Secret Combinations in More Simple Terms
Ether 8: 18–26 (paraphrasing): It is wisdom in God that these things be shown unto you (What things? The Secret Combinations and their works) that thereby (1) ye may repent of your sins and (2) suffer not that the combination get above you. In verse 24 we are commanded to awake to our awful situation because of this Secret Combination.
Sometimes people get caught up thinking of these things as simply “conspiracy theories” and negative things we don’t need to be talking about, others dismiss it altogether, and some take it too far or to the extreme. It seems that society has taught us that only crazy people (wackos/kooks/nuts) believe in “conspiracy theories” and the media will often use those same words to quickly dismiss something as nonsense.
Let’s bring it back into perspective, in simpler terms. Who is the one that built up the Secret Combination? The devil, the father of all lies. He proclaimed that he would use money and buy up armies and navies and use governments to destroy the work of the Lord and to have his way. That’s what the Secret Combinations are – the secret organizations (sometimes not so secret) controlled by Satan for the purpose of getting his way, getting us to follow him, destroying our freedom and agency, and keeping us from returning to our Father.
Joseph Fielding Smith said:
“Satan has control now. No matter where you look, he is in control, even in our own land. He is guiding the governments as far as the Lord will permit him. That is why there is so much strife, turmoil, confusion all over the earth. One master mind is governing the nations. It is not the President of the United States …it is not the king or government of England or any other land; it is Satan himself. (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 3, pp.314-315)
Moroni was commanded to write the warnings about Secret Combinations that evil may be done away with… and that we may be persuaded to do good continually, and come to the fountain of all righteousness and be saved.
What we are facing here, in Satan’s attempt to destroy the freedom of all lands, nations and countries, is the continuation of the war in Heaven on Earth. The war between good and evil, agency/freedom vs. force.
I think we will witness increasing evidence of Satan’s power as the kingdom of God grows stronger… It is not good practice to become intrigued by Satan and his mysteries. No good can come from getting close to evil. Like playing with fire, it is too easy to get burned… However, President Brigham Young said that it is important to “study…evil, and its consequences.” Since Satan is the author of all the evil in the world, it is essential therefore to realize that he is the influence behind the opposition to the work of God… My principal reason for choosing this subject is to help young people by warning them, as Paul said, “lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” … Nephi has given to us the pattern or formula by which Satan operates: “And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.