Faithless Motivation of Tyrants…

I recently read a question, I believe to be rhetorical, posed by Bishop Ronald Goodlad regarding the 3 Nephi 3:7 account in which Giddianhi, the Gadianton leader, offers under threat of force, that if Lachoneus and the Nephites surrender themselves and their lands the robbers will share in partnership all that is surrendered.  In verse 7 we read the offer made by Giddianhi, “yield yourselves up unto us, and unite with us and become acquainted with our secret works, and become our brethren that ye may be like unto us—not our slaves, but our brethren and partners of all our substance.”  Bishop Goodlad’s question is as follows:

“If Giddianhi and his people lived off of plunder, how did they hope to continue to live if the Nephites joined them?  If the Nephites joined them there would be no one to plunder.  So, can I assume their offer to become equal partners was a lie?”

It has always been the same. Anybody that offers a utopia or a worker’s paradise, or even a pyramid scheme, the one with all the “ideas” is always at the top of the pyramid, and those that join later are always simply fodder to feed the system, stripping the individual of his or her agency.  This always ends in tyranny.  Where there is no agency there is no charity, and without the pure love of Christ, there is only tyranny.  The masses always have to pay the price so that the tyrant can live in power and prosper on the backs of the down-trodden.

The difference between the kingdom that King Benjamin lovingly watched over, and anything to which the likes of Giddianhi would aspire, is that its leader, King Benjamin, was filled with charity, like unto Christ, so they worked together as a people for the good of all in Christ.  Giddianhi desired simply to take from the land, from the sweat of the people, everything that could be taken, for he cared not about any generation that would follow, as long as he got his.

Our Lord Jesus Christ, instead of being at the top of a house of cards, or the pinnacle of a pyramid built upon the backs of the poor, is the very foundation, the chief corner stone, bearing all the pressure and weight of everyone, all of us, that we may all be saved in Him.  Through charitable cooperation in Christ, preserving our agency in Him, we may be part of a kingdom that will never fall, that will never crumble, a stone cut out of the mountain without hands, a kingdom without end that welcomes the brokenhearted and relieves the burdens of sin and guilt, not under threat, but for love’s sake, Christ’s love.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Daniel Malcolm is an entrepreneur, journalist, photographer, husband to Monica and father of twelve. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is a witness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Atonement.