by Kandace Bahrt

In my Book of Mormon class this week, we discussed the book of Ether and how it provides a second witness of the Book of Mormon; showing us another nation and its destruction through pride and wickedness. I always feel sad at the end of this book, thinking about the literally millions who died because of their failure to repent and accept God.

Once Jared and Akish start their secret combinations in chapter 8, it’s the signal that things are about to officially go downhill with few righteous generations in between. I’ve always thought it was depressing, reading about the destruction of these people. However, I really saw the purpose of this in chapter 8, verses 25 and 26. Moroni says about secret combinations;

“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 […] 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”.

Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon teaches principles that bring blessings and happiness.

We talked in class about how Moroni and Mormon included all of these things for our benefit and for our day so that we may learn and help bring to pass the time where evil is nonexistent and Satan has no power. Unfortunately our world is full of secret combinations and evil people who seek to take away our liberty. This is a continuation of the war in heaven where Satan tried desperately to remove our agency.

Now that we are here on earth, he has many more opportunities to tempt us and the things that take away our freedom and happiness are paramount in his plan of destruction. Luckily we have the examples of the Nephites, Jaredites and many others in history. It is up to us to remember the past and learn from it; doing all we can to protect liberty. Satan will tempt us with short term pleasures that seem appealing but in the long run take away our freedom and agency.

We must fight every day to remember that although we go through trials and difficulties, our eternal reward is waiting for us as long as we remain faithful and repent when we fall. Take advantage of the Atonement and let its healing power change your life for the better. Protect your agency with all your might and reject things that take away your freedom and peace of mind.