“And it came to pass that in the sixty and sixth year of the reign of the judges, behold, Cezoram was murdered by an unknown hand as he sat down upon the judgment-seat. And it came to pass that in the same year, that his son, who had been appointed by the people in his stead, was also murdered. And thus ended the sixty and sixth year.”
Then what happened the next year? Read the next verse and see if things are getting better.
Verse 16: “And in the commencement of the sixty and seventh year the people began to grow exceedingly wicked again.”
Why? Read the next verse and it will tell you why.
Verse 17: “For behold, the Lord had blessed them so long with the riches of the world that they had not been stirred up to anger, to wars, nor to bloodshed; therefore they began to set their hearts upon their riches; yea, they began to seek to get gain that they might be lifted up one above another; therefore they began to commit secret murders, and to rob and to plunder, that they might get gain.”
That’s funny! They were getting rich so they didn’t need wars anymore. They were rather happy about it. With riches of the world they hadn’t been stirred up to bloodshed nationally, so they got rich and were stirred up to private bloodshed. Their wars are lowered to a private level now. They are going to start doing that sort of thing, and then we get our prime time, as I mentioned before. “. . . to commit secret murders, and to rob and to plunder, that they might get gain.”
Now these two, Kishkumen and Gadianton, had put their heads together and formed a gang. These gangs, we noticed, are very enduring. They were called “Gadianton Robbers.”
Verse 20: “. . . when the Lamanites found that there were robbers among them they were exceedingly sorrowful; and they did use every means in their power to destroy them off the face of the earth.” How did the Nephites react? Brother Bryson, verse 21 has a lot of dynamite in it. Would you read it to us, since I can’t?
Verse 21: “But behold, Satan did stir up the hearts of the more part of the Nephites, insomuch that they 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.”
So, they got protection, didn’t they? They were all getting into it and were all going to profit on it. It tells us a lot about this now. What happens to the mutual trust that you have? I noticed [something like this] just day before yesterday. Notice, “. . . they might murder, and steal, and commit whoredoms and all manner of wickedness . . .” But they have these oaths [and signs] among themselves to show, that they might distinguish a brother in the covenant. Do you think those would hold up very well if that’s the kind of people they are? Well, there was a report about Nidal’s gang, which is very secret. They are a secret assassination gang. Within the last week 150 members of the Nidal gang had been murdered by other members of the gang. That’s how they trust each other, you see. If that keeps up we will all be very happy. But, they are the “untouchables,” contrary to the laws of the country, and also the laws of God. They were tried, but they had special courts of their own. This is characteristic of all your brotherhoods. They have their own laws and their own government. It is a state within a state in verse 24. Are there such institutions in the world today? What is the one that immediately comes to mind now? The Medellin—it just runs itself. They have their own laws. They have their own policemen, army and everything. They even have their own public works and charities and the like. “. . . not according to the laws of their country, but according to the laws of their wickedness, which had been given by Gadianton and Kishkumen. So, we have these independent states within a state.
I didn’t listen to it, but Bill Moyers recently ran a series on the “state within a state.” We have things like the De Molay, etc. Just for the fun of it, this is from the paper for the last two days. This is the sort of thing we run into. This just got in here, but it amuses me because President Lee says, “. . . . ethical conduct is essential to a person’s financial success. Over the long run ethical conduct pays off.” But if you are in insurance or in real estate or in the law, it’s the short-run that pays off. Remember, as against the Japanese, the American stock market is aimed entirely at short gain—quick, short gain. That’s the way these big fortunes are being made. Anyway, he says that in the long run ethical conduct pays off in dollars and cents. But, if being honest meant financial ruin, would you still be honest then? Of course you would have to be. It has very often happened that a person has suffered financial ruin because he wouldn’t collect on a certain thing, or wouldn’t crack down. On the other hand, there are situations in which being honest will make less money in the long run.
