Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Toby Keith and the Destruction of the Nephites


The thing I want you to know up front is that I’m a conservative Republican. I’m compelled to preface my remarks this way because what I say tends to lead some to conclude that I’m a political liberal, which I’m not. I disdain modern liberalism.

But I find the need to further qualify: I’m a conservative in the tradition of the founding fathers, a rare thing in a day when the conservative label has been hijacked by state-worshiping Trotskyites typified more by their goal of creating an empire than on defense of the Republic.

I’ve long considered a Conservative to be a person who believes in “conserving” the constitution, but all it took was the events of 9-11 to show how thin that tether was for most Republicans. What really caught me up short, though, was what I read in the paper the morning after the 2008 Republican primaries: an overwhelming majority of Latter Day Saint Republicans not only don’t believe in traditional conservative principles; they apparently no longer believe in their own religion.

How else to interpret the primary election results? Nearly 90 percent of Utah Republicans -most of them LDS- favored Mitt Romney, a poor excuse for a Mormon whose public positions stand in open defiance of the teachings of Christ. How someone so antithetical to the doctrines of the restoration ever attained stature as a leading Latter-day Saint is a topic I’ll address another time, but the fact that so many active Mormons went all googly over him has to be cause for concern among the remaining faithful. Ron Paul, the only Constitutionist on the ballot and a man whose values are so aligned with Mormon teachings that people often ask if he’s LDS, pulled less than three percent of the Utah vote.

I’ve had many conversations with a goodly number of my fellow saints who seem to have found the gospel of Jesus Christ an insufficient balm for these uncertain times. They appear to have traded it in for the gospel of Toby Keith.

Toby Keith, of course, is the country music singer famous for the angry post 9/11 anthem “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue”, which contains such Christ-centered lyrics as “we’ll put a boot up your ass -it’s the American way”.

So that’s what’s meant by “The American Way”. I was never quite sure. Thanks, Toby!

As a young child watching “The Adventures of Superman” on TV, I was familiar with Superman’s never-ending battle for Truth, Justice, and The American Way, although the meaning of that phrase was a little hazy to my little five year old brain.

When I grew up I discovered that The American Way was the embodiment of our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, the charters that establish the rules of law that prevent any person or group of people from infringing on the life, liberty, or property of others. When our lives or freedoms are breached, the rules of due process require specific steps to follow to make sure that we punish the right people. We don’t just "kill ‘em all and let God sort 'em out".

Before Americans go to war, the Constitution requires specific steps to be followed so as to not put all power in the hands of one man who may want to manipulate the hot-heads among us to plant a Doc Marten in somebody's dumper.

Toby Keith Mormons, however, no longer hold valid the scriptures that declare these Constitutional principles to have been established by Jesus Christ himself (D&C 101:80), or that He has declared any deviation from the Constitution to be rooted in evil (D&C 98:7).

And heaven forbid anybody remembers that God’s people are absolutely forbidden to go to battle on foreign soil unless He Himself commands it (D&C 98:33). For Toby Keith Mormons, turning the other cheek is not nearly as attractive as a shoe up the poop-chute.

This boot-up-the-ass arrogance is precisely what was responsible for the final destruction of the entire Nephite nation, and if the final warning of the Book of Mormon is to be believed, it could very well prove the cause of our own collapse. The prophet Mormon warns us of this in an aside so subtle you may have missed it. It’s in Mormon 4:4.

It was after the last great battle between the Nephites and the Lamanites. The entire Nephite civilization had been completely wiped out. Almost nobody is left. Mormon informs us that this apocalypse was a tragedy that could have been prevented; it was the direct result of one stupid, arrogant choice the Nephites had made ten years earlier.

They had decided to go and kick some Lamanite butt.

The situation was like this: A large Lamanite army had crossed into Nephite lands bent on conquering. The Nephites were successful in driving the enemy back, and after whooping it up in an orgy of self-congratulation, the Nephites concluded that the thing to do now was to keep this momentum going and head into the lands of the Lamanites and wipe them all out. Settle this thing once and for all. Let’s Go And Kick Some Major Butt!

Booyah!

As a teenager reading the Book of Mormon for the first time, this plan of attack made perfect sense to me, so I was surprised by Mormon’s reaction. Immediately upon getting wind of the plan, Mormon became so angry that he quit his commission as General of the Nephites and refused to have anything more to do with them.

Mormon understood something that I didn’t. When you’re defending your own lands and loved ones from invaders, you’re in the right. But the moment you take the battle into the borders of another nation, you are the aggressor. The Nephites were now no different than the Lamanites, responsible for the deaths of women, children, and other innocents who had not personally come against them. God told Mormon that vengeance was not something they had a right to. God had delivered them from a close call, but because of their pride He was now turning His back on His own people, leaving them to their fate.

Naturally, after the Nephites invaded the Lamanites, the latter returned with greater resolve and increasing violence. The killing continued back and forth between both nations for ten years, and in the end the bad guys won and the good guys were wiped off the face of the earth forever.

The lesson here is that when the good guys invade a sovereign country, they’re no longer the good guys. That makes them the bad guys.

Of course, all that’s just the gospel according to Christ. Mitt Romney Mormons and Toby Keith Mormons have a different gospel, a gospel rooted in pride and self-aggrandizement. We’re number one! Yay, our team! U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A!


Yeehaw.

These people will tell you that our military incursions into Iraq and Afghanistan will open the way for the introduction of the gospel; that once we've liberated their lands the church will be able to move in and open missions there.

I can’t think of a more deluded and arrogant belief than that Jesus Christ would approve the murder of thousands of fathers and mothers so that we can come in and present any remaining orphans with a message of peace. Have you noticed the phenomenal growth of the church in Vietnam and Cambodia? Yeah, me neither.

Latter-Day Saints who profess Christ while proclaiming war are taking the name of the Lord in vain, and certainly acting contrary to their religion. People like that deserve a boot in the ass.


61 comments:

B_Daylight said...

