to be beyond good reason. The fact remains that because of pride and the lust for power, the devil wants control over man’s agency.
Perhaps it isn’t as important that we understand "why" as much as it is to come to the realization that some minds just work that way. We must realize that some minds DO work differently from others. We need to realize that it is a FACT; this is not just a theory. To ignore it because we don’t understand it is like sticking your hand into a pet viper’s den and thinking it won’t bite you just because you feed it regularly. We are free to exercise our agency. Some use it with respect to others and some with disrespect to others. Ezra Taft Benson spoke these words on the subject:
"The Lord has so arranged things in this life that men are free agents unto themselves to do good or evil. The Lord allows men to only go so far, but the latitude is great enough that some men promote much wickedness and other men much righteousness."(CR, April 1967, p. 59.)
Lucifer continues the war that he waged in heaven against man’s agency. In his address at Brigham Young University in 1986, President Benson spoke on this subject and said,
"The war that began in heaven is not yet over. The conflict continues on the battlefield of mortality. And one of Lucifer’s primary strategies has been to restrict our agency through the power of earthly governments. Proof of this is found in the long history of humanity.
"When the first worldly government began as a theocracy, Adam’s descendants soon departed from this perfect order and degenerated into various political systems. The result has been human misery and, for most of humankind, subjugation to some despotic government.
"From Nimrod to Napoleon, the conventional political ideology has been that the rights of life, liberty, and property were subject to a sovereign’s will, rather than God-given." (CHB, p. 3.)
Speaking of governments, the Doctrine and Covenants tells us that laws should be "framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life," that no law "has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of worship to bind the consciences of men, nor dictate forms of public or private devotion," and that "rulers, states, and governments have a right, and are bound to enact laws for the protection of all citizens. . . ." (D&C 134:2, 4, 7.)
Although the Lord has told man what His will is in relation to government, Satan has no respect for it and continues his quest for the agency and souls of God’s children here on earth. From the beginning of time until the present, the evil one has influenced governments to the destruction of countless millions of souls. He has done this, by great measure, through secret combinations. Such combinations are commonly called conspiracies.
What Is a Conspiracy?
For our convenience, and before we go on in this discussion, let’s take a moment and ask ourselves, "What is a conspiracy?" To do this we will consult a few dictionaries for their definitions of the word:
"CONSPIRACY: An illegal, treasonable, or treacherous plan to harm or destroy another person, group, or entity. - A combination of persons banded secretly together and resolved to accomplish an evil or unlawful end. - An agreement manifesting itself in words or deeds and made by two or more persons confederating to do an unlawful act or use unlawful means to do an act which is lawful. (Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged, 1981.)
"CONSPIRACY: The planning of two or more persons to do an evil act." (Funk & Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictionary, 1975.)
"CONSPIRACY: A combination of two or more persons by some concerted action to accomplish some criminal or unlawful purpose, or to accomplish some purpose, not in itself criminal or unlawful, by criminal or unlawful means." (Bouvier’s Law Dictionary, 1914 edition.) [Author’s Note: The earlier (pre-Civil War, 1854) editions of Bouvier’s Law Dictionary, have been the basis for many of the earlier English and American laws, and decisions based on such laws. These earlier editions are more precise in interpreting the true meaning of our Founding Father’s intentions, and such meaning were the basis upon which the Constitution of the United States was founded. The more current editions of this work reflect more of the political, social, and economical mind-set of present thinkers.]
For a summary of the above we might say that a conspiracy is: The planning and acting together secretly of two or more persons for an unlawful, harmful, and evil purpose. In short, there are three aspects of a conspiracy: First, there must be two or more people; second, their plans must be secret; and third, those plans must be for an evil purpose. This definition can be verified by the following events.
The First Secret Combinations
Now let’s take a look at the first conspiracy and roughly work our way through history until we get to our time. As we do, keep in mind that the name of the game is control over the individual person. Greed for money and worldly gain is only an inducement Satan uses to coax man into playing the devil’s game of control.
Due to the sketchiness of the story of Cain and Abel in the book of Genesis, as with the story of the creation, we will concern ourselves with the following account from the Pearl of Great Price, and the book of Moses, specifically.
In so doing, we will not go into a lot of detail about Cain slaying his brother Abel, for that is popularly accepted. But we will cover the point to be made, and that is to show that Cain was involved in the first secret combination or conspiracy upon the earth.
Before the murder of Abel was accomplished, Cain "loved Satan more than God." He was given a chance to repent but became "wroth," and continued to rebel before God. (Moses 5:17-26.) And then we have the following given to us:
"And Satan said unto Cain: Swear unto me by the throat, and if thou tell it thou shalt die; and swear thy brethren by their heads, and by the living God, that they tell it not; for if they tell it, they shall surely die; and this that thy father may not know it; and this day I will deliver thy brother Abel into thine hands.
"And Satan sware unto Cain that he would do according to his commands. And all these things were done in secret.
"And Cain said, Truly I am Mahan, the master of this great secret, that I may murder and get gain. Wherefore Cain was called Master Mahan, and he gloried in his wickedness." (Moses 5:29-31.)
In the Doctrine and Covenants we are told that Abel "was slain by the conspiracy of his brother." (D&C 84:16.) A secret is one thing; but when that secret involves more than one person, as with Cain and his "brethren," it becomes a combination — a "secret combination." The scripture last quoted said that Abel was killed by a "conspiracy." So here we have the fact that a secret combination is a conspiracy.
In this story we also find that all this wickedness was done, not only in secret, but with an oath to preserve that secrecy. And if they were to reveal that great secret, they would suffer death. This type of secret oath was, and still is, part of secret combinations or conspiracies. As we continue, this point will become more obvious.
Now the next conspiracy we find mentioned is when Lamech "entered into a covenant with Satan, after the manner of Cain." However, Irad, the son of Enoch, knew of the secret and "began to reveal it unto the sons of Adam." Lamech became angry and slew Irad, "not like unto Cain, his brother Abel, for the sake of getting gain, but he slew him for the oath’s sake." (Irad apparently became, as far as we have word, the first martyred patriot who died for the cause of liberty while trying to reveal a secret combination — a conspiracy.) The scriptures go on to say,
"For, from the days of Cain, there was a secret combination, and their works were in the dark, and they knew every man his brother.
"Wherefore the Lord cursed Lamech, and his house, and all them that had covenanted with Satan . . . and their works were abominations, and began to spread among all the sons of men." (Moses 5:49-52.)
"And the children of men were numerous upon all the face of the land. And in those days Satan had great dominion among men, and raged in their hearts; and from thenceforth came wars and bloodshed; and a man’s hand was against his own brother, in administering death, because of secret works, seeking for power." (Moses 6:15.)
In the Book of Mormon it also tells us that these secret combinations, or conspiracies of darkness, were from ancient date. We learn that from the beginning, the devil "stirreth up the children of men unto secret combinations of murder and all manner of secret works of darkness;" (2 Ne. 9:8-9) that these secrets were "as in times of old;" (2 Ne. 26:22) that they were of "ancient date and they have been handed down;" (3 Ne. 3:9) and that they did enter into a "covenant which was given by them of old, which covenant was given and administered by the devil, to combine against all righteousness." (3 Ne. 6:28.)
From the book of Ether, which covers a period long before and up to the Nephite era, we find similar references; for it says: ". . . they adopted the old plans, and administered oaths after the manner of the ancients. . . ." (Either 10:33.)
The book of Ether directs us to another story of faith as the Lord leads a righteous prophet and his people to this promised land, as He did Lehi and his family. And, like the people of Lehi, the Jaredites fell into pride, wickedness, and secret combinations.
In this book we find a host of references to such secret combinations; indeed, the book is full of deception, intrigue, and murder. The Lord had a definite reason for including the book of Ether within the Book of Mormon. Alma told his son Helaman that the twenty-four plates should be kept so "that the mysteries and the works of darkness, and their secret works . . . may be made manifest unto this people. . . ." (Alma 37:21.) Ether is presented as a specific warning to those in the latter days. (Either 8:22-24.)
In this same book, however, we are told that God has nothing to do with such works: "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." (Either 8:19.)
As stated before, part of Satan’s work on this earth is the continuation of the war which he waged in the heavens. And part of that war is to establish secret combinations and conspiracies to obtain power and control over God’s children. The scriptures verify this fact. We have been told to "search the scriptures." During that search, if our spiritual attitudes are right, we can see that we are given examples of those conspiracies. We can know they exist. (Gen. 37:17-20; 2 Sam. 15:11-14; 2 Kgs. 12:20; 2 Kgs. 14:18-19; 2 Kgs. 15:30; Ezek. 22:25; Acts 23:12-14.)
From the Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon seems to be one continuing reference to secret combinations in one way or another. The people of this great book were involved with these conspiracies, supported them, and were condemned and perished because of them.
