This Gadianton Did Prove the Overthrow…of the People of Nephi – Helaman 2:13-14

13 And behold, in the end of this book ye shall see that this Gadianton did prove the overthrow, yea, almost the entire destruction of the people of Nephi.
14 Behold I do not mean the end of the book of Helaman, but I mean the end of the book of Nephi, from which I have taken all the account which I have written.

The role of the Gadianton robbers in the destruction of the Nephites is a significant theme for Mormon. This chapter marks the first appearance of Gadianton, but his name will appear again and again in subsequent chapters, as Mormon traces the role of his organization in the decay and eventual destruction of the Nephite civilization. The topic is so important that Mormon tells us at the beginning what will happen and why it is important for us to pay attention to this band of robbers. We’ll learn more about this diabolical organization later, and they will evolve over time, but so far, here’s what we know about them:
  1. Their objective was to circumvent the law by hiding and protecting members of their group who committed crimes. The event which gave rise to the organization was the assassination of Pahoran by Kishkumen (Helaman 1:9-11).
  2. They “did mingle themselves among the people, in a manner that they all could not be found” (Helaman 1:12).
  3. The members of the band were motivated by a desire for power and authority over the people (Helaman 2:5).
  4. They had secret signs which enabled them to identify one another (Helaman 2:7).
  5. They had an escape plan: when the group began to be infiltrated by the government, they were able to quickly evacuate as a group into the wilderness (Helaman 2:11).
In summary, they prioritized loyalty to the group over doing what was right.
Today, I will behave with honesty and integrity, even if doing so jeopardizes my acceptance within a group. I will avoid any form of dishonesty, particularly when it serves to prevent people from being accountable for their actions.
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