Hey Rock, Nice job and I really like your writing style!
Jonas

Jeskola said...

Great article with a great introduction!

Yuukanna said...

I'm no active Mormon, but that's how I see it too. Many of my Mormon friends and family are "Mitt Romney Mormons" and "Toby Keith Mormons". It's getting easier all the time for people to stereotype Mormons for something other than they ought to be.
That's what I like about you, You seem to be a true Mormon, a true Christian, and a true American. I applaud you. Keep it up!

BTW - My wife loves that song... and particularly that part (but she doesn't have a mind for politics in the least, so she really doesn't know what she is saying).

Also... You are the only LDS Ron Paul supporter I have ever met... sad isn't it? (I know there has got to be more out there!?)

Alan Rock Waterman said...

YuuKanna, the good news is that there were a substantial number of LDS Ron Paul supporters, as exemplified by this piece posted on LewRockwell.com during the campaign:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig8/higgins1.html

I found particularly noteworthy his final quote in reference to Mitt Romney:

"We live in an age of deceit. .. Even within the Church we have been warned that 'the ravening wolves are amongst us, from our own membership, and they, more than any others, are clothed in sheep's clothing, because they wear the habiliments of the priesthood.' (J. Reuben Clark, Jr., CR, April, 1949, p. 163.)"

Thanks very much for your kind words of encouragement.

Yuukanna said...

Wow, I don't know how I missed that article!

Good work!

manaen said...

Sir Rock,
.
Welcome to the Bloggernacle! We cetainly have a paucity of LDS-themed sites so we clearly need another one. ;->
.
I'm also a practicing Mormon. My bishop says I'm making good progress, so I hope to be able to do it for real in the near future.
.
I'm becoming more interested lately in the theme running through D&C 49:20, 70:14, and 78:5-6. Any comments? I recently found a lecture by B. H. Roberts on this that gave me further insights.
.
I'm looking forward to further postings here.
.
-- The Widget

Connie said...

Widget, if everyone in the church was equal, who would The Brethren require obedience from?
:-D

SR Wils said...

This is a test only a test of the emergency blog
post a comment section of this blog station. my comments haven't been posting....... can you hear me now.............

SR Wils said...

Hey it looks like its working Rock!

SR Wils said...

"WHITE SHIRT DEFENSE"


Aaronic Priesthood holders "Elders of Israel in training". Sacrament: Sacred and Holy Ordinance reflecting the sacrifice of my God (who i willingly bend both knees to and for) for me and all of mankind. Yes that and all Holy Ordinances should be treated with great respect and formal when possible. I need to repent and do better myself.

Anonymous said...

Interesting, Rock...What are your thoughts on WWII, Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima & Nagasaki? Also Hitler vs. Europe & the U.S. remaining neutral till Hitler conquers England & all of Europe & then who knows what next?
Terry Lee

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Hitler never had ambitions to conquer the world; that was the type of propaganda necessary to put us there.

The Germans had been stewing since WWI when the allies, as punishment, took the German port of Danzig and simply declared it now under the rule of Czechoslovakia. It was still populated by Germans, so in the mid 1930's when the Germans had sufficiently rebuilt their military, they went in and performed what they saw as a rescue of German citizens.

But Churchill had committed to Czechoslovakia that England would retaliate against any attack on Czech lands, and boom! It was on. Germany felt they were merely reclaiming what was theirs, they didn't think they were starting another world war. It sure looked to them as if Churchill was trying to, though. Once England started killing Germans, the fight was on between the two countries.

Hitler was taken completely by surprise by England's reaction because he had been led to believe that England would be his ally should Russia get out of hand.

Much of FDR's cabinet were sympathetic to the Soviet Union, as were many Americans who had been led to believe that it was the birth of a new Utopian paradise. Churchill worked at maneuvering the U.S. into war for the benefit of the Soviet Union, and FDR even made attempts to bait German U-boats, but Hitler wouldn't take the bait, ordering his navy never to fire on an American vessel even if fired upon.

In the meantime, FDR allowed American pilots to clandestinely assist the Chinese by bombing Japanese installations in the pacific, though America had no truck with Japan (You've heard of the Flying Tigers? Their mission was illegal under American law.)

Hawaii, which had been simply taken from the Hawaiian people against their will to be used as a U.S. Military outpost became the staging operation for our illegal bombing runs against Japanese holdings.

The Japanese government eventually became significantly alarmed at our massive buildup in their area (Hawaii was much closer to Japan than it is to America)that they foolishly decided that a pre-emptive strike against our forces was their only defensive option. I say "foolish", because Japan knew they couldn't take on American might, but they did it anyway.

Because the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor seemed to most Americans completely unprovoked, and due to the massive loss of American life, the U.S. population was easily manipulated to demand vengeance. Only a few Americans asked the question of why those charged with defending our country were thousands of miles from home in the first place, and those voices of reason were instantly decried as traitors. The Majority of Americans demanded Jap blood, and lots of it.

The short version of the war in the pacific is that we immediately caught up with those responsible for Pearl Harbor near the island of Midway and completely destroyed their fleet. But that wasn't enough. The entire history of the pacific theater is the story of us chasing those poor saps all the way back to japan, killing as many of Japan's men as possible until we could get to their women and children, which we did, killing hundreds of thousands of innocents at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The Japanese people had not been in agreement with the militarists in their government who wanted the pre-emptive strike. Once we came back at them, everything they did was a desperate attempt at defending their homeland from us, which is why they fought so hard to keep us from conquering the islands we kept taking to use as stepping stones for bases from which to launch an attack. They were afraid we would come after their women and children and they were right, We did.

That's what a need for revenge does to men, and why God warns so adamantly against it. Nobody in Hiroshima or Nagasaki had killed any American at Pearl Harbor, but they were punished for it anyway.

Most soldiers occupying Japan after the war -including my father- wrote home in astonishment at what a sweet, peaceful people the Japanese were,including their emperor. We had been led to believe they wanted to conquer the world. I grew up in the 1950's with the conviction that had we not won that war we would all be speaking Japanese today.

Meanwhile, Germany didn't even have the capability to launch an attack across the English Channel, let alone show up at our shores and force us all to speak Kraut.

Not only were the deaths of all those Germans and Japanese unnecessary, but in the end all those American soldiers who fought in World War II in reality died for nothing. Life in America would not have been any worse had we minded our own business and not escalated a local conflict into a global one.

This is a terrible truth to face, and so we don't usually face it. These things occur when we take the word of politicians over the word of God. He expects us to repel an attack on our own lands, and forbids us to meddle in the affairs of others. That's why I believe that the American military, as presently constituted, does not have the blessings of heaven.

In direct disobedience to God, Americans are occupying 175 bases in 130 foreign countries. As Will Rogers said "When you get yourself in trouble 5,000 miles from home, you have to have been asking for it".

Anonymous said...

I’ve been LDS since I was a small child. Ron Paul was my choice for the White House,
Only now they gotta repaint the place.

Many of the “Mormons” I know rooted for Romney. I told them to look at his very LIBERAL / SOCIALIST political record. The usual response was, “Who cares? He’s “Mormon”.

Well, I’ve been educated on the difference of “LDS” and “Mormon”.
LDS is being true to the faith, or at least making a good attempt at it.

“Mormons” on the other hand consist of many parasite “JACKS” who seem to only belong to take advantage of the free welfare program, while they still enjoy their filthy habits of smoke (tobacco and other stuff), alcoholism, legal and illegal drugs, homo-life and partying – the “crackhead” way.

On another note, the National Guard, means JUST THAT! To Protect OUR borders – not someone else’s! Also the State Militias belong IN THE STATES – not out of the country! This is a plan of the Devil worshipping politicians to keep our troops out, while creating a situation within to bring in FOREIGN UN troops (INVADERS), who would have no problem shooting US citizens!

The main reason to keep the 2nd Amendment – to preserve our freedom and lives!

So, besides being LDS, I am also a constitutional Patriot!

Alan Rock Waterman said...

The national guard seems to me the only branch of our current military where one can find true heroes-men who see their duty as saving lives rather than taking them. However, as late they too are being misused by being re-routing into the War on Drugs, so we're seeing a near complete corruption of the purpose of our military.

I actually have more concern for those Latter-day saints who have such a blind allegiance to "the church" that they almost completely ignore the gospel message of unconditional love toward ALL men. It's my observation that many of those who declare that the church is true almost never refer to any gospel principle; They don't know a lot of theology, but they're happy to belong on the right team. Alma came across a bunch of these types at the Rameumpton, and he reacted with horror.

On the other hand, I've found many Jack-Mormons to have a pretty live-and-let-live attitude; More Christlike in their non-judgment of others. So I cut the Jack-Mormons some slack.

David S. said...

Not long after moving into my current ward in Utah, I stopped attending Sunday School and Priesthood meeting classes because the teachers liked to parallel good actions taken my honest and moral leaders to Bush's actions that dragged people into the quagmire in Iraq, not to mention how delusional people have become in praying for the troops who "defend our freedom." The only reason I still go to Sacrament meeting is to partake of the Sacrament and I'm even getting tempted to leave before the speakers can open their mouths.

When asked why, I tell people, "I'm not coming here to be taught false doctrine."

I'll be keeping an eye on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Having an army son-in-law who was also a brand nwe convert when he left on his first tour to Iraq, that part in the BoM caused us some powerful prayer and pondering in our family. The only answer I really can offer is 1] our military went after those who were bent on harming us, we did not start it--Al Quida did. 2] According to the information had at the time: if we waited, it would have been too late. And while much of the political and media establishment have made a huge deal about Bush "lying" he was only telling what his information was. Also, we have helped so many more than wre hurt by the War in Iraq--they do have a chance now...and the gospel is already beginning to reach the Iraqi people through humanitarian efforts and through individual LDS servicemen working with individual Iraqi's. There is much to be done in that part of the world, not neccessisarily all military, but that had to come first to open the way.

LDS members can disagree on policy matters, but the reality of this world is that Satan currently rules over it, and it is not enough for "good men to do nohing".

Timinator said...

Alan, a very good explanation of WWII. Have you every looked into the McCollum Memo, which was supposedly the plan to provoke Japan?

The history of our entry into WWI was just as sordid, unfortunately. The fascist/globalists that manipulate world events have been screwing with us for decades.

A good book to check out is "Awake to Your Awful Situation" by Jack Monnet. Modern-day Gadiantons abound...

Anonymous said...

Hey Rock, when is your next blog entry? I for one can't wait to see what you are going to write about next!

Dave P. said...

I re-read this post for the first time in a while since my earlier comment (under David S.) and have since found a few more parallels.

First: The start of Alma 62 details how Moroni and Pahoran liberate Zarahemlha from the kingmen and give the ones charged with treason their trials and their subsequent executions or pardons depending on if they repented and took up arms in defense of their country. Verse 10 took on a new meaning recently as it says, "And thus it became expedient that this law should be strictly observed for the safety of their country; yea, and whosoever was found denying their freedom was speedily executed according to the law."

"This" law actually refers to the law that all of those charged with breaking the law was to receive their trial and subsequent judgement. This means that the safety of their country came from strictly observing their own laws even in time of war! Not something we see in our country in the present.

Second: In Moroni 9 he presents a letter from Mormon to us in regards to how the Nephites were the more wicked during war because their commissions of rape and torture of prisoners were seen as a token of bravery. We've learned that our forces have raped and tortured prisoners as part of "enhanced interrogation" techniques. What has been the general attitude among members of the church and mainstream Christians: they're doing it and risking themselves to protect the country, ie: it's a token of bravery.

No wonder President Hinckley had to challenge the church to read the Book of Mormon a few years ago. It was written for our day for these very reasons.

