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The Servants of Satan Among Us & Learning From “The Servant of Helaman”

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President Russell M. Nelson, in his landmark January 2016 address from the BYU-Hawaii campus entitled Becoming True Millennials, gave this solemn warning: “Around 41 B.C., many Nephites joined the Church, and the Church prospered. But secret combinations also began to grow, and many of their cunning leaders hid among the people and were difficult to detect. As the people became more and more prideful, many of the Nephites made “a mock of that which was sacred, denying the spirit of prophecy and of revelation.” Those same threats are among us today. The somber reality is that there are “servants of Satan” embedded throughout society. So be very careful about whose counsel you follow.”

Becoming True Millennials - Russell M. Nelson

Another sad and highly instructive saga began about 82 B.C in the prosperous and proud city of Ammonihah. The dominant religion among the people of Ammonihah was that of Nehor, who had been executed by Chief Judge Alma the Younger for the murder of Gideon several years earlier. And what did Nehor preach? That all will be saved, that all should rejoice because they will be saved, and that those who work among the people to keep them “awake” to this happy thought should be paid for their service.

Priestcraft (aligned with what is essentially the religion of Nehor) is commonplace now. Not only do we have paid priests and ministers, but we have advocacy groups with paid leaders and employees, we have YouTube personalities, we have Instagram models, we have full-time career politicians, we have “opinion leaders” among the major media conglomerates, and we have civil judges who legislate morality with impunity.

One of the primary weapons of priestcraft that Satan still uses against us is sentimental and powerful: inclusion—or at least the extreme definition of it. “All will be saved,” this Son of the Morning once preached to us, but that was a deceitful half-truth. Would we live eternally under his plan? Yes. Would we inherit all that our Heavenly Parents have and enjoy eternal lives with the families we could create? No. Would we be “safe?” Yes. Would we learn and progress by being challenged? No. Would we be at peace, or at least without overt conflict? Yes. Would we have a voice in our future? No. Would we be free from suffering and pain? In part. Another pernicious half-truth. Would we experience the true joy of accomplishment and purpose? No.

The reaction of the lawyers and judges of Ammonihah to the preaching of Alma and the newly-reactivated disciple Amulek, which enjoined repentance and personal accountability in accessing the coming Christ’s grace, is reflective of this sharp-edged weapon. Their primary accusation was that Alma and Amulek had “testified that there was but one God, and that he should send his Son among the people, but he should not save them.” (Alma 14:5)

To the elite, intellectual leaders of the people of Ammonihah, this was blasphemy of the highest order. Alma and Amulek had suggested that not all would be saved – that some would be excluded by God. Such heresy could not be tolerated, and so, after imprisoning Alma and Amulek and running off all the men who had been converted by their preaching, they completed the purging of their society by murdering all of the women and children of those men. Thus the leaders of Ammonihah sealed the fate of their people, and the Lord eliminated them as a threat.

The rise of Gadianton’s band, which President Nelson referenced, began during the tenure of the prophet Helaman, son of Helaman. Kishkumen, who became part of the band, murdered Chief Judge Pahoran, then later tried to assassinate Helaman. A man who had infiltrated the band stopped him, a man for whom Mormon curiously didn’t record a name, calling him simply “the servant of Helaman.”

Why no name given? We don’t know. But what an impact this man had. Someday, when additional records are revealed, we’ll know more about him. But for now, we can imagine his journey, which M.D. House has done in a new novel called “The Servant of Helaman.” You can see more of M.D.’s work, along with interviews and blog posts, at https://www.mdhouselive.com/.

Enjoy a Brief Excerpt

“You are a Christian, I presume?”

How did he answer that question in the presence of the prophet of the Lord? Was he, truly? He had been baptized, and had tried to be faithful and obedient to the statutes and ordinances. He had no serious doubts that Helaman, and many great leaders before him, were prophets and prophetesses.

“I am,” replied Kai, raising his eyes and feeling his conviction grow a bit in saying it with such firm feeling in front of the prophet. “And I will die one. I’m not as knowledgeable as most. I can’t do miracles or anything. But I will defend the cause of the Christians to the last drop of my blood.”

Synopsis of “The Servant of Helaman”

The Servant of Helaman

While a mighty nation reels following the assassination of its chief leader, its greatest enemy prepares to launch another bold invasion aimed at the subjugation of the free people of Nephi, about fifty years before the Savior’s long-prophesied advent to the world.

Caught up in the swirling cacophony of events is a young soldier and spy, a former orphan whose growing testimony of the coming Christ will be tested and refined as he engages in momentous battles to preserve the freedom and faith of his nation from invasion, assassinations, and creeping apostasy.

Order your copy on Amazon today.

About the Author

M.D. House is a recovering corporate cog. As an author, he started out writing science fiction, but became fascinated with the stories of Barabbas, Cornelius, and the Apostle Paul, among others, which has led him on an amazing and faith-affirming Christian fiction writing journey. He still writes clean, faith-based science fiction, with some fantasy coming soon as well. You can learn more about him at mdhouselive.com.

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Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

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