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The kingdom was in peace for many generations, until the time of Omer and his son Jared (verse 1). Jared rebelled against his father, leaving the land and gathering people by the use of flattery (verse 2). When he had stirred up half the people, he took his father captive in battle (verse 3). Omer was captive half his life, under his son Jared’s rule, with his growing family also in captivity (verse 4).
Like generations before them, when the righteous king was held captive by an unrighteous son, the righteous siblings in captivity grew angry with their hostile brother (verse 5). When they grew, they rose up against Jared and conquered his army, and very nearly killed Jared as well – but he pled at the last minute to be spared, promising to return the kingdom to his father, so they granted him his life (verse 6).
But Jared was sorry to have lost his kingdom, “for he had set his heart upon the kingdom and upon the glory of the world” (verse 7). His daughter saw his sorrow, and made a plan to get the kingdom back for her father (verse 8). She reminded him of the old stories of secret combinations (verse 9), and offered to go and dance for King Omer’s friend in exchange for King Omer’s head (verse 10).
Jared liked this plan, and set it up. He invited King Omer’s friend over, his daughter danced for him, and he asked to keep her as a wife (verse 11). Jared said he could have her, but that the dowry price was King Omer’s head (verse 12). And so the secret plans began: King Omer’s friend gathered all of Jared’s household, and made them promise to be faithful to him in whatever he needs to do to get King Omer’s head (verse 13). All the people agreed, saying that anyone who ratted him out would be lose their life (verse 14). They took oaths of power, the oaths of Cain who murdered Abel (verse 15), the oaths that had been passed down in darkness for power, murder, plundering, lying, wickedness, and whoredoms (verse 16).
This is how it was passed down and came to be, from the idea of Jared’s daughter who knew the story, to Jared himself who researched what to do and how to do it, and King Omer’s friends who administered it to those who pledged their loyalty (verse 17). This is how they combined in secret, how they planned to kill King Omer to gain their own power, even though such plans are “most abominable and wicked above all, in the sight of God” (verse 18).
For the Lord worketh not in secret combinations, neither doth he will that man should shed blood, but in all things hath forbidden it, from the beginning of man (verse 19).
Moroni interrupts his story now, in another monologue to the reader. He says that he is not including in this part of the story the exact oaths taken, but that the Lamanites know them, and that this is what has caused their destruction happening now around him and what destroyed the Nephites (verses 20-21). Further, he says that any nation that uses these “to get power and gain” will be destroyed, “for the Lord will not suffer that the blood of his saints, which shall be shed by them, shall always cry unto him from the ground for vengeance upon them and yet he avenge them not” (verse 22).
It is wisdom, he tells us (even us, now), that these things not be shown to us further, that we can instead focusing on repenting of our sins instead of seeking power and gain (verse 23). But he does tells us of what happened, he says, “that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation” (verse 24).
For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies; even that same liar who beguiled our first parents, yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning; who hath hardened the hearts of men that they have murdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning (verse 25).
So Moroni warns us of these things, “that evil may be done away, and that the time may come that Satan may have no power upon the hearts of the children of men, but that they may be persuaded to do good continually, that they may come unto the fountain of all righteousness and be saved” (verse 26).