Not to mention that the church falling into condemnation in Section 84 of the Doctrine & Covenants came not because of not reading the Book of Mormon, but because of how they "treated lightly" (84:54) what they had received. A lot of people claim that that was because the church and missionaries weren't utilizing the Book of Mormon as the instrument of conversion that it is, but I'm convinced that it's because they weren't heeding the warnings of pride and the prophecies of the last days found therein as well.

I think one of the reasons why so many Utah Mormons so easily supported Mitt Romney was because of the ease and luxury they've had in the church by growing up in Utah (and that was one thing Brigham Young feared the members would obtain since it makes you lazy). As a member of the church who grew up outside of Utah and constantly had to defend it from the antis, I was able to learn far more about it through the study and prayer necessary to face persecution. Interestingly enough, Jacob 5 talks about church members who grew up outside of Utah vs. those inside of it: Verses 2-026. Sadly I fell into the Utah mentality for a while after 5 years at BYU, but have since regained my senses.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Well said, Dave. I agree with you that the Book of Mormon warnings are not being heeded, though plenty of members will tell you they read it regularly (often with quite a bit of pride).

Reading it is not sufficient. "likening it unto" ourselves and applying the warnings to our day are essential if it is to have any purpose other than to achieve the goal of "a chapter a day:". I would never have believed Moroni's prophecies of our nation exalting immorality as it does with today's military if I was not seeing it with my own eyes. BTW, today's LewRockwell.com has an excellent piece by Fred Reed "Is Military Service Honorable?" here:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/reed/reed162.html

I never paid much attention to Jacob's allegory of the olive tree in Jacob 5 until I saw an entire thick book on the topic published by F.A.R.M.S. I bought it and was astounded at how rich and meaningful that section is. You're very astute.

Dave P. said...

Credit for that observation goes to one of my religion professors at BYU. It took me a few years to fully understand it.

What's the name of that book? I'd love to check it out because Jacob 5 is the part of the Book of Mormon that best equates to Revelation in the New Testament: Both are hard to read and hard to understand but provide some of the best insights and mysteries in all of the scriptures.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I believe the title is "The Allegory of the Olive Tree" and if memory serves it's a collection of articles by various Mormon scholars discussing the story from every possible angle, including everything you'd want to know about olives and olive trees and the whole horticulture about them. I think that's where I finally learned the meaning of "First Cold Press". Nothing is left out. It's a very thick volume.

I'd tell you the name of the editor if I knew where that particular book is at, but I have an entire room of books still stacked in boxes and no place to put them, and that's one of them that I haven't seen in over 3 years now.

If it helps, it's part of the matching set F.A.R.M.S. (The Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormons Studies) put out a few years ago that all pretty much match in their Dust Jacket style. All the Nibley books were part of that collection. Deseret Book would be the first place I'd look for it.

Another favorite of mine in that series was Hugh Nibley's "Approaching Zion". I'm pretty close to going through all those boxes looking for that one, since I'm always thinking of something I read there that I want to address on this blog. And now you've got me wanting to find "The Allegory of the Olive Tree".

Anyway, I hope you can find it. I dragged that book with me everywhere I went for a period of time when I was reading it, and I can vouch for it as being chock full of downright goodness.

simplysarah said...

Very interesting ideas in this post! I'm looking forward to reading the rest. Thanks for stopping by my blog, btw! :)

The Faithful Dissident said...

As a liberal Canadian social democrat living in Norway, I have to say that I've rarely come across anything written by a conservative Mormon that I've enjoyed. Even though our political views are probably very different, this was a piece that I can totally respect. Great post!

Dave P. said...

I re-read this once again since it was linked from the latest post and immediately recalled one thing I noticed in my current reading of the Book of Mormon, more notably Alma 2.

After the Nephites do battle with the combined Amlicite and Lamanite army, Alma kills Amlici, prompting the enemy armies to retreat. Mormon makes mention that the Nephite army pursued them into the wilderness- territory that had not been settled- for the purpose of scattering the armies to keep them from regrouping and launching another attack. It makes me wonder if anyone suggested to Alma that they should cross over the borders into the land of Nephi and invade. Of course even if this had happened, Alma would have put an immediate stop to it because of it being against God's commandments AND it would have endangered the lives of the Sons of Mosiah who were on their mission to the Lamanites at the same time.

(On that same note, was the King of the Lamanites whom Alma fought in that same chapter the same who was taught by Aaron later on?)

Also recall Ammon's account of the mission before they returned to Zarahemla and how a lot of people were against the idea and even suggested taking up arms to invade (Alma 26:23-26). And this wasn't the first time; even King Zeniff was originally part of a spy group to help plot out an invasion of the Lamanite lands and his petition for peace ended up with the whole army in that area nearly wiping itself out. Zeniff may well have saved the entire Nephite nation at that point.

Alma 31:5 shows us why the sons of Mosiah's mission was far more successful than any invasion ever could have been: "And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God." [Emphasis added]. Notice how the hyphens suggest that Mormon added that phrase in as a comment instead of his narrative statement?

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Dave, Your mentioning of this reminds me of those in America who dismiss the idea of talking to Iran; they just want to start killing Iranians. They are against any attempts at communication. Just drop the bombs.

And we still call ourselves a Christian nation?

Dave P. said...

I would actually amend that question to say, "And we still call ourselves a Christian people?" That being because a "nation" is something that can't take upon itself the name of Christ. But, either way, I'll let Mosiah's words speak for themselves:

26 Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people.
27 And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.

-Mosiah 29:26-27

Dave P. said...

Going back to an earlier discussion, I finally obtained a copy of "The Allegory of the Olive Tree." It was hilarious to show it to people I know and tell them, "THIS is a visual representation of how much there is to learn from Jacob 5."

Rock Waterman said...

Are you referring to a video? I have the book of that title put out, I think, by FARMS, but it sounds like you have something visual. What is it, and where can I find it?

Dave P. said...

It's the book but people can't believe how thick it is. Seeing their expressions when they realize that there's at least that much available to learn from Jacob 5 is what's hilarious.

Dave P. said...

This is the most appropriate topic for this comment, in my opinion.

