Each time I read the Book of Mormon different scriptures come to my attention. As I began my study yesterday of the section called 3 Nephi, I was impressed by the following verse: 3 Nephi And it came to pass that the ninety and third year did also pass away in peace, save it were for the Gadianton robbers, who dwelt upon the mountains, who did infest the land; for so strong were their holds and their secret places that the people could not overpower them; therefore they did commit many murders, and did do much slaughter among the people."
Gadianton robbers, for those who are not familiar with them, were terrorists. I never fully realized that until yesterday. I think I always knew that there was a connection, but I never thought much about or studied it. Yesterday I did some research on the internet and immediately found a few wonderful articles backing this up. I don't want to spend time discussing how these robbers can be labeled terrorists; you can google Book of Mormon and Terrorism and read about that. I would like to write about why these terrorists were called robbers, a label some might consider too simplistic.
When most of us think of robbers we think of someone invading a place in secret and stealing. The first thing I think of is my home. People rob for various reasons; some motivations are hunger (often for food, goods or drugs), coercion and peer pressure, mob crazies, anger, hatred, or just the thrill of it. It is not always done in secret. I'm guessing that fear is always felt to some degree by the robber. Stealing encompasses a broad range of activities and feelings.
What do terrorists rob us of? There is a short list below which I will probably lengthen (in no particular order).
Perhaps the recent use of the MOAB bomb on terrorist underground tunnels etc. in Afghanistan triggered the prompting to study Gadianton robbers. I have found that if I read the Book of Mormon regularly I sometimes see parallels between what I'm reading and what is going on in the world. It is fascinating to me that I can understand terrorism to some degree by simply studying the Book of Mormon regularly. I certainly don't know the information that a CIA agent might know, but I can get a few basics which are enough to be enlighten me as a citizen of the United States. I can be warned of the consequences. I can learn ways to deal with terrorists. I can be motivated to live the gospel and share it.
What terrorists can rob us of
- Life, both physical and spiritual (terrorism is a cancer in that it secretly infiltrates/starves/kills the Good)
- Truth (they gain power through lies, deception, etc.)
- Freedom (temporally and spritually)
- Courage (terrorism is fueled by fear)
- Temporal needs (food, goods, etc.)
- Individual worth
- Knowledge/identity of Jesus Christ
- Respect for life
- True equality