Unrighteous, binding oaths were a corrupt imitation of a true, sacred principle of righteous, binding oaths and covenants (see commentary at Helaman 6:21–25). Whatever nation or people countenances secret oaths and combinations will be destroyed by them.
Perhaps the prominent hallmark of secret combinations is the perpetuation of the Mahanic principle—murder to get gain and then conceal it with oaths inspired and administered by Satan (compare Moses 5:29–31 with Ether 8:7, 9, 15–16). One of the greatest lessons of scripture is found in Ether 8. We must put our trust in God and not in the things of the world. Jared’s exceeding sorrow over the loss of the kingdom shows that obsession with the kingdoms and glory of the world can lead those who are unbalanced to seek allegiance with anyone guaranteeing what they want, even Satan. It might also be noted that promises of kingdoms and the glory of the world were some of the temptations Satan threw at Jesus early in his ministry (Matthew 4:8–10). Moroni explained why he discussed these things—to warn us, so that we who live in the latter days might repent and refuse to allow these murderous combinations to infiltrate and destroy us.