That’s a strange thing. Remember, Plato says the honest man is a man who will do right even with the “ring of Gyges.” Gyges was one of the tyrants, and he had a ring that made you invisible. Now, if you had the ring of Gyges, you could do anything you wanted to because you would be invisible. That shouldn’t change your behavior at all. You should do the right thing because it is the right thing—not because it will make you money, bring you financial success, or in the long run dollars and cents. That’s positively cynical, if you ask me. He’s not as bad as Wilkinson though. Wilkinson had some “dillies.”
Here’s another one, “Exxon Quits Wildlife Board.” Well, Exxon [executives] were exponents of wildlife until they had to pay a lot of money. They are not going to pay the money, so they quit the board.
“Rockefeller Mitsubishi Deal settles with Japanese Taxpayers Subsidy” (The Wall Street Journal). This is what happens: Mitsubishi, one of the biggest companies in the world, and the Rockefellers, one of the richest families in the world, made a deal which made both exceedingly rich. Neither has to pay anything. They are enriched by the taxpayers of Japan and the United States respectively because of this deal they made. We won’t go into it but that’s the way it works. “. . . huge government subsidy, courtesy of the tax code. The Rockefellers structured the deal. Mitsubishi now inherits this debt, but it passes its tax problem on to the Japanese government.” Everybody is paid off and everybody is happy. That’s the deal we work in today.
This one is an interesting thing: “Drug War Screens Fascist Takeover.” The perennial struggle has always been between the rich landowners and the people who want the land. That’s goes way back to the Mexican Revolution. It’s still going on. It says here that’s the real thing. The drugs are only a temporary screen for that sort of thing.
Here’s another one that’s interesting: It says, “Reagan busy hoping for certain financial security.” It says he feels financially insecure. It also lists his sources of income which are quite fabulous. But still it says he feels insecure because the money isn’t coming in fast enough for the Reagan library. He’ll get his bread and milk, I think.
Scouring the earth or destroying the earth, everybody is blaming everybody else. They are aware of it now. Then the “down-winders” blast for N-safety. Terrible things happened there—all the cases of cancer, etc., in Nevada and southern Utah. And they are not responsible for what happened. This is the way it goes.
“Angry Judge Fines Boeing $5-1/2 million. Boeing pleaded guilty Monday to two felony counts.” That’s just a week’s earnings for them, so they can afford to have done it. The point is that this infests every level. Here is one of the biggest supports for our military and commercial airlines, and yet they have been cutting corners and doing all sorts of wicked things like this. A federal judge was angered that no Boeing corporate officer appeared in court. They had contempt [charges]. They are such a powerful company. They don’t have to appear in court if they don’t want to, and that made the judge mad. This is an interesting thing because we just read here that they did according to their own minds and wills to be tried not according to the laws of their country, but according to their own laws (Helaman 6:24). We find cases just after this where they refuse to appear. [The judge requested that] the chairman of Boeing’s board write them a letter personally expressing the company’s criminal contrition in the case. They haven’t written the letter yet. “Richard L. Fowler, senior marketing analyst for Boeing aerospace, was indicted on 39 counts of conspiracy and fraud involving secret Pentagon documents.” This has to do with national defense, which they are the sacred defenders of. They all wrap themselves in the flag and say they are making this country strong and free. That’s what the suppliers tell us. The plea bargain involved two felonies. Why Boeing had no corporate officer present in the courtroom they don’t know. Boeing’s lawyer admitted, “This is a very sad day in its history.” He also admitted, “There is no question Boeing should not have had those documents. They were doing wrong.”
Here is what is happening this week in Lima, Peru. Suspected Maoist guerillas killed six people Monday apparently as a reprisal for voting in Peru’s municipal election. “The guerillas walked up to three men, one of them a poll watcher in the election [this is the way the Gadiantons operate] as they played soccer and shot them to death. Three other men were shot dead in the outskirts of Achuko,” police said. “We presume the murders were reprisals for participating in the elections.” That was their crime—they voted in the elections. “At least six people, including a family of three, died in the Shining Path attacks on election day in the poverty-stricken Andes. In the bloodiest instance, a group of peasants stepped on a guerilla mine on a road, as the peasants walked home to their village after voting in the City of Concepcion, killing all three members.” The Shining Path takes credit for this. This is the sort of thing we read about in the Book of Mormon. It’s the same country and the same sort of thing going on, a standing tradition. It is amazing how little things change.
