There is strife and contention over the kingdom—Akish forms an oath-bound secret combination to slay the king—Secret combinations are of the devil and result in the destruction of nations—Modern Gentiles are warned against the secret combination which shall seek to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries.
1 AND it came to pass that he begat Omer, and Omer reigned in his stead. And Omer begat Jared; and Jared begat sons and daughters.
Shule had Omer in his old age. Omer was likely the youngest son and was appoint king in the place of Shule. Over a number of years Omer had children and among these was Jared. Years pass and Jared also had a family. By this time Omer was probably advanced in age, and Jared would have been at least 35-50.
2 And Jared rebelled against his father, and came and dwelt in the land of Heth. And it came to pass that he did flatter many people, because of his cunning words, until he had gained the half of the kingdom.
Jared may not have been in line to receive the kingdom, so he rebelled against his father and went to the land of Heth with his followers and supporters. We don't know where the land of Heth might have been, but it would probably have been outside his father's realm. He was close enough that he could still influence his father's subjects and by deceit and persuasion converted half of them to his side.
3 And when he had gained the half of the kingdom he gave battle unto his father, and he did carry away his father into captivity, and did make him serve in captivity;
With his strengthened position Jared attacked Omer and his forces and overcomes them. He takes Omer captive and made him a slave similar to Nibley's model of Asian despots. We are not told whether he took him to Heth, or assumed the kingship in Moron. What did his service consist of?
4 And now, in the days of the reign of Omer he was in captivity the half of his days. And it came to pass that he begat sons and daughters, among whom were Esrom and Coriantumr;
“Half his days” - Omer was already advanced in age when this occurs, probably at least 60. So adding another “half his days” would take him to 120 years old. So with all the subsequent events that take place later, he must have lived a long life. He is allowed to have family relations while in captivity and bore Esrom and Coriantumr.
5 And they were exceedingly angry because of the doings of Jared their brother, insomuch that they did raise an army and gave battle unto Jared. And it came to pass that they did give battle unto him by night.
Esrom and Corianturmr were obviously younger brothers. Were they angry because of what Jared did to their father, or because he had deprived them of a place of influence in the kingdom? I suggest it would have been the former because they later turned the kingdom over to their father. They were able to raise an army to right this wrong. How did they do it? Their movements would probably have been restricted, and they may have even been serving in captivity like their father. I would guess that they probably escaped and fled to the wilderness where they could gather followers and build up an armed force. In this record it is rare that a battle is conducted at night, however, whenever it is done, the attacking force is victorious.
6 And it came to pass that when they had slain the army of Jared they were about to slay him also; and he plead with them that they would not slay him, and he would give up the kingdom unto his father. And it came to pass that they did grant unto him his life.
Esrom and Corantumr's forces routed Jared's army and annihilated most of his soldiers. They capture Jared and are of a mind to execute him. However, he was very persuasive, and fighting for survival, he talked them into sparing him. He undoubtedly was very contrite and repentant, and promised to willingly give up his position as king. But as we shall see, his repentance was not sincere. He was not a moral person and was willing to do anything (even kill his father) to achieve his goals.
7 And now Jared became exceedingly sorrowful because of the loss of the kingdom, for he had set his heart upon the kingdom and upon the glory of the world.
Now that Jared had lost everything that was important to him, he became totally depressed. He had nothing to live for.
8 Now the daughter of Jared being exceedingly expert, and seeing the sorrows of her father, thought to devise a plan whereby she could redeem the kingdom unto her father.
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. This daughter is equal to, or worse than her father. She may have empathized with his sorrow, but it is more likely that she was also scheming for her own interest. She had undoubtedly been exposed to the ancient histories that the Jaredites had brought with them to America. These histories outlined the philosophies and practices of the ancient secret societies and their use in gaining political power – the Sumerians were Machiavellian before Machiavelli.
9 Now the daughter of Jared was exceedingly fair. And it came to pass that she did talk with her father, and said unto him: Whereby hath my father so much sorrow? Hath he not read the record which our fathers brought across the great deep? Behold, is there not an account concerning them of old, that they by their secret plans did obtain kingdoms and great glory?
This daughter was the beauty queen of the Jaredites, but beauty without morals. She reminded her father of the ancient records that the people had brought with them across the sea. Among other things, these records speak of the ancient secret societies and how such combinations allowed ambitious men to gain power, wealth and glory through their political intrigues. This is the first time we have heard of these records. We don't know what materials they were recorded on, or what else they contained. But they seem to have been familiar to the general population. They possibly contained the complete history of the race from the time of Adam.