The very first individuals to conspire were Laman and Lemuel as they murmured against their father. (1 Ne. 2:11-12.) As they were to go back to Jerusalem and obtain the brass plates from Laban, they became angry with Nephi and their father. As the scriptures recite the incident we read: "Wherefore Laman and Lemuel did speak many hard words unto us, their younger brothers, and did smite us even with a rod." (1 Ne. 3:28-31.) As we know, from reading the Book of Mormon, these elder brothers continued to rebel and became the first of their people to fight against the Church of God.
One of the first large groups of conspirators, shrouded in secrecy, was started by Korihor, an antichrist, "he did preach unto them, leading away the hearts of many, causing them to lift up their heads in their wickedness."(Alma 29:12-18.)
Another conspirator was Amalickiah, chief commander of the Lamanites, who had the Nephite king killed and which, "by his fraud, gained the hearts of the people . . . sought the favor of the queen . . . and by the assistance of his cunning servants, he obtained the kingdom." (Alma 47:17-35.)
Now let’s get to the central conspirator of the Book of Mormon, and that is Gadianton: "For there was one Gadianton who was exceedingly expert in many words, and also in his craft, to carry on the secret work of murder and of robbery; therefore he became the leader of the band of Kishkumen." (Hel. 2:4.)
This Kishkumen had murdered Pahoran, a chief judge; and his band "entered into a covenant that no one should know his wickedness." (Hel. 2:3.) When Kishkumen was killed by a servant of Helaman, Gadianton "caused that his band should follow him. And they took their flight out of the land, by a secret way, into the wilderness." (Hel. 2:8-13.)
In the sixth chapter of Helaman we find that the band of Kishkumen, led by Gadianton, is back on the scene committing secret murder; "And they were called Gadianton’s robbers and murderers" (Hel. 6:18), and there were many Nephites among them.
"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. . . .
"Now behold, those secret oaths and covenants did not come forth unto Gadianton from the records which were delivered unto Helaman; but behold, they were put into the heart of Gadianton by that same being who did entice our first parents to partake of the forbidden fruit —
"Yea, that same being who did plot with Cain, that if he would murder his brother Abel it should not be known unto the world. And he did plot with Cain and his followers from that time forth.
"Yea, it is that same being who put it into the heart of Gadianton to still carry on the works of darkness, and of secret murder.
"And behold, it is he who is the author of all sin. And behold, he doth carry on his works of darkness and secret murder, and doth hand down their plots, and their oaths, and their covenants, and their plans of awful wickedness, from generation to generation according as he can get hold upon the hearts of the children of men." (Hel. 6:22-30.)
As we go into the book of Ether we find Akish forming secret works by oath "which had been handed down even from Cain . . . which combination is most abominable and wicked above all, in the sight of God." (Ether 8:9-19; 9:1-6.) So Satan is still at work, causing secret works of darkness and teaching his followers to administer covenants and oaths in secret.
What Were the Results?
As Alma was preaching to his son, Helaman, and speaking of these secret combinations, he said that "all their oaths, and their covenants, and their agreements" were not to be revealed to the people lest "they should fall into darkness." However, Alma did say that "only their wickedness and their murders and their abominations shall ye make known unto them." 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 37:21-31.)
Destruction awaits the wicked who participate in such dark conspiracies. Of course this should not be surprising, knowing God’s attitude about such things. The Lord uses, however, the enemies of the wicked to bring about that destruction. Moroni said that the secret combinations with their oaths and covenants "have caused the destruction" of the Jaredites and the Nephites. (Ether 8:20-21.) Not only did they have to contend with their enemies, which came upon them, but also natural plagues such as drought, poisonous serpents, etc. (Ether 9:30-34.) President Benson, speaking about this calamity, said, "Pride results in secret combinations which are built up to get power, gain, and glory of the world. This fruit of the sin of pride, namely secret combinations, brought down both the Jaredite and the Nephite civilizations and has been and will yet be the cause of the fall of many nations. . . ." (CR, April 1989, p. 5.)
Predictions of Our Time
One of the key purposes of the Book of Mormon is to inform the future inhabitants of this choice land, those living here now, about the threat of these secret works. In 1 Nephi, we find that Nephi sees a vision of the church of the devil set up among the Gentiles. He called it the "great and abominable church," and that for the "praise of the world do they destroy the saints of God, and bring them down into captivity." This is done "that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men." (1 Ne. 13:1-27.)
We learn in the fourteenth chapter of this book, that there are only two churches on the earth. This seems logical since the Lord said, "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." (Matt. 6:24.) So from this fourteenth chapter we read:
"Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth.
