Friday, October 28, 2016

Helaman 2:8-10 -- On Spies and Intrigue and God

"And when the servant of Helaman had known all the heart of Kishkumen, and how that it was his object to murder, and also that it was the object of all those who belonged to his band to murder, and to rob, and to gain power, (and this was their secret plan, and their combination) the servant of Helaman said unto Kishkumen: Let us go forth unto the judgment-seat.
Now this did please Kishkumen exceedingly, for he did suppose that he should accomplish his design; but behold, the servant of Helaman, as they were going forth unto the judgment-seat, did stab Kishkumen even to the heart, that he fell dead without a groan. And he ran and told Helaman all the things which he had seen, and heard, and done.
And it came to pass that Helaman did send forth to take this band of robbers and secret murderers, that they might be executed according to the law."
Helaman 2:8-10

This part of the Book of Mormon reads kind of like a spy novel.  Lots of disguise, assassination, and intrigue.  In these verses, Helaman's servant has infiltrated the band of Gadianton, which is a group that had killed several political leaders, and was conspiring to kill the new political leader (Helaman).  The servant finds out what the plan is, kills the would-be murderer to prevent the assassination, and goes and tells his boss.  They move immediately to try to capture all the people involved, but are only able to capture some of them.  Many escape, including their leader Gadianton.

It sometimes seems kind of weird that we have spy novels and war strategy type things in the middle of scripture, where we might expect some inspiring religious discourse instead. :)  But maybe when we run across these things in scripture, God is reminding us that he is in every part of our lives, not relegated to the "spiritual" corner.  I went to college at BYU for my undergraduate degree, and my favorite thing about that college is that I could raise my hand in science class (or any class at all) and ask how that scientific or literary or philosophical truth we were learning about fit into spiritual truth... and I would get a really good answer, because the teachers had thought about it, and it mattered to them as much as it did to me.

I think God is teaching us something similar with stories like this.  He knew we were going to face challenges like this in our time as well, and he wanted to prepare us and realize that we have to face corruption and evil and work together as a society to overcome them.  And he wants us to know that that part of life matters to him as well, and that we can pray about all of it, and search for the spiritual side of anything.  So, today, let's definitely avoid being sneaky and really evil like Kishkumen, but let's also remember that we can ask for God's help with anything, not just church things or things that seem spiritual.  God is the God of everything, and he is always there for us, no matter what is going on.

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