Ezra Taft Benson explained that “God molded the Book of Mormon that we might see the error and know how to combat false educational, political, religious and philosophical concepts of our time.” (1987)
With that in mind, let’s look at a story in the Book of Mormon about an ancient Communist.
Giddianhi, a leader of the Gadiantons, aimed to enforce communism on the Nephites. He began with sophisticated persuasion –that soon became threatening.
A moment before he vowed to slay the Nephites, ironically, Giddianhi said, “Unite with us… become our brethren that ye may be like unto us– not our slaves, but our brethren and partners of all our substance.” Doesn’t that sound like the educational reform called Common Core? We have been told that under Common Core, we are all working cooperatively, not in submission to the federal government, but as partners. Meanwhile, the paperwork we’ve signed binds us to exactly the opposite of what’s been promised– it mandates submission, compliance, triangulating data with the feds, and under Common Core, we have no liberty to amend the CCSS standards –because they are copyrighted. See http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-assessment/sbac-cooperative-agreement.pdf and http://www.corestandards.org/terms-of-use.
The definition of communism: “a theory advocating elimination of private property; a system in which goods are owned in common; a totalitarian system of government in which a single party controls state-owned means of production. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/communism
Communism and socialism (and Common Core) appeals to many on its surface (before they realize how it’s going to be enforced, with brutal power and without free choice).
It’s appealing because it shares some similarities with the law of consecration: but under Communism, we share because we are forced to, on pain of imprisonment or death; in Consecration, we share because of free agency. The two ideas are completely opposite one another in purpose, spirit and outcome.
Giddianhi wanted to take control of the Nephite people, but he lied to himself and others about the motives and the nobleness of his cause. He felt that the Nephites had wronged him and his people; he felt that he knew that these secret combinations were good; he felt that the Nephites did not really, or should not really, own their own lands.
Similarly, there are lies and distortions in modern socialism/communism as promoted by Obama and his many followers. They want to redistribute wealth by forceful taxation, essentially stealing from the middle class to give to the government who will share a portion of that theft with the poor. This takes charity out of the equation. This also reminds me of the United Nations and Agenda 21, which hopes to redistribute property rights to the global government, essentially stealing everyone’s land for Communism. http://www.jbs.org/news/alabama-adopts-first-official-state-ban-on-un-agenda-21. And it reminds me of Common Core, which redistributes education by refusing to let kids fail or soar; they have to stay in the middle, on a lockstep track with every other child that is nationally, not locally, determined. http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards Ultimately, who’s to stop the national standards writers from updating the standards, and writing immoral or otherwise unacceptable standards into what we’ve all adopted? Our educational liberty, in Utah and in almost every other US state, is gone. I mourn it. I pray every day that it’s not too late to reclaim it.
But here is the rest of Giddiahni’s story. ( It starts with Giddiahni’s letter to Lachoneous, the Nephite. It ends with a terrible battle, in which the Nephites do win with God on their side, and Giddiahni is killed. Even though in this battle, the Nephites won, later they lost. They were made extinct in the end, because their fervor in fighting for freedom did not last. This is the great warning of the Book of Mormon to us– we will not keep our country and our freedom unless we wake up and fight for it.)
Gaddiahi to Lachoneous:
” I… give unto you exceedingly great praise because of your firmness, and also the firmness of your people, in amaintaining that which ye suppose to be your right and bliberty; yea, ye do stand well, as if ye were supported by the hand of a god, in the defence of your liberty, and your property, and your country, or that which ye do call so.
3 And it seemeth a pity unto me, most noble Lachoneus, that ye should be so foolish and vain as to suppose that ye can stand against so many brave men who are at my command… and knowing of their everlasting hatred towards you because of the many wrongs which ye have done unto them, therefore if they should come down against you they would visit you with utter destruction.
6 Therefore I write unto you, desiring that ye would yield up unto this my people, your cities, your lands, and your possessions, rather than that they should visit you with the sword and that destruction should come upon you.
7 Or in other words, yield yourselves up unto us, and unite with us and become acquainted with our asecret works, and become our brethren that ye may be like unto us—not our slaves, but our brethren and partners of all our substance.
8 And behold, I aswear unto you, if ye will do this, with an oath, ye shall not be destroyed; but if ye will not do this, I swear unto you with an oath, that on the morrow month I will command that my armies shall come down against you, and they shall not stay their hand and shall spare not, but shall slay you, and shall let fall the sword upon you even until ye shall become extinct.
9 And behold, I am aGiddianhi; and I am the governor of this the bsecret society of Gadianton; which society and the works thereof I know to be cgood; and they are of dancient date and they have been handed down unto us.
10 And I write this epistle unto you, Lachoneus, and I hope that ye will deliver up your lands and your possessions, without the shedding of blood, that this my people may recover their rights and agovernment, who have dissented away from you because of your wickedness in retaining from them their rights of government, and except ye do this, I will avenge their wrongs. I am Giddianhi.
11 And now it came to pass when Lachoneus received this epistle he was exceedingly astonished, because of the boldness of Giddianhi demanding the possession of the land of the Nephites, and also of threatening the people and avenging the wrongs of those that had received no wrong, save it were they had awronged themselves by dissenting away unto those wicked and abominable robbers.