10 And now, therefore, let my father send for Akish, the son of Kimnor; and behold, I am fair, and I will dance before him, and I will please him, that he will desire me to wife; wherefore if he shall desire of thee that ye shall give unto him me to wife, then shall ye say: I will give her if ye will bring unto me the head of my father, the king.
The daughter now outlines her plan which she has likely been entertaining for some time. She had probably been attracted to Akish before and knew that the feeling was mutual, but before she had been of the elite and the daughter of the king – possibly unattainable to him if he had been a commoner. But now there is a way. She will dance for him (and I will leave the dance to your imagination). He will be filled with lustful desires and beg Jared for her hand in marriage. Then Jared would reluctantly agree if – and its a big if – Akish would restore him to the throne by removing his father, Omer the king.
You will probably recognize the similarity to the Salome episode in the Bible. In his book Lehi in the Desert and the World of the Jaredites, Hugh Nibley outlines the ancient tradition of these beautiful dancing princesses in great detail.
11 And now Omer was a friend to Akish; wherefore, when Jared had sent for Akish, the daughter of Jared danced before him that she pleased him, insomuch that he desired her to wife. And it came to pass that he said unto Jared: Give her unto me to wife.
“Omer was a friend to Akish” -- this is a strange twist. But it doesn't say that Akish was a friend to Omer. But whatever the degree of friendship, Akish's lust won out over any love he had for Omer.
12 And Jared said unto him: I will give her unto you, if ye will bring unto me the head of my father, the king.
Akish relented and was entrapped in Jared's scheme.
13 And it came to pass that Akish gathered in unto the house of Jared all his kinsfolk, and said unto them: Will ye swear unto me that ye will be faithful unto me in the thing which I shall desire of you?
Akish was referred to the Jaredite's “Idiot's Guide to Secret Societies” and began the process. We are not told whether he had any reservations or qualms, but it is likely that he did. All his family and relatives are summoned to Jared's home. This was a nice touch as they would have felt additional pressure being in the presence of the former king. They were presented with the innocent enough proposal that that they would support Akish in whatever he desired of them, but were probably not told the details until after they had compromised themselves.
14 And it came to pass that they all sware unto him, by the God of heaven, and also by the heavens, and also by the earth, and by their heads, that whoso should vary from the assistance which Akish desired should lose his head; and whoso should divulge whatsoever thing Akish made known unto them, the same should lose his life.
An important point should be noted here. These are very serious oaths, just as temple vows and covenants are serious and sacred. However, these oaths are the very opposite of temple covenants. These rites are the Devil's equivalent (or counterfeit) of the temple ceremony. They are the Devil's endowment. In my opinion, participating in them, and receiving them, qualifies one for full fellowship in the “Church of the Devil.” They were probably administered in a formal setting, using group psychology to persuade everyone to join in.
There are four parts of the Devil's oath: to swear by 1) God, 2) the heavens, 3) the earth, and 4) one's own head (or life). The penalty for violation of this oath is death (frequently by beheading). Christ has commanded us specifically not to ever take upon us this oath. In the Beatitudes he counsels: “And again it is written, thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths; But verily, verily, I say unto you, swear not at all; neither by heaven, for it is God's throne; Nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair black or white (3 Ne. 12:33-36).” I believe that this counsel is specifically referring to the Gadianton oath.
Early in his life Nephi had a vision of the Devil's church which he recorded in 1 Nephi 13-14. This vision describes the formation, activities and purpose of Satan's counterfeit church.
“And it came to pass that I saw among the nations of the Gentiles the formation of a great church. And the angel said unto me: Behold the formation of a church which is most abominable above all other churches, which slayeth the saints of God, yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity. And it came to pass that I beheld this great and abominable church; and I saw the devil that he was the founder of it. And I also saw gold, and silver, and silks, and scarlets, and fine-twined linen, and all manner of precious clothing; and I saw many harlots. And the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold the gold, and the silver, and the silks, and the scarlets, and the fine-twined linen, and the precious clothing, and the harlots, are the desires of this great and abominable church (1 Ne. 13:4-8).”
