The Book of Mormon scribe and financier Martin Harris fought against what he saw as the evils of freemasonry. In October of 1827 Martin was elected to the anti-mason committee in Palmyra, New York.  There is no doubt that as He read the pages of the Book of Mormon, he found many similarities to his fight against freemasonry. The Book of Mormon is filled with stories of the Gadianton robbers, their secret combinations, and God’s condemnation of their actions. In 1831 As one of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon, Martin Harris even declared that the Book of Mormon was the “anti-masonic Bible.” 
According to the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Secret combinations are an “organization of people bound together by oaths to carry out the evil purposes of the group”. 
The following are a few examples of the Book of Mormon’s teachings about secret combinations.
The father of lies… stirreth up the children of men unto secret combinations of murder and all manner of secret works of darkness. 2 Nephi 9:9 
I must needs destroy the secret works of darkness 2 Ne. 10:15 
Judgments of God did come upon these workers of secret combinations: Alma 37:30; 
Gadianton did prove almost the entire destruction of the people of Nephi with their secret plan and combination: Hel. 2:4–13 
Satan put it into the hearts of the people to form secret oaths and covenants: Hel. 6:21–31 
The Lord worketh not in secret combinations… but in all things hath forbidden it, from the beginning of man : Ether 8:19 
Nations that uphold secret combinations shall be destroyed: Ether 8:22–23 
They did reject all the words of the prophets, because of their secret society:Ether 11:22 
So what is Freemasonry and how does it does it relate to the stories of secret combinations in the Book of Mormon? Much like the Gadianton robbers, Freemasons are a secret organization. As a Mason you learn secret handshakes, passwords, oaths, and are sworn under penalty of death not to reveal the secrets of freemasonry. Because of the secrecy around freemasonry, there is much speculation from outsiders that there are dark purposes behind the organization.
As a 21st century reader of the Book of Mormon the term “Secret Combinations” may seem a bit foreign. However in 1830 when the Book of Mormon was published, this term was much more common. In fact the term “secret combinations” was commonly used in reference to the Freemasons.
The are many anti-masonic publications of the time that reference secret combinations. Here is just a small sampling from around 1830.
The Anti-masonic Review and Magazine, Volumes 1-2, 1828 New York 
The Proceedings of the United States Anti-Masonic Convention, Volumes 1-2, 1830 Philadelphia 
The Proceedings of the United States Anti-Masonic Convention, Volumes 1-2, 1831 Baltimore 
As a modern day Apostle, M. Russard Ballard explained the Book of Mormon teachings about the of the dangers of Secret Combinations 
The Book of Mormon teaches that secret combinations engaged in crime present a serious challenge, not just to individuals and families but to entire civilizations. Among today’s secret combinations are gangs, drug cartels, and organized crime families. The secret combinations of our day function much like the Gadianton robbers of the Book of Mormon times. They have secret signs and code words. They participate in secret rites and initiation ceremonies. Among their purposes are to “murder, and plunder, and steal, and commit whoredoms and all manner of wickedness, contrary to the laws of their country and also the laws of their God.”
If we are not careful, today’s secret combinations can obtain power and influence just as quickly and just as completely as they did in Book of Mormon times. Do you remember the pattern? The secret combinations began among the “more wicked part” of society, but eventually “seduced the more part of the righteous” until the whole society was polluted.
The Book of Mormon teaches that the devil is the “author of all sin” and the founder of these secret combinations. He uses secret combinations, including gangs, “from generation to generation according as he can get hold upon the hearts of the children of men.” His purpose is to destroy individuals, families, communities, and nations. To a degree, he was successful during Book of Mormon times. And he is having far too much success today. That’s why it is so important for us as priesthood holders to take a firm stand for truth and right by doing what we can to help keep our communities safe.
It is clear that Book of Mormon teaches against the wickedness of secret combinations. Martin Harris thought this evil was found in the lodges of freemasonry. And as we have seen from anti-masonic publications of his time, the secret combinations of freemasonry was a common concern.
- The Refiner’s Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844 http://books.google.com/books?id=eyvftt-1F_kC&pg=PA169&lpg=PA169&dq=Martin+Harris+anti-masonic+commity&source=bl&ots=GIdQXhnRZB&sig=3R9lw3nbhipRxVOv4BTt0rnqpkw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=TrIKU82JCI61kQeP6oAg&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Martin%20Harris%20anti-masonic%20commity&f=false
- Geauga Gazette 3 (15 March 1831), Painesville, Oh – Via: Martin Harris: The Kirtland Years, 1831-1870 H. Michael Marquardt http://dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V35N03_9.pdf
- The Guide to the Scriptures: Secret Combinations http://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/secret-combinations
- 2 Ne. 9:9; http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/2-ne/9.9?lang=eng#8
- 2 Ne. 10:15; http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/2-ne/10.15?lang=eng#14
- Alma 37:30; http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/alma/37.30?lang=eng#29
- Hel. 2:4–13; http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/hel/2.4-13?lang=eng#3
- Hel. 6:21–31; http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/hel/6.21-31?lang=eng#20
- Ether 8:19; http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/ether/8.19?lang=eng#18
- Ether 8:22–23; http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/ether/8.22-23?lang=eng#21
- Ether 11:22; http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/ether/11.22?lang=eng#21
- American Masonick Record; http://books.google.com/books?id=EGwgAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA57&dq=masonic+%22secret+combinations%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=BdgIU7uPHYTtkQfk-oGoCA&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=masonic%20%22secret%20combinations%22&f=false
- The Anti-masonic Review and Magazine http://books.google.com/books?id=bOs-AQAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
- The Proceedings of the United States Anti-Masonic Convention, Volumes 1-2, 1830 Philadelphia http://books.google.com/books?id=CYFJAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
- The Proceedings of the United States Anti-Masonic Convention, Volumes 1-2, 1831 Baltimore http://books.google.com/books?id=SvAxAQAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
- Standing for Truth and Right http://www.lds.org/general-conference/1997/10/standing-for-truth-and-right?lang=eng#4-