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The following is taken from the book America in the Last Days. In this particular chapter, the author, Morris Harmor, talks about the events that led to the first coming of Jesus Christ to the Americas and how it will correlate with us living in America during the days leading up to His Second Coming. You can also learn more about this week's, Come Follow Me, on our Free Podcast.
Helaman chapter 1 starts right off telling us about the “serious difficulty among the people” (verse 1) and the “serious contention concerning who should” (verse 2) be running their government, and that this contention created “three divisions among the people” (verse 4). The leader of one of these groups, Paachi, was even “about to flatter away [his] people to rise up in rebellion” (verse 7) for he “sought to destroy the liberty of the people” (verse 8).
Although he was tried and sentenced to death for his actions, one of his followers “murdered [the elected] Pahoran as he sat upon the judgement-seat” (verse 9). Now “because of [this] much contention and [this] much difficulty in the government, . . . they had not kept sufficient guards” (verse 18) in their capital city, which was Zarahemla, to guard against their enemies from attacking them.
In Helaman chapter 2, we learn that the secret band of men who protected Kishkumen by killing Pahoran the chief judge “had entered into a covenant that no one should know his wickedness” (verse 3). Gadianton then became the leader of this secret band and promised them “that if they would place him in the judgment-seat he would grant unto those who belonged to his band that they should be placed in power and authority [over] the people” (verse 5).
We are informed that his object was “to murder, and also . . . the object of all those who belonged to his band to murder, and to rob, and to gain power, (and this was their secret plan, and their combination)” (verse 8).
The plan to kill Helaman, who was then the chief judge, was luckily thwarted. We learn of the significance of this band of Gadianton because they “did prove the overthrow, yea, almost the entire destruction of the people” (Helaman 2:13). It is also significant to learn that after peace was reestablished in the land that this was true except “all save it were the secret combinations which Gadianton the robber had established in the more settled parts of the land” (the urban areas) (Helaman 3:23).
Chapter 4 contains a great warning to us as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
11 Now this great loss of the Nephites, and the great slaughter which was among them, would not have happened had it not been for their wickedness and their abomination which was among them; yea, and it was among those also who professed to belong to the church of God.
12 it was because of the pride of their hearts, because of their exceeding riches, yea, it was because of their oppression to the poor, withholding their food from the hungry, withholding their clothing from the naked, and smiting their humble brethren upon the cheek, making a mock of that which was sacred, denying the spirit of prophecy and of revelation, murdering, plundering, lying, stealing, committing adultery, rising up in great contentions, and deserting away into the land of Nephi, among the Lamanites—
13 And because of this their great wickedness, and their boastings in their own strength, they were left in their own strength; therefore they did not prosper, but were afflicted and smitten, and driven before the Lamanites, until they had lost possession of almost all their lands. (Helaman 4:11–13; emphasis added)
We are also informed “that they had altered and trampled under their feet the laws of Mosiah, or that which the Lord commanded him to give unto the people; and they saw that their laws had become corrupted, and that they had become a wicked people” (Helaman 4:22).
We can liken the “laws of Mosiah, . . . which the Lord commanded him to give unto the people” (verse 22) to our own Constitution which was given to our Founding Fathers, and endorsed by the Lord. Chapter 5 tells us what eventually happened to their government, which was “established by the voice of the people” (Helaman 5:2).
2 For as their laws and their governments were established by the voice of the people, and they who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good, therefore they were ripening for destruction, for the laws had become corrupted.
3 Yea, and this was not all; they were a stiffnecked people, insomuch that they could not be governed by the law nor justice. (Helaman 5:2–3)
Helaman chapter 6 tells us more about Gadianton’s robbers and murderers saying, “there were many, even among the Nephites, of Gadianton’s band” (Helaman 6:18) who “began to commit secret murders, and to rob and to plunder, that they might get gain” (verse 17), even to the point of murdering two chief judges as they “sat upon the judgement-seat” (verse 15). This was so serious that
21 The more part of the Nephites . . . did unite with those bands of robbers, and did enter into their covenants and their oaths, that they would protect and preserve one another in whatsoever difficult circumstances they should be placed, that they should not suffer for their murders, and their plunderings, and their stealings.
23 And thus they might murder, and plunder, and steal, and commit whoredoms and all manner of wickedness, contrary to the laws of their country and also the laws of their God.
24 And whosoever of those who belonged to their band should reveal unto the world of their wickedness and their abominations, should be tried, not according to the laws of their country, but according to the laws. (Helaman 6:21, 23–24)
During this time, the Lamanites were more righteous than the Nephites, “and they did preach the word of God among the more wicked part of them, insomuch that this band of robbers was utterly destroyed from among the Lamanites” (verse 37), but
38 On the other hand, . . . the Nephites did build them up and support them, beginning at the more wicked part of them, until they had overspread all the land of the Nephites, and had seduced the more part of the righteous until they had come down to believe in their works and partake of their spoils, and to join with them in their secret murders and combinations.
39 And thus they did obtain the sole management of the government, insomuch that they did trample under their feet and smite and rend and turn their backs upon the poor and the meek, and the humble followers of God.
40 And thus we see that they were in an awful state, and ripening for an everlasting destruction. (Helaman 6:38–40; emphasis added)
When we read these chapters, we must liken them to ourselves. The Nephites are analogous to the American people who have received their written Constitution from the hand of God. The Gadianton robbers are those who have the sole intent of obtaining the absolute management of our national government and promoting a policy of having all our substance in common.
** The following was taken from America in the Last Days. The opinions and views expressed herein belong solely to Morris Harmor and do not necessarily represent the opinions or views of Cedar Fort, Inc.