“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 looked and beheld the whore of all the earth, and she sat upon many waters; and she had dominion over all the earth, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people. And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw. 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. And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory. And it came to pass that I beheld that the wrath of God was poured out upon that great and abominable church, insomuch that there were wars and rumors of wars among all the nations and kindreds of the earth. And as there began to be wars and rumors of wars among all the nations which belonged to the mother of abominations, the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold, the wrath of God is upon the mother of harlots (1 Ne. 14:10-16).”
This church has been in existence upon the earth since the time of Cain. It has been the instrument Satan used to “reign with blood and horror” on the earth throughout the history of mankind. The enticement has been the opportunity to gain riches, fame, power, and glory; to satisfy carnal lusts and dominate ones fellowman. Unfortunately for Satan, his influence is the antipathy of unity. As a result, his followers are always at odds with one another resulting in wars, continual contention and frequent bloodshed. As Christ is the Prince of Peace, Satan is the sovereign of strife. But I err in thinking that Lucifer would desire unity among his minions. His intent is exactly the opposite – the more disharmony, the better suited to his purposes.
For additional information on the Church of the Devil, refer to Revelations chapters 13, and 16-18.
15 And it came to pass that thus they did agree with Akish. And Akish did administer unto them the oaths which were given by them of old who also sought power, which had been handed down even from Cain, who was a murderer from the beginning.
Akish is successful in getting all of his kin to consent to these awful oaths and he administered the appropriate rites to seal them. As mentioned before, these were originated by Cain in his partnership with the Devil. Because they were ancient they were regarded as important and valuable. An example of this attitude is given later in the Nephite record (3 Ne. 3:9). Giddianhi, the chief of the robbers, is bragging of their secret order: “ And behold, I am Giddianhi; and I am the governor of this the secret society of Gadianton; which society and the works thereof I know to be good; and they are of ancient date and they have been handed down unto us. This was the typical attitude of the Jaredites (via the Sumerians), that things were better in the past than in the present, and so they attempted to return to the perfect order of things that had existed in the past.
“A murderer from the beginning” – You remember of course the episode of Cain and Abel. Murder and assassination are always the ultimate tools of the secret society, if nothing else works, kill your opponent. In all ages Satan inspires ambitious and ruthless men to form these secret societies patterned after the model establish by the arch-Antichrist, Cain.
16 And they were kept up by the power of the devil to administer these oaths unto the people, to keep them in darkness, to help such as sought power to gain power, and to murder, and to plunder, and to lie, and to commit all manner of wickedness and whoredoms.
Satan preys upon the natural desires of ambitious men to gain power, wealth and fame. He inspires them to commit murder, theft, deceit, all manner of evil, adultery and fornication to achieve these ends. These societies are hidden, but their results and actions are revealed in the light of day and are obvious to the observant. Although these societies exist in all levels of society, the most destructive and evil of these combinations will be found in high places – at the heads of governments, in powerful groups and organizations, in military confederations, and within powerful groups of organized criminals. Whenever you hear of an assassination, you should suspect a secret combination. Whenever a government is toppled, a Gadianton group may be behind it. Such groups have also been active in eliminating their critics, the prophets, whose blood cries from the ground for vengeance.
Paul warning against such things says: “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 8:11-12).
17 And it was the daughter of Jared who put it into his heart to search up these things of old; and Jared put it into the heart of Akish; wherefore, Akish administered it unto his kindred and friends, leading them away by fair promises to do whatsoever thing he desired.
The beautiful daughter suggested the idea to Jared, Jared inspired Akish with the desire, and Akish converted his family and kin to participate by promising rich rewards of money, position, and power.
18 And it came to pass that they formed a secret combination, even as they of old; which combination is most abominable and wicked above all, in the sight of God;
They copied the ancient and “admired” pattern in establishing their secret society. Why were these groups considered to be the “most abominable and wicked above all?” First of all they cut their participants off from the blessings God had in store for them. Second, they made covenants with Satan to commit evil acts. Third, the results of their activities violated all of the Lords commandments. Fourth, they enslaved and tyrannized the common people. Fifth, they were frequently complicit in murdering the Lord's prophets. Sixth, they persecuted and impoverished the poor and meek of the earth. The Lord uses the phrase “grind on the faces of the poor” to describe this last action.
Speaking of these secret combinations, and specifically the Antichrist, the Lord revealed through John the Revelator, “With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication (Rev. 17:2).” This “fornication” is the act by those in power of enriching and empowering themselves through illegal commerce, fraudulent acts, and even outright embezzlement. These actions trickle down through the population inspiring more petty illegal and immoral acts, thus making them “drunk” with their own desires for gain, power, and prestige.