Here’s a new one that just came out on Sunday about a Mayan city, dating back to 600 B.C. It’s an interesting thing that these cities don’t change very much. It is yet to be excavated, but it had towers up to 150 feet high, even in their crumbled state. It was built over an older village that goes back to 1000 B.C. Remember the former inhabitants of the land, etc. [The excavators] include about 60, which includes scientists from UCLA, Brigham Young University, and the University of San Carlos. So BYU is in on the deal, and that is a good thing. These things may develop. They are beginning to look more and more alike.
Here are our national treasures, etc. Here is a French Fort that goes back to the French and Indian Wars. It is older than the republic. It is on the Mississippi, a fort of very great value and interest. Now it has been converted into a hazardous waste dump.
“Business Is Booming for Gun Manufacturers.” Well, we know that. Of course it is.
Here is the low-down on high tech. A very important gadget has been selling very widely in the market, and they just discovered that it has a very serious glitch in it. Your machine will go out all the time if you use it. This is what they say about it. INTEL is the one that makes it. “Certainly INTEL is not the only company that has ever had a bug in its product—just one of those that for whatever reason has admitted it. This kind of stuff crops up all the time in software as well as hardware. The more complex computers and programs get, the tougher it is to test them adequately and the greater chance a substantial error will show up.”
What really galled me about this particular incident though is that INTEL continued to make the bad part, even as it worked on a fixed version. Hardware companies, such as AST, continue to buy it too. “AST research, apparently more concerned about staking out an early market position than about the needs of their consumers, vowed to continue buying the bad parts and using them and incorporating them in their computer systems. To their credit, IBM refused to do that. Is it too much to expect companies to stop buying something they know is flawed [because it can do great damage—a false calculation can throw everything off] and reselling it to the public? Do companies believe that the world is so desperate for another new MIPS of flawed computer power this month that it won’t wait for corrected machines next year? That may be fine for big corporations that can afford the luxury of experiments with the latest equipment, or absorb the cost of any problems that arise when the technology doesn’t work as expected. But for individuals, the people who get the machines, the effects are disastrous.”
Then there’s the Burr Trail. It seems that they’ve discovered there has been all sorts of underground pressure. Well, the BLM is notoriously corrupt because of the big funds there.
In Bogota, Colombia, they decided to have the army join in the fight against drugs. It was a disastrous thing to do because now the [traffickers] are participating in the army. The police should have done it. “It was really a mistake to place the army in Colombia in contact with the narcotics criminals who have an immense capacity to corrupt.” So they have corrupted the army now. “Despite the arrest of about 11,000 suspects and the seizure of more than a thousand properties, no drug lords have yet been captured. Gomez Mendez said the military command was aware that the drug lords had infiltrated and corrupted the army officers.”
This is the situation in the Book of Mormon. Here is the morality of it. Here’s this fellow, Louis Hart, who got the U. S. News and World Report going. He wrote the book called The Memoirs of an S.O.B. He said, “‘To me an S.O.B. is someone who uses whatever tactics it takes to get the job done, to rise to the top, and in truth I think there are more CEOs or bosses who would use my tactics in some degree than will admit it.’ In his book Louis Hart does not paint a pretty picture of the business world. Driven by an insatiable hunger for power he manipulates friends, ignores his wife and children, torments his rivals, and generally stops at nothing to reach his goal. Along the way he drives hard-working employees into the ground and angers fellow executives with his bullying tactics.”
His divorced wife [whose wife? He gives two different names] writes about him. His wife, Lori Wilson, was a former Florida state senator. “Al Newhart is a snake. The world is Al’s prey. He is a stalking animal. Once you are his target, professionally or personally, he will do whatever it takes to get you. You might as well roll over and play dead.” This is the morality. But, asked why she would help her ex-husband promote the book, she doesn’t bat an eye. The same woman answers, “Well, of course, I’m hoping he will remember me in his will.” She’ll get some money out of it. These are pleasant people, aren’t they? And, of course, Utah is always right there on top. It only helps the tiniest of Tiny Tims. We consistently cut our assistance to the poor, about which the Book of Mormon has a lot to say.