"And it came to pass that I beheld that the great mother of abominations did gather together multitudes upon the face of all the earth, among all the nations of the Gentiles, to fight against the Lamb of God." (1 Ne. 14:10, 13.)
The church of the devil is not only a religious organization to pervert the ways of Christ and His Church, it is also political and governmental. It involves anything that has to do with agency and man’s free exercise of that Godly gift. We must remember Satan’s goal is not "which church is right"; it is control of the human soul — the spirit, mind, and body of man.
Second Nephi tells us that the gentiles in the last days are "lifted up in the pride of their eyes," and that there are also "secret combinations, even as in times of old, according to the combinations of the devil." (2 Ne. 26:20-24.)
The Prophet Mormon, speaking of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, said that "it shall come in a day when the blood of saints shall cry unto the Lord, because of secret combinations and the works of darkness." (Morm. 8:26-32.) From this we see that we are living in a day of secret combinations, for that is one of the reasons the Book of Mormon is here.
We have not only been warned by the ancient prophets of the scriptures but also by our modern-day prophets. The Prophet Joseph Smith, in an unpublished revelation, said, "Verily thus saith the Lord, peace shall soon be taken from the earth, And it has already begun to be taken; for a lying spirit has gone out upon all the face of the earth and shall perplex the nations, and shall stir them up to anger against one another. . . ." (Joseph Smith, a revelation on war, November, 1837; Elder’s Journal, I, November 2, 1937, p. 28; Unpublished Revelations, No. 41.)
The Record Is for Us
We know for whom the Prophet Mormon compiled those precious plates. It was for those who now live on this great land and who have access to the Book of Mormon. That great prophet said, "Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not." (Morm. 8:35.)
Mormon placed in that account that Kishkumen and his band were "not known among the people of Nephi" because they "did mingle themselves among the people, in a manner that they all could not be found." (Hel. 1:12.) Then as the Nephites supported them the robbers "seduced the more part of the righteous . . . in their works and partake of their spoils . . . thus they did obtain the sole management of the government." (Hel. 6:38-40)
We are told by Nephi that if we, the gentiles, sin against the gospel, "and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations," the Father "will bring the fullness of [His] gospel from among" us. (3 Ne. 16:10.) The Prophet Moroni says that "the sword of vengeance hangeth over" our heads if we "build up" our "secret abominations." (Morm. 8:40-41.)
All of Alma, from chapter 43 until the end, as well as some earlier parts, is an account of a war for liberty. Helaman and Third Nephi, in large part, continue this account. These parts of the Book of Mormon are not there simply because Mormon was a military leader, as some have speculated. They are there because we live in a similar time and need the warning it gives because we are making the same mistakes.
Mormon saw our time. He could have placed other things in the Book of Mormon besides the struggles for liberty. But he knew that we needed what he had access to. This is one of the reasons our living Prophet, Ezra Taft Benson, has pleaded with us to study this sacred book of scripture: It tells us of our time with a warning voice.
In a general conference, Ezra Taft Benson discussed the striking similarities between the aims and tactics of our communist-socialist conspiracy and the secret combinations of the Book of Mormon such as the Gadianton robbers: "The Prophet Moroni described how the secret combination would take over a country and then fight the work of God, persecute the righteous, and murder those who resist. Moroni therefore proceeded to describe the workings of the ancient "secret combinations" so that modern man could recognize this great political conspiracy in the last days." (CR, October 1961, p. 71.)
Then he went on to quote from Ether, chapter eight, which is a warning to us in these latter days:
"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 buildt up to get power and gain — and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be.
"Wherefore, the Lord commanded 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 . . . .
"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. . . ." (Ether 8:23-26.)
After quoting most of the above scripture, Ezra Taft Benson went on to say, "The Prophet Moroni seemed greatly exercised lest in our day we might not be able to recognize the startling fact that the same secret societies which destroyed the Jaredites and decimated numerous kingdoms of both Nephites and Lamanites would be precisely the same form of criminal conspiracy which would rise up among the gentile nations in this day." (CR, October 1961, p. 72.)