King of Assassins
19 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.
While the Devil's hoards work in the dark, the Lord has always operated in the open. Paul says it well when addressing King Agrippa about the work of the apostles: “For the king knoweth of these things … for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner (Acts 25:26).” When we speak of “transparency”, there is none where Satan is concerned.
The command against shedding blood is, and has always been the paramount sin. Shedding blood, especially “innocent” blood is a particularly serious act, and may possibly result in not ever being eligible for forgiveness (see D&C 132:26-27).
20 And now I, Moroni, do not write the manner of their oaths and combinations, for it hath been made known unto me that they are had among all people, and they are had among the Lamanites.
Moroni is wise in not detailing the rites and oaths of the secret societies. There are always individuals seeking such knowledge, willing to put it into practice for their advantage. He acknowledges that such knowledge is, and has been, available in all ages, and among all people. It is regrettable that people will turn from God (usually because they are not worthy to receive his inspiration) and seek the easily accessible influence of the Devil. I am aware of some shamans among the Central American people who openly acknowledge that they are serving the Devil because God doesn't manifest himself to them.
21 And they have caused the destruction of this people of whom I am now speaking, and also the destruction of the people of Nephi.
The Lord lays the complete blame of the destruction of both the Jaredites, and the Nephites at the feet of these secret societies. How is this possible? Because once involved in an oath bound society, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to leave. You may risk your life in withdrawing from it. While those involved will continue to sin until the entire culture is “ripened in iniquity” and the Lord's Spirit completely withdraws leaving them to destruction.
22 And whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold, they shall be destroyed; for the Lord will not suffer that the blood of his saints, which shall be shed by them, shall always cry unto him from the ground for vengeance upon them and yet he avenge them not.
Moroni, inspired by the Lord, gives us this warning. If such practices become pervasive throughout the entire culture, so that no one is willing or capable of repenting, and the young children are indoctrinated and raise with these practices, there is no hope. For this reason such cultures have been destroyed in the past, and will be eliminated in the future. Inevitably, these groups will try to eliminate the righteous (especially those with prophetic callings), and if they cannot convert them, will murder them. This innocent blood, crying from the ground so to speak, will eventually be avenged by God.
Any nation or people who tolerate and embrace these societies will be destroyed either by natural means, or by an offended God. They will unavoidably murder the Lord's followers and he will not tolerate this for long. The blood of the righteous will cry for justice against them.
23 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 built up to get power and gain—and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be.
Continuing his warning, Moroni directs his remarks to the latter day gentiles (or Anglo Saxons) who occupy Europe and especially those in the United States. If we allow the secret societies, which will be present in our day and be among us, to gain power over us and dominate our culture, we will suffer the consequences and be destroyed as a nation just as the Jaredite and Nephite nations were destroyed.
Now, refering to us in our modern days, the Lord warns us to avoid any involvement or toleration of such societies which will we among us. We must avoid and reject them or we will be destroyed just as the Jaredites and Nephites.
24 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, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up.
When we notice these things among us (for they will be among us either covertly or openly) we must take action, or suffer the consequences. Look for the evidences of these groups in the murders and assassinations in the society. If we support, or benefit, in any way from these groups, or their activities, we will be considered among those referred to as “those who build it up.”
When we see the symptoms of such a society which will be among us that we awake to the danger. For the blood they shed will be crying for vengence.
25 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; who hath hardened the hearts of men that they have murdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning.
Whoever builds or supports such societies in any degree is responsible for their deeds. One of the underlying objectives of such societies is to destroy the freedom of peoples and nations. This is because the Devil is their inspiration, and this is his goal. Satan's nature has been one of deception. He lied in the pre-existence, and continues to lie in his role here on earth. He it was who inspired men to murder their brothers and who deludes them into thinking that they need to destroy those righteous men who are trying to get them to repent.
26 Wherefore, I, Moroni, am commanded to write these things that evil may be done away, and that the time may come that Satan may have no power upon the hearts of the children of men, but that they may be persuaded to do good continually, that they may come unto the fountain of all righteousness and be saved.
Moroni was commanded to include these warnings for us latter day gentiles. His intent and purpose is to ultimately destroy evil and the works of the Devil that all men might turn to God and partake of His blessings. The complete fulfillment of this desire will probably have to wait until the millennium.