In the year 26 BC, Cezoram II succeeds his father, who has been murdered on the judgment seat by assassins from the Gadianton conspiracy. That same year the son is also murdered—a clear manifestation of the ascendancy of the secret society of evildoers during this period.
Book of Mormon history eloquently reveals the corrosive effect of the passion for wealth. Each time the people became righteous, they prospered. Then followed the transition from prosperity to wealth, wealth to the love of wealth, then to the love of ease and luxury. They moved then into spiritual inactivity, then to gross sin and wickedness, then on to near destruction by their enemies. This caused them to repent, which brought back righteousness, then prosperity, and the cycle had begun all over again.
Had the people used their wealth for good purposes they could have enjoyed a continuing prosperity. But they seemed unable for a sustained period to be simultaneously wealthy and righteous. For a limited time some people can “hold the line,” but they deteriorate spiritually when money is abundant. The writer of Proverbs says: A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent. (Proverbs 28:20.) (The Miracle of Forgiveness [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969], 47–48)