President Benson has tried to tie together for us the similarities and relationships of past secret combinations with our current-day secret conspiracies. In his book, A Witness and A Warning, published in 1988, he says: "From the Book of Mormon we see the evils of secret combinations portrayed in graphic and chilling reality." (A Witness and a Warning, p. 21.) And in an earlier book called, Title of Liberty, he says:
"When all of the trappings of propaganda and pretense have been pulled aside, the exposed hard-core structure of modern Communism [socialism] is amazingly similar to the ancient Book of Mormon record of secret societies such as the Gadiantons. In the ancient American civilization there was no word which struck greater terror in the hearts of the people than the name of the Gadiantons. It was a secret political party which operated as a murder cult. Its object was to infiltrate legitimate government, plant its officers in high places, and then seize power and live off the spoils appropriated from the people. (It would start out as a small group of ‘dissenters’ and by using secret oaths with the threat of death for defectors it would gradually gain a choke hold on the political and economic life of whole civilizations.)
"The object of the Gadiantons, like modern Communists [socialists], was to destroy the existing government and set up a ruthless criminal dictatorship over the whole land.
"One of the most urgent, heart-stirring appeals made by Moroni as he closed the Book of Mormon was addressed to the gentile nations of the last days. He foresaw the rise of a great world-wide secret combination among the gentiles which ‘seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; . . .’ He warned each gentile nation of the last days to purge itself of this gigantic criminal conspiracy which would seek to rule the world.
"The prophets, in our day, have continually warned us of these internal threats in our midst — that our greatest threat from socialistic-communism lies within our country.
"The prophets have said that these threats are among us. The Prophet Moroni viewing our day said, ‘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, . . ." (Ether 8:24.)’" (TL, pp. 184-85.)
From the Doctrine and Covenants
Let us now turn to our latter-day revelations from the Doctrine and Covenants. It also warns us of these conspiracies.
In section ten we find that "Satan has great hold" upon the hearts of wicked men, and that their hearts are "corrupt, and full of wickedness and abominations; and they love darkness rather than light." (D&C 10:20-27.)
We are also informed that "all flesh is corrupted" before the Lord and that the "powers of darkness prevail upon the earth," and that there are things which are had in "secret chambers." (D&C 38:11-13.)
In the section on the "Word of Wisdom" we are warned about "evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days." (D&C 89:4.) And section 42 encourages the converts in the east "to flee to the west, and this in consequence of that which is coming on the earth, and of secret combinations." (D&C 42:63-64.)
Secret Acts Revealed
Now we know that these secret combinations and their works of darkness will not stay hidden, as many suppose. We are told by the Lord, as Nephi says: "All things shall be revealed unto the children of men which ever have been among the children of men." (2 Ne. 27:11.) And the Prophet Mormon said, "All things which are hid must be revealed upon the house-tops. . . ." (Morm. 5:8.) The Doctrine and Covenants says much the same thing: "And the rebellious shall be pierced with much sorrow; for their iniquities shall be spoken upon the housetops, and their secret acts shall be revealed." (D&C 1:3.)
In section 88, we are told that in the last days, angels will sound their trumps. When they do it will "reveal the secret acts of men, and the thoughts and intents of their hearts." (D&C 88:108-110.)Yes all wickedness will be revealed for all to know. And when it is, conspiracies, secret combinations, and all works of darkness will cease. For as Nephi says, speaking of the Latter-days: "There is nothing which is secret save it shall be revealed; there is no work of darkness save it shall be made manifest in the light; . . .Wherefore, all things which have been revealed unto the children of men shall at that day be revealed; and Satan shall have power over the hearts of the children of men no more, for a long time." (2 Ne. 30:17-18.)
The War Continues
However, this revealing of all things will not be until the Lord chooses. Until then, we have to be aware of and contend with those secret combinations. We are told that we "know not the hearts of men in [our] own land." (D&C 38:28-30.) What IS in the hearts of our government leaders? Could it be the same thing that our Founding Fathers fought against? President Benson had some concerns about it when he said,
"Momentum is gathering for another conflict — a repetition of the crisis of two hundred years ago. This collision of ideas is worldwide. Another monumental moment is soon to be born. The issue is the same that precipitated the great premortal conflict — will men be free to determine their own course of action or must they be coerced?" (CHB, p. 27.)
We still have some serious times to be concerned with and Satan is still raging on the earth to bind men down to his will. Elder Bruce R. McConkie spoke of this fact in his book, The Millennial Messiah. Speaking of Satan, he said,
"And his legions, the legions of hell, are everywhere. They are ‘the third part of the stars of heaven,’ the one-third of the spirit children of the Father; and they were cast out of their heavenly home because of rebellion. And so the holy word says: ‘Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath.’ And he goes forth ‘to make war’ with all men and particularly with those who ‘keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.’ (Rev. 12:4-17.) And the war that is now going on among men, the war between good and evil, is but a continuation of the war that began in heaven." (The Millennial Messiah, p. 667.)