This is amusing. “For years and years they have been dropping bombs all over the place outside of the range. Navy pilots accidentally dropped hundreds of bombs for years outside of military bombing ranges in central Nevada.” They fly over Fallon. They could drop one on you; keep your hat on. “State officials are angry that they were never told about it. Thousands of bombs jeopardizing life and limb being dropped and never a hint about it. The Navy has recovered up to 2,000 live and dead bombs dropped outside the 22,000-acre tract there.” The governor said, “This is just one in a long string of broken promises from the Navy.”
We used to think we could turn to military forces for integrity. But remember, you win battles and wars by strategy, and strategy is deception. You get what you want by fooling the enemy. Strategy is to give them the wrong idea as to your place, your position, your potentiality, your capacities, your supplies, your routes, etc. You try to fool them in everything. If you look in the dictionary, it says, “Strategy is deception practiced on an enemy.” The only thing is, who is the enemy? Well, as the Roman army soon discovered, the enemy is anybody you don’t like. The enemy is anyone who won’t pay you enough. They say more than half the emperors were “bumped off” by the army. “Operation Ugly Baby” is a routine exercise to ensure people’s safety. You always find these lame excuses: “The public wasn’t informed of the effort to keep away onlookers,” they said. They didn’t want onlookers.
Well, this is a sweet one here: “Springville Boy Hurt in Gun Mishap. A Springville boy was checking a shotgun before going pheasant hunting when the gun discharged into his shoulder. Kevin Peterson was at his home over the weekend getting ready to go pheasant hunting with his friends.” At least four presidents of the Church have declared that hunting, especially hunting birds for pleasure, is an abomination in the sight of the Lord. The president tells us what we don’t want to hear. Is the prophet the prophet we don’t want to hear?
Here’s a nice list of things going on from Ivan Boeski to Mike Milken. “Scandal Had Many Major Players.” First, Boeski paid $100 million in fines and restitution and agreed to plead guilty on one count. Then this fellow working with him was Michael R. Miliken, 43. He created a $200 billion market for junk bonds. He pleaded innocent and plans a court fight. (Shakespeare gives us a good picture of Shylock, who was a great soul but was also a scoundrel. And these people are all Jews. I hope I don’t sound anti-Semitic, since I am partly Jewish, but you notice they’re shrewd.) “Dennis Levine, 36, was paroled in September after serving 17 months for securities fraud, tax evasion, and perjury with a broad inside trading ring.” He organized this ring—there’s your secret combination. “He told a group of business students this year he has formed a merger with an acquisition and consulting firm and ‘I’m sorry I broke the law,’ he said.” But he is going on with it.
Then comes Martin Segal, 40. He is guilty of illegal stock trading. He was with Peabody and Company. He agreed to return $9 million in legal dealings with Boeski. They are all connected with Drexel, incidentally, the highly respectable drugstore.
Then there’s Boyd L. Jeffries, 58. After two years of helping the government, he was fined $250,000 because he was an informer in a stock-concealment scheme with Boeski. He was in for five years but eventually returned. Boeski went around giving talks in 1983 to high schools, and the subject was, “It Is Good to Have a Healthy Greed.”
Well, Boyd Jeffries was in a stock-consumer scheme, and he got five years. Paul Bilzerian, 39, is an Armenian. There’s a saying, “It takes five Jews to cheat one Armenian.” They are the slyest of all. He got four years in prison on nine counts of securities fraud and conspiracy. He continues to deny the charges. Steven Wayne, Jr., the sly oriental there, is only 25 years old. “The former Morgan Stanley and Company junior analyst allegedly made $200,000 from a multimillion dollar insider trading scheme.” And Robert Freeman. It goes on and on.
The most dramatic of them all is this one. He agreed to plead guilty to one felony count and was awaiting sentencing. Bruce Lee Newburg, 32, is a Princeton Newport partner—very, very respectable. Newburg told an executive in the investment firm after a shady deal, “Welcome to the world of being a sleaze.” That’s what he called it.