12 Now behold, this Lachoneus, the governor, was a just man, and could not be frightened by the demands and the threatenings of a arobber; therefore he did not hearken to the epistle of Giddianhi, the governor of the robbers, but he did cause that his people should cry unto the Lord for bstrength against the time that the robbers should come down against them.
13 Yea, he sent a proclamation among all the people, that they should agather together their women, and their children, their flocks and their herds, and all their substance, save it were their land, unto one place.
14 And he caused that afortifications should be built round about them, and the strength thereof should be exceedingly great. And he caused that armies, both of the Nephites and of the Lamanites, or of all them who were numbered among the Nephites, should be placed as guards round about to watch them, and to guard them from the robbers day and night.
15 Yea, he said unto them: As the Lord liveth, except ye repent of all your iniquities, and cry unto the Lord, ye will in nowise be adelivered out of the hands of those Gadianton robbers.
16 And so great and marvelous were the words and prophecies of Lachoneus that they did cause fear to come upon all the people; and they did exert themselves in their might to do according to the words of Lachoneus.
18 Now the chiefest among all the chief captains and the great commander of all the armies of the Nephites was appointed, and his name was aGidgiddoni.
19 Now it was the custom among all the Nephites to appoint for their chief captains, (save it were in their times of wickedness) some one that had the aspirit of revelation and also prophecy; therefore, this Gidgiddoni was a great prophet among them, as also was the chief judge.
20 Now the people said unto Gidgiddoni: aPray unto the Lord, and let us go up upon the mountains and into the wilderness, that we may fall upon the robbers and destroy them in their own lands.
21 But Gidgiddoni saith unto them: The Lord aforbid; for if we should go up against them the Lord would bdeliver us into their hands; therefore we will prepare ourselves in the center of our lands, and we will gather all our armies together, and we will not go against them, but we will wait till they shall come against us; therefore as the Lord liveth, if we do this he will deliver them into our hands.
22 And it came to pass in the seventeenth year, in the latter end of the year, the proclamation of Lachoneus had gone forth throughout all the face of the land, and they had taken their ahorses, and their chariots, and their cattle, and all their flocks, and their herds, and their grain, and all their substance, and did march forth by thousands and by tens of thousands, until they had all gone forth to the bplace which chad been appointed that they should gather themselves together, to defend themselves against their enemies.
23 And the aland which was appointed was the land of Zarahemla, and the land which was between the land Zarahemla and the land bBountiful, yea, to the line which was between the cland Bountiful and the land Desolation.
24 And there were a great many thousand people who were called Nephites, who did gather themselves together in this land. Now Lachoneus did cause that they should gather themselves together in the land asouthward, because of the great curse which was upon the bland northward.
25 And they did fortify themselves against their enemies; and they did dwell in one land, and in one body, and they did fear the words which had been spoken by Lachoneus, insomuch that they did repent of all their sins; and they did put up their aprayers unto the Lord their God, that he would deliver them in the time that their enemies should come down against them to battle…
7 And it came to pass that they did come up to battle; and it was in the sixth month; and behold, great and terrible was the day that they did come up to battle; and they were girded about after the manner of robbers; and they had a lamb-skin about their loins, and they were dyed in blood, and their heads were shorn, and they had head-plates upon them; and great and terrible was the appearance of the armies of Giddianhi, because of their armor, and because of their being dyed in blood.
8 And it came to pass that the armies of the Nephites, when they saw the appearance of the army of Giddianhi, had all fallen to the earth, and did lift their cries to the Lord their God, that he would spare them and deliver them out of the hands of their enemies.
9 And it came to pass that when the armies of Giddianhi saw this they began to shout with a loud voice, because of their joy, for they had supposed that the Nephites had fallen with fear because of the terror of their armies.
10 But in this thing they were disappointed, for the Nephites did not afear them; but they did fear their God and did supplicate him for bprotection; therefore, when the armies of Giddianhi did rush upon them they were prepared to meet them; yea, in the strength of the Lord they did receive them.
11 And the battle commenced in this the sixth month; and great and terrible was the battle thereof, yea, great and terrible was the aslaughter thereof, insomuch that there never was known so great a slaughter among all the people of Lehi since he left Jerusalem.
12 And notwithstanding the athreatenings and the oaths which Giddianhi had made, behold, the Nephites did beat them, insomuch that they did fall back from before them.
13 And it came to pass that aGidgiddoni commanded that his armies should pursue them as far as the borders of the wilderness, and that they should not spare any that should fall into their hands by the way; and thus they did pursue them and did slay them, to the borders of the wilderness, even until they had fulfilled the commandment of Gidgiddoni.
14 And it came to pass that Giddianhi, who had stood and fought with boldness, was pursued as he fled; and being weary because of his much fighting he was overtaken and slain. And thus was the end of Giddianhi the robber.
15 And it came to pass that the armies of the Nephites did return again to their place of security. And it came to pass that this nineteenth year did pass away, and the robbers did not come again to battle; neither did they come again in the twentieth year.