When a corrupt few come to power who are upheld by the many—who themselves are on the high road to corruption—they can’t expect the few not to exercise controls over the many contrary to the latter’s expectations when their own lawlessness demands it. Nor—under those same ostensibly lawful auspices—can the many expect the few not to far exceed lawful limits in exploiting their authority as they savor their newfound powers and devise unlawful pretexts to increase their hold on the many. Thus do the few lead the many captive—all because “the time came that the voice of the people chose iniquity” (cf. Mosiah 29:26–27). Meanwhile, the upright minority of the people who did not choose evil now doubly falls victim to evil (1) because they were not the ones who elected the few who deprived them of the freedoms they once enjoyed; and (2) because they have now become convenient scapegoats and whipping boys for the majority who entangled them in the collective guilt of the nation.—Endtime Prophecy: A Judeo-Mormon Analysis, 84–85, by Avraham Gileadi, Ph.D.
Among the Nephites, Gadianton’s band of robbers finally contrived to “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” (Helaman 6:39). Their “filling the judgment seats, having usurped the power and authority of the land; laying aside the commandments of God, and not in the least aright before him; doing no justice unto the children of men; condemning the righteous because of their righteousness; letting the guilty and the wicked go unpunished because of their money; and moreover to be held in office at the head of government, to rule and do according to their wills, that they might get gain and glory of the world, and, moreover, that they might the more easily commit adultery, and steal, and kill, and do according to their own wills,” reduced the people to “an awful state,” readying them “for an everlasting destruction” (Helaman 6:40; 7:4–5).
As a portent to America’s end-time inhabitants, the Book of Mormon tells the backstory to these events within the Nephite nation: “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” (Helaman 6:17). While the operation of “secret combinations” today may not be evident to everyone—their existence being secret—America’s Gentiles have indeed long been blessed with this world’s riches, more than all other peoples before them. As the most consumer-driven society of all time, have they not indeed set their hearts on their riches? If there remains any doubt in their minds about the operation, too, of secret combinations, therefore, and their usurping power in our day, isn’t it because “their eyes are glazed so they cannot see; their minds incapable of discernment” (Isaiah 44:18; cf. 56:10)?—Endtime Prophecy: A Judeo-Mormon Analysis, 96–97, by Avraham Gileadi, Ph.D.