R. Foster Wynan, 41, was a former Wall Street Journal reporter. He wrote things he heard on the street and these tips to probe inside the trading. Then Lisa Jones, 26, former Drexel assistant, lied to the federal grand jury during a government investigation. Well, here are all these big names. These are the people who are pushing the stock markets ahead. And, here we have a U.S. House panel who hears the testimony of “downsiders” and what people do here.
“Joe, who speaks Navajo and whose testimony was read for him by Billy said miners had to work in the dust and smoke without any protective clothing, face mask, or respirator. ‘We ate our lunch in the mines; we drank water from the home-made water fountain in the mines. By the end of the day we were sent home very sick. This went on year after year.” That’s nothing compared to the mines of Scotland though, where my grandparents toiled away. I’ll read you something from them one day.
And then, of course, childish play has become absolutely devastating. This “Devil’s Night” burn down houses now. And so it goes. We have a happy picture here! Let’s get on with this sort of thing and see how it develops.
Now, we’ll see where it comes from. Helaman 6:25: “Now behold, it is these secret oaths and covenants which Alma commanded his son should not go forth unto the world, lest they should be a means of bringing down the people unto destruction.” There are things that have been held back and never told to us because they could do great damage if we knew them.
It was a very interesting thing. When I was training at Camp Ritchie in a very secret, underground thing, there was great talk about a new technique that was devastating and should never be allowed to get out. It was a means of assassination. It was very, very secret, and if it ever got out the world would be destroyed probably. All it was, was Judo. But in those days it was kung-fu, and that sort of thing that you see on the television you see all the time now. In those days it was unknown and a carefully guarded government secret, these various ways of doing this thing. So, I had a class in that and felt very powerful.
This will take us back to one source though. These things all follow a pattern. Do we need Satan to help us do these things? Can we do them without Satan? There are parts of the Book of Mormon where people are not influenced by Satan at all. There are societies where people are not. You don’t have to be. But it is something that comes in from outside. It is something that grasps your mind. It is not just power, gain, and ambition—the basic wishes of human beings to assert themselves. Like I said, the dogs start fighting, and then the whole pound breaks into pandemonium if the kennel keeper isn’t there. We will go into these things just of our own [nature] without Satan’s assistance at all. These things come without the Lord. That is why Jesus Christ is so important. There is no other defense. There is nothing else. No one else has an inkling of an idea what else could be done about this. This just goes on forever and ever. Without Jesus Christ you are not going to get out of it at all.
So, he says they didn’t keep record [of these secret oaths and covenants]. “. . . they were put into the heart of Gadianton by that same being who did entice our first parents to partake of the forbidden fruit.” Notice that he says “that same being” five times in verses 26–29. He keeps emphasizing this; he wants us to know that there is a being. That’s the way he describes it. There is that being, something at the core and center of things. There is a control here, something working in that direction. It could be like an abstract principle, you know. “. . . that same being that enticed 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.” Of course, that story is told to us in the Book of Moses, how Cain manages those things.
Well, we should consider this because this takes it back to its source and shows us how it operated here. You remember Moses said [to Satan], “I am a son of God, in the similitude of his Only Begotten [Moses 1:13]. Satan wanted to run the thing. Notice Moses 1:19: “. . . Satan cried with a loud voice and ranted upon the earth, and commanded, saying: I am the Only Begotten, worship me.”
It is an interesting thing that he never commands Adam to do anything wrong. He commands Cain to sacrifice unto the Lord, to take oaths by the most High God, the Creator.
What is he doing here when he tells Adam and Eve to partake of the fruit? The same thing that had been done in other worlds. “What’s wrong with that?” he says. The thing is that he wants them to be taking orders from him—that’s the whole thing. He wants us to be saved, but he wants to be the author of salvation. It says that right at the beginning, in Abraham 3. He came to the Lord and said, give me thy glory and I will see to it that they all get saved. I’ll get the glory, I’ll get the credit, and I’ll get them all saved. That was his plan. He wanted to save them, not to damn them. So, they don’t take oaths by devils or anything. They take oaths by their Creator and God. So, here he goes and he wants to run the whole show.
