Helaman 2: The Gadianton Bands

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 145

In Helaman 1, Mormon wrote about two chief judges being murdered. As you read Helaman 2, notice who the new chief judge was. Why do you suppose they chose him? What did he do to keep from being the third chief judge to be murdered? What could be done about that new and powerful threat to the Nephite nation? Notice also what Mormon said about the effect of those secret combinations.

Understanding the Scriptures

Helaman 2

Lay wait (v. 3)Secretly wait
Combination (v. 8)Group organized to act in secret

Helaman 2:8—What Is a Secret Combination?

Gadianton’s band, or organization, was a secret combination. Secret combinations are groups of people who use wicked methods to gain power and wealth. They operate in secret because they seek to deceive and take advantage of others. They operate by fraud, murder, and deception and are the enemies of honest governments and good people everywhere. They are willing to do whatever is necessary to advance their causes. Modern prophets have warned us that there are organizations today that are as dangerous as the Gadianton bands were in the time of the Nephites.



Studying the Scriptures

Do activities A and B as you study Helaman 2.

Activity A iconIdentify Key Elements

  1. 1.

    In Helaman 2:13–14, what did Mormon write about the eventual effect of secret combinations among the Nephites?

  2. 2.

    Using Helaman 1:9–12 and 2:1–8, 11, list what secret combinations do, why they do it, and how they do it.

Activity B iconGive a Modern Example

  1. 1.

    Considering what you learned from doing activity A, write about how your life might be affected by secret combinations.

  2. 2.

    How do you think we can help prevent the spread of secret combinations?