Saturday, May 25, 2013

Why Do We Keep Celebrating Disobedience?

Wouldn't it be something if Americans decided to declare a national Day of Repentance? Three years ago the tiny country of Papua New Guinea instituted just such a holiday for the purpose of fasting, prayer, and reflection. The sizable Christian and Muslim population of that nation (both religions worship the God of Abraham) have chosen to set aside August 26th every year as a non work holiday, and use it not for picnics, sports events, or trips to the beach, but as an actual holy day.
I don't know what kind of sins the Papuans are guilty of, but I'm willing to bet we Americans have them beat by a mile.

I realize that convincing Americans they should set aside a National Day of Repentance for quiet reflection is a pipe dream; Americans like to use their holy days for playing, not praying. Still, Memorial Day would seem ready-made for conversion to that use. It already stands as the day we pay tribute to those among us who have fallen in battle. Wouldn't it be helpful if we collectively took the additional step and asked ourselves the question: why did they have to die?

 You would think latter-day Saints would be the first to awake from their slumber and reflect upon their unquestioning support for perpetual wars. We have, after all, not been shy about referring to ourselves as the Children of Light on occasion. So why do we keep doing this? Why are many Mormons so proud and willing to sacrifice their own children on the altar of war?

Why are we, of all people, so easily manipulated by that tool of the devil, fear? How is it possible for so many who declare themselves followers of Christ to put the teachings of Christ on hold the moment the devil leaps up and shakes a Boogah-Boogah stick stick in our face?  And why do we hold the military establishment in such high regard when our doctrine teaches that armies and navies are tools Satan has captured for his purpose of ruling the earth with blood and horror?

Calling Evil Good, And Good Evil
I suppose we can forgive some of our sectarian brothers and sisters for constantly misinterpreting scripture. But why do we fall into that trap? The Book of Mormon is supposed to have been given to us so we could understand precisely when and where war was justifiable, and when and where it was not.  Yet we ignore those teachings and enthusiastically join with our evangelical brothers and sisters in cheering on the monster leviathan as it rolls across the globe murdering the innocent along with the guilty. Those who rely on the bible alone may be susceptible to false teachings and vain traditions, but what is our excuse?

The major purpose of the Book of Mormon was to to lead us away from Satan's clever manipulations and back to Christ.  Yet some of us seem to have missed a major point. A mere two years after the church was formally organized, the Lord placed the entire community under condemnation for taking lightly the things they had been given in the Book of Mormon. And in President Benson's very first conference talk after attaining office, he reminded us the condemnation has never been lifted.  We remain a community puffed up in pride over our status as "The One True Church," yet there is little difference between us and any others who revel in the imposition of force.

We are all aware of how top-heavy the Book of Mormon is when it comes to the discussion of war.  We even make jokes about it. But how many have bothered to wonder just why that is? Why did the warrior prophet Mormon feel it so important to fill that book up with endless tales of combat?

The answer is that he was sending us a warning. Both Mormon and his son Moroni were given a peek into our future, and what they saw filled them with alarm. Mormon saw us headed on the very path to destruction that had wiped out his entire civilization, and he hoped his warning would reach us and get us to change direction. The fact that so many of us happily testify of the truth of Mormon's book while managing to miss the lesson he hoped to impart is a sad testimony to our pride. We love to tell the world how much we love the Book of Mormon, but we pay little attention to what that book is trying to tell us.

If the last time you read the Book of Mormon with any diligence was when you were in Seminary and raced through it only with the goal of finishing the dang thing in time to get that nice Certificate of Completion, this might be a good time to sit down and give it a second look. If  there was ever a time we Americans deserved to take a good hard look at ourselves and reflect upon what it is we might be doing wrong, this is that time. You may have noticed God is not exactly pouring out his blessings on America in these latter days. I would suggest that a primary reason for the absence of the hand of providence is that God's people are blatantly ignoring His law concerning war. It seems to me that Memorial Day would be a good time to engage in quiet and thoughtful reflection about that.

What Mormon Was Trying To Tell Us
In case those many tedious accounts of wars and battles in the Book of Mormon clouded your brain and caused it to miss the lesson, the message can be distilled into two simple points:
1. God's people have a sacred duty to to defend themselves, their families, and their lands; not just from invasion, but also usurpation from within.

2. God will turn his back on us the moment our armies cross into the borders of another country.  We may delude ourselves into believing we are fighting for His cause; we may pray for His blessings and invoke His protection. But God won't hear us. The moment we take the war into the lands of another people, God walks off the field and leaves us on our own.
Now, you might not like hearing that second point. You might even refuse to believe it. Nevertheless, that is Christ's actual Doctrine. Those are God's Rules of Engagement concerning war.  And as he told Joseph Smith in what became section 98 of our Doctrine and Covenants, this has always been the law, from the time of  the ancient prophets and apostles, through Nephi, and down to our own day. His people were not to go out into battle "against any nation, kindred, tongue, or people unless I the Lord commanded them."

This scripture is unacceptable to some latter-day Saints. Many simply refuse to follow it, and will attempt all manner of ways to introduce exceptions to the rule, asserting it doesn't apply in certain cases and under varying modern circumstances. God could not have anticipated some of the dangers that threaten us today, don't you see. These otherwise good folks engage in mental acrobatics to justify acting contrary to God's will, because their cultural and political beliefs have become entwined with their religion to the point they are unable to tell truth from error.

Wars And Rumors Of War
I was born in 1951. In my lifetime my country has been involved in one war or another every year of my life except five.  Not one of those wars was authorized by God. Not one of them was authorized by the Constitution, either. I don't know about you, but that's enough to pull me up short and get my attention.

Here is a list of the military adventures my government has embarked on, in my name, during just my lifetime:
                     
1951 – Korean War
1952 – Korean War
1953 – Korean War
1954 – Covert War in Guatemala
1955 – Vietnam War
1956 – Vietnam War
1957 – Vietnam War
1958 – Vietnam War
1959 – Vietnam War, Conflict in Haiti
1960 – Vietnam War
1961 – Vietnam War
1962 – Vietnam War, Cold War (Cuban Missile Crisis; U.S. marines fight Communists in Thailand)
1963 – Vietnam War
1964 – Vietnam War
1965 – Vietnam War, U.S. occupation of Dominican Republic
1966 – Vietnam War, U.S. occupation of Dominican Republic
1967 – Vietnam War
1968 – Vietnam War
1969 – Vietnam War
1970 – Vietnam War
1971 – Vietnam War
1972 – Vietnam War
1973 – Vietnam War, U.S. aids Israel in Yom Kippur War
1974 – Vietnam War
1975 – Vietnam War
1976 – No major war
1977 – No major war
1978 – No major war
1979 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan)
1980 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan)
1981 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), First Gulf of Sidra Incident
1982 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), Conflict in Lebanon
1983 – Cold War (Invasion of Grenada, CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), Conflict in Lebanon
1984 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), Conflict in Persian Gulf
1985 - Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua)
1986 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua)
1987 – Conflict in Persian Gulf
1988 – Conflict in Persian Gulf, U.S. occupation of Panama
1989 – Second Gulf of Sidra Incident, U.S. occupation of Panama, Conflict in Philippines
1990 – First Gulf War, U.S. occupation of Panama
1991 – First Gulf War
1992 – Conflict in Iraq
1993 – Conflict in Iraq
1994 – Conflict in Iraq, U.S. invades Haiti
1995 – Conflict in Iraq, U.S. invades Haiti, NATO bombing of Bosnia and Herzegovina
1996 – Conflict in Iraq
1997 – No major war
1998 – Bombing of Iraq, Missile strikes against Afghanistan and Sudan
1999 – Kosovo War
2000 – No major war
2001 – War on Terror in Afghanistan
2002 – War on Terror in Afghanistan and Yemen
2003 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, and Iraq
2004 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2005 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2006 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2007 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen
2008 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2009 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2010 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2011 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen; Conflict in Libya (Libyan Civil War), US Combat troops sent in as advisers to Uganda
2012 - Troops deployed to Jordan, Syria, Chad. Continuing War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen.
2013 - Mali, Somalia; Continuing War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, and Uganda.

A Mormon Perspective
Many good members of the church have been frightened into participating in these wars, and many more have been frightened into supporting them. But the Book of Mormon goes to great lengths to warn us that powerful men in our day would combine in secret to use fear as a means of getting us to believe the only way to save ourselves is to disobey God. In light of our penchant for following Satan's minions rather than serving Christ, wouldn't you agree we're past time for a day of repentance?

One reason I believe we latter-day Saints have not been quick to grasp how far afield we have strayed is that until recently there has not been much in the way of resources we could consult that would give us a clear understanding of our responsibility regarding war. We have been easily led by politics and culture, but politics and culture have ever been rooted in the influence of Babylon. We should be looking instead to the word of God.

One of my favorite books on war as it relates to our religion has been Warfare In The Book of Mormon, published by Deseret Book in 1990.  But that book is long out of print, so if you don't already own a copy, you could expect to pay as much as $300.00 for one. And even that book is less than comprehensive on the subject. Though it contains a sampling of theology and doctrine, the essays contained within are mostly concerned with the history, strategies, archaeology, and weapons employed in Book of Mormon wars.

Happily, we now have a new volume published just last year by Greg Kofford Books of Salt Lake City,  War & Peace In Our Time: Mormon Perspectives, a collection of essays edited by Patrick Q. Mason, J. David Pulsipher, and Richard L. Bushman. I consider this book an absolutely essential resource for any latter-day Saint seeking to understand God's will regarding war, especially as it pertains to our day.

I admit to having read only four essays in this book so far, but on the strength of three of those alone I recommend the book enthusiastically. (I'll tell you my reservations about the fourth one in a moment.) I would wish to see this book in every latter-day Saint home. That's how important I think it is. It should be as ubiquitous today in Mormon households as Mormon Doctrine once was in the 1970s and 80s. If you want a cogent understanding of LDS doctrine and teaching as it relates to war, I know of  no better place to start than this outstanding collection.

War & Peace In Our Time: Mormon Perspectives is a collection of essays from a wide variety of LDS authors and scholars, approaching aspects of LDS theology and history from a variety of angles. I started my reading by skipping right to the pieces by two of my favorite experts on Mormonism and war, Joshua Madson and his father Ron Madson. Both offer outstanding analyses here. Josh takes an approach that would surprise most members of the church by demonstrating how the Book of Mormon is a book that preaches non violence. Ron Madson discusses how we have largely rejected God's immutable covenant of peace and thereby brought condemnation on our heads.

All good books have their flaws, of course, and in this instance I have to pick on an essay contributed by Morgan Deane, who offers a contrary point of view, enlisting the Book of Mormon to bolster his support of the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive warfare.

Deane's thesis is that "it was the bloodlust and general weakness of Nephite society that caused their failure," and not so much their disobedience in taking the war into the lands of their enemies. Although no one would disagree that the Nephite's bloodlust was a salient factor in God's failure to support their cause, Mormon was emphatic that the dealbreaker was when his army went on the offensive against the Lamanites inside the Lamanite borders. That is when he resigned as their leader, and that's the moment he points to in Mormon chapter four as the reason God allowed the entire Nephite civilization to be destroyed.

But Deane rejects the idea that the Nephite's defeat was the result of their crossing over into Lamanite borders. He tries hard to fit his personal beliefs into the scriptures, and those beliefs are typified by the popular view that America's pre-emptive wars against Iraq and Afghanistan (and now Libya and Syria) are justifiable before God. His thesis doesn't work. He supports his position with an unfortunate reliance on a skewed interpretation of scripture and contexts.  He points to examples where the Nephites were justified in conducting offensive maneuvers in order to defeat the Lamanites, without recognizing those offensive maneuvers took place on Nephite soil and not on the Lamanite's home turf.

Deane's view is shared by quite a few latter-day Saints today, and its inclusion in this volume is helpful if only as an example of how far many of us will stretch God's word to match our personal views. I include myself among the ranks of the formerly deluded. Though I was spared from participation in the war in Vietnam, I was an outspoken cheerleader for that adventure at the time, and for decades after. I believed with all my heart that my brothers in arms who traveled thousands of miles from home to murder people they had never met were engaged in God's work.  I defended that war and the politicians who directed it with a zealous fervor my children today find hard to believe, as they know me to be quite different from the lad I tell about in my stories. (For a peek into my admittedly warped psyche as a teenage chickenhawk, see my piece "Don't Shoot, I'm Just The Messenger.")

God does not justify nations going to war. That is Satan's arena. The Prince of Peace does not employ war to accomplish his purposes.

At the risk of beating this topic to death, I just want to tell you again that you really ought to buy this book! I'm tempted to reprint an unending number of irresistible quotations from War & Peace: Mormon Perspectives, but instead I'll do what is usually not done in book reviews: I'll reprint the Table of Contents to give you a taste of the topics covered:
Part I. Scriptural & Doctrinal Interpretations

The Ammonite Conundrum
J. David Pulsipher

A Non-Violent Reading of the Book of Mormon
Joshua Madson

Offensive Warfare in the Book of Mormon
and a Defense of the Bush Doctrine
Morgan Deane

Imagining Peace: The Example of the Nephites
following Christ’s Visit to the New World
Robert A. Rees

Pax Sanctorum
F. R. Rick Duran

Part II. Historical & Cultural Perspectives

Zion as a Refuge from the Wars of Nations
Mark Ashurst-McGee

Fall from Grace: Mormon Millennialism,
Native Americans, and Violence
Jennifer Lindell

Negotiating War and Peace in Korea: A Comparison
of U.S. Military and Korean Latter-day Saints
Ethan Yorgason

Nonviolent Responses and Mormon Attitudes:
Reasons and Realities
Jesse Samantha Fulcher

Part III. Notable & Prophetic Voices

General Conference Addresses during Times of War
Robert H. Hellebrand

Pacifist Counselor in the First Presidency: J. Reuben Clark
D. Michael Quinn

The Work of Death: Hugh Nibley as Scholar, Soldier, Peace Activist
Boyd Jay Petersen

Eugene England's Theology of Peace
Loyd Ericson

Part IV. Personal and Professional Observations

An LDS Chaplain's Perspective on Current Conflicts
Eric A. Eliason 

"Renounce War and Proclaim Peace": Personal Reflections on Mormon Attempts at Peacemaking
Gordon Conrad Thomasson

Doctrine and Covenants 98: The "Immutable" Rejected Covenant of Peace
Ron Madson

War and the Gospel: Perspectives from Latter-day Saint National Security Practitioners
Mark Henshaw, Valerie M. Hudson, Eric Jensen, Kerry M. Kartchner, and John Mark Mattox
The book also contains an informative introduction by Patrick Q. Mason and an aftermath by Richard Bushman, as well as a subject index and a complete scripture index that extends to seven pages. This is a complete reference on Mormonism and war.
Have you taken my hint yet? I really want you to get this book. I'm writing this on the Saturday before Memorial Day. If you're reading it today and live near a Deseret Book Store, you can buy your copy today and read something from it on Memorial Day. I think that would be a fitting use of the holiday.

A reference work like this has been sorely needed in the church for quite some time.  If enough of us will read these essays and ponder upon God's will regarding war, it may lead to an awakening in the church to the direction we ought to be facing as disciples of Christ. I think we could do with a bit of repenting.

Americans may never call for a National Day of Repentance, but as individual disciples of Christ, we can certainly repent of the false notions we have held concerning the greatest evil the adversary ever devised. We can stop supporting the Secret Combinations whose goal is to enslave our minds as well as our bodies. Many of us have been deceived by fear and trickery. It's past time to turn from our delusions. The promise God made in ancient times is as valid today as it ever was:
"If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."



Update:
Since I wrote the glowing recommendation above for War & Peace:
Mormon Perspectives, author Kendal Anderson has come out with an even more thorough volume on the topic, titled War: A Book of Mormon Perspective. I recommend this book as highly as I do the other. I suggest you get both and become a thoroughly informed latter-day Saint.



193 comments:

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Announcements, Announcements, Anow-wownce-ments!

Those who have read my piece "Bad Science, Weird Science, and Strange Mormon Prophecy" and who live along the Wasatch Front, may wish to attend a fascinating presentation by Anthony Larson whose research was featured in that piece. Here are the details:

Thursday evening, June 6th

6:30 - 7:30 lecture

7:30 - 8:00 Q&A

Inspire said...

Rock,
I think it is an excellent start to look at what the Book of Mormon says about war. But what I believe is more important and powerful is to look at what the B of M SHOWS us. By doing so, we will see an even higher law than what you are espousing.

Here are some important points to consider:

* Most of the B of M wars take place before the Lord came, and so they would be living the Law of Moses (an eye for an eye...), a different law than what we now have.
* The Nephites in Mormon and Moroni's time had been given the doctrine of Christ (agree with your enemy while you are with them, turn the other cheek, walk with them twain if asked, etc.) which kept them in peace for hundreds of years, and they were held to this higher law.
* The Ammonites absolutely refused to fight, no matter what. Not to defend their wives, not for their country, not for freedom. They were living the doctrine of Christ before the Lord even came to them, and we know that death had no sting for these people. No wonder they are such a favored people.
* Nephi started his civilization with violence. It was embedded in the culture. The sword of Laban was used in Nephite battles and many weapons were forged based on that original template.
* The Nephites ended their civilization in violence... it ultimately came back on their own heads.
* It appears that Mormon had a great admiration for Captain Moroni, presumably naming his son after him. Mormon was quick to mention the "just cause" approach (Title of Liberty), and he may have even used this strategy with his own troops. But they were past feeling. That's where war will ultimately lead, regardless of the motive.
* To claim justice (or duty) in waging war, we deny mercy. Being godly is to walk that peaceable walk with our fellow man (at which point the grace of God is sufficient).

It is my belief that the reason we were shown all the wars in the B of M was so that the one anomaly--the Ammonites--would stand out to us. The only enduring attitude we can choose is to bury our weapons and trust the Lord, not denying his promises and believing that he alone will be our captain and in protecting our rearward. IMO, anyway.

karl waterman said...

I served aboard the united states submarine Nathanael greene SSBN 636 blue during 1976-1978. I prevented the blank in wars those three years. you are so welcome!

Jean said...

We are not all disciples of Christ Rock. Why should we join in a day of repentance? Each and every day we all need to own up to our faults and give ourselves credit for all the good we do.

I like the breakdown of the wars that the US has been involved with for so many years. On TV just this week I heard your president say that the US had been involved in war for 'over a decade'. Yes, well over a decade. It is the government that needs to repent of its propaganda and false flag operations in the name of "America the Beautiful". Americans are beautiful people, but they have been lied to and many young people have lost their lives. How can you call your government to repentance; what can be done?

Zo-ma-rah said...

I think it's interesting that after organizing the armies of Israel and marching in Zion's Camp that Joseph Smith receives a revelation. This revelation is that they are to allow for a time to build up the armies of Israel. Meanwhile they should purchase the land for the city of Zion. Then after they purchased the land the armies of Israel were justified in going in and taking possession of the land. That's Section 105 if you're interested.

Marcus said...

Amen and a thousand Amen.

Rock, If I had my will, you'd speak att the next General Conferance on this very subject. It would do a world of good.