Moses was intimidated. He began to fear. He saw the bitterness of hell, and he called upon God to denounce Satan and tell him to depart. Moses 1:22: “. . . Satan cried with a loud voice, with weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth; and he departed hence . . . that Moses beheld him not.” But he is going to come back again, you see. He works on Adam first of all, but he doesn’t sell Adam on it at all.
In Moses 4 we have the account of the council in Heaven, which is well documented in early Christian and Jewish sources. They skip it because it isn’t part of their theology, but it is there. Verse 3: . . . Satan rebelled against me and sought to destroy the agency of man [his agency was going to be Satan’s agency; he laid down the rules; he’d tell them what to do, and that’s what dictatorial, autocratic states do], which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down. And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies . . .” He loves and makes a lie. Remember the various titles. Master Mahon means “the hater.” He is the great hater. He aspires, he contends, and he uses violence. This is the way he works, to deceive with strategy. Deceiving is his method. So there is only one crime, after all. The word tells you what I think is going on, and by the easiest thing in the world I can fool you. I can tell you what I don’t think and make you think it. I can put on an air of great sincerity, and it becomes a fine Jesuitical art. “. . . to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will [and notice this], even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.” If you do not live up to every commandment, you will be in my power, Satan says, and he is right. If you don’t hearken unto my voice, the Lord says, you will be subject to his [Satan’s] will. And that’s what he wanted.
Verse 6: “And Satan put it into the heart of the serpent . . .” And then the sad thing happened. Adam and Eve receive the gospel in Moses 5. They see it in its fullness and absolutely glory in it. But then what happened? Verse 12: “And Adam and Eve blessed the name of God, and they made all things known unto their sons and their daughters. And Satan came among them, saying: I am also a son of God; and commanded them saying: Believe it not [there it is, the straight denial, and they went for it; they all believed him]; and they believed it not, and they loved Satan more than God. And men began from that time forth to be carnal, sensual, and devilish.”
We are not born carnal, sensual, and devilish. It was from that time forth that they yielded to the temptations of Satan. That is not our nature at all, coming from the other world. That’s the doctrine of Calvinism. St. Augustine said, “Man is a mass of perdition and utterly corrupt.” Or as the Calvinists put it, “total depravity.” We are by nature totally depraved. Well, we are not totally depraved. It was from that time forth that men began to become carnal, sensual, and devilish.
Adam and Eve “ceased not to call upon God” and did everything they could, but all they could do was mourn before the Lord. “. . . Cain harkened not, saying: Who is the Lord that I should know him? [Cain had his own plan, you see] . . . And Cain loved Satan more than God. And Satan commanded him, saying: Make an offering unto the Lord.” Notice he said, “an offering unto the Lord.” We are in Moses 5:18. He didn’t say, make an offering unto me; he didn’t say, make an offering unto the devils or to idols. He said, “Make an offering unto the Lord. And in the process of time . . . Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock, and of the fat thereof. . . . But unto Cain, and to his offering, he had not respect.” Now, Satan knew he [the Lord] wouldn’t have respect. He couldn’t have respect; Cain had already denounced him. He said Cain loved Satan more than God, and Satan commanded and he obeyed. See, Satan has what he wants. He is taking orders from me. He is offering to the Lord, which is good, but he is offering on my instructions. I’m the leader here [Satan thought]. “But unto Cain, and to his offering, he had not respect.” Satan knew that was exactly what would happen; the Lord couldn’t accept an offering since Cain had already denounced him. “. . . and it pleased him. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the Lord said unto Cain: Why art thou wroth?”
And then the Lord very kindly protested and explained to him, and look what happened [in Moses 5:23]: “. . . If thou doest well thou shalt be accepted. If thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door, and Satan desireth to have thee; and except thou shalt hearken unto my commandments [there it is again—all who do not live up to the commandments will be in his power], I will deliver thee up, and it shall be unto thee according to his desire [he shall have power over you]. And thou shalt rule over him.” (That last statement is very important, but we won’t take that up now.)