First, read Will Grigg's latest, found here: http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/2010/04/find-me-man-ill-find-crime.html

This reminds me entirely of the incident in the Book of Mormon prior to Abinadi being executed by King Noah. Recall that Noah and his priests hunt for a crime "worthy" of execution after Abinadi is thrown in prison following his schooling of the same. See Mosiah 17:5-8

Dave P. said...

Apparently the comment I left here last night didn't register, so I'll re-post.

IMO this is the most appropriate place for this one, but first, read Will Grigg's latest: http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/2010/04/find-me-man-ill-find-crime.html

Just the title reminds me all too much of what King Noah does in Mosiah 17:4-8 wherein he's just imprisoned Abinadi for three days then pulls him back out and says that they've found a crime "worthy" of executing him for, despite the fact that all he was doing was preach the gospel (and the fact that he completely schooled Noah and his priests no doubt wounded their pride a bit).

Dave P. said...

Oh, bother. I should have refreshed the page before posting it that second time. Sorry about that.

Anonymous said...

http://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2010/05/14/four-steps-in-losing-your-innocence-part-seven-final/

Rod Mann said...

Alan, your comments on WWII are a bit off the mark. You are correct in that the seeds for WWII were planted in the treatment of Germany at the conclusion of WWI. However, Hitler did want control of Europe, the middle east, and Africa and long term most likely the world.

He was evil and Churchill was correct. Just look at the atrocities committed by the SS in the areas that Hitler had control of. He surrounded himself with leaders who followed him because of their own desires for power. He murdered one of the best generals of WWII (Rommel) because of the fear and jealousy of his inner circle. He murdered 6M Jews as well as other undesirables. Stalin was worse of course, he was responsible for the death of 20-30M of his own people and Mao was even worse up to 70M peacetime deaths can be laid at his feet (read Mao the Untold Story).

Had Hitler listened to some of his generals he could have successfully invaded England early in the war. D-Day could easily have turned out differently were in not for in-fighting within the German high command and had Rommel not gone home to be with his wife just prior to the invasion. But for the hand of providence the war in Europe could have turned out much differently.

The Japanese were already attacking China and committing atrocities there before the attacked us. Their treatment of civilians and military prisoners was also atrocious. You might forget that we were initially losing in the Pacific, the Philippines (the Bataan death march is another example of their benevolent behavior). These things were done by the very same people you describe as being "sweet, peaceful people the Japanese were,including their emperor".

Their navy, with the exception of our aircraft carriers was superior to ours at the outset of the war. So it was far from a war where we simply overwhelmed them on every front. The fighting was always fierce and they were not easy marks. Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, ... were all very tough fights. Invading Japan would have caused countless casualties on both sides so the reality was that Nagasaki and Hiroshima saved lives.

To say that Japan knew they could not defeat us is inaccurate. Granted there were officers who had this opinion but there were others who didn't. In fact, had they followed up on their initial attack on Pearl Harbor and destroyed the balance of our Pacific fleet the war could have turned out differently. Responding would have taken longer and they would have had a longer period of time to consolidate their holdings and prepared better for our counterattacks making them much more costly for us.

To say that "all those American soldiers who fought in World War II in reality died for nothing" is absolutely not true. Had they not done so much of the world could have ended up under the rule of totalitarian leaders who like Mao might never have been overthrown.

Your point questioning the need for our overseas bases is one that has merit and can be defended w/o misrepresenting history.

Larry said...

Rod Mann has stated what I believe. I suppose there is value in having one's beliefs challenged from time to time. It isn't always clear which voices might be coming from the "Rameumpton," that pinnacle of pride.

The nice thing about team sports is that you can tell who is on which team...usually.

Anonymous said...

I agree! I am a faithful Latter-Day Saint and a big supporter of Ron Paul. I think people in general are simply ignorant and don't do the research they need to do to find and support the right candidate, they simply pick one of the most "visible" candidates. 90% of the Republican voters simply wait until election day and vote for the man with the most media coverage. This is true for all of America, not just Mormons. But it IS sad how many ignorant Utahns voted for Mitt Romney simply BECAUSE he was Mormon and for no other reason. It's this sad tradition that has left us with sell-outs like Bob Bennett and Orrin Hatch year after year.. ugh.
I will say, however, that I believe that Romney would have done a 'heck of a lot' better job patching up the nations finances than Obama. I would be pleased as punch to have him president, even if he is no Ron Paul.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Rod Mann,

I've had a look at your own blog and find much there that you and I can agree upon. This, for instance:

"In reality, we live in a world filled with conspiracies and to disbelieve that they exist is almost equivalent to saying that there is no sun."

In your comment above, however, you don't seem to take into account that WWII was the result of a number of conspiracies between the US government and its allies. You seem to think that the war was entirely the work of the bad guys.

Yes, Hitler was evil, as you contend, but Churchill was equally as evil, as was Roosevelt. As much as we hate to own up to it, the leaders of our country have consistently led us into doing evil works. (I hope, by the way, that you didn't get the impression from my previous comments that Hitler was somehow the good guy in all this.)

By now I assume you have seen the mention in my July 2010 blog entry of Jeff Riggenbach's excellent introduction to revisionism, "Why American History Is Not What They Say." You may find much of that book of interest, as well as the recent revisionist account of the origins of WWII, "Human Smoke" which shows Churchill in the 1930's anxious to demonstrate English superiority by air bombing another country out of existence -any country; he wasn't particular- merely to prove it could be done.

I disagree with your conclusion that Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved lives, although at one time I firmly held that belief myself. Those blights on America's reputation did not save lives, they took lives. The only lives that would have been saved would have been those of poor American grunts whose presence was not needed on the Japanese mainland by that time anyway, as Japan was by then already trying to surrender unconditionally. Such a surrender would have put a crimp in Truman's plans to drop those bombs, so Japan's petitions were rebuffed.

Will Grigg just posted an excellent piece on the origins of the Imperial Japanese military machine, and how America encouraged and supported it forty years before that creation came back to bite us on the butt. Who ever knew that President Taft once led a repeated cheer of "Bonzai!"