Since my early teenage years I've been preplexed about the passion for war that seems to have hold on so many of my brothers and sisters hearts. Even from the very people who are called to be special wittnesses of Christ. Our fellow brothers and sisters in the Gospel, who try live their lives in Christ, suddenly flips like a coin and praises the death of thousands, in fact millions, when the subject of war (our wars) is brought up, and call it the will of God.

It is a great mystery to me, and I can only conclude that we humans, the intelligence we presume we posess, is not at all as great as we suppose.

Love your posts, A while back I thought I was alone. To know I'm not alone has helped me a lot. I feel there may perhaps be a glimmer of hope (though I'm not sure Moroni would say the same).

Thanks, Marcus

Alan Rock Waterman said...

My brother kids, but I should point out that his submarine service is an example of the proper use of military-in a defensive capability. He manned the submarine sonar station, on the lookout for threats to the country. His is a service I can salute, for his service was defensive, not aggressive.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I hope I was clear that I am NOT proposing a government sanctioned day of repentance.

Any repentance must stem from a personal awakening among the people, not a government declared "celebration." That's why I feel Memorial day is particularly suited for personal introspection.

What has traditionally been a national day of mourning is increasingly used by government and media as an opportunity to promote the deification of the military. We should vocally oppose this. We can use this day to reflect individually upon whatever role we might have played previously in supporting government wars and false flag operations, even if it was by not speaking out against them.

Those who would rule over us often mistake our silence to be passive acquiescence. We must make sure they are aware we are peaceful but NOT passive in our demand for personal liberty.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I see nothing wrong taking possession of land that has been bought and paid for, nor with organizing a militia to defend that land if necessary.

Where the early Saints often went wrong was in organizing a secret militia that performed acts of retribution against the neighboring Missourians. It resulted in the Mormons being expelled.

It should be noted that the Danites appear to have been organized in secret without Joseph Smith's knowledge. The men involved rightly assumed he would not have approved.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Thanks for the kind praise, Marcus. I would be surprised if they'd let get past the doors of the conference center, let alone anywhere near the podium.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I see the Ammonites as a special case. These were people who had previously engaged in wanton slaughter of countless others. When they buried their weapons and swore never to raise the sword again, it was out of a sense of remorse for the evil they had done before they had come to Christ. They felt they had a penance to pay, even if it cost them their lives. And, judging by what we know of them, they were guilty of heinous crimes.

Because they refused even to defend themselves, it was necessary for others to come to their defense when they were attacked. I honor their commitment never to raise the sword again. But I'm also glad there were others around willing to defend their brothers in Christ who were in need of defending.

LDSDPer said...

nice, Inspire.

Inspire said...

Indeed they were a special case, probably more special than we can fathom. But it sounds like you're saying it is not a scenario worth emulating... That we would need to be murderous in our hearts and in the core of our culture, and then feel guilty for it. Sounds like we already qualify for two of those three things.

LDSDPer said...

Another well-done blog essay. (Is that what they are called?)

Another, "why can't I put it into words like that?" job.

Thank you, Rock. I call myself an anti-Nephi-Lehite for personal reasons, and I've been laughed at a lot--

In my heart I know there is a reason for defense, and I would defend my vulnerable ones (I'm good with a gun; I was taught by a master), but I would not defend myself.

I'm going to say something now that you might not appreciate being put on here.

1--As you already know, what you covered as 'wars' is only for 'wars', even if they were CIA proxy wars, but countless assassinations and other bloody doings have been engineered by the CIA, for years, and continue to be carried out in countries not even mentioned. Iran in 1953, for example--a member of our ward has a family member who is in a special 'part' of the Army; this young man goes around and participates in these kinds of things, things that never make it onto the news--these people are proud of this family member; one of my family members choked when the participant's child prayed, "that daddy will be safe in his work"--

2--this is the controversial thing. I grew up with this powerful 'love' of Israel. I put onto a pedestal (they got knocked down quite quickly by their own actions) the Jewish kids I met in college (not an LDS school or anywhere near an LDS school), because I was so passionate about "Exodus", etc. I ate up all the stories about the angels on the side of the Israelis, etc., etc., etc. I wanted to go over there, and I read everything I could get my hands on about kibbutzes, etc. I contributed to LeGrand Richards' garden in Israel--
and sang all the Jewish/Israeli songs I could find.
I thought that the O.T. stories showed that Israel was an exception, because they were the 'chosen people', and so were *we* (Mormons)--an exception, and because the church was restored in America, America was the exception. Romney preached exceptionalism.

Well, we aren't; nor are they. Seldom is the story told of all the Jews who have NOT promoted war and who have proclaimed peace and question the violence of the last 65 years in the "Holy Land". Some even go so far as to claim that the Nazis got a little help in choosing the 'right' people to decimate (those who were anti-Zionists). That is a very sore toe.
But we as LDS are confused about this. If the Book of Mormon is read more closely it can be seen that the LORD will take His people back to Israel, not the United Nations. And that it will be righteousness, more than blood, that gets them there, escorted by Jehovah.
I've gone too far on this; I know I have stepped on a tender Mormon toe, but the fact is that this is the reason most Mormons won't read the Book of Mormon and take the truth to their hearts. They worship the people who are in the land of Israel; they worship the state--maybe worship is too strong a word; maybe admire would be better or promise to support--

Good grief, am I the only one who had a ward member get up and weep openly about how strong the "Spirit" was in Netanyahu when he spoke to congress a few years ago? That's the way *my* Mormons (ward members/family members) feel about things 'over there'.

--and hence . . . any kind of threat to Israel (even made up/make believe) causes Mormons to want to pound the war drums against anyone who even appears not to be thrilled with every little thing that the U.N. state of Israel is doing.
It's just another state, for now, formed by men/nations--and not by God. And, as far as I am concerned, America tumbled off her "special state status" long ago--
So I believe. When Mormons wake up to what is happening over there and see that the gathering of Israel and the remnant of Judah is more than those who are political Zionists--
they can have the scales fall from their eyes about war--

to be continued (sorry to be so wordy)

LDSDPer said...

continued rant by LDSDPer--

until then, not much luck. But you're going about it in the right way, Rock, because if you mention Israel to a Mormon--

it's like talking about 9/11 truth. Better to be wise, like Dr. Paul, and mention 'blowback'--
because 9/11 will kill any political conversation--

you get them singing, "This land is mine; God gave this land to me . . ."--

just as I did 45 years ago.

I woke up, and, believe me, it was painful. My eyes were opened by Irish Catholic priests who spent time in Israel, on a pilgrimage, saw things they had not intended to see (nor had they been intended to see) and ended up in prison there. They had gone, believing in the Israel dream and found that it was a nightmare. Like the little Jewish American girl who, 50 years ago, gave her pennies to the cause of trees being planted in Israel, only to find out years later that her pennies (and the pennies of all the trusting children) were used for bullets--and who refuses to be deceived again--found in communities all over America, but not sure what to do next--
these priests began to realize that the Old Testament was corrupted--
and not translated correctly--
with regards to the wars and Israel's part in them thousands of years ago--
and that God's plan was not to brutally murder people so that His "chosen people" could have a home--
Anyway, I've said it, and I hope you don't ban me--

but until Mormons stop worshipping Israel and began to worship the GOD of Israel--

this is not going to change drastically. When I talk to ward members, extended (LDS and Christian) family members, etc.--

about the ongoing wars, Israel is always brought up as a 'sacred' reason for the wars to continue--

and when the idea of supporting these wars 'for Israel' is questioned, there is shock and dismay--

and *I* (and close family members who agree with me) are discounted, completely.

It's a tender topic.

Thanks for letting me vent about it. Oh, and by the way, we have Jewish family members, too--

some have gone to Israel. One went to Israel and then decided to become a Christian shortly thereafter, said the experience (of being in Israel) was over-rated.

What next?

I won't get into my admiration for such as Miko Peled and Rabbi Dovid Weiss and other truly wise and Godly Jews who question the debacle of constant warring--

but it's out there for anyone to read/see. I'm a former (reformed) Christian (Mormon) Zionist, wanting only the 'real' Zion now.


LDSDPer said...

we toured it on a rare trip to Utah--as a family--

and that place scares the bejeebers out of me. SO MANY PEOPLE in ONE PLACE--

all packed in there like sardines. What were they thinking?

Sorry; this is sappy, but--

I have no desire to be jammed in there like that--

LDSDPer said...

I need to add something. I probably am getting too personal here--

we raised our children to question war. We taught them our perspectives on all things political, and the Book of Mormon was constantly being read and discussed in our home.

One son, economically strapped and desperate, and having married into what I call a Mormon Zionist family (VERY pro-Israel and, likewise, pro-war)--

on the eve of his marriage my husband and our son's father in law got into an argument about it; that's how bad it was--

I would say they are very typical Mormons, too--

he was persuaded to join the military (army); while in boot camp (I 'shared' this with JR on your previous blog) he was assaulted and injured badly enough that it was months before he was 'right'--

He had to wait for medical care. After being isolated, he finally got out, without dishonor, only six weeks into boot camp--

sadder, wiser, beaten up and even more economically depressed--

When we saw how powerful the culture was on our son who had been taught the Book of Mormon way, you can imagine our distress.

We realized that we really are up against a leviathan. This is big. As a little boy, this son used to talk about the 'right' way to defend--

and the wrong way, but ending up in a family with a different cultural perspective, it all changed.

He's still dealing with the 'blow-back' from that--

The real battle here is a spiritual, psychological, social one (not to mention moral)--

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Oh no. I greatly admire what the Ammonites did. But I believe they took that drastic action as a form of repentance for some truly wicked deeds. They were ready to die if need be, and probably felt they deserved to.

But if we buried our weapons and left ourselves defenseless, the evidence is clear to me that elements within our own government would be happy to place us in slave/concentration camps. So defense against tyranny is justified. At least for those whose hearts are pure.

It is offensive, aggressive war that God does not approve of. Section 98 tells us if another nation has a beef with us, it is our place to raise a standard of peace. Ultimately, if our attempts at peace are ignored, we are justified in defending ourselves against invasion. But we are never justified in crossing into the other guy's lands, no matter what they try to do to us.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

That having been said, I'm no longer certain I would fire a gun at another human being even if my own life were threatened. I no longer have that in me. I would probably allow my own life to be taken than to take the life of another, even if that other were determined to kill me.

Now, if it were necessary to shoot someone to prevent an innocent person from harm, I might take that action. Hope I never have to make any those kinds of choices, though.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Goodness my friend, why would you think I'd ban you for being awake?

I'm a fan of Yisrael Dovid Weiss myself, who accurately accuses Zionism of creating rivers of blood:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUppu2OHVTY

Like you, I was quite the Judaphile in high school, hanging out with my jewish friends, attending temple and wearing the yarmulke, and driving six miles to Lindell's for bagels because in those days there were no bagels in grocery stores. You either made them at home, or drove to the Deli.

Though raised LDS, I'm Jewish on my mother's side. Still, I'm well aware of the difference between the HOUSE of Israel and the phony, atheistic, counterfeit fraud that is the STATE of Israel.

The widespread worship of the state of Israel found among many Christians is the result of falsehoods found in the Scofield translation of the bible, which is the bible taught from at the Dallas Theological Seminary which graduates a great number of pastors of the evangelical persuasion. It's no wonder these false teachings have trickled down into most of the mainstream churches. The wonder is how in the world did so many Mormons fall for the line that Israel must be supported at all costs?

I always thought it interesting that John Scofield published his insidious translation in 1830, the very year the LDS church was organized. I believe Christianity has been deliberately corrupted with this worship of state power ever since.

Thankfully as you point out, there are many many dissidents living in Israel who are outspoken critics of that corrupt regime. You're right though. Most Americans never hear of them. The face presented to America is a united Israel with one voice. More spilled blood is justified in the name of that corrupt state than most Americans can imagine. Christians need to wake up and learn there is a vast difference between Judaism and Zionism.

So do Mormons.


LDSDPer said...

whew--

well, that's a relief. I'm not banned! What would I do without my Pure Mormonism outlet?

I've read about Schofield; he was a rake, but I am cautious about saying that, because of all the things I don't accept that are said about Joseph Smith.

On the other hand, proof of his divorce from a faithful wife--

and his subsequent shenanigans can be documented.

Hugh Nibley warned about LDS taking on mainstream Christianity, I think, didn't he?

Anon 23 said...

We are held accountable for whatever we support, it's the same as us ourselves doing it, if we support others in doing something.

So when the Ammonites allowed others to protect them and fight for them, they were essentially doing it themselves and agreeing with that action.

If they had really been against fighting they would have not allowed themselves to even be defended.

Also, men's and husband's 1st responsibility is to protect their wife and children and then all women and children. By laying down their weapons, those men were refusing to do their most important duty, to defend their families, which would have been destroyed if not for the protection of other men.

The Ammonites also eventually wanted to change their minds about not fighting, when they saw that they were causing other men to fight for them and be destroyed. But then their sons stood up to defend their families for them.

I still don't see how it could have been right for the Ammonites to lay down their weapons, and not protect their families, for that is just what Satan would have them do too.

The 1st law of love is to protect those you love. If the Ammonites really did repent, they would have put their family 1st and loved their families above any other persons, and they would have even more so wanted to do their duty as men and protect their families and city.

We also know what Moroni did to those who refused to fight and defend their families and liberty, so we know Moroni wouldn't have allowed the Ammonites to not fight either.

I don't find anywhere in the scriptures that repentance means to completely give up to evil. It is giving in to evil and doing nothing that actually creates evil societies.

Also, Joseph Smith seemed to believe in defending families, and if anyone should have known the meaning of the Book of Mormon it was him, for he knew and talked with those prophets personally, multiple times.

I think the Ammonites probably were wrong to bury their weapons, and that they only did it because they had so much guilt and remorse, which probably clouded their thinking, and thus it took them time to regain the Spirit and learn that they can repent and be forgiven and still defend their families too.

For people who repent from serious sins, like the Ammonites, don't get the Spirit back in one day, it takes time to build up their ability to receive personal revelation again and discern right from wrong and make correct choices.

So I can see how they could have been deceived to bury their weapons in response to their great remorse for their sins. But repentance doesn't bring instant wisdom in all things, only a realization of how wrong their evil acts were.

They still had to learn line upon line like everyone else and learn that now they had to do their duties as men to protect their families the right way.

Inspire said...

>>"I don't find anywhere in the scriptures that repentance means to completely give up to evil. It is giving in to evil and doing nothing that actually creates evil societies."

3 Nephi 12
25 Agree with thine adversary quickly while thou art in the way with him, lest at any time he shall get thee, and thou shalt be cast into prison.

26 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, thou shalt by no means come out thence until thou hast paid the uttermost senine. And while ye are in prison can ye pay even one senine? Verily, verily, I say unto you, Nay.

39 But I say unto you, that ye shall not resist evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

44 But behold I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you;

The Lord gave in to evil. He accused no one. When it came to evil, he did "nothing." And by being benign, it gave him power over evil.

What is "Satanic" is not agreeing with, praying for and loving an enemy. The trap is for us to somehow get into conflict, because once on the merry-go-round, we cannot get out until we have paid the uttermost penny. But we can't pay a penny if we are trapped in prison.

>>"Also, Joseph Smith seemed to believe in defending families, and if anyone should have known the meaning of the Book of Mormon it was him, for he knew and talked with those prophets personally, multiple times."

Joseph was pretty good at not "cursing" his enemies. However, by destroying the Expositor printing press, he cast himself into "prison" and paid the uttermost penny with his life.

We are familiar with Gov. Boggs "extermination order," but we always fail to mention that Sydney Rigdon was the one to coin that phrase in his "Salt Sermon," breathing threats of extermination to the government. It came right back upon our own heads. Wasn't that a good cause? Wasn't Sydney justified in warning the harassers?

Inspire said...

(continued)
>>"For people who repent from serious sins, like the Ammonites, don't get the Spirit back in one day, it takes time to build up their ability to receive personal revelation again and discern right from wrong and make correct choices."

Alma 19
29 And it came to pass that she went and took the queen by the hand, that perhaps she might raise her from the ground; and as soon as she touched her hand she arose and stood upon her feet, and cried with a loud voice, saying: O blessed Jesus, who has saved me from an awful hell! O blessed God, have mercy on this people!

30 And when she had said this, she clasped her hands, being filled with joy, speaking many words which were not understood; and when she had done this, she took the king, Lamoni, by the hand, and behold he arose and stood upon his feet.

33 And it came to pass that when Ammon arose he also administered unto them, and also did all the servants of Lamoni; and they did all declare unto the people the selfsame thing—that their hearts had been changed; that they had no more desire to do evil.

34 And behold, many did declare unto the people that they had seen angels and had conversed with them; and thus they had told them things of God, and of his righteousness.

The wife of King Lamoni was unconscious for a few hours at most. She awoke understanding who Jesus was. Why was this? Because of her deep remorse for her many murders? No, because of her "exceeding faith," which was not to be seen among the Nephites.

Where is our belief? If we laid down our weapons, maybe the government WOULD make us slaves. The people of Alma Sr. were slaves of the Lamanites for a period of time, but it did not stop them from believing. Their faith was so great that the Lord soon provided a means for them to escape.

"And whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do good is of me; for good cometh of none save it be of me. I am the same that leadeth men to all good; he that will not believe my words will not believe me—that I am; and he that will not believe me will not believe the Father who sent me. For behold, I am the Father, I am the light, and the life, and the truth of the world. Come unto me, O ye Gentiles, and I will show unto you the greater things, the knowledge which is hid up because of unbelief."

General Ike said...

Please forgive the sobriquet. I like others am a disciple of the Prince of Peace. During the Viet Nam War I helped circulate an underground antiwar newspaper at BYU, a very politically incorrect action. You could be expelled for openly protesting. All war is evil. During that war a draft was in effect. I was drafted. I was able to manipulate a non combat role. Many others were not so lucky. I lost several friends as casualties. I have a son in law who is a navy corpsman. Sometimes individual roles are not cut and dried. What's the general feeling on response to a draft, where resisting is law breaking? BTW, a recent BYU article sought to declare the Ammonites as not pacifists, as though pacifists were somehow evil. Latter-day Saints are a war loving people. Your article is excellent.

Meili T. Tark said...

Alan suggested I post this here even though it is far off topic. It is an email I sent him today.

I'm the woman who emailed you several months ago asking for money. I had separated from my husband according to the promptings of the Spirit and was penniless because I refused to report him to the government (just jogging your memory here.) Anyway, you and a couple of people sent me some money and I was able to get by.



I am now, thanks to the grace of God, back together with my husband. And though things are terribly tight, we are at least making ends meet.



The whole ordeal has given me an understanding of what it's like to try to make it in this life without money. Sadly, our society is set up so that we have to have money to survive. I'm sure that's not the way the Lord intended it, but it is our reality.



Anyway, due to my experiences I have gained a desire to help others in difficult situations. Since there is very little I can do myself, I have created a page on my website where I post the stories of those I encounter who are in need. When I was struggling before, you posted my comments on your site and I was able to get help that way. I was hoping you could do the same again with a link to my site so those who would like to help the people posted on my site can do so. The link is: http://www.rosefromarock.com/donations/

Thanks

Isaac said...

Anon23, Inspire has done a good job of dismantling your argument, but it was invalid from the beginning because you based it on your own rules. "The 1st law of love is to protect those you love." Really? Says who? Where can I find this enumeration of the laws of love? You can't make up your own rules and then find flaws in others based on rules no one even knows you made up,especially people who died 2000 years ago.

"If the Ammonites really did repent, they would have put their family 1st and loved their families above any other persons, and they would have even more so wanted to do their duty as men and protect their families and city." This is not only judgmental on your part, but requires an assumptive leap that would seem to condemn anyone anywhere who doesn't happen to agree with your concept of duty or who prioritizes differently than you. This is not an effective way to make a point.

Isaac said...

An unjust law is no law at all. So why should you be bound to obey one?

Isaac said...

I was recently made aware of statements made by Thomas Monson back in 1991 in this sycophantic apple-polishing piece in the Deseret News. The kindest thing I can say is that those ideas are somewhat naive and long since obsolete.

Andrew Teasdale said...

Rock, 7 years ago, I was the gospel doctrine teacher (it was the Book of Mormon year). When talking about the Anti-Nephi-Lehi people, I suggested that just as they had needed to repent of all the murders they committed (see Alma 24:9; 27:6; 24:10, for starters), we might have to do the same because of all the murders committed by people (read "troops") we support (I noted that even the women, who probably didn't wield swords, felt a need to repent of their murders - suggesting to us that you don't need to be the one pulling the trigger to be guilty of murder - it seems to be something you can commit in your heart as well).

I asked people in the class, "When was the last time you renounced war and proclaimed peace, as we're commanded to do in the Doctrine and Covenants?" I said, that more and more, after reading the Book of Mormon, I felt that the stories in there are a warning for US (emphasis).

The bishop's wrath, for even making such a suggestion, was immediate. He rebuked me in class. He sent his counselors to my house that night to call me to repentance. He had the Elder's Quorum President call my wife and warn her that I was on the road to apostasy. I was released within the week.

You didn't mention here, but I'm sure are aware of, President Kimball's statement in the June '76 Ensign. I'll post for the benefit of some of your readers (I suspect most have seen it as well):


We are a warlike people, easily distracted from our assignment of preparing for the coming of the Lord. When enemies rise up, we commit vast resources to the fabrication of gods of stone and steel—ships, planes, missiles, fortifications—and depend on them for protection and deliverance. When threatened, we become antienemy instead of pro-kingdom of God; we train a man in the art of war and call him a patriot, thus, in the manner of Satan’s counterfeit of true patriotism, perverting the Savior’s teaching:

“Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

“That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:44–45.)

Alan Rock Waterman said...

This is a fascinating discussion, and I see merit in both sides. Inspire's position is of course the ideal of a Zion society, and one that would require a tremendous amount of faith. Hearts really would have to completely change, and individuals would have to come to the point where this life, and what happens to them in this life, doesn't matter at all. Some Buddhist monks are at this place. As was Ghandi. Of course, the ultimate personification of complete and total love was Jesus Christ. Becoming like him is the ideal, and Inspire reminds us how far we are from that ideal.

Maybe one reason the City of Enoch was taken up to heaven was because they would have been annihilated by their neighbors had all those people filled with love for their neighbors remained among neighbors who would just as soon attacked them and taken all they had.

On the other hand, I do see the value in resistance to evil. I can foresee the day when it might be a good idea for Americans to bury their weapons,but that would be when the government comes to take them from them. Then they'll know where those weapons are when the time is right to dig them up and use them to reclaim their freedom.

So you can see my dilemma. I wish to personally attain to Christlike perfection, but at the same time I don't wish to see my nation overrun by tyranny. A dilemma, indeed.

A point about the ammonites that is nearly impossible for us to wrap our minds around is that even had they come to the point that they wanted to defend their families, it was impossible to do that NOT because they had buried their weapons, and not because they had chosen at one point in the past never to lift the sword again, but because they had sworn an oath.

That oath was ironclad. Once you gave your word in that way, you simply did not go back on it. I don't think many of us today can even comprehend that level of commitment to one's word. Swearing an oath bound a person in ways we simply cannot fathom. For all we know, when the Ammonite's were threatened unto extinction they may have thought to themselves, "Uh oh. I wish I hadn't taken that oath now!"

But because they had, there was absolutely nothing they could do to reverse it or save themselves. No matter what.

Whatever disadvantage we might see in that, you have to give the ancients props for one thing. When they gave their word, they KEPT it. That is a character quality almost totally missing in today's society

There was a time just a few years ago that Connie and I decided to be our word. That meant in every little thing. When I told someone I would be somewhere at a certain time, I would be there, even if the other person had no intention of showing up. Keeping my word was not always easy, because if something else came up, I had to keep my word and be where I said I would be. And ON TIME, which required even more discipline.

It was an interesting experiment. What I learned from it is never to casually agree to anything, because my word was my bond, I couldn't get out of ANYTHING I had given my word to, even if it was something unimportant.

Today I'm still my word. I've just learned not to give my word very often because I don't want to have to move heaven and earth to keep it.

LDSDPer said...

I'm sorry.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

General Ike,
What was the name of that underground paper at BYU? I was an avid reader of the 7th East Press in the late 70's, but I didn't know of anything during the Vietnam war.

Involuntary Servitude is illegal under the 13th amendment to the Constitution, which would apply to a national draft. Of course, the government does not abide by the constitution, and most of the citizenry confuses forced conscription with "patriotic duty", so it is not an easy thing to defend against.

I'm well past draft age, but if I were a younger man and was forced into national service, I would do what you did, wrangle a non-combat position. If that were not possible, I would take brig time. This is what I have taught my sons. Of course the first step is to not register for the draft. I don't care what the "law" says about that.

(As I indicate in my post, my feelings on this are much different today than they were during the Vietnam war. At that time I considered those who went to Canada to avoid the draft to be traitors who should have been executed for treason.)

I have been told that an individual who refuses to take the oath during the recruitment process cannot be forced to serve. So when you're standing in that group and they tell you to raise your right hand and repeat the words, don't do it. And don't sign anything. Ultimately, they have to get you to comply voluntarily at some point or another. So be careful of the tricks.

The system the founders created for national defense was the furthest thing from what we have today. They warned vigorously against having a standing army. Instead, all able bodied men were members of their local militias, and those militias were formed for defense of the counties and states within which those people resided.

Abraham Lincoln misused those militias by calling them up and folding them into a larger national army which then took those local men from their home states for the purpose of invading other sovereign states. That was an abuse of power that set a precedent still in use today.

LDSDPer said...

I was just reading in Mosiah this morning--

in chapter 21 (6 through 8 approximately) the widows are complaining--

so the people ask Limhi if they can go up against the Lamanites, again.

Now, remember in chapter 20 (I think) Limhi and Co. had used REASON to get the Lamanites to back off, by getting the Lamanite king, sort of, on their side, by being reasonable--

but now widows are upset, so the people go back to fight the Lamanites again--

this should fit in the 'just war' theory, sort of; the Lamanites are oppressing the Nephites (or people of Limhi, former people of Noah) in their own land, stealing from them, etc.

The people of Limhi are repulsed, and there is more death, more widows to mourn.

Can you imagine how much more complicit *we* are, when *we* (Americans) aren't even in *our own* land?

Goodness--these people had a just cause, but . . . the Lord wanted them on a higher level. He knew what they were capable of. He wanted them humble enough that they would mourn what they had allowed to happen to Abinidi, etc.

It did not matter that their cause was just. And they were foolish, spiritually, to listen to the mourning widows. Women can either prevent or cause war, depending upon their personal righteousness.

And these widows, by mourning openly and getting the people worked up to fight some more, only caused more death=more widows.

So, even in the Book of Mormon, if the people are not exactly where God wants them to be in terms of humility and love of God, etc.--

they won't succeed, EVEN IF (sorry to yell) they have 'right' on their side.

I believe this is meaningful. The idea that, "oh, goody, we can go to war; we've been attacked" is legitimate is a poor idea, indeed. It's been done to us, and Mormons have fallen for it, big time--

but it's not eternally legitimate. God wants a people who want to be with Him and like Him--

not a people who are constantly longing for death to others, destruction, violence and material goods, even land, even life.

Sadly, what I see in my own ward and many of my extended family is almost a desire to see others die. This is very disturbing. How can anyone achieve Zion like this? These people are temple-going, church attending, tithe paying, word of wisdom keeping, chaste people--

why do they want strange people to die in another land.

In a member home (friends, sort of) a few years ago one very valiant ward member (the wife of the couple who had us over) held up her fist and shook it and said, "this is an Israelite arm, and if anyone threatens Israel, the blood of Israel rises up in me and wants to protect Israel."

It was rather ridiculous as our friend is about 60 pounds overweight, and her arm jiggled, and I stifled the desire to giggle, the way a person tries not to laugh at a funeral--

not laughing at her, but being . . . appalled.

I tried to tell this woman; her husband was kinder--how I felt about war, etc.--

and she refused to listen. It was awkward, since we were their guests. Her husband was gracious; my husband was more bold, but we got nowhere.

This is what is happening in our part of the 'vineyard', with faithful LDS, and this truly disturbs us. We are very alone here in our desire not to have war.


LDSDPer said...

oh, Rock, yes, about the 'word', oh, yes--

I think it's related to integrity, which seems to be dying in today's society/world/church, too.

So sad--

The Ammonites are my heroes, so completely--

I can read about them over and over and over again. I guess I just can't see that they did anything wrong, besides their original sin, but they had done those things ignorantly.

I have a sneaking suspicion, though I can only assert it by looking at the dates assigned--

that Samuel was one of the 2,000 stripling warriors.

These people, the people of Ammon, were just precious, and I can't imagine the Lord being displeased with them at all.

They've been my inspiration for years, but everyone has a different perspective.

Both my father and father in law 'fought' in WWII, and both of them bore emotional, spiritual, psychological scars--

I lived with it. Many of us from the boomer generation did. My father didn't froth at the mouth and threaten to kill his family, but he had terrible dreams, nightmares--so vivid that he would awake trying to get to his gun, drenched in sweat. My mother dealt with that 'til her death--

and unless he kept it from us, I don't believe he killed anyone; he just saw a lot of horror. Aftermath and destruction. Sorry, tmi.

Ike, what years were you at BYU? I wish I had known about that paper--

My heart yearned for the companionship of other LDS who were against that blasted war.

Ha! Had to marry a convert who never 'bought' the war--

he didn't protest it, though; he tried to enlist in the Air Force, as a hope of having less of a chance of getting killed; then he got a high draft number and got right out--
of ROTC. He just never bought any of it. But he was a bit of a radical. He didn't have the Mormon pressure to be war-like.
We both had too many friends come home in body bags, too many friends who wish they had and whose lives were living h#ll.

LDSDPer said...

@Ike, what years, if you don't mind--?

I wish I had known about it. That WAS courage.

I only went to BYU for a short time (after going to college in another part of the country), but I wish I had known about your paper, IF it was during my time.

I'm revealing too much about myself as it is, but I commend you.

I addressed you above, but you probably won't want to see it. If you would rather not expose so much information, I understand. Just know I respect what you did--

LDSDPer said...

oops, 'won't want'--

didn't mean that; leave out the 'want'--

that sounded rude, and it was just a typo--

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Wow, Isaac. Wow.

I've seen Monson say some unsupportable, undoctrinal statements in the past, but the things he said in this article go way beyond anything else I've ever heard. I'm just slack-jaw astonished.

The man is a fool. There's simply no other way to put it. You wanna see Joseph Smith spin in his grave? Show him that article.

And using the Mormon Battalion as an example of the willingness of Mormons to come to the aid of their country? Come on! Those who participated in that march did it for the money. The Saints were leaving the country and desperately needed any money they could get their hands on. If the US government had hired them to dig ditches, they would have dug ditches. They weren't planning to fight for a country they did not love.

Those Mormon men were sorely needed to be with their families on the trek west, but at the same time there was a great need for money to buy supplies necessary for the trek.

They had no love at that time for the U.S. government, but they were willing to take whatever gold payments they could get for heading down to California if the government was willing to pay them for it. The Battalion members did that for the church, because the church needed money. They didn't do it out of any sense of patriotism. What a foolish, ignorant, uniformed thing for Monson to say!

Patriotism? The Mormons were quitting. Moving away from the united states. They had had enough of America and the constant persecution they experienced in that country. They were LEAVING the united states, not looking for ways to "serve their country."

It took nearly a hundred years for the Utah Pioneers to begin to consider themselves Americans again, even long after Utah became a state. The very reason they applied for statehood was so that the U.S. government would leave them the hell alone.

Gads! I know I'm ranting, but reading those stupid words coming out of the mouth of a man who at the time was an apostle representing my church, and thinking that makes us look good?! Yikes.

Anonymous said...

The MoTab choir broadcast this morning was all about veterans, flag, and country. I was paying close attention, and I did not hear Christ mentioned even once. So, if you want a Christ-centered message this morning, you didn't get it from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Sad.

Inspire said...

Rock,
You said, "I wish to personally attain to Christlike perfection, but at the same time I don't wish to see my nation overrun by tyranny. A dilemma, indeed."

We look at "perfection" as something which is attainable or achievable... like a no-hitter in baseball. It is hard to do, if not close to impossible. We put it off until later, maybe the next life. But we are never told to "DO you therefore perfect."

Third Nephi 11 outlines how the Lord defines perfection. We are given examples of the Law of Moses (which are performances) and then the higher law. The attributes of perfection are described as such:

Reconciliation
Full purpose of heart
Agreeing with adversary quickly while with him
Not letting “these things” (lusts, etc.) enter your heart
Speaking without adding judgment (yea, yea, nay, nay)
Resisting not evil
Turning cheek
Giving cloak to man who sues for coat
Going a mile with him who compels
Giving to him who asks
Turning not away from him who would borrow
Loving/blessing enemies (instead of cursing)
Doing good to those who hate you
Prayer for those who use you

Those who possess these qualities will be "children of Christ," not because they merit it, but because it is their nature.

The very last verse of that chapter says, "Therefore (a summarizing word) I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect."

If we look at perfection as simply getting along with our neighbor, I believe it takes it out of this realm we put it in: an idealistic, unreachable "goal." The Lord could probably also have said, "Therefore I would that ye should be:
CHARITABLE
FULL OF GRACE
MERCIFUL
FULL OF PURE LOVE OF GOD
GODLY
PEACEABLE
COMPLETE"

Do we trust the Lord? Do we believe him? He said, "he that will not believe my words will not believe me—that I am; and he that will not believe me will not believe the Father who sent me." Godliness is simply believing Christ, and letting go of this notion that we have to merit something. Rock, you said that you are true to your word... it is your bond. Do we believe the same about Jesus? That his burden is light and easy? Or is it just lip service... some idealistic but unrealistic goal to be achieved?

Moroni sums this up at the end of the Book of Mormon:

32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.

This, I believe, is the plight of the Gentile... to deny ourselves ungodliness. When we can do so, then the Lord will be able to show us that "faith, hope and charity bringeth unto [him] the fountain of all righteousness."

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Glad you posted that, Andrew. I would venture to say there are a great many members of the church who have never seen that quote.

At the time Kimball spoke those words, there was a bit of a splash, afterwards the Saints yawned and forgot.

Compare Kimball's words with those of Thomas Monson in the article Isaac linked to above. Which one's words better reflect pure Mormon teachings, and the teachings of Christ?

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Even the Church worships the military on military holy days.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Thanks for the list, Inspire; that's helpful.
I think what you are saying is that perfection is not something we hope to reach sometime off in the future, but that it is ongoing and within us now as we become Christlike by doing those things that are Christlike.

I agree. I see many of my fellow Saints saying things like "I want to do those things that will get me to the Celestial Kingdom." Then they check off the usual list of legalistic chores: attend church, pay tithing, go to the temple, magnify my calling, etc.

They are working toward a future goal, instead of BEING perfect right now; having a pure heart right now; doing for others right now instead of looking ahead to the future when they'll be given that crown of glory.

That future goal attitude seems self absorbed to me. They are looking forward to getting their reward.

On the other hand, Christ was outward focused. He did not spend his time thinking about that throne he'd get to be sitting on one day. He lived in the NOW. Being charitable and loving toward OTHERS. That, I think, is perfection.

Inspire said...

>>" it is ongoing and within us now as we become Christlike by doing those things that are Christlike."

I would even take it further and say that the doing of Christlike things is only the fruit of a changed heart, of our belief in him, that his grace is sufficient for our salvation. And as he is offering us grace, we too can offer it, even and especially for those who don't "deserve" it. After all, the Father "maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."

Anon 23 said...

Inspire,

I understand the 'agree with and love thine enenmy' idea. It's purpose is not to give into evil (which will only make it get worse), but to preserve one's safety and life and not make things worse, until more help can be gathered to contain the evil or more can be done to win over the evil. Showing unconditional love by turning the other cheek and putting up with and forgiving some wrongs, also helps encourage the sinner to repent, which is the best way to try to defeat evil.

Such counsels are totally different though than 'completely' laying down to evil and letting it take your life voluntarily, if there was a way out of the situation. Moroni would have never agreed with that, and he had 'perfect understanding', so I will trust him on this.

While Christ 'meant' to give his life for a huge and grander 'one time' purpose, we though are commanded to defend our families. And Christ did defend himself many times and take himself out of dangerous situations, often by miraculous means, which we don't usually have the ability to do, (so we use other means of protection) until he knew his time had come.

Christ and Joseph Smith also had no problem with calling the kettle black on their enemies. They did accuse others of sin and evil, but they also 1st encouraged them to repent and gave them an opportunity to do so, like the woman taken in adultery. If she had not repented after he gave her a chance to, Christ (if he came to be a leader in the Church, which he didn't at that time) would have then identified her sin and unfaithfulness to her husband and asked her to repent or have consequences applied. Christ would have done what he commands his Church leaders to do, apply consequences when people don't repent, for then the consequences may help them repent, though I don't believe he believed in the death penalty but treatment so they learn the Gospel, like the Lamanites did to convert all the Gadiantons successfully.

When Christ returns he will show his justice side, whereas he mostly showed his mercy side during his life. For he taught us to 1st extend mercy before we must apply justice. But there is a line with evil and even Christ stands up to evil at some point and teaches us to.

And with the story about the Queen and King Lamoni, I believe the Queen may have had a good heart even before that all happened, but either way, one can be suddenly 'converted' and receive a 'change of heart' and gain great faith, yet still not have great knowledge, for that comes with time, line upon line, even for prophets, even for people like Joseph Smith who made many mistakes in judgement and discernment, despite that he had great faith and had seen angels and even Gods.

We tend to put people and even prophets in the scriptures on pedestals, without remembering that they were just as human as we are today. If Abraham can fall for polygamy, and be wrong even after his great favor with God, then it is no stretch to realize that the Ammonites may have been wrong to make that unwise oath in their guilt and remorse.

The Ammonites automatically went to the other side of the spectrum when they repented, because they felt so bad about what they did, but there is a happy middle ground of justice and mercy, that perhaps they had to later learn about and come back to.



J. Madson said...

Inspire

You may enjoy my chapter in the book based on your comments. Chapter 2.

Anon 23 said...

Continued -

And Rock,

Though I realize they took oaths seriously back then and that was good, they also needed to realize that it isn't wisdom or right to keep a 'bad' or 'wrong' oath made unwisely. We always have the agency to change our minds when we receive more light and knowledge about something. We can't assume we know everything or do everything right at any given time and thus be stuck with our present decisions that may be erroneous.

Bottom line is the proof of one's righteousness is how they love others, and loving others means we 1st and foremost defend and protect them from evil, from their own evil they may do or from the evil others may do to them.

Even Pres. Hinckley said, the 1st responsibility of the Church (and all men and leaders) is 'to protect and help' those who have been abused.

Moroni also believed such and demanded that men protect their families.

It is not loving to allow someone to hurt you if you can help stop them, for then that person only condemns themselves further.



General Ike said...

The anti war paper was "Zion's Advocate". I had nothing to do with writing or publication. I didn't know the writers, nor did I want to. Many of us knew places where drop offs were made and carried copies with us to hand out one on one. There were quite a few who read it. Most students were avid war supporters. Many of us forget that George Romney came out against the war. He has been one of my heroes since, no comments on his son.

Anonymous said...

I well remember the cognitive dissonance when as a youth I attended a fireside by a returned agricultural service missionary who served in Israel (Proselyting missionaries were, and are, strictly forbidden in Israel) teaching Palestinians about Dairy Farming when he expressed a very negative opinion of the State of Israel due to their treatment of the Palestinians (I'm about the same age as Rock and LDSDPer).

I find the quotes from Bruce R. McConkie in this article at Mormon Chronicles interesting http://www.mormonchronicle.com/stand-with-israel-no-matter-what/
It seems, that for all his faults, there are time when Brother McConkie does get it right when he actually speaks by the Holy Ghost (2 Nephi 28:31)

PNW_DPer

Big Dave said...

I am a student of history, and I also spent five years in the US Army. After I got out of the army, I wanted nothing to do with the military ever again.

The entire history of the world has been nothing but bloody warfare. Countries are taken, and retaken. The peasants die for the gain of the wealthy. Even turn on the TV set and all you see is bloody violence, greed, betrayal, and murder. War is not the answer, and never has been. I can say that I would almost rather die than to take the life of another human being.

Muslims wage war in the name of Allah. Christians wage war in the name of Jehovah. Jews wage war in the name of Yahveh. Even states and countries try and execute people on the premise that they have the authority to play God. Everyone thinks they have God on their side. It is a sad, pitiful, and cruel joke.

Anon 23 said...

Andrew, I'm really sorry you had to go through that hurtful experience by prideful leaders, and I would hope you don't put yourself in any more situations with the Church where false leaders can treat you like that again.

Christ would not have treated you that way, nor would his true disciples, they would have agreed with you. For it's true, we will be eternally accountable for what and who we support, socially, civilly and religiously.

Anonymous said...

Last week the Bishop asked if I would give a talk this week that included a "non-political" tribute to those who "protect our freedoms", and I hemmed and hawed until he declined the invitation. I then went home and had a dream that I should accept invitations from leaders, and woke up thinking of how I could have tried to base a talk on Kimball's "False gods" sermon or on Nelson's "Blessed are the Peacemakers" sermon or perhaps J. Rueben Clark's anti-bomb sermon in the Oct. 1946 General Conference. But living in a military ward where well over half of the families have someone who is in the military, works for the military (including yours truly, I truly live a life of cognitive dissonance, but in the Bankster Economy I just don't have any confidence to try to get work any where else)), or is retired from the military, I'm just not sure what I could get away with.

PNW_DPer

PNW_DPer said...

Come to think of it, I probably should have accepted the invitation and given the mildest sermom I could to perhaps prevent a a worse pro-war sermon from being given? The sore trials of being too chicken to stand up and speak, even mildly, even when invited.

PNW_DPer

Inspire said...

Anon 23,
You can think what you want, and that's fine. But your thoughts are not God's thoughts, and just because you interject your opinion doesn't make it truth. If you want to live in the Land of Justice, go for it. You'll get exactly what you desire.

You said, "like the woman taken in adultery. If she had not repented after he gave her a chance to, Christ (if he came to be a leader in the Church, which he didn't at that time) would have then identified her sin and unfaithfulness to her husband and asked her to repent or have consequences applied." Please don't assume that Jesus would have done anything other than the situation describes: A woman was brought to the Lord so that the people would see if he would condemn her. He did not. He didn't even forgive her. He just said he would not throw a stone, and then sent the woman on her way. That's it. Your assumption that he would have forced consequences is just that... an assumption.

As for Moroni and his perfect understanding, he is the one who invites us to reject these false traditions and simply believe Christ. Believing is trusting that what is offered us is true, and that Christ will honor his word and protect his people, gathering them like a hen with her chicks. The Ammonites trusted, to the extent that death had no consequence to them; to the extent that their sons doubted nothing which their mothers told them. No wonder they are favored and we are condemned by our unbelief.

jenheadjen said...

Any chance they can broadcast it in a webinar? Would love to watch/listen somehow.

Anonymous said...

Rock,
For whatever it's worth, I agree with your stand on war.
Those who loudly proclaim they would be modern day Ammonites have never faced imminent death, or even worse, the imminent death or torture/death of a child. They have likely never faced starvation.
I used to be a latter-day saint neocon supporter of G.W. Bush and Co. I even voted for "W" by absentee ballot from Fallujah in 2004. In early 2005 I started to put things together. I faced the fact that "W" was a liar, that his cabinet members were liars, that our govt was LYING to us about Iraq, about 9-11, about the invasion of Kuwait, about Vietnam. Once started, my turn around was so complete that by 2008 I voted and campaigned for Ron Paul.
For those who think that pacifism is the Savior's way...remember that Peter was carrying a sword the night Christ was arrested in the Garden. HE did not censure Peter for carrying a sword, only for employing it in a vain attempt to protect Him when he smote off the ear of Malchus, the servant of the High Priest, because it was Christ's appointed rendezvous with His destiny.
Remember that Nephi, Alma, Capt. Moroni, Helaman, the 200 Stripling Warriors, Mormon, Moroni were all soldiers who fought to protect their people. The key is that they fought to PROTECT their people; not to get revenge, not to gain riches or land or enslave people.
As has already been mentioned in this string, the Savior has commanded men to protect their families, even to the shedding of blood if necessary.
To congratulate yourself for supposing you would exceed that mark with your pacifism is foolish, unless you have "seen the elephant" and can speak of being an Ammonite with some knowledge of what that would really mean.
Bless you Rock for your common sense approach to the things you write about.
We, none of us, are anywhere close to the Celestial Glory we hope and pray for. We have all sinned and are in dreadful need of repentance. A Day of Repentance, while it will not happen, is just what we need!
A vet of 3 wars...
JR



Alan Rock Waterman said...

That's a good article, PNW. That would be a good place to send our fellow Saints who are confused about supporting the modern State of Israel. The promises of Abraham extend to his all his descendants, which includes the Arabs, not just to one tribe descended from one of his sons. Too bad Glenn Beck hasn't read it. And yes, McConkie did get it right sometimes.

Zo-ma-rah said...

That whole article made me nauseous. But what really made me lose my cookies was this:

"We don't believe in people following blindly," he said. "They weigh things out . . . They're not just `yes men,' puppets on a string. They have free agency, accountable for their own actions, the right to choose."

But they're also instilled with the obligation to serve common interests beyond their own. If a person questions a national course, "he can serve in some capacity that will suit his conscience and country together," President Monson said.

I mean really?! Come on. What a load of bull$#!^. You have the right to choose, as long as it is in some way supporting the country. You can choose unless you're choosing to not support the country, then you can't choose that.

Has he even studies elementary school history? The entire founding of America was based on not supporting the country. What do we celebrate every year? Open rebellion against an oppressive nation. I'm going to stop now. This could go on forever.

Gary Hunt said...

Rock,

Thanks, for another great article. As James Madison said... "No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."

Right after tragedy of September 11, 2001, I read a list of United States military wars and interventions (CIA included) which went back to the Spanish American War. The same pattern of continual warfare and interventions which have been used as excuses to take away our liberties and kill millions of people. The US government has "ruled with blood and horror on this earth."

My attitude towards the US government and military changed drastically after reading a 1951 essay entitled "Conscience On The Battlefield" by Leonard E. Read. The late Leonard E. Read was President of the Foundation for Economic Education. President J. Rueben Clark served as a trustee of this organization for about 15 years and was a friend and associate of Mr. Read. You can find "Conscience On The Battlefield" at the following location.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig3/read1.html

I recommend everyone read this.


the_mormonion said...

Come on guys, don't you remember when Christ said, "Thou shalt not be just sheep that roll over"?

Oh wait, he said, "Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also."

Ditto on the feeling of nausea while reading this. I can't even imagine following this line of thinking from a PRO-war standpoint--particularly where he says, "You rarely find any Latter-day Saints in the role of conscientious objector. We don't believe in marches and protests and carrying placards."

What?!! Did I read that right? Like Zomarah said, we're a nation built upon the very principle of being a conscientious objector. I can't imagine a more ignorant, puerile, flat-out incorrect statement a Church "Leader" could make. How far could you take such a mindset? What kinds of atrocities would your country have to commit to rethink such an inane and unconstitutional position?

Andrew Teasdale said...

Rock, I read the Monson statements. Uugghh. I thought about sending them to the bishop who rebuked me - it buttresses his position and reinforces his assessment of my apostate condition.

Anon 23 - Thanks. It was hurtful. However, the experience taught me some important lessons. It's one of those bumps that make you better.

the_mormonion said...

It's a pickle, I tell ya. I just gave a talk today--the topic was testimony & conversion--so I talked about some of the doctrines I was still being converted to. Reading a lot of Nibley's stuff and stumbling upon Rock's blog this past year helped make this the most interesting talk I've ever given ti say the least. And with Memorial Day tomorrow, I felt it was appropriate to mention war. I read the quote from Kimball and said that basically, my belief on war has changed not for any political reason but because I'm trying my best to commit the Lord's actual words to heart and to try to glean the lessons of the Book of Mormon about what violence and bloodlust ultimately does to a civilization. I also mentioned that I don't see things so black-and-white any more--that to think of the U.S. as "good" and others as "bad" is not scriptural thinking. So overall, it was a pretty mild approach, and I didn't get anyone rebuking me or being angry with me after. Then again, I'm not in a military ward either. :)

Alan Rock Waterman said...

For those unfamiliar with Leonard Reed, he was also the author of one of the most widely distributed articles in the latter half of the 20th century, "I, Pencil."

Long before the internet made sharing and forwarding the simple matter it is today, this piece was printed and reprinted in several magazines, pamphlets, and in several middle school and high school textbooks. In my day everyone was familiar with the story and importance and the economic miracle of this simple little items. After reading this, most of us never looked at a pencil the same way again.

http://www.fee.org/library/detail/i-pencil-audio-pdf-and-html#axzz2USDceFrE

Anon 23 said...

Inspire,

We do not know if death had no consequence for them, for they didn't come back and say what happened to them afterwards.

And yes, it is true that I believe that Christ would have insisted the woman repent if she didn't do so, by applying consequences so she didn't keep hurting her husband and children. For if Christ let her keep committing adultery then he would have no mercy for her abused husband and children, so that is why he must make sure she doesn't continue to sin and abuse her loved ones.

But I don't believe Christ believes in the death penalty, and that is one reason he intervened for her, cause the punishment was too harsh and she needed time and opportunity to repent. If she didn't repent then there are merciful ways/consequences to keep people from continuing to commit adultery and while teaching them the Gospel until they truly repent.

Even though the story doesn't give all the details, if we study Christ's teachings and laws and those of his prophets and scriptures, we can know what he would have done if the woman hadn't repented and we will know why he did what he did.

We also need to believe in and possess true unconditional love, in order to understand the ways of Christ.

And I'm sorry but I don't believe Moroni mean't those things you believe he did, nor do I believe you know if my thoughts are God's thoughts or not. We will just have to agree to disagree I guess.

Anon 23 said...

JR,

I agree with your reasoning. Pacifism is what Satan wants us to believe in. He does not want us to be like Moroni and defend our families and freedom.

Christ was not a pacifist. Loving our enemies does not mean letting them hurt us or our loved ones, for that doesn't help anyone, and it especially hurts our enemies eternally.

We must at least try to defend ourselves and loved ones, as best we can.

By laying down and letting their enemies slay them, the Ammonites were helping their enemies easily commit serious sin. At the very least they could have tried to out run their enemies and thus tried to save their enemies from committing more sin, but instead they made it easy for their enemies to sin and condemn themselves further.

If the Ammonites would have defended themselves and fought just enough to gain control over their enemies, not kill them but just over power them, then they could have put them in prison and preached the Gospel to them until they repented, thus saving them from hell.

But laying down and letting their enemies commit easy sin did not do anything to help save their brethern, so where is the love? It would have been more merciful and loving to fight back and not kill them but just put them in prison and teach them the Gospel.

And if they really possessed real love they would have put their families welfare 1st, over their enemies welfare, and thus protected their families, but they probably could have done both, saved their families and enemies from hell by preaching to them in prison instead of just dying and letting their enemies suffer the eternal consequences.

Inspire said...

Anon,

You're right.

Anon 23 said...

That's awesome Andrew, I agree, bumps are there to wake us up and teach us & make us better, if we are willing to wake up. Glad you were willing.

Being called an apostate these days can be a great compliment.

Thomas Monson sure does reveal his true colors in that article, doesn't he. Why am I not surprised.

the_mormonion said...

P.S. The Deseret News article you posted inspired me so much I just published a new blog post on it. Thanks Isaac!

http://whetherisgreater.blogspot.com/2013/05/our-prophet-on-war.html

Zo-ma-rah said...

I had an interesting thought earlier today. i was reading in 1st Nephi:

Chapter 12
15 And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the people of my seed gathered together in multitudes against the seed of my brethren; and they were gathered together to battle.
16 And the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold the fountain of filthy water which thy father saw; yea, even the river of which he spake; and the depths thereof are the depths of hell.

I thought perhaps the angel was telling Nephi to look at his seed gathered to battle and then saying, "Behold [what you see now is] the fountain of filthy water" Meaning that fountain of filthy water is battle/war.

LDSDPer said...

@all those who responded about Apostle Monson's words in 1991--

I read it. *moan* Plenty disturbed. Not at all surprised.

His words ARE foolish, but--

the fact is that I believe the man truly believes in what he is suggesting and promoting. THAT is more horrifying to me than the fact that his ideas are counter-doctrinal/counter-scriptural/counter-revelatory. (not sure that's the right word)

I've tried to understand for years what happened in Utah (mostly, also Idaho/Arizona/some pockets of the intermountain west outside those states) in the early 1920s that created the beliefs that have caused so much warmongering among the WWII generation in the church. I've really tried to understand it, because it affected my own parents. My mother was so violently patriotic that it was impossible to mention anything outside that paradigm to her. My father, who saw war, was less so, but the would never speak against that war--or those who fought in it, though he didn't believe that there was any integrity in either the American, British, or Russian (Allied) leaders before, during, and after that war.

I think, if he had lived long enough, he would have been open to the truth, but never my mother. Scary.

So, I see a lot of that mentality in these LDS 'leaders'. Almost fanatic patriotism, but more than that. Blindness.

They aren't awake, and that is a scary thought, because they should be, and they aren't. They are asleep. They really think all is well in Zion, because their lives have worked well for them. They don't see the suffering 'out here' in the unacknowledged 'kingdom'. They have known success, victory, and prosperity, and it is success, victory, and prosperity that speaks when they say such things.
Packer and Perry are no different. A few of the younger ones and a few of the older ones have tried to put a few wise words in edgewise, but it has been mostly rebuffed.

Or ignored.

When will *we* speak out? I have not done so at church, but--

I have in private. When will we have to stand and be mocked at spat at?

I don't know. I just know that I am tired of the blindness and the fatness, whether I have a right to be or not.

It troubles me that a man old enough to be my father (well, a bit younger than my father) is so naive. It makes me feel ashamed of that generation and worried about what areas I am naive in, that my children will detect.

I don't want that. I want them to respect my wisdom.

the_mormonion, I read your essay, and I liked it, but I can't comment--

Ike, what years? IF you read this--

Or will that expose your age too much. Hey, everyone on here already knows too much about me. And I'm not comfortable with that, but an attempt can be made to protect privacy.

LDSDPer said...

Big Dave--

I read and appreciated what you have to say.

My parents' generation had a huge fear of 'peace'. They like to quote the talk by some general authority about peace being taken from the earth, as though that is proof that war is the ideal state--

It's hard to wrap *your* mind around it, but their belief is quite twisted (or was; all my family members from that generation are dead)--

LDSDPer said...

@PNW_DPer, you are not the only 'chicken'.

Our family has had some unusual . . . um . . . circumstances (not evil or God-displeasing, just highly unusual)--

that have caused us to be fiercely ostracized. We don't exist. I mean, if we don't do our callings perfectly, we hear about it, etc. But the few times when we have tried to be human beings and individuals (I sound bitter; sorry; yesterday was a hard day for the family at church)--

or express what we believe (and know) to be true--

we are slapped down really soundly--

(how dare the untouchables to speak before the higher castes?)

We've endured it, because we've been told to endure it--

but the fact is that as marginalized and censored as we have been just for being 'unique' (again, not commandment breaking unique, just unique unique)--

I can't even imagine what would happen to us if we spoke up about our private beliefs.

An example: one of our highly special needs children was suffering in a primary class, and the primary president (kindly) suggested we remove him/her for a time and have him/her spend time with us parents with teaching more suitable to the special needs--

five months later after having a bishop and stake president argue over how we should have our temple recommends revoked--

and finally deciding to be merciful to us--

we learned, the hard way, that speaking up would never happen. Just trying to help our little precious one survive (and with the blessing of the PP and even the handbook) brought such a deluge of persecution on us that--

I can't imagine what would happen if we ever said anything even remotely controversial to the culture (even if doctrinal) over the pulpit or in front of a class, etc.

This is only one instance, and it was a time of great suffering--

which is what happens when you have a unique family, we learned.

LDSDPer said...

oh, and for what it is worth, we've spoken to other parents of special needs kids who have had similar (and sometimes even worse) experiences--

*our* special needs are unique and not the kind that most people are able to handle--

sweet children in wheel chairs generally bring out the best in people; our special needs children are barometers (as another parent of such a child said)--

who test others--

sadly, and I don't say this with tongue in cheek, that bishop and SP both had terrible things happen to them not long after this--

Matthew 18:6 shows that Father in Heaven and Jesus really don't like having their little ones messed with--

but we never expected such swift retribution--
or wanted it. But--

We were in the process of putting these men on prayer rolls, praying to forgive and helping our child(ren) move on--

so--

anyway, I understand about chicken-ness. Once burned--

LDSDPer said...

@JR, I like what you have to say, and I'm glad you came over here.

I am glad there are men (women) like you in the church.

I have never loudly announced that I would be an Ammonite; I admire them, because of my own past history (which I will not go into, but no, I've never murdered anyone or caused death, just--)

The fact is that a lot of bases are covered by truth. The Book of Mormon shows both the Ammonites and Captain Moroni, and obviously Jesus was pleased with both of them.

You're right; human instinct to defend is pretty strong, and I've done it a time or two--
also not done it a time or two--

and I believe I would do what I needed to do to protect one of my vulnerable ones (which I mentioned in another post)--

BUT--

why can't *we* all agree that we don't all share the same gifts?

Some people may be called (by virtue of their eternal spirit) to be like the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi--

others may be called to be like Captain Moroni. We can respect each other and still preach the same doctrine.

I know you aren't the one who brought this up, but someone else on here mentioned the kingmen who wouldn't fight. Oh, they would fight all right, but just for power; they wouldn't fight to protect freedom. There is a difference, and making a blanket statement condemning pacifism isn't the answer anymore than a blanket statement condemning those who are well-trained in defense.

There are room for both of these in the kingdom of God, *I* believe--

and they can respect each other. The enemies of both are those who speak falsehoods and promote Godless actions.

Oh, I'm glad you 'took my advice' (LOL!) and came over here. IF you did--

either way--

:)



LDSDPer said...

is room, oops--

sorry--

the typos; the typos--

LDSDPer said...

thanks for that, PNW_DPer

LDSDPer said...

@whoever is talking about defending families--

There is a big difference between protecting children/vulnerable ones--

from evil and . . .

killing people with the thought in mind that, once dead, they won't be a physical threat.

Generally speaking when there is abuse of any kind--

whether ecclesiastical or stranger or family, whether physical, emotional, psychological or s#xual--

shooting the abusers or piercing them with a sword is not allowable in any culture.

There are many ways of protecting. It's not easy in this culture, and it takes eternal vigilance--

but death by the sword (or machines/guns) to anyone who might, at some time, abuse your loved one--

is not only not the answer but will remove you from the ability to protect.

To protect is to teach, train, watch, love, have GOOD communication with--

and BE with the vulnerable ones.

It's a lot of work--

but it's not death work.

I do know, and it is HARD to do, especially when you have vulnerable ones who can't communicate well if they have been abused or . . .

who have been in places from before you became their protectors--

where horrific things happened to them.

The people who threaten (have threatened) my vulnerable ones most are those who refuse to admit that:

1--children anywhere are ever hurt and . . .

2--other human beings have personal rights/boundaries

and, believe me, there are plenty of people (LDS and non) whose feelings of personal emotional security are VERY threatened by the existence of vulnerable ones (children, needy ones who are no longer children but are children, etc.)--

it makes them sore to acknowledge that such people are 'around'--

and are even more threatened by the existence of those who try to take care of vulnerable ones--

but if I start swinging a sword at someone who bullies or pushes a vulnerable one--

I'm gone. No longer of any worth to anyone.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Mormonion,
That post was astounding and right on the money. I have already shared it on a half dozen Facebook groups and I hope everyone who reads it will share it far and wide.

VERY well done. My kudos for getting it written so quickly.

ShawnC said...

Rock, (and everyone I guess)

Let me preface by saying that I am in agreement with the words spoken here. The backlash that I received on Facebook was so strong from speaking out about Memorial Day and trying to educate others about the Lords proper use of war, that that is why I ultimately cancelled my Facebook account. Also I once took my Bishop to task in Priesthood opening exercises for similar "popular" comments.

I am 38 years old, and have been a student of the Book of Mormon and the Gospel of Jesus Christ all my life. Something I have learned is that this Cult of Popular Opinion is (almost) impossible to overcome. I am amazed at the influence Satan has within the minds of those who profess to belong to His Church.

but...

Something I have also learned is that in the off chance that the "TBM" types may actually come to a site like this, or listen when someone like us speaks about these type of things, to call Monson a fool is well probably a foolish thing. :-)

I know it is highly frustrating, but take the higher ground and just stick to the truth and the doctrine. I'm thinking you know what I am getting at? Know what I mean Vern?

ShawnC said...

LDSDPer,

Please forgive me in advance for splitting hairs here. I mean no offense. The scripture in Matthew is not about actual little children as far as I understand it, but about those who are young and tender in their understanding of the gospel and the workings of the spirit. For someone to intentionally damage them and their testimony of truth, is detrimental for them in Gods eyes.

best,
ShawnC

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Yes Shawn, you're right. I ought to watch the words that come out of my mouth. But I was just so gol-durned ASTOUNDED at what Monson said that I just couldn't restrain myself.

It really is time we latter-day Saints woke up and took a hard look at the caliber of people we have been holding up to the world as our "leaders." When such people blatantly preach contrary to the words of Christ and completely ignore the revelations received through our founding prophet...Well, I just stand all amazed at that kind of mind blowing chutzpah. What Monson boasted about to that AP reporter was a complete reversal of Mormon doctrine.

Anyway, to my credit, I have shared Mormonion's post all over Facebook without once using the word "fool" to describe him. But I admit it's difficult to think of a word that more accurately describes someone who boasts to a reporter that Latter-day Saints love acting contrary to the will of God.

Your kind counsel is well taken and duly noted.

LDSDPer said...

ShawnC, 'hairsplitting' is all right. I think it can mean both, and, yes, you are correct. But often both are happening.

When a vulnerable person (whether of a certain age or not) is abused--

then surely there is damage, even to their 'testimony of truth'--

I've seen this happen more than once with my children who are special needs--

and it often comes from people who should know better.

I don't think your definition and mine are mutually exclusive, but then I'm looking at this from the perspective of having watched at least one of my very valiant special needs children leave the church, because the wounding became too severe--

abuse is abuse is abuse, and abuse can be spiritual as well--

there are entirely too many special needs/handicapped (speaking of those who are not cute kids in wheelchairs especially, because, often, as I said, though I'm sure not always, people respond to them positively)--

adults roaming around whose hearts are pure who have been devoured by the world, because the shepherds turned into ravening wolves. That's abuse.

Perhaps a different kind, and, believe me, we did everything in our power to prevent it and defend the powerless--

but the world is brutal, and often those who officiate do all they can to assist the world in its brutality--

I also know people who were abused horrifically as children and found no redress whose testimonies are . . .

in cold storage.

LDSDPer said...

ShawnC, I read the little interplay between you and Rock with a smile on my face.

Rock, the only possible danger you are in as I see it is this:

Matthew 5:22. Hence, I avoid the word. Not exactly sure what the Savior meant there; I've tried to figure it out for years, because I easily think others foolish--

(to my fault)

so I've worked to avoid that word. As for PR . . . it hasn't worked, and it won't work. If people don't want truth they won't learn it or find it. Sad, but true.

However, Book of Mormon prophets use the word 'fool', as in "fools mock . . ."--

so I don't know what Jesus was getting at, and I wish I did. Does anyone else?

ShawnC, your generation is a great hope. Collectivizing all over the place (which I usually avoid)--

It would appear, from a quick glance at the scriptures, that God and prophets call people 'fools' quite a bit--






LDSDPer said...

P.S. I also readily think myself foolish--

foolishness seems to be the lot of humans, as far as I can tell--

Allisa Mint said...

Good one Zo-ma-rah!! The principle is very simple: like begets like. Elephants beget elephants. Love begets love and violence begets violence. So if you come into my country, preemptively and unprovoked, decimate the land, kill my family and friends and call it collateral damage, then just what the hell do you suppose I'm thinking about doing for the rest of my life?

LDSDPer said...

@Allisa Mint, appreciating what you say.

LDSDPer said...

PNW_DPer,

I actually went back and read that Mormon Chronicle essay--and I thought it was pretty good. The comments, however, were mostly opposed to the essay, showing where most LDS stand on the State of Israel (U.N.)--

Many of these people are really worked up about blood, and, if that is the case, it is important to realize that a lot of Palestinians are descended from the Samaritans who had quite a bit of Jewish blood--

and one of the things I find that many people (in and out of the LDS faith) have a hard time understanding is that a nation does not always represent everyone who is a 'citizen' or who is associated with that nation.

There really are many Jews who are Orthodox, and very righteous people, who do not want to be associated with Israel, and there really are many Jews in Israel who are atheistic and very secular in their beliefs.

So, what 'sorts' of Jews/Israel do LDS want to 'support'? I prefer 'hanging out' morally and philosophically with people who don't practice abortion, who like large families and who prefer peace to violence. Many, if not most, Orthodox Jews fit in that category.

While many who push the Zionists' agenda in Israel are very much pro-abortion and don't care to see anyone have large families. They also don't think very much about G-d.

LDSDPer said...

--and they have no problem with military aggression--

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Well DPer, I think I'll interpret that Matthew 5:22 quite narrowly. Here it is for those disinclined to look it up:

"But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire."

The word "Raca" was a hebrew curse word tantamount to saying, "I spit on you." Some bible translations take it to mean calling your brother a moron (which I did at least once to my real-life brother, who responded like a whiny little baby and tattled on me to our mother).

So I'm in the clear in that respect. I've never said "Raca" to anybody. (Does "CaCa count?)

Also, I interpret the second part of that verse as a warning not to call anyone a fool TO HIS FACE. Since I only referred to Monson as a fool, and did not insult him to his face, I'm taking myself out of the Go-To-Hell square and putting myself safely into the Could-Have-Been-More-Diplomatic square.

Perhaps I would have been safely in good company with the ancient prophets had I simply referred to the man as "foolish" rather than as a fool. That seems to be the acceptable way of putting things, judging by how often the ancients employed the term.

Anyway that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

LDSDPer said...

It's all a dilemma, Rock, and I made that post at least partly in humor--

I certainly didn't mean to make you feel that you had to defend what you wrote--because what you wrote you wrote honestly--

language is so fickle. But, personally, I have been stopped from calling anyone any kind of 'name' by that bible verse--

and, in my case, that is probably a good thing.

Even the writers of the O.T. had to worry about political correctness, it would seem.

(referring to your last paragraph)

I have sensed much more caution in myself as I have aged, and though I think past generations worked hard to be honest and civil (those who cared), I don't think they had to weigh their words as much. That's sad. It's easy to see at general conference, too. J. Golden Kimball versus, say . . . {pick a G.A.}

Does anyone else (the question is directed at you, too, Rock) ever get weary of trying to figure out what sacred writings are REALLY saying? Anyone wish that *we* could just hear the Savior speak?

I do. The struggle of trying to figure out which prophet (modern) was more 'true' or which scriptures are more inspired is exhausting.

And, as for prayer, the older I get, the more I feel that, when I ask for inspiration on these things, I am told, "just be kind and loving; don't worry so much."

Isaac said...

Credit where credit is due—I was introduced to that Deseret News article by Ron Madson via a masterful switch-up on a Connor Boyack facebook post.

The big mystery is why someone didn't take Brother Monson aside and kindly remind him that "we don't get political at church."

PNW_DPer said...

There is a somewhat disruptive special needs child assigned to my Primary class from an active, well respected (as far as I can tell) family , but who does not come to my class very often, because his father apparently thinks it's easier to entertain him himself in the hall or outside if the weather is nice. Perhaps they have been burned in the past. I actually would love to have this child just come, and be part of the class, as I believe in trying to make everyone feel included, and I really don't mind the disruptions that much, also the few times he does come I find I can usually keep him somewhat distracted by giving him paper and markers for drawing/writing/coloring.

I also remember visiting my Aunt's ward in another state where there was a special needs child who most would consider very disruptive, and thinking it was just neat that he could be there with his family. Now I'm not any kind of a great saint, because of all my other faults and being chicken, but I do believe in inviting everyone to come unto Christ and in including everyone and making them feel welcome (well, in theory, hopefully someday in practice too).

Evan Davis said...

Great message. Unfortunately the author makes a lot of conclusive statements without anything to back them up (scriptures, conference talks etc.). I get a lot of things they said, but if I'm going to share this with folks I want sources to back them up. "Because I said so," "you should already know," and "I mentioned the source's name" just doesn't cut it for me.

On a personal note, it really irked me that they referred to President Benson's divine calling to be Prophet as "attaining office" as if he had been striving to get that position.

I really did like the message. I'm just nitpicky.

Steve said...

I was grateful that there were no tributes to veterans yesterday.

I have heard that if a person is conscripted and does not swear the oath, they cannot make him serve in the military. Only hearsay, but perhaps worth investigating.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Evan, perhaps you are confusing the word "attain" with "aspire."

President Benson became President of the Church because he was the senior member of the Twelve, thus he attained, or "arrived at" the position he came to hold following the passing of President Kimball. That is the process by which these things occur in our faith. I fail to see how the use of that word can be construed to be offensive in any way. It certainly does not imply "striving" for the position, which is the meaning you took.

At my last birthday I attained the age of 61. I didn't ask for it. I didn't aspire to it. I didn't strive for it. To be frank, I never even wanted to be 61 years old. But it happened in the natural course of things, as did President Benson's attainment to the Presidency of the Church.

Regarding your desire for references to back up my statements, I'm not certain what statements you are looking for source material on. As long-time readers can attest, I usually provide an abundance of links, but this particular piece did not seem to me to warrant such redundancy, since the very reason I recommended the book "War & Peace In Our Time: Mormon Perspectives" was in order to provide the interested latter-day Saint with all the source material he or she would possibly need. That book IS the footnote to my piece.

Nevertheless, I did reference Section 98 of the Doctrine and Covenants as the source of the Lord's Rules for War, and more than a passing mention of Mormon's views on the topic, which I felt were too numerous to cite in this piece. If you seek more citations from scriptures and statements from LDS prophets and apostles as well as links to videos of testimonies from penitent soldiers, please refer to my previous articles on war, which you can find to the right of this page under the heading "Pure Mormonism On War." Those pieces provided so many citations and links to source materials that I did not feel it necessary to repeat myself in this one.

Again, the very reason I promoted "War & Peace In Our Time: Mormon Perspectives" is because that book is chock full of reference to LDS scriptures and statements from general authorities of the Church. I felt citing that as a source would be most helpful to the reader. But if you would like me to expound on any particular statement in the article, please cite the statements and I will happily provide sources.

Steve said...

Or rather on Sunday.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Jenheadjen, I checked with Anthony Larson, and he tells me he doesn't know if it will be broadcast or not. He suggests checking with Donnie Morris at Confetti Books in Spanish Fork. He has all those details. That number is (801) 798-0137.

PNW_DPer said...

Rock, your thoughts on volunteering for a non-combat position reminds me of the story of an Austrian soldier drafted into the German Army and sent to the Russian Front during WW2. After coming home at the end of his enlistment obligation, he decided that war, especially agressive war, was incompatible with his Catholic Christian beliefs and when called back into service due to the high casualties on the Russian front he volunteered for a non-combat position, was refused and ordered back into combat infantry, and then executed when he refused to go. I don't remember exactly where I read this story, but I do remember that he had a wife and children that he left behind. Sometimes the price of integrity can indeed be high, as the example of the Ant-Nephi-Lehies shows. I do believe that self-defense is acceptable in accordance with Alma 48: 13-16 but only if commanded by the Lord, and he may well command us to flee rather than fight as stated in Alma 48:15. Perhaps for killing in self-defense to be justified, it has to be sanctioned by the Lord and the Holy Ghost first, and if we are not in tune with the Holy Ghost, we may be endangering our own souls no matter how justified we think we are.

Another thought comes to mind, that of Charity. Perhaps we need to be sure that we have an equal amount of charity towards our enemies as we do to our loved ones, and feel sorrowful that we have to kill anyone even in self-defense or defense of the innocent before it could be justified. Captain Moroni and other great leaders often expressed this sorrow over having to klll their enemies, even when they were fighting to protect the innocent and defend against aggression.

A podman said...

Reading the post and comments was the fastest 2 hours ever. What a read! I attend a ward in the central valley of California and I can count on one hand the number of members I could discuss this with (that really sounds arrogant). It is revealing when clear doctrine and lessons on war from the BoM and D&C are viewed as somehow being fringe or weak. Help! All this thinking and growth has left me feeling strangely...naughty.

weston krogstadt said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hi Rock,

I agree with everything you said, but you did not address one important factor underlying the Mormons' apparent lust for war - the Old Testament (and somewhat the New Testament in regards to Armageddon).

When one mingles the teachings of the Book of Mormon (and the Sermon on the Mount) with the teachings of the Old Testament (i.e., murder, rape, genocide, are all okay with God's blessing), you get a blend of anti-aggressive war bromides with overriding exceptions that make the rule meaningless. If you view both the Book of Mormon (and D&C 98) and the Old Testament as "scripture," then you cannot escape this contradiction. Am I wrong?

Respectfully, how do you do it? Do you just evade the contradiction by use of the "as far as it is translated correctly" excuse like so many others?

With respect to war, I have to say that the Jehovah's Witnesses seem to understand God's true doctrine better than the Mormons.

~ Ben Horton

Anonymous said...

It's probably impossible to know how much or which parts of the Bible are correct and which have been changed or added by unrighteous men with agendas.

Thus we have to take the Bible with a huge grain of salt and let the Book of Mormon trump anything the Bible may say.

Just take polygamy for instance, the Book of Mormon condemns it in all cases and the Bible seems to support it at times.

Thus personal revelation from God is also a must, assuming it's not the Adversary's revelation we are hearing instead.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Weston, may I remind you there are ladies in the room?

If you would like to see your comments posted, I suggest you find a way to form them using language acceptable in polite company.

Samuel Gibson said...

I find it best to focus on the Saviours teachings, which replace anything previously stated in the OT. In the case of war turn the other cheek, love your enemy, and the Saviours suffering at the hands of men sums up how we should feel about war.
Any follower of Christ that supports pre meditative drone strikes and our military's foreign wars needs to go back and read the saviours words.
As a member from the UK, whenever I visit the US I've been horrified people regularly pray for the US military on the pulpit. Someone should get on the pulpit and pray for the safety of the Syrian army or the north Vietnamese and see what happens.
Again another great article Rock, Thank you for your insights!

Anonymous said...

I agree with focusing on the Savior's teachings.

I also agree with loving our enemies but at some point loving does not mean letting them continue to sin and keep hurting you or others and thus themselves.

The Savior commanded men to protect their families and others. It's a fine line to know when to do what, which takes the Holy Spirit to discern correctly.

ruthiechan said...

I'm really sorry Andrew. *hugs*

Allisa Mint said...

ROFL. sorry Samuel Gibson, but you totally got me laughing envisioning a prayer from the pulpit (like Enos gave) that would include the Syrians, and Iranians, and Russians, etc. I can picture my room mate nervously glancing, with bowed head, side to side as if to ask, is this prayer appropriate? Shouldn't the Bishop or someone stop this???

The very idea! Suggesting that we all came from the same place and then return to the same God that gave us life? Surely, there will be special after-life bath houses and facilities available to them 'fureigners' so as to appropriately keep them apart from us? Especially those foreign families that we deemed necessary to blow up so we could freely watch our Jazz games in the peace and harmony of a Sabbath afternoon?

I'm sorry to sound like such a jerk. In truth, my eyes fill with tears and my gut wrenches into knots when I consider what is being done in our name; where "defending freedom" and enriching the banksters through wholesale slaughter and resource rape abroad is considered to be one and the same thing.