The Lord was protesting. He was going to teach Cain the right way, but look what happened in verse 25: “And it shall be said in time to come—That these abominations were had from Cain; for he rejected the greater counsel which was had from God; and this is a cursing which I will put upon thee, except thou repent.” He said you can always repent, but there is a cursing on you except you repent. What was his reaction to that in verse 26? “. . . And Cain was wroth [hot as a firecracker], and listened not any more to the voice of the Lord, neither to Abel, his brother, who walked in holiness before the Lord.” He turned his back on God and walked out; he wasn’t going to have any more discussion with him.
So Cain brought it all on himself, didn’t he? Then he went out and started to work at things. We can understand his psychology here. If you get miffed and puffed up, you make yourself worse and worse and dig yourself in deeper and deeper. You can become very dangerous. Notice, what can poor Adam do? Verse 27: “And Adam and his wife mourned before the Lord, because of Cain and his brethren.” He had his following; he had his brotherhood. In verse 29 they are starting to take their oaths and covenants, which are the same as those in the temple. Therefore, he says, we mustn’t let Adam find out about this, because he will know what it is. Verse 29: “And Satan said unto Cain: Swear unto me by thy throat, and if thou tell it thou shalt die; and swear thy brethren by their heads, and by the living God [see, they are swearing 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.” Adam must not know about this for he would immediately denounce and discredit it as phony, because that’s what it was. They were establishing this as the real rites in the world.
Verse 31: “And Cain said: Truly I am Mahan, the master of this great secret [all these things are done in secret], that I may murder and get gain. Wherefore Cain was called Master Mahan, and he gloried in his wickedness.” As we know, he killed his brother by a conspiracy. He formed an organization, we learn in the [Pearl of Great Price]. When he killed [Abel] he gloried in what he had done and was not ashamed. Why? Because he said, now I’m rich, and being rich will make me free. Verse 33: “. . . I am free; surely the flocks of my brother falleth into my hands [I’ll get his flocks, and I’m rich]. And the Lord said unto Cain: Where is Abel, thy brother?” So Cain became a fugitive and a vagabond and went to the land of Nod. That’s the same as our word nod. When you nod you go back and forth. You wander and don’t have any center. So, the land of Nod is the land of the migrants, the land of the everlasting wanderer. That is the curse that Cain is under.
This thing is right at the center. We go very deeply into these things. This is a very interesting thing: Lamech becomes [Cain’s] successor. He holds the office of Master Mahan after [Cain]. Somebody breaks the oath of secrecy and Lamech murders him. Then he is betrayed by his two wives, and then it says [verse 52] “Wherefore the Lord cursed Lamech, and his house, and all them that had covenanted with Satan; for they kept not the commandments of God, and it displeased God and he ministered not unto them, and their works were abominations, and began to spread among all the [children] of men.”
If you read something like The Golden Bough on comparative religions, you find that throughout all the earth you have these religions. I would recommend some very good treatments on it—books like Marie Renault’s The King Must Die. There’s the old fight between the matriarchy and the patriarchy, and the wild, obscene rites that go with it. These are the things that spread throughout all the earth. That is why you find them in all the earth. This is your world religion. In world religion this dominates. Well, I’ve written a lot about that. But the point is there is more to the Cain thing than you think, and more to Satan too.
[Back to Helaman 6:26:] “. . . by that same being who did entice our first parents [that is Satan] to partake of the forbidden fruit—Yea, that same being who plotted with Cain . . .” to make him rich if he murdered his brother. That is why he did it. He murdered his brother to get gain. And notice, this is the great secret of Master Mahan—that I can convert life into property. All of these things I’ve been reading here [from the newspaper, for example] jeopardize life; they all destroy some of the quality of life. They all distract from life. They are all anti-life, but they get gain. The only way you can get money is to convert living things into gain. So the earth is being made absolutely desolate in our time in an astonishing manner.
