Monday, September 24, 2007

Ether 8

Secret Plans to Obtain Kingdoms and Great Glory

Secret combinations enter into the Jaredites’ hearts in Ether 8:8-9 when the daughter of Jared (a wicked man) sees that her father is sad because he has lost his kingdom. She tells him of the ancient secret plans which are mentioned in the records the Jaredites brought with them. She dances for Akish and Akish desires her for a wife. Jared asks Akish to kill the King Omer and then Akish can have the daughter of Jared. Akish then administers the secret oaths to his friends and family and thus the secret combinations begin among the Jaredites.

Moroni teaches us that these evil practices have been passed down from Cain who was “a murderer from the beginning.” (Ether 8:15) Moroni explains that the devil has kept up these secret oaths.

Moroni warns all nations in Ether 8:22 that those nations who embrace these secret combinations, will eventually be utterly destroyed. This is manifest among the Jaredites and among the Nephites and Lamanites.

I have wondered to what extend secret combinations have crept into our (American) government and businesses. Some have suggested that powerful business men and government officials are behind many of the wars our country has fought. Some have suggested these same individuals are responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks, thus prompting a new war among the people of the earth. Personally, I don’t know if these accusations are true or not. But it would not surprise me if at some future day we find out that secret combinations in our government and/or businesses have been responsible for many of the wars and destructions we see on the news today.

Moroni’s loud warning is for all of us: “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.” (Ether 8:23) Note how he phrases this warning … we should not suffer that these combinations get above us, implying that they are in our leadership positions.

In Ether 8:26, Moroni is commanded of the Lord to write these warnings so that someday, evil might be overcome and Satan will have no power over the children of men again.

A Modern Prophet’s Testimony

Ezra Taft Benson said in 1988, “I testify that wickedness is rapidly expanding in every segment of our society. (See D&C 1:14–16; D&C 84:49–53.) 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.)

“I testify that the church and kingdom of God is increasing in strength. Its numbers are growing, as is the faithfulness of its faithful members. It has never been better organized or equipped to perform its divine mission.

“I testify that as the forces of evil increase under Lucifer’s leadership and as the forces of good increase under the leadership of Jesus Christ, there will be growing battles between the two until the final confrontation. As the issues become clearer and more obvious, all mankind will eventually be required to align themselves either for the kingdom of God or for the kingdom of the devil. As these conflicts rage, either secretly or openly, the righteous will be tested. God’s wrath will soon shake the nations of the earth and will be poured out on the wicked without measure. (See JS—H 1:45; D&C 1:9.) But God will provide strength for the righteous and the means of escape; and eventually and finally truth will triumph. (See 1 Ne. 22:15–23.) (Ezra Taft Benson, “I Testify,” Ensign, Nov 1988, 86)

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