Is the topic of “secret combinations” taboo in the LDS church?

Over the years, any time I’ve ever mentioned the words “secret combination” in a dialogue among LDS, inevitably I am asked, “You’re not one of those conspiracy theory nutcases, are you?” This topic appears to be taboo. Why this is, I’m not sure, but it may be due to our desire for acceptance among the mainstream populace. Perhaps it is just the membership in my locality, and yet, in talking with what4anarchy, who lives in another town, he also comes across the same response.

Try this experiment, if you get a chance. In a conversation with other LDS, ask the group whether anyone thinks there’s a secret combination set up today, and, if so, could they identify it? You’ll probably get responses ranging from “No, there aren’t any” to “Yes, there are. They are organized crime gangs, such as the Mafia, Yakuza and street gangs of all sorts.” It is doubtful that anyone will say that there are secret combinations larger than the Sicilian and Japanese mafias. I’ve found that most LDS are simply not interested in this topic and look at you weird if you broach it. Of course, I find their reaction to the subject even weirder than the subject itself, due to our conspiracy-based scriptures.

Conspiracy-Based Scriptures

That’s right. Our latter-day scriptures, the three non-biblical books, are full of conspiracy theories, which are presented as conspiracy fact.

In the Book of Moses (Pearl of Great Price) we learn that Cain started the first secret combination, becoming the Master Mahan. From that point on, there always existed a secret combination, which had the express purpose of murdering, obtaining riches (through plunder) and power (ruling over men) without consequences. (See Moses 5: 29-31, 51; 6: 15.)

In the Book of Mormon we learn of the Gadianton Robbers, a secret combination started by Gadianton, who received the secret combination plans directly from Satan himself. (See Helaman 6: 26-30.) This band of Gadianton Robbers plagued the Nephites throughout their history, eventually causing their entire destruction. (See Helaman 2: 13; Ether 8: 21.) We also learn that Nephi saw that there would be secret combinations among us in the latter-days. (See 2 Nephi 26: 22.) In addition to the (plural) secret combinations that Nephi saw in vision among us, we learn that Moroni saw that there would be a (singular) great secret combination among us in the latter-days, one that particularly would seek “to overthrow the freedom of all lands” and that “bringeth to pass the destruction of all people.” (See Ether 8: 23, 24.) The Book of Mormon also explains that the Jaredites had a secret combination among them, the plans of which were written in their records and put into action by Akish at the instigation of Jared and his beautiful daughter. (See Ether 8: 7-18.) This jareditish secret combination eventually destroyed the Jaredites. (See Ether 8: 21.)

The Doctrine and Covenants also mention secret combinations. Section 38 explains that “the enemy is combined” (v. 12), that there is a “thing which is had in secret chambers, to bring to pass even your destruction in process of time” (v. 13) and that “the enemy in secret chambers seeketh your lives” (v. 28.) Section 38, in fact, contains instructions on how to “escape the power of the enemy” (v. 31). The law of the church (section 42) was also given “for this cause” (v. 32.) The Word of Wisdom, section 89, was also given “in consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days.” (See D&C 89: 4.) Secret combinations are also mentioned in D&C 42: 64 and in D&C 117: 11 (the Nicolaitane band.) Additionally, Joseph Smith writes in D&C 123: 13 that the LDS should expose all the secret combinations had among us, specifically, his words were that “we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them.”

We have the charge, so why the taboo?

Our latter-day scripture is filled to the brim with details about both ancient and modern secret combinations, what they consist of, how they operate, what their goals are, and how to combat them and Joseph Smith himself gives us the charge to reveal all the secret works, so that they are no longer secret (which is their real power), so why is this such a taboo subject?

A New Category

As a result of this charge, I am creating a new Secret Combinations category. The articles posted in it will be my attempt to fulfill Joseph Smith’s charge of “bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness.”

Next Secret Combinations article: “And Thus They Did Obtain the Sole Management of the Government”

Previous Secret Combinations article: Are there Clergy Response Teams in the LDS church?

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist