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Sunday, December 27, 2009

When Mormons Take The Lord's Name In Vain -Part 1


Most of us Latter-day Saints have a rather skewed view of what it means to take the name of the Lord in vain. We’re in good company, though; most of Christendom shares the same misunderstanding.

The widely-held view of the third great commandment is that it prohibits calling on deity in a vain or exclamatory manner, or as an epithet in partner with other vulgarities. But that is what the ancient Israelites understood was meant by profaning God’s name. Though offensive, it's not the same as taking His name in vain.

Taking the name of the Lord thy God in vain”, as the commandment is rendered in Hebrew, means the invoking of God’s name to justify doing something that God clearly did not ask you to do. A classic example in European history would be the Crusades, that two hundred year debacle in which all of Christendom was convinced they were doing God’s will by invading the middle east and killing the people who were living there under the guise of “rescuing” the Holy Land from the infidels.

Never mind that most of those “infidels” worshiped the same God of Abraham as the Europeans did (Allah is merely an alternate pronunciation of El, after all), or that God’s word (which nobody read) declaimed against taking up the sword except in direct defense of one’s own lands. The crusaders justified the killing of foreigners because they killed in the name of Jehovah. They were taking the name of the Lord in vain.

Every one of the crusades failed spectacularly, resulting in catastrophic death and destruction among the “Christians” participating. So you’d think that by the time the ninth major expedition set out in A.D. 1271, losing most of its members to death and disease on the way as had the others before it -well, you’d think someone with half a brain might have begun to suspect that just maybe God wasn’t on their side in this thing after all.

But crusaders both ancient and modern are slow learners. As the fools rush headlong to their own slaughter, God withdraws his spirit and leaves them to their own destruction.

Here in the new world, the founders set in place a government designed to leave behind the royal institutions that tended to promote war. The new Americans rejected titles of nobility, class distinctions, and old world concepts of war as a means of bringing glory to a nation.

But no good thing lasts for long, and in no time many inhabitants of our young nation were in thrall of the romance of what they thought of as the Age of Chivalry, where knights rode to the rescue of maidens fair, and life was leisurely and gallant. The middle ages were actually far from chivalrous; they were a time of raw brutality and desperation.

But reality rarely intrudes on a mass fantasy. The man we can probably blame for our corrupted view of medieval history was the Scottish novelist Sir Walter Scott, a man who Mark twain said single-handedly did “more real and lasting harm, perhaps, than any other individual that ever wrote.”

Twain often exaggerated, but this wasn't one of those times. When it comes to creating damaging historical myth, Sir Walter Scott created the template.

At first glance, it's hard to fault Scott himself for capturing the public imagination. Scott’s romantic adventures portrayed an age where every knight was a gentleman and every lady was a delicate flower under the protection of his sword, as were the serfs contentedly toiling in his fields and the children at his knee. Scott’s historical novels were ubiquitous in every houselhold of the country, but particularly popular among the antebellum Southern gentry, with the result that much of that high-tone Southern society gradually came to mirror the fictional pattern and manners of the eras described in Scott's novels.

Southern society was soon filled with men who bestowed honorifics upon themselves and each other until it seemed almost every other Southern male insisted on being addressed as "Colonel" or "Captain" or "Major" or "Judge".

As in those so-called Days of Yore, no true Southern gentleman would tolerate a personal slight, so satisfaction was frequently demanded for the pettiest affronts. "Satisfaction", of course, usually meant the opportunity to kill or be killed in a duel to defend one’s honor. Pride in place and family -and especially country- was blurred with the Christian religion until almost any reason for killing -or getting yourself killed- was considered honorable before God. And that was the driving tenet of this religion: Personal Honor, whatever that meant. Indeed, it's been said that the many generational feuds between families on the Kentucky-Tennessee border were the religion.

Sir Walter Scott’s influence both in the North and the South resulted in what one historian called "a military fever”. Scott's novels glorified the crusades, and if it had been practical for men to walk about in suits of armor, they probably would have. They took to decorating their coats with ribbons, medals, epaulets, and brass buttons, and adding stripes down the sides of their pants.

Like everybody else at the time, the latter-day saints were not immune to this military fever. The uniforms of the Nauvoo Legion were among the spiffiest around. And the Mormons came up with the highest rank they could think of for their commanding officer: not just General, but Lieutenant-General. Top that, Carthage Greys.

By the time of the outbreak of the war between the states, America’s young on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line were itching for the chance to prove their mettle. Raised on the books of Walter Scott like their fathers and grandfathers before them, they had a romanticized view of battle. War was something you returned from as a hero, trailing honor and glory in your wake. It was a fantasy no young man could resist, and the call to arms was answered lustily from both North and South.

The horrors of war were unknown to these innocent adventurers. They embraced the opportunity to go to war without ever thinking it through. Had you asked a young recruit in 1861 what he was joining up for, he would likely have answered, “for honor and glory”.

But what does that mean, actually? Nothing; it's an empty phrase. Such is the power of myth.

According to numerous journals from that time, nearly every soldier on both sides of the Civil War believed with all his heart that he was acting as God's agent and with His blessings in that war. And some actually were, at least those who were truly defending their own lands. God does justify those who fight in defense of their own lands and freedoms.

Everybody else was taking God's name in vain.

As recently as the 1930's, the novels of Sir Walter Scott were still being passed down to the younger generation. But today they are largely forgotten, gathering dust in antiquarian book stores. Still, Scott’s legacy lives on in books and motion pictures to this day. Every movie of the twentieth century that featured knights and fair ladies, dueling with swords, and jousting on horseback owed its mythology to the historical novels of Sir Scott.

His legacy lives on also in the traditions of a nation quick to take offense and eager for satisfaction over every imagined insult from any country not blessed as we are to be God's Chosen Ones. Many Americans today are not all that different from the idealistic knights of the Crusades, nor from those in Joseph Smith’s day who ached to play dress up and go forth to redeem the land in the name of God.

Young men today are still easily persuaded that wearing a costume provided by the United States Government will somehow transform them into noble knights in shining armor, protectors of the realm.

You can call it a uniform if you want, but it’s really only a costume, designed to convey the impression that the wearer is something he is not: a hero.

Putting on a costume does not imbue one with godly character. It does not magically transform a mortal into an agent of the Almighty. I personally look forward to the day when we recognize that a man looks as ridiculous covered in ribbons and medals as he would in a suit of armor. Either way, it's mere costuming.

I have been vocal in my assertion that any young person who enlists in the United States military as it is presently constituted does so in direct defiance of the stated word of God, and may very well find himself without excuse at the bar of judgment. In this age of instant information it is easy to document how our military has been compromised, corrupted, and cut from its constitutional moorings. There is simply no plausible way for a new recruit to feign ignorance.

Yet I’ve been told by members of my own church -people who should know better- that I should fall on my knees and thank God for those soldiers who are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan; for because of them I have the freedom to sit here and critique those soldiers as they defend my rights.

I disagree.

The last American soldier who died to secure the freedom I have to speak my mind shed his lifeblood for me at Yorktown in 1781. To that nameless hero and all his compatriots I am, and will always be, humbly, humbly grateful. Their sacrifices were directly responsible for securing the freedoms I have today and I say it is an insult to the memory of those true patriots to have them equated with today’s mercenaries who are effectively undoing all that those gallant men fought and died for.

If I were to fall to my knees and thank God for the modern soldier who has traveled into the borders of another man’s country to kill him in open defiance of the wishes of God, I would be taking the name of the Lord my God in vain.


Click here for For Part 2 of "When Mormons Take The Lord's Name In Vain".

_

31 comments:

Matthew C. Waterman said...

Of course the very worst thing that all of those crusades did is set idea in motion that Christian faith is all about bloodshed. This has been one of the driving ideas behind Atheism as a better solution, since Atheists see themselves as peaceful.

Urban Koda said...

Well said! As I drove into work this morning, I heard the "Star Spangled Banner" on the radio. The phrase "That our flag was still there" struck me pretty hard.

I think all too often the idea that our flag being still there, get confused from days past where it meant that we had held off those who would topple a free republic, with those who would like to see that flag posted around the world to maximize profits.

Isaac Stanfield said...

Another interesting take on a commonly held belief.

On a related note, I try to teach my kids (as well as those in the Sunday school class that I teach) to think about the prayer they just heard before they seal the deal with their "Amen." If you agree with what has been said and asked for in the name of Jesus christ, then go ahead. If you don't, saying Amen only obliges you to something you don't agree with. You may not be surprised to learn that some of the teenaged boys in my class do not frequently Amen requests for everyone to listen reverently.

Anonymous said...

"philosophies of men mingled with scripture" well describes your thoughtless ramblings here.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Hmm. Perhaps I should take to calling it Pure Drivel.

Isaac Stanfield said...

Anonymous,
I'm interested in your take on the matter. Please post a link to your response, which of course should be full of detailed information and have a logical process that convinces us of your opinion. You can include heart-rending emotional appeals and patriotic catch phrases if you want, but those alone won't do the job. Please let us know when that is available.

Thanks,
Isaac

Dave P. said...

Anonymous,
Please don't forget to include scriptural references in your argument as well. Don't forget that the Pharisees first resorted to name-calling against the Savior after He preached against their false doctrine by referring to scripture with each point.

That seems to be the pattern throughout time. People, usually proud people, who can't win a legitimate debate resort to personal attacks against the messenger. The sad thing is they work all too well in this day and age because people who speak out against the welfare state are branded racists while those who speak out against the crimes committed by Israel as anti-semitic. Many good people have lost careers simply because of those accusations.

TruthSeeker said...

I never fail to be surprised and deeply saddened at the lengths my fellow Brothers and Sisters will go to, to protect the "church", and their "fixed beliefs". Throughout our history, we have done and said shameful things and the disinformation marches (sadly) on.

What will it take for us to stop judging one another? When will any of the "anonymous-es" in this world realize the damage that many of them do? Dave P., Urban Coda and Issac Stanfield as well as Brother Waterman stand up for the light of truth- no matter how hard it may be to hear or bear. You are very brave men in my book!

I clicked on every, VERY hard to watch link in parts 1 and 2 of "when Mormons Take the Lord's Name In Vain"? Did you?! If you had, you would not still be so high minded, I believe. For years, I was like you...out of fear. It takes courage to change a fixed belief- even if it is false!

NEVER, do those such as anonymous and others who have commented on previous blog entries; EVER when asked to give scriptural or doctrinal backing and answer SIMPLE questions to back up what they say, do so! It is, I am sorry to say- very cowardly indeed to throw out empty insults and cruel words! This reminds me of the playground, at school, where bullies would say unfounded and cruel lies. They got away with it too- because they were bigger and louder. You can not shout down the truth so easily now.

It is easy indeed to besmirch the character of those who are brave enough to STAND for truth. Too easy. I pray to God that when I am judged at the merciful seat of God- I will be able to say that I was a TRUTHFUL truth seeker, not someone who skated through life with blinders on, spouting talking points, platitudes...and worse having shouted "All is well"! When it was most certainly not.

Please- be brave, before it is too late...FOR US ALL! Open your eyes. LISTEN. LEARN! STAND!

Rock Waterman said...

There are many, many murders going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, as no one can deny who has watched any of the testimonies linked to at the end of Part 2.

These men are not discussing accidental deaths, although there are plenty of these. They are talking about their participation in deliberate, calculated murder of innocents.

Dave P. said...

TruthSeeker,

Thanks for your kind words. In addition to what you said, I paraphrase Joseph Smith's statement of, "The most dangerous situation a man can find himself in is when he believes he is filled with the spirit of the Lord when, in reality, he is not."

Rock Waterman said...

Dave, can you find me that precise quote? Sounds like a useful one.

Thanks,
Rock

Dave P. said...

I know it can be found in the student manual for Doctrine and Covenants that my class in college used and it can be found in the details of one of the many early sections wherein the Lord reveals and reminds the saints that only Joseph was entitled to receive revelation for the whole church.

The problem is, I can't find my actual copy, but this is what it looks like: http://www.byubookstore.com/ePOS?store=439&item_number=6-0161-1513-4&form=shared3%2fgm%2fdetail.html&design=439

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Thanks Dave, I have that manual somewhere; I'll have to comb through it.

Jen said...

Alan,

Did you ever find that quote? I would be interested if you did.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

How about it Dave? Can you find the quote? Or the manual? I'll check the index of Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith and see if I find it.

Dave P. said...

Sadly I checked the online version of the manual and couldn't find the quote. I'm thinking I had the book wrong because the statement is indeed something that he would have said in the Kirtland days.

Jen said...

Thanks for checking anyway!

Dave P. said...

I found it! I finally found that statement again thanks to a recent post at LDSApostasy!

Joseph Smith Jr. gave this warning to the members of the Church: “One great evil is that men … imagine that when there is any thing like power, revelation, or vision manifested that it must be of God. … Nothing is a greater injury to the children of men than to be under the influence of a false spirit, when they think they have the spirit of God. … The world always mistook false prophets for true ones.” He further stated that we can know a manifestation is false by it “contradicting a former revelation.” (“Try the Spirits,” Times and Seasons, vol. 3, no. 11, edited by Joseph Smith [Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois: Published by Joseph Smith, 1 Apr. 1842], pp. 744, 747.)

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Yay! Thanks for that, Dave. It's a humdinger.

Kristine said...

Rock - I emailed this to my cousin and I got this response. Too much cognitive dissonance for me. Maybe you would like to address this. Thank you. And thank you for the beautiful article. He is soooo angry that I don't believe any response right now would be helpful. I am praying for him...
A Response to- “When Mormon’s Take the Name of God in Vain”
I don’t know who wrote the article. My cousin sent it to me. This is wrong in so many ways that I have to respond. I don’t think my cousin wrote the article but I don’t see any other names. I don’t think the author wants to be identified. I wouldn’t either.
The article is partly correct about the crusades and the middle ages and about how human kind have a love affair about every other generation with warfare and uniforms. (Hitler and his SS Boy’s sure looked pretty didn’t they?) The article purveys such a kind of “I am smarter than the rest of you sheep” sense of self-indulging hypocrisy that I just have to respond. This person who wrote the article is either really and truly self-engorged with their own pittance of knowledge or they choose to be blind to historical fact. The author bends so many truths to make themselves sound honest that it is either embarrassing or comical.
The article’s title is “When Mormon’s Take the Name of God in Vain”, but only mentions Mormons in a passing manner. The real intent of the article is to tell us dumb and inferior but self-righteous Americans that our young men and women offend God when putting on a military uniform. How insulting can a fellow American be? Not only is insulting to Americans, but to all other nations regardless of side who fought in any way in any war since the American Revolutionary War. The author graciously (say graciously sarcastically, it’s a lot more fun) admits that those soldiers who fought on their own country’s soil were justified by God. Comically, the author even makes a point to single out the American civil war saying that those who were defending “their own lands” were justified and the other side then would obviously not be justified. I can’t help but laugh out loud. Oh come on Mr. or Mrs. Author! WHICH SIDE WAS IT THAT FOUGHT ONLY ON THEIR OWN LANDS? ARE YOU REALLY SAYING THAT IF YOU CROSSED YOUR STATE’S BORDER IN THE CIVIL WAR YOU ARE GOING TO BE PUNISHED BY GOD FOR CROSSING ANY BORDER? Poor Lieutanant Chamberlain, Medal of Honor winner at Gettysburg, PENNSYLVANIA…. The poor guy. He was a school teacher from MAINE. Oh NO!

Kristine said...

In the civil war both the South and the Union armies attacked the other side’s lands. It’s funny but true that if you read between the lines, the author believes that it was the Southern side who was justified by God, because they were defending their lands and their RIGHTS as they believed them to be, especially the “right” to be slave holding independent states. The author proposes that the armies of Grant and Sherman who followed President Lincoln’s orders to attack the South were offending God, or “taking the Lord’s name in vain”. LOL….. LOL….LOL
I pause to cut and paste a paragraph from the Author’s article. Yawn. “According to numerous journals from that time, nearly every soldier on both sides of the Civil War believed with all his heart that he was acting as God's agent and with His blessings in that war. And some actually were, at least those who were truly defending their own lands. God does justify those who fight in defense of their own lands and freedoms.” There! I proved my point. Don’t laugh. The author really does think that the South was justified before God.
The author believes that because he or she once read a book by Sir Walter Scott who may have stretched the truth about the middle ages, that the world and especially Americans were duped by Scott into falling in love with costuming uniforms and vainly and uselessly fighting and dying for some false “honor and glory”. The author attests that any soldier in the civil war would have told you that the ONLY reason that they went to war was for personal honor and glory. How simple minded this author is. If the author believes that every Officer and Soldier on both sides didn’t understand that the future of America was at stake, dare I say it…. The author would be DEAD WRONG! The author believes that not only us Mormons and all Americans are stupid now, but the author believes that our ancestors who fought in the civil war (or any other war) were stupid too!
If you really think that men began glorifying uniforms and war with Sir Walter Scott, you must believe that the old Greeks, Romans, Samurai, Mongol, Vikings, Pharoah’s chariot armies, etc. weren’t human. The author doesn’t understand how NAÏVE their position is. Humans have ALWAYS glorified war and the costumes of war ever since Cain killed Able, or ever since Snort the cave man killed his brother because his brother had a foxier wife. (I threw Snort in to entertain the EWOGS, the Evolution WithOut God believers, EWOGS for short. I wouldn’t want to offend anyone’s religion. What, you’ve never heard of the Church of the EWOGS? It’s really great! You have no tithing, no meetings and you can screw over your neighbor, ALL GUILT FREE). But, I digress.
Now, let us get to the heart of the matter. Are American soldiers (or any other country’s soldiers) offending God by putting on their uniforms and serving their country? …..wait while I cut and paste…..”any young person who enlists in the United States military as it is presently constituted does so in direct defiance of the stated word of God,”. Of course not. What a pitiful statement. I am embarrassed that it was probably an American who wrote that. OK… I’ll say it……. A lousy and ungrateful American. My patriotic Mother would have said it. So I decided to say it.
I would like to make some points and I’ll bullet them in an effort to keep myself from yabbering on about this author’s naivety.

Kristine said...

*Humans can be good and evil at the same time. We can all fall ill to evil impulses. It is hard for us as humans to always do the right thing, and it can be harder for us to always know what is the right thing to do. But this is the way God intended it. We have our agency. God does not tell us every time what is justifiable and what is not. If he did, it wouldn’t be agency.
*War is bad. And, war is good.
*It is the purpose of the war that is either good or bad. Not the location. AND IN WAR, SOMETIMES NEITHER SIDE IS USUALLY QUITE SURE ONCE THE FIGHTING STARTS.
*Soldiers who fight are bound by their oath, this requires a commitment of honor.
*Honor is important. Even Boy Scouts know it. But the author doesn’t.
*Soldiers who fight to protect their righteous freedoms are justified. And, soldiers who fight for other people’s freedoms are even MORE justified by God. “No greater love hath any man than that he give his life for a friend”. (It’s in the Bible, look it up).
*Kings and Presidents and Kaisers and Emporers and Ceasars and Fuhrers and Tribal Chiefs have a heavy burden when deciding which war is good and which war is bad. And yes, I believe that they can be held accountable before God for bad decisions. It is always dangerous to make any leader angry because he might bite, or carry a stick, or drop a bomb on you, etc.
*There have always been tyrants. Snort was a tyrant. Tyrants are bad.
*War against Tyrants is good. War against tyranny is good. War against stupidity is not necessary but is sometimes so tempting, you might think it would be good. Joking.
*Yes, we Americans have made mistakes. Yes we can be arrogant, and stupid.
*Yes, we Americans may have fought battles and wars that with hind sight may not have been completely necessary, ie. Panama, Grenada (maybe), Mexico, Spain….. Well maybe those wars were necessary. It’s a tough call, I really thought Panama was going to attack! LOL.
*Wars (for example, the VietNam war) are often righteously fought on principle rather than imminent threat of attack by an evil empire. For example, the Viet Nam War, The Korean War, the Cold War, etc, were stands against the callous tyranny of communist expansion and as such was not only honorable but also justifiable. (I get really offended if someone says, that American soldiers who died in VietNam died in vain). But, whether God actually justifies any war, or any killing of any kind, I will leave up to God.
*The reasons for war (just like war itself) are often muddy, unclear, confusing, and hard to understand. But, it is important that we all look inward and at least try to make righteous judgment and try to use war only as a last resort.

Kristine said...

My mother was a righteous woman. Anyone who knew her could tell you that. My cousin who sent out this article could tell you that. When the news came out that George Bush number one had ordered an invasion of Panama, Mom said to me, “I always thought that America was a righteous enough country to not attack another nation unless we were attacked by them first”. The author of this “When Mormon’s Take the Name of the Lord in Vain” article must have the same line of thinking as my Mother.
But, when I asked my Mother about whether her reasoning meant that we should have not fought in VietNam, she said “Oh, but that was different because we were fighting against Communism”. When I asked Mom about our invasion of Italy during World War 2, she said “that was different too, BECAUSE WE WERE AT WAR”. My Mother was wonderful. She could process complicated issues because she always sought to understand them by breaking them down into her understanding of what is Right or Wrong.
But, the truth is that relationships between humans and nations of humans are often very complicated and are often mixed with things that are both good and evil. After all, according to Mr. Hitler, Poland attacked Germany (or German Kind) first and that was his justification for invading Poland. But, to the German people that made sense at the time and the invasion of Poland was an act of self defense.
OK I know. Hitler was an idiot. Yes we were justified in fighting on German soil if only for the Jewish plight. I could go on and on...
I could go on with this response for days. But, I have to go help clean up the bbq dinner that my town had today in honor of our pioneers. Gosh, the parade was good, but it had one of those shameful American retired Air Force officers in full UNIFORM (costume) as the Grand Marshall, so gosh I am afraid of God’s judgment. Oh NO!

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Kristine,
I think the most distressing thing about your cousin's diatribe against my article is that he was unable to give me credit for writing it.

Too bad he didn't notice that this was merely Part One of a two part essay. Had he continued on to part two, he may have had most of his objections answered. What matters in warfare is not whether WE mortals think we're doing the right thing, what matters is the rules laid down by God regarding the rules of engagement. Those rules are simple:

1. We have the right, duty, and obligation to repel invaders from our lands.

2. We are not permitted to take our armies into the borders of another people's land.

Your cousin does not seem to be aware that the southern soldiers who resisted the Yankees were not motivated by a desire to defend the institution of slavery. They were repelling an invading army that had crossed into their state's borders and were threatening their wives, children, and lands. Their fears were well grounded, as evidenced by Sherman's absolute merciless holocaust against the civilian population in his wake.

For the first two years of the war, the south won EVERY SINGLE BATTLE. Then, General Lee marched the troops into a Northern state, Pennsylvania, and the tide turned dramatically against them. They were no longer fighting on the defensive; they had taken the war on the offensive, and whatever divine protection they had experienced heretofore suddenly vanished.