Here's an interesting summary:

"In 1905, when he green-lit Japanese expansion, [Teddy]Roosevelt was forty-six years old and Baron Kaneko was fifty-two...Roosevelt would be dead fifteen years later, while Kaneko would live to hear Franklin Roosevelt condemn Japan for doing what Theodore Roosevelt had recommended."

Here's the link to that fascinating piece:

http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/2010/08/shadows-and-foreshadowing-at-nagasaki.html#links

Alan Rock Waterman said...

To see J. Reuben Clark's condemnation of America's use of the Atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, see here:

http://usu-shaft.com/2010/mormon-apostle-condemns-use-of-atomic-bomb/comment-page-1/

Marc said...

Ammon taught us how to deal with our enemies. He risked his life to serve them, not kill them!

Roblynn said...

I know this is an old post but I really liked it and wanted to thank you for the thought and study put into it.
This whole question of the church and wars was the straw that broke the camels back so to speak with me.
As a family who have left the U.S. as well as the church because of wars it surely spoke to me.
thank you and peace

Jeremiah Stoddard said...

I thought J. Ruben Clarks comment with respect to the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was quite straightforward and brutally honest: "God will not forgive us for this." I found your blog (ironically via a search that sent me to your corporatism article) shortly after much meditation and some writing on Mormonism and war, so it's refreshing to find out I'm not alone in my understanding that the Book of Mormon absolutely prohibits preventive war in foreign lands. Thanks!

Terry Christensen said...

Matthew 24:24 "For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets and shall shew great signs and wonders insomuch that if it were possible they shall deceive the very elect."

President Hinckley was quoted in the "Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckely, page 13, "I fear that we have become an arrogant people..."

We are arrogant and we are being deceived if we think we can substitute the "wisdom" of man for the wisdom of God. The longer we take to humble ourselves and submit to His will, the longer the harder it will be.

Maltz said...

The only way to put an end to an enemy's continuous threat is to beat him with such overwhelming force and resolve that he begs for mercy and for an end to the battle. This is what Isreal needs to do to the Palistinians, and this is what the USA needed to do with al queda but failed to do after ten years of a politically correct war. And brothers, we will pay for our lack of political resolve.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I have to disagree with you Maltz. the only entity that should have been "beaten back" is the secret combinations within our own government that created Al Qaeda. The threat, as usual is not external, but internal:

http://polidics.com/cia/top-ranking-cia-operatives-admit-al-qaeda-is-a-complete-fabrication.html

http://www.theinsider.org/news/article.asp?id=0228

As for the Palestinians, what makes you think Israel has more right to the Palestinian's homeland than the Palestinians themselves? Merely because Britain arbitrarily took it from them and gave it to others? Your bloodthirsty call for the wholesale destruction of a nation that includes almost 200,000 disciples of Christ is disturbing to me.

Maltz said...

Alan. Thank you for your response. You seem to have missed my point. I am not making a judgement as to who is in the right in any conflict. I simply point out that if one side or the other wishes to have peace they must resouningly and finally defeat their enemy. Beat them with such horrific prejudice that the other side begs for a cease fire. Therefoe, I would have supported Nephite armies persuing the enemy into theirown territory for a final showdown. Then and only then could the Nephites expect to enjoy lasting peace. As a point in fact I offer the final Lamanite victory over the Nephites. After that war no Lamanite would ever - forever - have to raise arms against their foe. As for the United States, we will forever be at war with AlQueda and other terrorist organizations because we failed to beat them sufficiently. I made no clains as to AlQueda's origin.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Thank you for clarifying, but I still think you miss the message of the Book of Mormon. God's people are justified only in driving the enemy out of their lands; when they follow the enemy into the enemy's lands, they become the bad guys.

The final destruction of the Nephites by the Lamanites you cite was a direct result of the Nephites disobeying God's rules of engagement. By following the Lamanites home and attempting to wipe them out, they lost the support of the Lord, and were eventually wiped out themselves.

Mormon tells us directly that the destruction of the entire Nephite nation was brought about because the Nephites decided they would finish this thing once and for all. It was the last mistake they ever made.

Maltz said...

Your point is well made, altho I cannot see how you came to that conclusion.
Peace can only be guaranteed if your nation carries a bigger stick, and is not afraid to use it. Learn from Captain Moroni in his confrontation with Zerahemnah - leader of Lamanite and Zoramite forces.

Alma 44:7 "...behold, ye are in our hands, and I will command my men that they shall fall upon you, and inflict the wounds of death in your bodies, that ye may become extinct;"

Moroni was determined to end this thing with overwhelming military force. And when Zarahemnah re-engaded the Nephites in a pitched battle once again, the Nephites dealt such a terrible blow to their forces that we read in verse 19:

"Now Zerahemnah, when he saw that they were all about to be destroyed, cried mightily unto Moroni, promising that he would covenant and also his people with them, if they would spare the remainder of their lives, that they never would come to war again against them."

Zarahemnah only sought peace when he was totally defeated, and Moroni was going to finish it that day.

And so it is in our world today. So long as our nation maintains a policy of capitulation and appeasement we will forever have to fear our enemies.

Israel will also have to recieve rocket attacks from the Palestinian settlements and fear Iranian nuclear threats until they pound their enemies into the sand.

Again, who is right and who is wrong is a debate for another day. My point is, peace is won through superior military strength and technology, and a government who is not afraid to use it.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Nowhere have I suggested that a nation should not posses overwhelming military force, but that force should be engaged only in defense.

You appear to have overlooked an important point in the story you cite. Captain Moroni hammered the enemy Lamanites because, as he says, "Behold, ye are in our hands." How did thos Lamanites come to be in their hands? Because they had invaded the Nephite lands! They were in a place they had no business being.

Captain Moroni and his overwhelming military force did not invade and occupy the land of the Lamanites. It was the other way around, which is why you quote Zerahemnah covenanting with Moroni if Moroni would spare their lives, THEY WOULD NEVER AGAIN COME TO WAR AGAINST THEM.