Verse 28: “And also it is that same being who put it into the hearts of the people to build a tower ” That was Nimrod [who built the tower] who was a descendant of Cush, who was a descendant of Noah. He built the tower from which the Jaredites came. “And it was that same being who led on the people who came from that tower into this land; who spread the works of darkness and abominations over all the face of the land, until he dragged the people down to an entire destruction . . . that same being [there it is again] who put it into the heart of Gadianton to still carry on the work of darkness, and of secret murder; and he has brought it forth from the beginning of man even down to this time.”
So, it has already been there. So, this is our anatomy of crime, our theory of crime. There has always been a center, a headquarters. He is the author of all sin. That’s interesting. It has nothing to do with nationality or anything like that. You don’t have to be a communist to break the Ten Commandments; people can do that. He “doth hand down their plots, and their oaths, and their covenants, and their plans of awful wickedness . . .” Notice again, they are a brotherhood, a closed society. They have plots, oaths, covenants, and plans. We think they would be rid of that in these modern, sophisticated, scientific times. They wouldn’t go back to this crazy mystique, but everybody is in it up to their ears now.
Verse 31: “And now behold, he had got great hold upon the hearts of the Nephites. . . . the more part of them had turned out of the way of righteousness . . . and did build up unto themselves idols of their gold and their silver.” Not gold and silver idols, but they made idols of their money. They worshipped that. Suddenly, this bursts on us like a clap of thunder—like a shocking exposŽ of things we hadn’t expected. It’s [like] a report to a grand jury that’s come out—so circumstantial, so clear, so detailed here. Who could have worked it out then? All of this happened so fast, in the space of not many years. That’s another thing. It works very fast, doesn’t it? We’ve seen that. Noriega used to be on our side; well there you are.
Verse 32: “. . . these iniquities did come unto them in the space of not many years, insomuch that a more part of it had come unto them in the sixty and seventh year of the reign of the judges . . . And they did grow in their iniquities . . . And thus we see that the Nephites began to dwindle in unbelief, and grow in wickedness and abominations, while the Lamanites began to grow exceedingly in the knowledge of their God [turning the tables] . . . the Spirit of the Lord began to withdraw from the Nephites, because of the wickedness and the hardness of their hearts.”
The hard-hearted ones that are set and decided can’t be moved. (See, that was Cain. He was hard; he wouldn’t listen to the Lord. Nothing could move him; he just walked out.) The Spirit of the Lord began to withdraw from them; “the Lord began to pour out his Spirit upon the Lamanites” on the other hand.
This is too fantastic, you might say. Verse 37: “. . . and it came to pass that the Lamanites did hunt the band of robbers of Gadianton; 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.” Just by preaching the gospel to them they utterly destroyed them? What strange changes come about!
Saturday night I had a call from a Church office in Salt Lake, which was very strange. A man started talking to me in Russian, and he was from the Leningrad Institute. He was suddenly all excited about Mormonism, but he had never heard of the Book of Mormon. Imagine that. Yet suddenly he started getting interested in Mormonism. Such strange turnabouts can happen, you know. It sounds absolutely weird. What would he care about it, being a professor at the Leningrad Institute? Well, he said his business was to teach religion there, and the one religion that attracted him most was Mormonism, though he knew very little about it. He had never seen a Book of Mormon. Obviously, the Book of Mormon was meant for us, certainly up to this point. These things apply to us; they don’t apply to those “naughty Russians.” They have their sins, their wickedness, etc., but there are some things we must pay attention to, because this is certainly meant for us. “This comes to you, O ye Gentiles.” He has written to me a forty-page résumé of why Mormonism is superior to other religions. This is a Russian professor in Leningrad, a total atheist. Why he would say such a thing is astonishing, but those things happen.
And so they preached the gospel, and they [the robbers] weren’t such bad guys after all—like the good bandits. Were the Gadiantons so bad? Ammon was right. Remember, Ammon went out to speak to the worst and most vicious of people. They [the Nephites] told him he would not last for five minutes—you will be [like] a snowball in hell. He went out and those were the very people he preached to, and they became the most righteous people in the land. They became more righteous than the [Nephites], the ones that Ammon went out to preach to. So we have strange shifts, tides and winds going on now. We are living in a tumultuous time, in case you don’t know it.