Why Latter-day Saints Should Be “Conspiracy Theorists”

Why Latter-day Saints Should Be “Conspiracy Theorists” May 22, 2024

Why Latter-day Saints Should be Conspiracy Theorists
The Book of Mormon discusses the existence of secret combinations (conspiracies) and the need for the righteous to fight against them. / Image created with DallE by author. 

The Book of Mormon’s preeminent, clearly stated purpose is to testify of Jesus Christ, which is what it does very well. Jesus Christ is referenced every 1.7 verses on average, totaling nearly 4,000 mentions of the Savior in The Book of Mormon.

In addition to its focus on promoting faith in Jesus Christ, there are other major themes to be found in The Book of Mormon as it lays out the gospel plan, including the importance of repentance, the need for revelation and prophecy, the promise of prosperity for those who keep God’s commandments, and the natural tendency of mankind towards war, violence, and disobedience.

For anyone who has studied The Book of Mormon intently, it’s hard to miss the repeated emphasis of a very prominent topic, one of the major themes discussed in the book: the existence of secret combinations (conspiracies) and the need for the righteous to fight against them.

What is a Conspiracy Theorist?

The term “conspiracy theorist” is a pejorative. The use of that phrase among media outlets and by talking heads in modern society is deliberately meant to discredit people who believe that conspiracies (secret combinations) exist in today’s world.

The CIA is responsible for popularizing the term “conspiracy theorist” as a way to discredit people who don’t believe the publicly accepted narrative about major events and accepted . They published a strategy (CIA Document 1035-960) to counter those (people labeled “conspiracy theorists”) who made assertions that the assassination of John F Kennedy involved the CIA and other government officials.

Conspiracy theorists in contemporary society are generally people who do not trust the official narratives about major aspects of modern society. It is worth looking at a few of the major popular conspiracy points of contention. I will mention just a few that I have researched.

  • The world is ruled by a small group of wealthy, evil people who relentlessly seek more power and control.
  • The world’s healthcare, education systems, and media are dominated by the ruling elite.
  • The 9/11 attacks of 2001 were orchestrated by the US government.
  • The moon landing was fake; it never happened.
  • The world is flat, not a spinning globe.
  • Vaccines are designed to harm and have no useful benefits.
  • COVID-19 was simply a narrative (no virus was ever documented) designed to gain control.

In past decades, the common “bread and circus” Latter-day Saint, content with being able to attend Taylor Swift concerts and watching football games while eating pizza and Doritos, has seen had no motivation to rock any boat or to look up from what appears to be a Zion wherein all is well.

However, as the time for the Second Coming approaches, it’s a good idea for Latter-day Saints and other religiously-minded, good people to ask questions about why many of the things we see in society simply don’t add up.

Prophetic Warnings About Conspiracies

The most vivid warning and passionate plea in The Book of Mormon to understand and fight against secret combinations is contained in Moroni’s explanation of what caused the downfall of the Jaredite nation. In Ether chapter 8, Moroni describes the plotting of the overthrow of the Jaredite king Omer by his son and granddaughter. Their plan involved seduction, murder, and the making of Satanic oaths designed to “gain power, and to murder, and to plunder, and to lie, and to commit all manner of wickedness and whoredoms.”

Moroni’s commentary on this situation is worth reading in his own words, as they are written in Ether 8:18-25 (emphasis added):

18 And it came to pass that they formed a secret combination, even as they of old; which combination is most abominable and wicked above all, in the sight of God;

19 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.

20 And now I, Moroni, do not write the manner of their oaths and combinations, for it hath been made known unto me that they are had among all people, and they are had among the Lamanites.

21 And they have caused the destruction of this people of whom I am now speaking, and also the destruction of the people of Nephi.

22 And whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold, they shall 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.

23 Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gain—and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be.

24 Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up.

25 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.

It is clear from Moroni’s words that we have a responsibility as those privileged to have received The Book of Mormon, who have had the faith to believe its words and who have been recipients of the message of the restored Church of Jesus Christ  to be aware of secret combinations. In modern terms, Moroni is telling Latter-day Saints that we need to take a much more critical look at what we see happening in our society, that we need to identify and combat (vocally, financially, physically and in other ways) the conspiracies that are happening among us.

From my experience interacting with members of the Church, including in many leadership positions, this warning from Moroni has not been taken seriously by almost anyone, which means we are failing as a group to fulfill the important assignment.

President Benson’s Warning Against Modern Day Secret Combinations

Just over 20 years ago, I came across a video of Ezra Taft Benson speaking in the April 1972 General Conference. President Benson was known to be a man who was outspoken about the existence of conspiracies among governments and other institutions of power and control.

During his talk, entitled Civic Standards for the Faithful Saints, President Benson emphatically warns against conspiracies, many of which he was aware of by virtue of his political role as the Secretary of Agriculture under President Dwight Eisenhower. 

Referencing Moroni’s powerful lecture in Ether chapter 8 against secret combinations, President Benson added, “Now undoubtedly Moroni could have pointed out many factors that led to the destruction of the people, but notice how he singled out the secret combinations, just as the Church today could point out many threats to peace, prosperity, and the spread of God’s work, but it has singled out the greatest threat as the godless conspiracy. There is no conspiracy theory in the Book of Mormon—it is a conspiracy fact.”

There is no conspiracy theory in the Book of Mormon—it is a conspiracy fact.

President Benson then recommended that members of the Church read the book None Dare Call It Conspiracy by Gary Allen.

Being intrigued by his suggestion, I decided to read None Dare Call It Conspiracy. Over the past 20 years I have read that book three times. It has been eye-opening. The patterns and oaths that have been used since the time Cain plotted to kill Abel are clearly still in use by power-seeking men and women today. I am certain that the media, the public education system, the healthcare system, and other critical elements that make up modern American society are under the control of evil people whose influence is destructive. In many ways, my wife and I have made great efforts to withdraw our family from those influences.

As I’ve investigated many of the various conspiracy claims (hundreds of them, one of the strangest of which is President Nelson’s membership in the Skull and Bones secret society) that make their ways around Twitter, Telegram, and other non-censored areas of the internet, my eyes have been opened to the awful situation that the we find ourselves in. As heavy as it is to learn about so many dark things happening in our world, among those who have been trusted to lead in government and even in my own religion, researching conspiracies seems to fall in line with the instructions given by Joseph Smith in Section 123 of the Doctrine and Covenants, in which he insinuates accountability for an “imperative duty” for those who have been entrusted with covenants associated with the gospel of Jesus Christ to “waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them.”

13 Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven—

14 These should then be attended to with great earnestness.

– Doctrine and Covenants 123:13-14

In addition to our many other responsibilities – marriage, kids, providing for our families – I suggest that it is very much a priesthood responsibility to identify where wickedness exists, especially as it is used in conspiracies as a “most damning hand of murder, tyranny, and oppression”, to understand how they work, to expose them, and to resist them wherever possible.


About Richard Robbins
Richard Robbins is an active Latter-day Saint and a believer in conspiracies. He and his wife, Lisa raise their eight children on a homestead in Tennessee. They operate internet businesses together while raising their kids on the 3 Bs: the Bible (and The Book of Mormon ), Baseball, and Bluegrass. You can read more about the author here.

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