Maybe it is time to emulate Captain Moroni, to march on the Capitol and get rid of the entrenched corporate fascists and secret combinations that the BoM so passionately warned us against ever allowing to get a hold here. But then again, I'm just a silly little girl, so what do I know.

PNW_DPer said...

I have had the thought, from time to time, though not very often, that maybe we should be praying for the banksters and secret combinations when praying for our enemies, because they are our true enemies. I'm not quite sure what to pray for, however.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I'm inclined to the view that many in Old Testament times credited God with many of the victories the Israelites had in war. It's also difficult to tell when the Israelites were defending themselves from invasion, and when they themselves were the aggressors. It doesn't help that after the fact they may have claimed God commanded them to go to battle. Like Anonymous said above, you have to take Old Testament stories with a grain of salt. Mormons need to remember that the Book of Mormon was sent as a corrective to the many myths of the bible.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Samuel Gibson's suggestion reminds me of Mark Twain's "The War Prayer" which he wrote in response to America's excitement over entering the war against Spain.

It concerns a prayer given by a pastor of a church as he prays for the America soldiers for success in battle. A stranger walks in from the back of the chapel, comes to the pulpit, and offers a bold interpretation of the prayer just given.

It is a short story still timely. I like to read it every few years to remind me of what we are really praying for when we pray for those supposedly "defending our freedoms."

http://johncoyote.wordpress.com/2013/04/27/the-war-prayer-by-mark-twain/

Michael said...

Rock,

What a great post! I appreciate being able to come here and actually learn and grow in the gospel, something I don't get at church.

Keep up the great work - there are man of us who appreciate what you do here.

Joe said...

I wonder if Hellebrand's essay covers Hinckley's address during the early years of the Iraq war. He implied that protesters would be held accountable for resisting the war. Does that ring a bell for anyone? Hope I'm not making that up.

Allisa Mint said...

haaha PNW_DPer says: maybe we should be praying for the banksters and secret combinations when praying for our enemies, because they are our true enemies. I'm not quite sure what to pray for, however.

That reminds me of the exchange from Fiddler on the Roof:

Lebisch: Rabbi! May I ask you a question?
Rabbi: Certainly, Lebisch!
Lebisch: Is there a proper blessing... for the [banksters]?
Rabbi: A blessing for the [banksters]? Of course! May God bless and keep the [banksters]... far away from us!

And a big hug to you Mr Waterman. I'm still trying to find my answer. I hope your ancient limbs can keep blogging away 'cause I sure do like the ideas presented and discussed here.

PNW_DPer said...

There was another member of the First Presidency who observed that the LDS do not engage in protests against war and bombing, but soundly condemned the Saints, and Americans in general, for not rising up in protests and demonstrations (he did not mention placards, however). Specifically, it was J Reuben Clark, in the Oct. 1946 General Conference, as well as on many other occasions. Somehow, I think that Clark was the one who was actually speaking by the Holy Ghost per 2 Nephi 28:31, especially as his preaching was in accordance with D&C 98 as well as the Book of Mormon.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Joe, I would sure like to see that myself. Let us know if you find it.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

That's right. J. Reuben was lamenting the fact that Mormons don't tend to speak out against war. He vigorously opposed the bombing of civilian targets in Japan, and felt like a lone voice among a church full of people who were cheered with joy upon hearing about the atrocities at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Joe said...

Found it: http://www.lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,49-1-353-27,00.html
"As citizens, we are all under the direction of our respective national leaders. They have access to greater political and military intelligence than do the people generally. Furthermore we are a freedom-loving people, committed to the defense of liberty wherever it is in jeopardy."

"It may even be that [the Lord] will hold us responsible if we try to impede or hedge up the way of those who are involved in a contest with forces of evil and repression."

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Ah yes, that one. That statement Looks quite naive in retrospect, doesn't it?

LDSDPer said...

It was Irish Catholic priests (and nobody can claim that Irish Catholic priests have even remotely been considered pacifists; some of them were bloody leaders in battles against the English for centuries)--

who opened my eyes to the idea of historical revisionism in the Old Testament. And bless their hearts, these guys didn't even have the Book of Mormon to lead them in their search. But several who traveled to Israel and had their eyes opened (wide) began to do some serious O.T. research and decided that those records were more the kind of boasting that the victorious do than the word of God. Got me thinking, and I haven't gone back to my old "God condones violence when you're on His side" way of thinking--

LDSDPer said...

it's even more chilling to think about Hiroshima and Nagasaki when you read things like this:

Yet the question will not die, nor should it: was dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki a military necessity? Was the decision justified by the imperative of saving lives or were there other motives involved?

The question of military necessity can be quickly put to rest. "Japan was already defeated and dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary." Those are not the words of a latter-day revisionist historian or a leftist writer. They are certainly not the words of an America-hater. They are the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe and future president of the United States. Eisenhower knew, as did the entire senior U.S. officer corps, that by mid 1945 Japan was defenseless.

Also (DPer's words now), neither Hiroshima nor Nagasaki were key military cities, at all. In fact, ironically, those are the cities where there were small, but sturdy, Christian populations from the 1600s on.
So in dropping the bomb on that 'heathen' nation (*sarcasm alert*) Truman was punishing the two most uniquely Christian cities in Asia at the time.

I could say more, but I won't for now--

LDSDPer said...

I know; I know. You're all tired of hearing about the latest section of the Book of Mormon I'm reading, and how it reflects on the LDS attitude towards wars in general and wars in the Book of Mormon.

But here's one for those of you who think pacifism is automatically bad:

Alma. After he escaped from the 'policemen' of King Noah--

and took with him the people who accepted his message and were baptized in the Waters of Mormon.

When they found themselves surrounded by Lamanites, and especially when they discovered that Alma's old 'buddy' Amulon was being a henchman for the Lamanite king--

did they fight? No. They had to work for the Lamanites, but they didn't fight. They didn't even ask Alma to let them fight. Instead, they prayed. When things got so bad that they were physically punished for being 'seen' to pray, they prayed privately, in their hearts.

Did God punish them for not actively 'defending' themselves?

No. He led them away from the Lamanites without incident and led them back to the land of Zarahemla where they became key participants in a time of great spiritual growth there.

They didn't even resist Amulon and his mob. They listened to and for the Spirit and were led away from danger, miraculously.

How much more delightful it is to imagine their bloodless escape than to imagine what would have happened if they had lost their tempers, given in to the violent desires of the 'carnal man' and tried to fight their captors.

LDSDPer said...

@the other DPer--

I have tried praying for the 'evil and conspiring men', and the reason it's so important is that it is so hard to do. But I know you are right; we should be praying for them; they are the real enemies.

CEO of Goldman Sachs, the Bush/Cheney gang, the Bilderbergs, Rockefellers, etc.--

whew!

Hard work--

Anonymous said...

LDSDPer,
What is automatically bad is to presume that one answer fits all situations.
Alma and his followers may have been seriously outnumbers. Alma may have been told by the Spirit to respond in a humble way. There are any number of reasons why, in this instance, Alma chose to respond as he did. This does not make of Alma a pacifist, any more than Nephi allowing his brothers to lash him to a mast made Nephi a pacifist.
While we can surely wrest the scriptures to attempt to make a point, it seems clear that the only real "pacifists" in the BoM were perhaps the Ammonites, and their reasons for adopting that stance were unique and understandable. Remember, they did not forbid their sons from serving under Helaman, thus disproving their supposed "pacifism". They had made a covenant to refuse to take up arms because of their "many murders" and like most people in the BoM, they stood by their covenants.
I do not wish to belabor the point. It seems to me that pacifism is not a one-size-fits-all approach, any more than the covenant of the Ammonites is a one-size-fits-all situations approach.
Guided by the Spirit must always trump any other approach.
JR

Anonymous said...

@ LDSDPer.

Fascinating. Do you have book or something that I can check out to learn more on the subject?

~ Ben Horton

ruthiechan said...

It is strange to me to hear about Mormons being for the State of Israel. The ones I hear about are those who visited Israel and walked where Jesus walked and felt closer to him. That makes sense, but anything else is so strange, and not in a good way.

Rock, I think I know how that Rabbi feels. Except, of course, it's about my own religion (Mormon). Sigh.

That article about what Monson said is just craziness. The man was speaking as a man, that's for sure since his view was so narrow. We're a worldwide church, not an American only church. >_<

ruthiechan said...

The only thing I can say to that is this: personal revelation, personal revelation, personal revelation. And writing them down. Without that I would probably be swept under the tide of cultural conditioning again and forget what the Lord has told me.

*hugs* I will pray for your son.

ruthiechan said...

I completely agree with you PNW_DPer.

War is evil, even when you are defending yourself, because the only reason such a thing is happening is because of evil intentions by the person starting it. We certainly should never start it and we certainly should do everything in our power to end it. The moment we stop doing that, or stop sorrowing over killing others (they deserved it! attitude) we know our attitude is not in line with the Savior's.

LDSDPer said...

JR, I am quite sure you are right; you aren't belaboring, just fine tuning--

however, though I agree with your principle, the fact is that the people of Alma were in tune, more in tune, I believe, than the people of Limhi who listened to the whining widows--

being outnumbered didn't stop some of the other 'idiots', and it doesn't seem to me that the people of Limhi were ready, yet, to listen to the Spirit. They did eventually, however, and perhaps that is what *we* should remember about them.

I, however, just think the escape of Alma and his people is VERY cool--

:)

LDSDPer said...

I'll look for it--

The Irish Catholic priest (and now, though I know he wasn't alone, I realize that he, alone, wrote the essay/books about his various experiences in Israel)--

is named Michael Prior. He wrote various essays: "The Bible and Colonialism, A Moral Critique" in 1997. I realize these are old, but--

and he wrote "A Land flowing with Milk, Honey, and People", 1997--Cambridge: Von Hugel Institute; and in Scripture Bulletin, 28 (1998):2-17.

He also wrote: "Zionism and the State of Israel: A Moral Inquiry", 1997, Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press.

I don't know easy these will be for you to find. I haven't googled him; I read this pre-computer.

*gasp*

Here; try:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/2004/aug/06/guardianobituaries.religion

Ahem, naturally the Catholic church would consider him controversial, but his influence and integrity can't be denied--

http://ntweblog.blogspot.com/2004/08/michael-prior-tributes-and-obituaries.html

Is this enough?

*wink*

LDSDPer said...

oops--

typo--

HOW easy these will be for you to find--

I was sad to see that he died in 2004--

so I guess those references aren't that old. He must have been at the height of his academic (and activist) career when he wrote those--

be aware, when reading wikipedia, that pro-Zionists have apologists, similar to *our* people like FIRM (LDS apologists, some of whom I agree with, some of whom I think stretch a few things)--

who do influence wikipedia articles--

these people (pro-Israel/pro-Zionists) are NOT dunces--

But then I tend to agree with this sort of thing, SOME of the time:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25669.How_the_Irish_Saved_Civilization

And, no, I have very little Irish blood; some, but not enough to bray--



LDSDPer said...

aw--

special needs 'kids' are a challenge, but a great blessing.

However, generally speaking, they do better one-on-one with adults than with same-age peers, since they don't fit age-specific behaviors, most of the time.

Still, being kind is always . . . well, kind. :)

Thank you for being kind. I can't tell you how I feel about people who are kind to my special ones.

And those who are not. Well, Father loves these children more than I do, and I won't want to see HIS wrath when He deals with the meanies.

There is a YW leader in our ward right now who is being mean and catty with my special (who hasn't a mean bone in her body)--

my special doesn't get the meanness in speech/words, but she gets the Spirit--

It is VERY. HARD. for. her. father. and. me. not to want to have a few moments alone with this woman to lay on some hands.

And that is a violent thought, and I've been repenting since Wednesday night when the latest onslaught came. She's a grandmother, white hair, and she should know better, but she's never grown up.

And I really hate to see our special be the one she stumbles against, but that's what we are here for.

In the meantime, we pick up the pieces the best we can, and I have to pity (real pity, genuine pity) this woman for not getting the refined spirit of my special one.

Her loss. (nasty old woman!)

You know; they are in every ward (or at least if you have a special you will know; specials draw mean people like magnets)--

*sigh*


Alan Rock Waterman said...

I was always given to understand it was the Scots who saved civilization. Although I'm Jewish on my mother's mother's side, I'm of the MacClaren clan on her father's. So I'm making the claim it was we scots who saved the world.

Okay, I checked, and it was the Scots who invented the modern world. Good enough; I'll take that.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=how+the+scots+saved+civilization

And speaking of intersection of the tribes of Judah and Ephraim, here's a book I'd like to own one day: "When Scotland Was Jewish." It was co-authored by Donald Yates, one of the DNA researchers featured in the video I highlighted in my piece "Best Evidence For The Book of Mormon."

Small world, the House of Israel, ain't it?

LDSDPer said...

LOL!

And I can remember a delightful young man from Jamaica who served a mission in our area long, long ago--

he was half European/half African Jamaican, and his European half is also from a country that is known for its advanced culture, though it wasn't either Ireland or Scotland--

who claimed that civilization began in Africa. He was profoundly eloquent/articulate, and by the time he was finished, I was convinced!

*chuckle*

Alan said...

While I agree with many of Rock's sentiments regarding war, and especially of it's glorification, I would like to point out a flaw.
American military is justified in crossing into another countries territory in order to defend an ally. The US has a mutual defence treaty with NATO countries, requiring all to come to the defence of another. This is why there are US bases in Europe and here in the UK. If the US was attacked, we would be honour bound to defend the US. You will notice the Nephites and the Lamanites became allies when faced with the threat of the Gadianton Robbers.

Frederick said...

I reckon you may not be familiar with the words of President Benson. It looks like he held a different opinion, one that was in line with our founding fathers.

Nothing in the Constitution nor in logic grants to the President of the United States or to Congress the power to influence the political life of other countries, to “uplift” their cultures, to bolster their economies, to feed their peoples or even to defend them against their enemies. This point was made clear by the wise father of our country, George Washington:
I have always given it as my decided opinion that no nation has a right to intermeddle in the internal concerns of another; that every one had a right to form and adopt whatever government they liked best to live under them selves; and that if this country could, consistent with its engagements, maintain a strict neutrality and thereby preserve peace, it was bound to do so by motives of policy, interest, and every other consideration. — George Washington (1732-1799) Letter to James Monroe (25 Aug. 1796)

There is one and only one legitimate goal of United States foreign policy. It is a narrow goal, a nationalistic goal: the preservation of our national independence. Nothing in the Constitution grants that the President shall have the privilege of offering himself as a world leader. He’s our executive; he’s on our payroll, in necessary; he’s supposed to put our best interests in front of those of other nations.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Amen to what Frederick just said. Alan, even if Americans feel justified in crossing into other people's lands to enforce a treaty, I see nowhere in in scripture where a treaty that violates God's law supersedes and and replaces the will of God. We Mormons, at the very least, ought to put God's word above the will of politicians.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Not to mention that treaties promising to side with another nation in war violate the founding principles of our nation as vocalized in George Washington's Farewell Address. The founders intended Treaties to establish trade and good will, not to provide a wedge with which to become entwined in foreign entanglements.

Anonymous said...

Amen and AMEN Rock and Frederick. Having "served" in Vietnam, Kuwait, and Iraq I can tell you from personal experience that we have no business meddling in the internal affairs of any other country. Our so called "help" is nothing more, nor less, than self serving meddling designed with only one purpose, to enrich a small segment of our population. The fact that American blood is spilled on foreign soil to enrich that small segment of the population is of absolutely no importance to those who stand to gain riches and power. NO IMPORTANCE AT ALL! My sons will never serve in a foreign war if I have breath left in my body to prevent it! George Washington was indeed a wise and good man raised up by the hand of God. Since then we have descended to the bottom of the barrel in our choices for men to run our nation.
JR

Dan Brooks said...

I am of the opinion that since the 1% that profits from endless wars and the revenue generated by the industrial military complex, running guns in foreign lands and so on, the only solution is a revolution that results in terms limits for every public office this make a career out of being senator or congressman is the root cause of our current corruption. Money being regarded as speech, businesses being given the rights of citizens and such prove that we the people are no longer free. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, no sorry, The corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Incorporated is closer to Sodom than Zion but has more of an interest in the wealth and power of Babylon.

Anonymous said...

Wow, where are all you folks hiding? I thought I was in a very small minority of Saints who opposed American militarism and extracted the strong anti-"pre-emptive war" message from the Book of Mormon. I'm happy to learn I have been mistaken. Re: the Ammonites, it does seem to me that the Lord's way does make provision for unusual circumstances, and the Ammonites, who had committed many murders (a sin for which full forgiveness is usually not available), may have been moved by the Spirit to make their covenant, believing that some kind of personal "blood atonement" would not be amiss, should their enemies seek their lives. Re: living amidst militaristic members, I try to remember that avoiding contention is one of the Lord's paramount requirements of Zion. Therefore, I've found that it is usually better to hold your tongue when someone offers effusive prayer on behalf of our troops waging war overseas, or speaks confidently of the righteousness of this or that militaristic cause (NB: other things to avoid in church "lobby talk": the Federal Reserve, the United Nations, and Ron Paul). In keeping my mouth shut, I try to recall that I was once a bellicose conservative (and before that, a fairly militant liberal, the way I'd been raised), and had to discover the truth line upon line and precept upon precept -- a process still underway.
In any event, it is my hope that someday the Saints will embrace more fully the commandment to "renounce war and proclaim peace." And isn't it interesting that the Lord's discussion of war and peace, and the Lord's law concerning the waging of war, is found in the same section where He affirms the Constitution as being of divine origin?

Brian Riches said...

This question may have come up in these comments or another post, I am sorry if it has I have not read everything after all! Much of modern warfare can be done remotely, missiles, drones ect. Obviously we have methods to defend against these types of attacks but do you feel it would be justified to attack and destroy things like missile batteries and drone airports, runways, and hangers after being attacked when these installations are on foreign soil?
I am interested in all readers opinions on this issue.

LDSDPer said...

I know I am cynical, but these are not the types of targets that U.S. military personnel (under the direction of ?) have in mind.
The destruction of human life seems to be the major priority. And--
nobody has attacked the U.S., not on foreign soil and not here--

There are retaliations, of course, but *we* should never have been over there in the first place. It was not Iraqis or Afghanistanis (sp?) who attacked the twin towers on 9/11, whatever else anyone believes about 9/11.

And, the idea that the U.S. is unified and that the American military is 'protecting' American citizens is laughable. There is no unity; *I* have had no desire for the American military to kill children in order to 'protect' my family, especially when these people (in the middle east) are no threat to my family. So, when people pray for those who are protecting *us*, I wince.

I didn't ask for that 'protection', especially since it takes the form of killing innocent civilians, does not protect *me*, and only promotes an expanding police state and mentality of, "kill it, if it moves"--

in the U.S.

So, no, I guess. I don't see any reason for it.

And I'm not in charge--

so when I read someone saying: "obviously we have methods"--

who is the we? It's not me. Is it you? If it isn't me, and if it isn't you, who is "we"?