It's all about who is doing the invading and who is doing the defending. Israel, a country with 200 armed nuclear weapons, has nothing to fear regarding an invasion from Iran. That's all propaganda promoted by American interests that want an excuse to invade Iran, the heart of the middle east. Neither the Israeli people nor the Iranians desire anything but peace and friendship with one another, as countless videos like this one that are going viral right now attest:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejK5faccrfs&feature=related

You appear to be getting your information from the propaganda media. It is the Palestinians who are receiving rocket attacks from Israel. Meanwhile, most of the people of Israel do not support their government's aggressiveness. Zionism is not Judaism. Zionism was founded by atheist Jews, it has nothing in common with the religion of Judaism.

Love chases out fear. To obsess over imaginary enemies is to give one's self over to the machinations of Satan, who delights in keeping us in a state of constant worry.

Carry a big stick, yes. But hold that stick to prevent aggression, not to go out looking for people to club over the head with.

Maltz said...

I percieve you have somewhat of an axe to grind with regard to conditions in the middle east and Israel's part in it. I understand. Although I may either wholly or in part disagree with the points you make, I respect your right to an opinion, however misinformed it may be. I think that boiling it all down you are simply a good man who wants the world to live in peace. And that ain't a bad thing Mr. Waterman.
Do you know why the God of Israel has not destroyed the United States of America for her sins? I will tell you. It's because we the people, Joe and Betty Sixpack still believe and still do our level best to keep the commandments. Stumbling about in a fog of deception, we still want to do what is right before God.
If we, as the Nephites, become thoroughly corrupt then we will suffer their fate.
When we are attacked we are obliged to take the fight to our attackers BEFORE they have a chance to hit us again at home. Pearl Harbor, World Trade Center, Fort Sumpter. The mistake we make (our politicians make) is when we conduct a measured, politically correct war with no resolve to prosecute that action to a final and terrible conclusion. A decicive victory that forces the enemy to sue for peace and make the same covenant that Zarahemnah was forced to make.
That's all I'm saying. Right or wrong is not at issue here. How to gain peace it the question, and it will never be gained by capitulation and limited engagement.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I appreciate your kind words and measured response, Maltz. Even though we disagree, I appreciate the civility of your arguments.

For my part, I wouldn't say I have an axe to grind via Israel. In 1830 John Schofield published his translation of the bible in which he equated the House of Israel with what would later become the government of Israel. That false gospel has been taught for a century an a half in the Texas Theological Seminary and become the predominant view among nearly all Christendom.

Politicians who delight in war have learned to exploit Christians who view the modern government of Israel as the inheritor of the blessing of Abraham, forgetting that Ephraim, Manasseh and 10 other tribes were included in that blessing. They have exploited this ignorance by painting the Jewish homeland as helpless orphans surrounded by evil nations who wish it harm. That view has enabled the state of Israel to become the biggest bully on the block, with America's tacit support.

This is not the road to peace. If Israel wishes to conquer its neighbors, let it do so without our help. It is perfectly capable of nuking every one of its neighbors, and the problem as you see it will be solved.

I understand your position that we should take the fight to others before they take it to us, as I once held that view myself. The problem I found was that I just couldn't find anything in scripture to support that view.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I feel the need to comment on some of your further assertions, Maltz.

The World Trade Center Bombing you cite was a crime, and should have been treated like a crime, with a full investigation; all living culprits and conspirators rounded up and brought to justice. But if we were to follow your line of reasoning and hammer the perpetrators into submission, why didn't we make war on Saudi Arabia? The alleged hijackers on the plane were from Saudi Arabia. Why did we not attack that country? The answer is that our government was friends with the government of Saudi Arabia, but had much to gain from attempting to annex Iraq. Thus the propaganda bait and switch on an unwary American public.

So you think the United States should have retaliated against Fort Sumter? It did, but why do you feel that was necessary? Once the Southern States declared their independence from the Union, Fort Sumpter represented a foreign military installation on sovereign land of a separate nation. The personnel in the fort were asked politely to leave, and they wanted to, but President Lincoln refused to allow them. Rather than leave well enough alone, Lincoln ultimately sent nearly 600,000 Americans to their deaths for no reason other than to protect his precious tax receipts.

I'd say he should have left things be, but he represented the view that you appear to espouse, "Complete Victory, and No Mercy." The Civil War is called The War of Northern Aggression for a reason. It was the southerners defending their wives, their children, and their lands from invaders who simply did not want to leave them alone. Those who feel either Lincoln or the Union soldiers who fought his war were motivated by a desire to free ANY slaves deserve to let go of their fourth grade view of history. Lincoln gave his reasons for exacting force on the South when he asked the question, "If the South secedes, where will I get my tariffs?"

Pearl Harbor was not located in America, so I don't see how you see that as an attack on the United States. It was an attack on Americans, yes, but don't you wonder what those Americans were doing on a military installation 7,000 miles from home and right in Japan's back yard? How were they protecting their homeland that far from home?

Japan attacked Pearl Harbor because Pearl was being used as a base from which the United States was bombing Japanese installations in the pacific. The Roosevelt Administration was clandestinely interfering in a war between China and Japan, and did so in hopes that Japan would retaliate. It worked.

The Imperial Japanese Navy were not the good guys by any stretch of the imagination, and Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor was foolish in the extreme. Foolish but understandable, as they hoped by taking out our ships and planes, it would stop us from bombing their oil refineries.

From that point on, every effort of the Japanese Navy was expended in keeping the American juggernaut from reaching Japan and exacting vengeance on Japanese women and children. They failed.

Hammering the other guy into submission is not the answer. If the United States hopes to destroy every potential enemy, we will have to kill everyone not living in our borders, because by then even our friends will turn against us. Blood begets more blood and the killing never ends.

Total War is not God's way. That was Satan's plan in the pre-existence, remember? Eliminate all opposition, destroy all evil so there are none left but the good guys. But in total warfare the good guys get wiped out, too. Ask the soldiers and civilians in the American Civil War. Ask the citizens of ancient Rome. Ask the Nephites.

