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Hi Gramps,

Conspiracy theorists all over the internet are convinced that there is a secret society that goes by the name ‘Illuminati.’ They supposedly have Satan at their head and are the unseen powers behind the media and music industries and have members in positions of power and influence (politics, finance, law etc). Members of this illuminati are said to have ‘sold their souls’ to Satan to attain these positions of power.

More specifically, I heard that Satan was once the head of music in heaven in the pre-existence which is why his influence is so strong in the music industry (especially when it comes to those artists who have chosen to follow Satan. Where does the LDS church stand on this? Do we acknowledge the existence of the illuminati? Are these people the modern-day Gadianton robbers? Is it true that people have attained worldly success through Satanism?




Dear Ariane,

It seems to me that you’re asking several questions here: Does Satan have power on this earth, does the church subscribe to the idea that a group called ‘The Illuminati’ exists and does Satan have great influence in the music industry.

The first and third are a similar answer, so I’ll tackle those first.

In the August Ensign of 1992, an article on music discussed this very thing and quotes 2 Nephi 26: 22:

And there are also secret combinations, even as in times of old, according to the combinations of the devil, for he is the founder of all these things; … And he leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever. Satan is using catchy melodies and rhythms to teach lessons of immorality, Satanism, violence, and infidelity, bit by bit, line upon line, until he binds us with his “strong cords”

That’s convincing testimony that Satan lives and has influence in this world. This has been talked about in every general conference that I can remember. Your question of whether people have used Satanism to get ahead is just as easy to answer:

In Matthew 16:26 it states,

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

While there is no doubt that people have made morally incorrect choices in order to gain power in this world, the endgame of those choices is damnation.

The last part of your question is more nuanced. The church has never spoken one way or the other about which groups form the secret combinations we’ve previously talked about. Mentions of the Illuminati stretch back several hundred years. It’s possible groups of individuals have helped to manipulate world governments. It’s also possible that this is nothing more than conspiracy and claptrap.

I encourage you to begin the journey yourself to look in to it with a serious study of history. Learning can be the funnest journey we take, and the more we learn the deeper our appreciation of God’s hand in our world.



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