These people who to whom the appelation "we" is ascribed do not represent me; they didn't ask me, so why the "we"? Did they ask you? Somehow, I don't think so--

There is no "we" in America, if there ever was. There is a power elite, and there is a majority that thinks it is 'we'.

I'm not part of that majority.

LDSDPer said...

hiding? Well, in our ward my husband and I are the only adults who are not supportive of the current warmongering.

We have a few Democrats and a lot of Republicans, and even the Democrats (we are neither Democrat nor Republican) are supportive of the empire-building. It is demoralizing, discouraging. Things were very difficult for us before the election. We did everything we could not to get involved in any political discussions, but now and again we relented. Invariably there was incomprehension that we would not be voting for a "Mormon". We were viewed almost as a threat. It was a weary business.

Brian Riches said...

I am sorry I seem to have offended you LDSDPer, it is not my intention to ruffle feathers. I am trying to ask a legitimate question and I apologize that my comment on this blog used unspecific pronouns; it is not my master’s thesis after all!
I will pose the question in another way, as a hypothetical situation. Country A uses drones or missiles, which are launched from within Country A to destroy a military instillation and a part of a city within the continental United States. Hypothetically, the military base is Hill Air Force Base in Utah and the city, which is partially destroyed, is Ogden Utah. One potential response would be for the military to strengthen defenses against this type of attack for future protection. Another potential response could be for the US military to strike Country A’s airport or missile batteries remotely, using continental US military missiles or drones. Keep in mind these hypothetical targets are within the borders of Country A. Based on the principles discussed in the blog post above, do the readers feel a remote strike by US military within the continental US on these targets within Country A is justified? Is this action within the bounds the Lord has set according to your (the readers) understanding?
Again I am not trying to troll anyone here, this is a situation I have been mulling around in my head the last few days and I would appreciate some input.

Anonymous said...

Brian,
Your question is still somewhat confusing. If you are asking (as I perceive) whether it is OK for the US to retaliate against another country after it has "hit" the US, here is my reply:
To retaliate against another country is an act of war. Has Congress declared war on that country? If not, it is illegal to retaliate.
For Congress to determine that it was the nation in question that "hit" the US, there must be a reliable intelligence gathering resource. At this time all "intelligence" sources in the US are highly suspect because they are controlled by questionable entities, and they have an agenda driven history of providing partially true, or completely false data...or supporting false flag events; i.e., our "intelligence" resources are highly compromised.
At the present time there is no solid evidence that ANY foreign nation has "hit" the US. The only real possibility for such would be the attacks of 9-11-2001, and there is ever mounting evidence those were false flag operations designed to generate public support for launching a war of aggression in the middle east and Afghanistan. At this time, anyone who examines the solid evidence (which exists on the internet) on who attacked the US on 9-11-2001, has to come to the conclusion that the US govt has lied to the US public and that there is good evidence that the attacks were planned and executed by an entitiy that the US govt has failed to disclose.
There is much more to this question that goes into many areas which are beyond the limits of an internet blog response.
Suffice it to say, IMHO, no foreign nation has attacked the US, even though the US has given several foreign nations great provocation to do so.
Have we been attacked by a shadowy entity such as Al Qaeda (and if so, why are we supporting that entity in Syria right now)? Are we safer now than we were before we launched preemptive wars of aggression in the middle east based on (what many thinking people believe was a false flag event on) Sept. 11, 2001?
Has our own govt shown that it is a rogue govt, attacking peaceful nations at will for shadowy unspecified, or contrived, reasons?
Has our own govt shown that it has no qualms about killing its own citizens for shadowy unspecified, or contrived, reasons?
Who are the real bad guys on the world scene these days? China...who have they attacked lately? Russia...who have they attacked lately? The USA...who have they attacked lately?
I think I perceive your slant here. If you believe in the old saw, "my nation, right or wrong" then we have little in common to discuss.
JR






Brian Riches said...

I appreciate your reply, you bring up some good points about intelligence and being sure to know who it was that attacked the US. My question is more about this specific action in the eyes of the lord than the legality under the constitution. And my question is actually more specific than I think you perceived it as, sorry that I was unclear, I will try and clarify here.
I am not pointing to any specific instance in US history or to any specific country. As I understand the principles discussed above it is not the Lords will to enter another countries borders to wage war, and as you say the current action in other countries is illegal (I actually am very sympathetic to these ideas portrayed in the blog post and D&C 98). My question is specifically about remote warfare, engaging military targets such as missile batteries or drone airports after a hypothetical attack on US soil. Hypothetically, engagement of these targets could be done without loss of life to anyone in Country A. The action could even take place remotely from the US with no troops on the ground entering the bounds of Country A. In this example, there is no entry into Country A by US troops, the only entry is by US missiles or drones. There is hypothetically no loss of life in Country A, only destruction of the tools that harmed the US. I guess another way to pose the question is; Do you, the readers, feel this action would be considered defense in the eyes of the lord? Or is it still overstepping our borders to engage the enemy in their lands? Is the entry of missiles or drones into Country A qualitatively different than US troops entering the country?
Again I appreciate your reply I think my question has confused a few people. I hope I was a little clearer.

LDSDPer said...

No, Brian, you didn't offend me, and I understand how a particular situation can become troubling until you talk to other people about it.
The problem is, however, that for me the 'unspecific pronouns' matter, because I feel no connection at all to any sort of defense that is being presently fostered by the U.S. government or any of its subsidiaries. I don't want *their* protection. So, yes, though it seems I am quibbling, this is one of the things I have pondered for some time--

Your pondering is valid. And I don't expect you to write a master's thesis.

I 'woke up' to the reality that I am not "we", and it has changed my perspective, and if I seemed offended, that was no my intent.

I hope someone can help you. I don't think that anything that anyone in the U.S. could do with weapons, inside the U.S. or outside the U.S. could ever be legitimate anymore--

I believe it so strongly that I wouldn't be able to ask the same questions you are asking and believe I meant it.

Peace.

I know your question is theoretical. I just don't deal with theoretical anymore, not with regards to war and military decisions.

I don't believe the U.S. military will exist after Jesus' return. That's good enough for me.

Gary Hunt said...

Brian,

Turn the question around. If the US sends drones and missiles into Country A and kills their innocent civilians, would Country A be justified in sending drones and missiles into the US to destroy US military hardware?

A few other points to consider. The US has the most "state of the art" weaponry in the world. Even with this technology "collateral damage is inevitable. Take for instance Obama's Drone War. For every 50 persons killed by his drones he gets only one of his targets (alleged terrorist). I have my doubts the Lord would approve. Also it sets up an escalation of hostilities situation, which I think the Lord is trying to have us avoid. And ultimately the Lord would need to command us to attack them. Good luck finding someone in government who listens to the Lord.

LDSDPer said...

the money that goes into creating these weapons would be better spent feeding hungry children, anywhere.

Gary Hunt said...

LDSDPer,

Amen!

The US spends as much on the miltary as the rest of the world combined.

Wicasa Wakan said...

This is Brian, I changed my name in YouTube and it extended to all my Google and linked accounts.
Thanks, you have given me some good questions to think about.

TeeKong said...

I've never been a fan of your blogs on war.I think that you've demonstrated your position and interpretation of the scriptures on the matter. You've done so eloquently. I take a slightly different view on the matter however.

There is no black and white on this issue. War is a byproduct of our existence. There was a war in heaven, which means, war has existed before we existed in a mortal state and it will continue to exist after our mortal state ends, it will exist in heaven and it will exist on Earth. It will continue to exist as long as there are those who would enslave others. What was the core of Satan's plan? That man would be enslaved and choice would not be present. What was the core of God's plan? That we would be free to choose. These 2 concepts are in direct conflict. And this is the core of the reason why any war is fought. Either slavers fighting over slaves or slaves fighting for their freedom.

Whether the conflict is with physical violence or not is irrelevant. The war of thought is as destructive and results in more loss of life then we can possible imagine.

Example: Indoctrinate generations to believe that abortion isn't murder and what have we done? We've allowed the murder of 332,278 in 2009, 333,964 in 2010 and the number keeps going up. In fact, Obama was BRAGGING about it during a speech at a planned parenthood convention.

Arguing that the physical locations of the wars make them unjust is a limited and literal interpretation of the scriptures. Which can and should be expanded upon and applied to the war of thought. Again, this is not a black and white issue, this is not something, that we in our limited understanding of both the motivations, commands and purpose behind which these wars were perpetrated could we possible claim to know God's will on the matter, nor the will, purpose and motivations of those who authorized the wars themselves. Do I agree with the wars? I would not answer yes or no to that. I don't have enough information to pass judgement. I would argue that NO ONE except God himself has sufficient knowledge to pass judgment on the justness of the wars that the US has been involved in the last 50 years. This, is why I am not a fan of this topic, to me, its generalized judgement of a highly complicated issue. It would require in depth understanding of not only all the wars themselves,but all the people involved on both sides.

I however, I do believe, that not fighting for the freedom of others when you yourself would fight for your own freedom is hypocritical and wicked. I also think not fighting for and defending your own freedom is a great wickedness. I think that there is good advice concerning when and how, but these things are logical supportable, not miraculously supported by God under specific conditions. Of course its better to defend then attack in almost every case. Of course its better to be agreeable, quiet and docile when you are surrounded by the enemy. Choosing to roll over and just die at another Man's hands because you abhor violence and pretending you are being Christ like is nonsense. You are being selfish, you refuse to lift a finger because you've taken a myopic view of violence instead of a discerning one.

Finally, if a man sues you for you coat give him your cloak? why does that mean that if a wicked man comes to me demanding my coat I should give him more then he demands? Instead...If I am free and another man is not how can I give him anything but freedom as well and not fulfill that request by Christ? What greater charity can I give a man but his freedom? What more God like and Christ like action can I do? Christ's resurrection and his sacrifice, how were those not Christ giving us our freedom? Freedom from death, freedom from sin? What then, more can we give all the children of God on this earth but freedom?

LDSDPer said...

you're making several assumptions here--

you don't believe it is right to judge the wars America has been involved in for 50 years, in which untold numbers of 'innocents' have died (including babies and the unborn), but you do believe abortion is wrong.

Hmmm.

I don't see a difference. I believe abortion is very wrong and very horrific, and I don't think it should be allowed, but I realize, too, that the laws have made it allowable--and I can't change that--

it's a daily battle for some of us to try to save unborn lives, without using laws to do it--

but not judge America's wars? Why not? You must believe that America is fighting for the freedom of people in other lands--

and if you believe that, you are haven't yet learned the truth.

Just as I can't convince others who think that a woman has a 'right to choose' that the unborn life inside her is not her possession--

I can't convince someone who believes the American military and American leaders have been giving freedom to people in the middle east--

that there has been no fighting for freedom, not for 50 years, not for 100--

But you aren't ready to see that--

and I know quite a few people who are not ready to see the wrongness, the violence in the act of abortion--

nothing I can do to change their minds either--

No abortion; no war. Defending oneself; well, I think that is a personal choice--

TeeKong said...

I didn't say you couldn't judge America's wars, I said I don't have enough information to correctly judge whether its just or not in the eyes of God and frankly, neither do you, really the only person who does is God. Does that mean you can't express your opinion on the matter. Of course not, you are welcome to. But to pretend you are correct, and have correctly assessed the situation in the middle east is a tad arrogant of you. Which is further supported by your condescending use of phrases like " and if you believe that you haven't yet learned the truth", suggesting you have a complete truth, which you don't and "But you aren't ready to see that", again suggesting that your opinion is the correct one, and my lack of intelligence/understanding/willingness/wisdom/experience are preventing me from agreeing with you.

I went on to state, that in my opinion fighting for freedom is a righteous choice and abstaining from such a fight or allowing the slavery of others is a wicked one. You assumed that this meant I supported all of America's wars as fights for freedom. Which was an incorrect assumption.

And of course it is a personal choice, in fact everything is. But calling something a personal choice doesn't mean it isn't right or wrong. As I said, all decisions require discernment. I can't say its ALWAYS wrong to not defend yourself, because I can enumerate many scenarios in which choosing to not defend yourself is the correct choice. Similarly I can enumerate many scenarios in which defending yourself is the correct choice. It seems to me however, and again this is why I don't like this topic, that rather then taking a discerning approach to each conflict understanding the historical evidences, the historical triggers, the people involved their reasons, their justifications etc etc, passing judgement on the justice of the war as if you opinion is the truth is wrong. And suggesting that God sees the wars as unjust because you do is also wrong.





LDSDPer said...

@TeeKong, you are assuming a lot about what I am saying.

Yes, you are right; as you read it, I do sound arrogant. But, you see, I don't believe I know all the truth either.

I just know what feels very wrong. I am surrounded by ward and family members (not my husband or children and a few other relatives) who believe that Muslims are bad, Islam is dangerous and who have supported Bush and Obama in the wars in the middle east--

and I HAVE spent a lot of time researching; I have found a few things:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYnDw1ReVhw

If you honestly believe there is not enough information to make even a slight judgement on the horror of this, then--

I find your inconsistency appalling. You believe in defending; are you ready to defend these babies and their mothers from white phosphorus, depleted uranium (other chemicals) and overly zealous American military planners, etc.--

Wherever you live, if this were happening in your hometown, a lot, what would you think? That you had no right to judge?

You are correct; as you read my words, I sounded as though I was 'righter' than you--

and I apologize for that. I don't know everything at all--

but I am deeply concerned about all the things being kept from me--

by the American military/government/MSM

I am the parent of a child who suffered shocking things in a 'foreign' orphanage--

I've seen things that, perhaps, you have not. But maybe not. If you've held a child (and loved a child and fed a child and been responsible for a child) whose early years were influenced by things that don't make sense (and that most Americans blame on anyone but American 'planners')--

then perhaps you would understand why I sound as though I know things you do not know. I apologize for that, if you have been to such places and done such things--

but I do know a few things--

even if I don't know it all--

and I do feel that I need to sound a warning--

Mormon did, when he related what the Nephites did to the Lamanite women--

perhaps you feel he was being too judgemental--

Well, that is your right--

If you must be offended by what seems to be my 'high' tone--

then there isn't much I can do. I won't stop sounding the alarm.

LDSDPer said...

and I say, if you have the courage to watch that youtube (and others like it)--

and can still say that I say you are naive, if you believe the government's spiel on how *we* are helping people become free--

that you don't know the truth--

if you can't make that connection, then I am not sure what you are connecting.

You sound very wary of criticizing your 'own' government/culture--

except, of course, for abortion--

the wars might be right after all, in spite of those children, the chemicals, etc.--

People are more free over there--

yes, of course; keep saying that--

we know that's true; our leaders have told us that--

*sarcasm alert*

If you are 'protecting' someone who has gone over there and come home and told you all the 'good' things the American military has done--

then you are no less biased than I!

And you might need to be aware than plenty (even a few LDS, though they are rare) of veterans despise what has been done over there--

and are spending their energy trying to get the truth out.

People who have been there. Done things. Seen things--

felt things--

and do know a few things--



LDSDPer said...

good heavens, I ranted and didn't make sense.

Sorry--

I can't edit--

I say your belief in what the 'government' says is naive; perhaps that is unChristlike of me--and, if so (I am not sure) I apologize--

and it is wrong of me to say that you don't know the truth--

though I am not sure what you are saying, quite--

you never come out and say it--

you keep saying how cautious *we* should be; how we can't judge, etc.--

Why not?

I do not pretend to know everything, and if I have implied that, I am sorry--

but I do know how I feel in my heart; I do know what I have prayed to know; I do know what I have been studying--

I hate it, all of it--

I come from a family of people who have had their share of war--

so I am not completely unqualified, but I find your caution in not calling a spade a spade a bit . . .

odd.

But then what I see as a spade, you may see as something else--

so there we are; can't agree--

if we don't, it's not rare. I have 'friends' (LDS) who rant about what a threat Muslims are--

so I've been outnumbered a bit myself--

but cautious as to calling evil what I see as evil, no I won't be.

And I am content to have God be my Judge.

TeeKong said...

It's clearly an emotional issue for you.

However, let me clarify some things you got wrong.

I never suggested anyone else be cautious in their judgment, or if it was interpreted that way, then my poor writing skills are to blame. I did say that only God has enough information to judge whether the war was just or unjust and that the article and subsequent comments were judgmental generalization of a highly complicated issue.
So, as I originally stated, and provided the abortion example in order to help clarify. Rock’s position is an opinion based on assumptions around what makes for a just war (some of those assumption backed by his interpretation of scripture). I was demonstrating that the application of war could be expanded to include the war of thought that began in heaven and is ongoing here on earth. Thus, when he argues that the physical location and the offensive nature of the wars of the last 50 years are proof/truth/fact that the wars are unjust, I counter argued that the physical location is irrelevant and there are many more factors that account for the justness of a war that are not being addressed in his arguments.

Similarly, you asses because war causes horrible suffering it is proof/truth/fact that the war is unjust. Just wars cause as much horrible suffering as unjust wars do.

TeeKong said...

I summed it all up by stating that in my opinion for a war to be just, it must be fought for freedom. That extends to fighting for others freedom as well. Now, you interrupted that to mean that I support the government/military and believe it when it tells me the wars we fight are just because we are fighting for freedom, which wasn’t ever anything I said, just a projection of the person you assume I am based on how I’ve taken a perceived different view on an issue that is so apparently emotional for you, I then took offense(in your words “If you must be offended by what seems to be my 'high' tone—“) because you began projecting your personal understanding, belief and opinion as proof/fact/truth . In fact, I never took offense. I pointed it out so you would stop doing it because it wasn’t constructive to the discussion (though based on your subsequent rant even pointing it out failed to prevent it, though it did at least prompt an apology once your rage wore off).
I do not feel Rock was being too judgmental, nor do I think you are. I think you’ve based your opinions on personal experience/knowledge/understanding etc etc. That is good. I’m fine with that, what I don’t like about these types of discussions is that there is a projection of opinion as fact/truth/proof. Rarely do I feel that Rock projects opinion as fact. I think in most of his articles he does a good job of presenting ideas and information separately. Here is information x and this is how I interpret information x. In this case however, he has failed to accomplish that. He has spoken as if he were God. He has projected his personal opinion that War is evil/bad/of satan as if that is what God has said. He does so by discounting another’s interpretation of the scriptures as wrong, and his own interpretation as correct. The scriptures contradict themselves all over the place, so arguing your interpretation is right and another’s is wrong is all opinion, even if the scriptures didn’t contradict themselves arguing interpretations is arguing opinion. Which is why I started my comment with “Arguing that the physical locations of the wars make them unjust is a limited and literal interpretation of the scriptures”, because I recognized that it was Rock’s interpretation and I wanted to demonstrate that I didn’t think his interpretation was wrong, just that he could expand the lesson to fit more than just the physical location.
There is nothing wrong with arguing opinion. We do it every day and we should do it every day, it helps us learn new information, exposes us to new ways of thinking, it helps enlighten us. What prompted my comment in the first place, and what I have repeated multiple times since, is that I do not like these discussions because it is common during discussions like this, for people to present opinions as facts/proof/truth. And in my opinion that is what Rock has done with his article and there are a number of commenters who have done the same.

Gary Hunt said...

