Scriptural Remedies for An Awful Situation
The Book of Mormon not only depicts our awful situation, but it presents the remedy as well. The solution could be considered two-fold: exposing secret works of darkness and repenting, the first being really a subset of the latter. This theme is probably most obvious in Alma's instructions to his son, Helaman, regarding the 24 plates that contained a record of the bygone Jaredites. Eleven consecutive verses (37:21-32) except one (37:24) mention a phrase to the effect, "secret works," "secret abominations," "works of darkness" at least once. There are nineteen such phrases in just eleven verses. Likewise, there are ten occurences of a phrase such as "bring to light" or "made manifest" that says something about making these hidden things known. From this conspicuous emphasis, we can conclude that an important antidote is turning on the light of truth to expose the secret works of darkness. A wealth of contemporary information is available, which unfolds plainly the evil workings of modern secret combinations. Appendix M list some of the most valuable sources, most of which have been endorsed by prophets, seers and revelators.
In the midst of speaking about unveiling secret abominations, Alma explicitely warned not to reveal the oaths, covenants, signs, wonders, and plans of these secret workers of darkness. (Alma 37:27,29,32.) "Only their wickedness and their murders and their abominations shall ye make known," he commanded. (37:29.) We are to teach people "to abhor" such things, proclaiming not the deep secrets of these workers of darkness but "that these people were destroyed on account of their wickedness and abominations and their murders." (37:29.) The focus is not on conspiracy but on iniquity. As Alma concludes this admonition he does not emphasize conspiracy per se, but he highlights the need to repent. "And now, my son, remember the words which I have spoken unto you: trust not these secret plans unto this people, but teach them an everlasting hatred against sin and iniquity." (37:32.) The remaining two verses of his conclusion admonish to preach repentance, faith in Christ, humility, resisting the temptations of the devil, and being diligent in good works. (37:33,34.) The "awful situation" in which we find ourselves today is not merely because a secret combination has gotten above us, but it has much more to do with the fact that our generation has been wicked enough to allow this to happen.
Perhaps this is why Nephi, son of Helaman, when he saw that a secret combination had obtained sole management of the Government of his people, sorrowed in his heart for the great wickedness of his people. (Hel. 7:6-9.) His reprimand to the wicked Nephites in Zarahemla, as recorded in sixteen verses in Helaman chapter seven (7:13-29), contains only one reference to secret combinations (7:25). Every other part of his message focused on their iniquity and their need to repent lest they be destroyed from off the land -- the same message that is now applicable today for the wicked Gentiles that inhabit the land of America.
Like the Nephites, we do not seem to have hearkened to the warning voices of civilizations past. A commentary on our history may very well read like what was said of the Nephite's during this period: "This great loss...and the great slaughter...would not have happened had it not been for their wickeness and their abominations which was among them; yea and it was among those also who professed to belong to the church of God." (Hel. 4:11.) The salt had lost its savor and was thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men. (Matt. 5:13; Luke 14:34; 3 Ne. 16:5; D&C 101:39,40; 103:10.) No wonder Nephi lamented, "O ye fools, ye uncircumscised of heart, ye blind, and ye stiffnecked people, do ye know how long the Lord your God will suffer you that ye shall go on in this your way of sin? O ye ought to begin to hown and mourn, because of the great destruction which at this time doth await you, except ye shall repent." (Hel. 9:21,22.)
Hence, Moroni identified the need for us to awaken to our awful situation as a commandment. (Ether 8:24.)(1) Many have been lured into believing that "all is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth," but actually Satan through his disciples of deception has been "[cheating] their souls, and [leading] them away carefully down to hell." (2 Ne. 28:21.) Our Prophet once declared, "...Our stand for freedom is a most basic part of our religion; this stand helped get us to this earth, and our reaction to freedom in this life will have eternal consequences. Man has many duties, but he has no excuse that can compensate for his loss of liberty.... You cannot fully live the gospel without working to save freedom and the Constitution...."(2)
Those who have become involved in this effort have found what a difficult task it is to alert an anesthetized people. They have found themselves ridiculed as right-wing extremists, pessimistic sensationalists, and paranoid anti-Communists (mocking labels that Moroni, no doubt, would have received had he lived in our day -- for President Benson has not been spared his share of derision). They have also been maligned with labels that do not even resemble their motives, such as "neo-Nazi" and "rascist."(3) These meek patriots are accused of departing from the mainstream of the Church; when in reality, those who make the accusation are the hypocritical ones who "hear [the words of the Prophet], but they do them not." (Ezek. 33:30-32.)
Anciently, this same sort of denigration took place. When Nephi "had spoken unto [the Nephites] concerning the corruptness of their law," the judges, "who also belonged to the secret band of Gadianton..., were angry with him because he spake plainly unto them concerning their secret works of darkness...." (Hel. 8:1,3,4.) They tried to taint Nephi by crying, "[He is reviling] against this people and against our law!" as if he had committed a "crime." (8:2,1.) The Nephite record acquits Nephi and convicts his accusers when it declares, "...Nothing did he speak which was contrary to the commandments of God." (8:3.)
Those who sorrow in the persecution heaped upon them when they speak forth the truth can be comforted, for persecution has followed, and will always attend the godly. (Matt 5:10-12 = 3 Ne. 12:10-12; 2 Tim. 3:12; 2 Ne. 26:8; D&C 98:13,14.) Suffering shame is an inseperable part of taking up the cross of Christ. (Jacob 1:8; 2 Ne. 9:18; Heb. 12:2.) The prize for enduring this burden is the kingdom of God. (Jacob 1:7; 2 Ne. 9:18; Heb. 12:2.)
Even though the modern combination will wreak great havoc, the Lord has reassured us that he will fulfill his covenant to his people who are of the House of Israel. (2 Ne. 29:14; 1 Ne. 14:13-17.) To do that, he "must needs destroy the secret works of darkness, and of murders, and of abominations." (2 Ne. 10:16.) Those Gentiles who do not repent will be severed from, while those who repent will be numbered among the redeemed House of Israel. (3 Ne. 16:13,15.) Whether or not a person stands valiantly for freedom, resisting any encroachments, will be an important sifter in the day of the Lord's wrath. (D&C 101:80,95; 98:6,12.) The reason Moroni warned about a massive secret combination to come in our day that would seek to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations and countries was so "that evil may be done away." (Ether 8:26.) To resist the abundant admonitions of the word of God will result in a person's being cut off from among the Lord's people. (3 Ne. 21:11.)
1. J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the F.B.I., said, "There is no place here in America for part-time patriots. This nation is face to face with the greatest danger ever to confront it, a sinister and deadly conspiracy which can be conquered only by an alert, informed citizenry.... Public indifference to this threat is tantamount to national suicide. Lethargy leads only to disaster...." (Quoted by Ezra Taft Benson, CR, Oct. 1962, p. 17.)
2. Ezra Taft Benson, CR, Oct. 2, 1966, p. 122.
3. Ezra Taft Benson, "Stand Up For Freedom," address given at the Assembly Hall in Feb. 11, 1966 to the Utah Forum for the American Idea.
"Would God that ALL the Lord's People Were PROPHETS"