Maltz said...

Before I proceed, I have to ask:

(A) In your mind has the United States ever engaged in warfare inwhich she was "in the right?"

(B) The Founding Fathers of the United States were guilty of high treason. Was the Revolution a righteous conflict? Could it have been avoided or resolved peacefully? Was God in support of that war?

(C) Should Israel as a nation be disolved and the land which Israel occupies be relinquished to the Palestinians? Do the Palestinians bear any responsibility for contension in that land?

(D) Is there ever a righteous case for war? Can you give an example in history?

(E) Does the Second Amendment guarantee the right to private gun ownership? If yes, why would citizens keep firearms?

(F) Under what circumstance would you take the life of another human being?

Alan Rock Waterman said...

(A)The Revolutionary War.

(B)The revolution was justified because America was invaded with the intent of conquering the people and subjugating them under a foreign king. They were defending their homeland. Could it have been resolved peacefully? Yes, had England given heed to wise parliamentarians like Edmund Burke. The colonists had been petitioning for peace since at least 1755. Had King George not wanted to teach the colonists who was boss, the colonies would still be loyal subjects today. So yes, it could have been resolved peacefully, but King George wanted to hammer them into submission. You know, teach them a lesson like you advocate.

(C)What Israel and Palestine decide to work out between them is none of my concern. But many citizens of Israel would like to see a regime change in their country to one without such an all or nothing attitude. Both parties have legitimate claims. Unfortunately pride has been an obstacle to peace on both sides for years.

(D)Any time a nation is invaded the people are justified in going to war. The Book of Mormon is full of examples of righteous causes for war. When your land is invaded, you have a duty to drive the invaders out. God would no more excuse his people for allowing themselves to be overrun than he excuses them for overrunning others.(See also "C" above, the American Revolution for a more recent example.)

(E)Of course the second amendment guarantees the right to private gun ownership, for the purpose of defending against tyranny.

(F)The only circumstance I can picture under which I would take the life of another human being would be in defense of myself, my loved ones, or some other person in my immediate vicinity whose life may be in danger. That is the purpose for which I bought my guns, and since I don't know the first thing about hunting, that is probably the only use they would ever be put to. (Other than target practice, of course.)

Anonymous said...

I get the point of what was being mentioned, but is it fair to call them Toby Keith mormons? Toby's song was totally tongue in cheek; he was disgusted by the same behavior that you're pointing out, hence him writing a sarcastic song that expressed his frustration, but that thick-head America wouldn't get.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

That isn't the reading I get from Toby Keith's public statements. In fact, when the Dixie Chicks spoke out against the war, he led the charge against them, much as he led the charge in favor of America's attack on Iraq.

John Campbell said...

In response to Maltz who said:

"As a point in fact I offer the final Lamanite victory over the Nephites. After that war no Lamanite would ever - forever - have to raise arms against their foe."

The complete destruction of their foes the Nephites did not result in lasting peace for the Lamanites. The war itself created other foes and more war - as invasionary wars of aggression invariably does.

Mormon 8:7-8
"And behold, the Lamanites have hunted my people, the Nephites, down from city to city and from place to place, even until they are no more… And behold also, the Lamanites are at war one with another; and the whole face of this land is one continual round of murder and bloodshed; and no one knoweth the end of the war."

Joe Meservy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan Janus said...

Hey, Rock. I like your blog so much I've decided to, in all my "free" time, read all your posts from the beginning. I'm a proud member of the US Air Force, but also an opponent of the policy of pre-emptive strikes. I vote out anyone in favor of them. I'm also a Ron Paul - and now Rand Paul - supporter. Here's a related question I'd like you to weigh in on, though. Bringing the fight into the enemy's territory is wrong, no question: it was wrong for the Nephites, and it's wrong for us. But what about sticking up for smaller countries when they're attacked? (the "world police" policy, as it's sarcastically called). I'm thinking of those old Tom & Jerry cartoons. Tom chases Jerry around, trying to catch him so he can eat him - being a bully, in other words. In some episodes, Jerry is able to stick up for himself. In others, that giant bulldog, twice the size of Tom, steps in and helps Jerry out. Is there not an admonition for Christians to defend those who can't defend themselves? You mentioned Vietnam - it's even been argued by some that this was a legitimate reason for our presence there. Or should we just let other countries work it out on their own? Sometimes that's the right answer, but other times it results in a German anti-semite gaining control of much of Europe and being free to engage in genocide for years before we decide to do something about it.

Ryan Janus said...

Sorry about the double post. I tried to go in and edit so I could add that last little clause, but I ended up making a whole new post instead.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Ryan,
I don't have an easy answer to your question, though I'm betting many others in the voluntarist community have. I see no reason why individual volunteers can't go and assist others against a bully. What I can tell you is that every time we have sent our military over to another country to settle the issue, we only make things worse.

We are now in year fourteen since we first set foot in Afghanistan. Our efforts there and in Iraq, ostensibly to prevent terrorists from taking over, have resulted in what? Terrorists have taken over completely. At least when Saddam Hussein was in power in Iraq, the various factions were kept from each other's throats, and the two million Christians in that country had their rights protected.

One thing America could have done to prevent the deaths of so many German Jews was to allow them to immigrate to the US, but FDR would not allow it. It was strict policy not to allow any Jews in from that country. Other countries followed our lead.

"The Jewish Problem" as articulated by the Nazi government, was the idea that they wanted the Jews to leave Germany. When there was nowhere the Jews were allowed to go, eventually they were rounded up and put into camps created especially for them (along with other undesirables such as Gypsies, Czechs, etc. Hitler admitted he got his idea for the concentration camps from the American practice of rounding up American Indians and isolating them into certain areas to keep them away from the rest of the population.

So one answer to your question is if a population becomes the enemy of their government, the best and cheapest option is to give those people a safe refuge. Beats fighting endless wars that end up getting everybody killed.