The Origin of the Secret Oaths

Daniel H. Ludlow

In his farewell instructions to his son Helaman, Alma warns him to withhold from the Nephites those references from Jaredite history pertaining to "all their oaths, and their covenants, and their agreements in their secret abominations; yea . . . ye shall keep these secret plans of their oaths and their covenants from this people." (Alma 37:27, 29.) But in Helaman 6, which covers a period about fifty years later than Alma's instructions to his son, it is obvious that the Nephites (especially the Gadianton Robbers) are in possession of these secret oaths and covenants. The historian hastens to inform us, however, that these "secret oaths and covenants did not come forth unto Gadianton from the records which were delivered unto Helaman; but behold, they were put into the heart of Gadianton by that same being who did entice our first parents to partake of the forbidden fruit." (Helaman 6:26.) In subsequent verses the historian makes it clear that these secret oaths and covenants came from the devil, "he who is the author of all sin." (Helaman 6:30.)

A Companion To Your Study of The Book of Mormon