Your cousin's example of Chamberlain's defense at Gettysburg makes my case. As a northerner, he was defending a northern stronghold against a southern invasion, and his side prevailed.

Your cousin would do well to get his emotions under control, read a bit of actual history, and then seek God's word as to what situations make war justifiable, and what makes it an abomination.

noblenarcissist said...

The scriptural definition of taking the Lord's name in vain:

"For behold, verily I say, that many there be who are under this condemnation, who use the name of the Lord, and use it in vain, having not authority."
(D&C 63:62)

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
(Matthew 7:21-23)

noblenarcissist said...

"Will I accept of an offering, saith the Lord, that is not made in my name? Or will I receive at your hands that which I have not appointed? And will I appoint unto you, saith the Lord, except it be by law, even as I and my Father ordained unto you, before the world was?"
(D&C 132:9-11)

noblenarcissist said...

"...we cannot keep all the commandments without first knowing them, and we cannot expect to know all, or more than we now know unless we comply with or keep those we have already received. That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another.
"“God said, “Thou shalt not kill;” at another time He said “Thou shalt utterly destroy.” This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted—by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed. Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire."
(Joseph Smith, History of the Church 5:134)

Anonymous said...

First we have to prove that such statements, supposedly from Joseph Smith or from the Bible, are actually true and really what that person said.

There is a lot in the History of the Church that I believe is not true about what Joseph said, for he didn't publish those statements while he was alive. So we shouldn't assume it is really from him. Much could have, I believe was, changed or deleted or added to 'after Joseph died'.

Also, the Bible is often translated incorrectly or actual wording could have been changed, deleted or added to, as the Joseph Smith translation shows happened alot.

So we have to take everything the Bible says with a huge grain of salt and if it sounds 'fishy' like the statement above & so many other stories in the Bible, then we should not follow it or think it correct until Christ returns and clarifies it all for us.

D&C 132 also cannot be proven to be from Joseph Smith and I do not believe it is, for it is contrary to what Joseph, Christ & ancient prophets preached.

'Prove all things and only hold fast to that which (we know for sure) is true.'

God never wants us to just trust, accept or follow something just because someone says it. even those who calls themselves a Prophet.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Noblenarccist,
You deserve to be aware that the quote you provide at 1:41 was attributed to Joseph Smith, but he denied authorship and made affidavit to that effect. It comes from a letter known as the "Essay on Happiness" and is often used to claim Joseph Smith used that sophistry to justify plural marriage.

After the prophet's death, Brigham Young instructed the editors to doctor the official Church History, and that letter, which Joseph Smith believed was written by his enemy John C. Bennett, was included despite Joseph's clear disavowal of it when he was alive.

Anonymous said...

wait, so you don't want the USA to fight for our freedom anymore, but what about people in other countries...should anyone fight for their freedom? I know many of the countries our troops have entered did bring more freedom to the people there.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

There are two errors in your statement above. First I am not opposed to Americans fighting for our own freedom. If not for the colonial army, we would still be colonies of Great Britain.

I oppose the deception that these invasions of other countries have anything to do with defending American's rights or freedoms. They simply do not.

Second, EVERY TIME America has intervened in the troubles of another country, it made things worse. Take World Wars I as an example. That war was at a stalemate, and all sides were in the process of negotiating "Deguerre Antebellum," a sort of understanding that everybody goes home, there is no victor, no defeated; everything simply goes back to the way it was before the war. Sort of a "let's just pretend this never happened."

Hitler and Stalin were in the process of fighting it out between themselves when Churchill wanted in. (Churchill had proposed in 1935 that with the advance of air power, any war could be won from the sky in a day or two. He hungered to try his theory out.)

America's entry into both these wars revitalized them. The result was millions more deaths than would have occurred had we butted out.

George Washington knew what he was talking about when he told us the Old World would never stop fighting between themselves. It would be in our best interests to open our borders to those who are tired of living under tyranny, but never to side with the tyrants.