I got home very late from the opera last night, having not yet read the passages that I was to teach this morning for Gospel Doctrine class. (I didn’t plan things to be that way, but so they were.) Unfortunately, confused by a lot of travel and a host of recent deadlines and distractions as well as by recent interruptions for stake conference and general conference and the dedication of the Brigham City Utah Temple — very good things, all of them — I settled on the wrong lesson. By quite a distance. I was supposed to teach 3 Nephi 8-11, and — being told after I had stood up for class that that was the reading assignment for today — I did teach that lesson. But I had read and marked up . . . well, um, and this is rather embarrassing, Helaman 7-12.
Which got me thinking about my favorite group in the Book of Mormon: Gadianton’s robbers.
I find them fascinating, and I’ve written and published a fair amount about them. Including, in chronological order of appearance:
(Which should be followed up with Paul Mouritsen, “Secret Combinations and Flaxen Cords: Anti-Masonic Rhetoric and the Book of Mormon.”)
(To which should be appended Nathan Oman, “Secret Combinations: A Legal Analysis.”)
And I returned to the subject relatively recently with this item:
But I still have at least one quite substantial article on my to-do list with regard to the Gadianton movement. Perhaps I can get to it in the next several months. I hope so; it’s been on my mind for years.
Anyway, the Gadianton robbers are fascinating. And there’s a lot more to them than the authors of the Book of Mormon wanted their audience to know. Most of that is lost, of course, which is to say that it was successfully suppressed. But there are still tantalizing clues.