TeeKong,

I have a few questions for you. You said..."I would argue that NO ONE except God himself has sufficient knowledge to pass judgment on the justness of the wars that the US has been involved in the last 50 years." If what you say is true then can you explain to me why the Lord instructs us as follows:

D&C 88:78-80

78 Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand;

79 Of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms—

80 That ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you.

To me it sounds like (my interpretation) it is "expedient for" us "to understand" ... "the wars and perplexities of the nations,". When He says "my grace shall attend you," it is my opinion that he will help us understand these "wars and perplexities of the nations", but I could be wrong.

In the D&C 98 the Lord gives instructions to the Church regarding conditions, which need to be satisfied, before we are justified in going to war. To me its not written in some complex, confusing language. In fact it seems pretty plain and easy to understand. Why would the Lord give us these instructions if He didn't want us to understand the causes of war so that we can try to avoid them?

One final question. Why has the US government's CIA been going around the world, since 1947, working covert operations to destabilize sovereign nations and start wars and unrest which has resulted in the deaths of over 6 million people? By the way, this is not just my opinion but a well established fact.


Anonymous said...

TeeKong,

I have heard your argument many times before, by those who do not want to accept the responsibility and accountability to have to make righteous judgments. It's easier to say "I can't do it".

But we can and are commanded to make righteous and correct judgments about everything and everyone, including wars and even co-called prophets we have never met.

We may not have all the information but God does, and if we have the Holy Spirit as our guide, He can teach us or show us where to find the truth of all things, including if a war is justified or not.

And we had better have the Holy Spirit and be able to judge these kinds of things, for we will be held accountable for whether we supported anything evil or not, including unjust wars.

Christ and his prophets like Joseph Smith have taught that those who are deceived to support evil will lose their Exaltation. So if we couldn't make correct judgments then God could not hold us accountable for being deceived by and supporting evil, and he does hold us accountable.

Thus he knows it is possible for us to make correct judgments, and it's usually not as complicated as you make it seem, especially when one has the Holy Spirit as their guide and a good knowledge of the Laws of God.

LDSDPer said...

@TeeKong,

I'm in good company then, if I respond with emotion (which I will admit I do)--

Captain Moroni, the sons of Mosiah--

I have judged you. I have 'talked' to people before who have similar ideas to yours who do not believe, for example, as Gary Hunt mentioned, that the CIA has caused immense trouble and done many unrighteous things.

You are vague about your reservations. I appreciate your stating that opinions are all right to state; that's making progress. But I have been in discussions with people before where theory and the perfectness of the discussion was all that mattered, and I found myself getting nowhere.

That's all right, too; I'm not trying to proselyte, but I do mean to 'share'--

Last night I was in a small town not far from where we live, listening to a beautiful chamber ensemble (a family member is involved)--

during the course of the concert an older man approached my husband and, with tears in his eyes said, "is that (pointing to the person) your family member? He/she is a good performer."

My husband said, "yes", and the man said, "reminds me of a young loved one of mine, so talented--so talented; played, as a teen, with a large symphony in our state. Wanted to go to college, but none of us had the means to help (him/her)--went into the military to get an education; ended up in Afghanistan; ended up in a box; I swore I would never let that happen to another one I love, and it hasn't; no more of my precious ones will serve in the military, even if I have to come up with really difficult things to do (myself) to see that they have a chance for an education."

The conversation was meaningful, because the building in which the concert was held had been restored by this man and other young ones he was determined to keep from the military--a lot of hard work; a lot of 20 hour days for all of them, but nobody else came home in a box.

Emotion? Yes; you could say that. My husband couldn't keep the tears from his eyes.

Some of *us* are older, and we've experienced more than theory. Our discussions may not be perfect; perhaps they can be picked easily apart, but we have no doubt what we believe and why.

Did you watch the youtube?

LDSDPer said...

and--

in a just war there is at least the feeling that someone sacrificed for someone else. I am not discounting the idea that there have been righteous service people, even recently, who have helped people 'over there', but I certainly do not accept the explanations of the leaders of this nation for those wars--

LDSDPer said...

oh, and TeeKong--

Where in the scriptures are readers told to wage war? There are quite a few people (LDS and not LDS) who believe that one of the most uninspired things in the O.T. is the relations of the 'glories' of war--the claiming that God was victorious, because the ancient Israelites conquered others--

plain and precious truths have been removed from the Bible, Joseph Smith told us--

so . . . where are *we* told to wage war? Now, at one point when the Nephites were being attacked, the prophet was approached and asked to pray about whether or not the people should defend themselves?

I sense in you a real fear of peace. I was raised by people who believed that having peace was counter to the plan of God--

that there could be no society without war; that peace was 'unnatural'--

well, yes, it is--but Enoch had it; so did the ancient Nephites--

when they were righteous and had all things in common--

So, I guess I'm trying to understand, since D&C 98 is right there for everyone to see--

what wars could possibly have been justified.

I am one of those who believes (and there is sufficient documentation on which I can base my belief) that WWI, WWII were banker-contrived wars to benefit the world's most 'elite' bankers--

and that Korea and Viet Nam were just a continuation of that--

Yes, I understand that there were those who were liberated in WWII by Americans--

that's good; something good came out of that, at least--a tiny bit compared to all the atrocities.

But the fact is that that war (and WWI) could easily have been prevented by America's leaders if they hadn't been eager to line the pockets of their banker friends--

Korea was never even a declared war--

and it was also contrived--

as was, of course, Viet Nam--never declared and not constitutional--

and America does have a constitution--

Have you ever seen this?

http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html

I think one of the reasons it is hard for *us* to have really good discussions is that everyone comes to the discussion 'table' having read a different set of instructions for the discussion game--

:)

or having an entirely different perspective, based upon the things that each person has read or studied.

If you are a person who regularly accepts the things that are broadcast on the MSM--

and another person (I, for example) am not--

then it's going to be hard for us to have a truly productive discussion--

LDSDPer said...

anyone have anything to say about Edward Snowden?

I hope he finds refuge--

dying ignominiously (being suicided) would do no good--

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Edward Snowden is a GREAT American Hero.

You can tell the traitors in political office simply by looking at who is angry with Snowden. They are the ones with no problem trashing the Bill of Rights.

LDSDPer said...

Rock, I've not been able to stop searching through DP for all the latest on this young man. My heart goes out to him in a big way, maybe because he's the age of one of my children.

I wish the journalists would leave him alone. I hope that there are honest people trying to help him get to a safe place. I'm such a believer in 'suiciding' and other unacknowledged tactics by renegades (CIA, FBI, etc.) that I really fear for him.

His getting free feels like a big deal, and I want to cheer for Hong Kong and Russia--

How is Connie. I think of her all the time. She's just on my mind a lot. I hope she saw the pictures. I know the computer is hard for her.

We don't have MSM (no television, and we don't use radio for any kind of news), and we'll be without any technology for a while, but I want to check up on her in a few weeks. If she doesn't mind.

The sad thing, though, is that I think most of *them* are traitors at this point.

LDSDPer said...

Ack; I do NOT believe in 'suiciding'; I think it's beyond horrific. I believe in the existence of it. Too many good people have died after stepping up and expressing views that are not in line with the PTB.

As for Connie, I was hoping that that one neurologist might have something new and hopeful. I've been thinking a lot about hope since talking to her.

Enough of this on here--

Please pass it on--

LDSDPer said...

Actually, Rock, don't answer on here; just pass on to Connie that, though we will be without technology for a time, I am planning to call again after we have the equipment again (it's not a crisis, just a happening)--

We've talked about privacy; this is awkward on here--

just pass it on. So please don't answer. Thanks--

(not trying to tell you what to do here--LOL!)

It's just my gut feeling--



Alan Rock Waterman said...

Regarding Connie, we have just started seeing a new neurologist who is giving us hope. Tests were run last week the like of which no earlier neurologist has bothered with, so this guy seems to be looking in areas no one heretofor has thought to bother about. She was given botox injections in her neck which have been shown to numb some nerves, and that has helped some with the mystery pain that has been going into her head.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Oh well, I just answered above, DPer, but I'll tell Connie and she'll look forward to another chat.

LDSDPer said...

Well, if she and you don't mind, I'm glad to have the answer. She mentioned the neurologist, and my mind had been on that--

this sounds very good; sometimes progress really is made!!! :)

It's all right; I just didn't want to put pressure on either of you, this being a 'public' blog--

I appreciate the information. Especially since I will not have access to a computer (or phone) for a time--

:)

Allisa Mint said...

When I saw John Mccain call for the invasion of Hong Kong in order to get Snowden, and Donald Trump calling for Snowden's execution without due process, and just because Snowden dared defend the constitution and whistleblow on the secret combinations - it was then that I realized that America is now being run by the criminally insane. Isaiah 9 speaks of nine warnings that would be given to the land of Jacob followed by 3 judgements. We received the first judgement in 2008, exactly seven years following the nine warnings that America's divine protection had been removed. The second judgement will occur seven years after the 2008 judgement and it is going to be massive. The final judgement follows seven years after that and will be the destruction of our country. Our land will be healed only if we can repent as did Ninevah otherwise it will follow the exact pattern laid down anciently resulting in Israel's destruction and enslavement.

Gary Hunt said...

Allisa Mint,

Very good comments. They remind me of some things others have said many years ago.

Speaking about President Teddy Roosevelt, Mark Twain, who met him twice, judged that he was "clearly insane,".

Mark Twain also said "It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress."

The great H. L. Menken said... "Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods. He also said... "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."

One of my favorite quotes by H. L. Menkin is this..."The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out... without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable." He came to the same conclusion you and many of us have.

By the way, where did you learn about Isaiah 9? It sounds very interesting. I've never read it that way before.

Allisa Mint said...

A messianic rabbi, Jonathan Cahn, wrote a book about Isaiah 9:10, The Harbinger, that has been on New York Best Sellers list for months. There are a ton of youtube videos elaborating the amazing book's content such as this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHSs73IAoPs&list=PL1DADB3CB66C7C007&index=7

It details how not every building was destroyed at ground zero on 9/11. There was a small chapel at exactly ground zero that was left untouched except for a warning crack in the foundation. It was to this chapel that George Washington, immediately after his presidential inauguration, walked the entire first sitting government of the United States and knelt in prayer at that chapel, dedicating this land to the glory of God and made a specific covenant with the Lord. We don't like to talk about these parts of our nation's history in our secular public schools.

When you see or read The Harbinger story, you begin to see just how exact and dense Isaiah's writings are. Although we treat Isaiah's inclusion of certain chapters into the Book of Mormon like it is merely filler material to be skipped over - in spite of the Lord's strong admonition in 3 Nephi that we pay careful attention to the writings of Isaiah.

Isaiah 9 is contained in 2 Nephi 19. Isaiah's writings are included in the BoM because it has precise relevance to us in the land of Jacob and to our day!

There is only one of the nine warnings left to be fulfilled and that is the completion of what was originally named the Freedom Tower. The name of course has now been changed to the One World Trade Center which probably better reflects it's true purpose.

The rest of Isaiah 9 (or 2 Nephi 19) goes on to detail what would happen next if we refused to repent as a nation and change our ways. The prognosis for America is horrific to say the very least. btw I like Gileadi's translation of Isaiah that he did at BYU under his mentor Hugh Nibley. It is more understandable than the KJV of Isaiah.

Mr Waterman started this thread by suggesting a day of national repentance. In light of Isaiah 9, he could not have posed a more appropriate and timely idea. So take a look at one of the videos like the one I posted above and let me know what you think.

Gary Hunt said...

Allisa Mint,

Thank you for the information. I watched the video you referenced and was amazed by the stories of the sycamore tree, the church surviving/ cracked foundation and the founding of this country etc... and how they relate to Isaiah 9:10.

There was one part where I couldn't help but laugh. It was the part where Rabbi Cahn brought up the examples of the two politicians quoting Isaiah 9:10. Sorry, but politicians ("native American criminal class") quoting scripture is very funny. They are as far removed from godliness as one can get. Who are they trying to fool? I guess people bought it.

Isaiah 9 and 2 Nephi 19, and also remainder of the Book of Mormon, are written specifically for us today. We need to read the Book of Mormon and study, ponder and pray about it! Then we can come to an understanding of what it says and actually believe it! I believe that the main problem we have today is that we don't believe the Book of Mormon.

By the way, I did find Gileadi's translation of Isaiah online and found that it does bring more clarity to this book of scripture. Now I have a lot more reading and studying to do.

I agree that this thread is both appropriate and timely. I read where One World Trade Center, which was formerly named the "Freedom Tower" (pandering to the public), will be done early in 2014, so we better get repenting. And yes, the new name does better fit its true purpose.

Again, thank you for the information. I feel like you've given me a key piece of the puzzle.

LDSDPer said...

I've appreciated reading this--

I have been wary of the Harbinger, because it seems to have a 'following', and I'm a suspicious person--LOL!

But there are those who can sift--

I read a little about it, so I couldn't be completely fair--on the site for it--

and I get the idea that it is about how America should 'save' the world or could have saved the world, but it has been the exact opposite--

or something. And I have a 'fear' that many LDS and other Christians will get the idea that social conservativism and more laws against 'evil' will somehow take care of the problem, which--

I don't agree with that. Does the man who writes the Harbinger acknowledge the existence of global secret combinations, or does he just believe that if Americans make more laws against social 'evil', things will be all right?

I used to love Elder Oaks' talks, but since he began to talk about how important it is to make more laws (against homosexual marriage, etc.--and I don't believe that government should be involved in marriage at all, which would pretty much take care of the homosexual challenge there)--

I began to feel that most members of the church believe that evil is only in social 'crimes' (such as abortion, fornication, etc.--and, yes, I am very much against abortion personally, but the laws are a mess)---

I think that being 'against' things is part of the problem; if more righteous people could be for:

purity (without trying to impose it on others)
helping those who can't take care of their babies, so they aren't tempted to destroy them--

then maybe that is the real answer--

I got the idea that the man who wrote the Harbinger started from a premise of:

if America made more strict abortion laws and set up laws against homosexuality all would be well--

whereas, heterosexual people are at least as much of the problem, in terms of divorce, remarriage, etc.--

So, maybe I haven't given the harbinger a chance, but I have been focusing on the Book of Mormon--

As for what is happening with the World Trade Center, etc.--

I have had nothing to do with any of that. I feel that the choices an individual makes are more important than worrying about how rotten the society has become--

because, frankly, I can't do anything about what is happening in Washington or New York--

or the tangle of laws that have become such a worry to so many LDS--

I can be faithful to mine and to God--and I can't do more than that--

so, let happen what will happen--

:(

Allisa Mint said...

lol, no LDSPer, I'm not passing out membership applications for the Harbinger club and newsletter. The only reason that I brought The Harbinger up was to illustrate just how impossibly precise and how densely substantive are the words of Isaiah. Every single detail of 9:10 has been fulfilled in our day and eerily verified by the heads of our government by actually quoting that previously unknown verse to describe the 9/11 situation. So as with ancient Israel, we will not even consider changing our ways either, but rather defiantly insist on rebuilding even stronger - and btw, if there is a God (and we doubt it) then just get out of the way because we don't need you mucking up the waters. And thus we see the prophetic fulfillment of 2 Nephi 19 happening right before our eyes in our day. Maybe all those Isaiah chapters stuck into the BoM actually contain more than just filler. Maybe Isaiah is in there because it is of vital importance for us to understand his words.

However, one thing is clear: for a people that prides itself on having the unspeakable gift of the holy ghost and a living prophet, Isaiah pretty much remains a sealed book to us. Take a look at Bruce's chapter summary for 2 Nephi 19. All he sees in 19 is Unto us a child is born and he will reign on David's throne. McConkie does not stand alone here because none of our brilliant LDS commentaries and BYU professor's of religion had a clue either. And the prophet seems to have been busy repeating amusing anecdotes of how he met his wife. So we hold our ineffectual meetings and smile fondly at our children goosesteppng around the primary room to the catchy tune of Follow the Prophet, and we just know all is well in zion. Maybe we should be at least asking what can be done to heal our blindness, but instead we just say Aw, the hell with it and whatever happens happens. I mean, c'mon - there's nuthin' we can do about it anyways. And we sure as heck don't need some mouthy little red haired girl chattering on about nothing and gettin' folks all riled up.

LDSDPer said...

Allisa, I understand. :)

I spent years studying Isaiah--

I've tried to do it on my own. There was a time when I couldn't put it down, and I had a very hard time understanding the lack of interest so many of my fellow LDS had--

so I think we're on the 'same page'--

I am afraid, however, that I grew weary. I got to the point where I realized I could only change myself.

Your words ring true.

Allisa Mint said...

LDSDPer, I have read several of your previous posts on this site. I consider you to be a person of wisdom, strength and compassion. I appreciate you and send you my love. I suddenly lost both my parents when I was 14. I was young but I still vividly remember my dad playing guitar and singing me an old VietNam era song: Reflections of My Life. Oh how they fill my eyes....There is so much for me to learn from people like you. Yes. We are on the same page. Thank you.

LDSDPer said...

Ah, you are welcome. How difficult to lose your parents so young!!!

I can only imagine that you don't take people for granted!!!

I'm sorry--

I mean, for the loss, not that you don't take people for granted--

Allisa Mint said...

I rode my bike from campus down to Camp Williams yesterday. The day was blazing hot and the trail along the Jordan River was just incredibly beautiful. My face was redder than my hair by the time I got to Camp Williams. On the west side of Redwood Road lay the infamous Bluffdale NSA data center! Through the construction gate, I could smell the stench of Satan's smoke and hear the clicks of his hoofs as he walked the grounds inspecting the progress of the NSA data center. haha. Actually, there wasn't a lot I could see; a lot of confusing construction and you can't get all that very close. I took some pictures but I guess I can't post them here.

Joel Skousen and a couple hundred people did a July 4th protest where I was sitting on my bike. I missed the event so I can't say how big it was. Most folks around here seem to feel that if there was anything to worry about with the NSA data center, then our Prophet and Apostles would tell us what to do. A lot of others just feel that if there might be some kind of job - any kind of decent paying job out of there then they don't care if Satan literally is building his endtimes cathedral in Bluffdale.

Then there are those that believe we are not going to hear anything from the church leadership about the NSA facility. I was told by a one-legged man selling jerky out the back of his truck parked at the side of the road. I was grateful for a chair to rest in, and for something to eat and drink. This is the story that the one-legged man told me: In 1966 the church leaders got into hot water by securing, with church properties, some big loans from Chase Manhatten Bank to buy land that later became the Florida Deseret Ranch in Orlando. When things didn't work out as quickly as hoped, the two trusted advisors that had promoted and arranged this whole transaction for the church presidency mysteriously disappeared. The church was in trouble and in real danger of losing temple square unless the loan could be serviced! The one-legged man continued: Amazingly, Robert Vincent de Oliverri, the second richest Rothschild in the world, apparently was baptized that same year and wrote a check to pay off the entire Rockefeller bank debt. However, some insiders say that there is some evidence that the generous payoff was not totally selfless and that shares of the Corporation of the Presidency were given for the timely donation.

The church building programs and huge BYU expansion and many other programs took off immediately after that and have grown into hugely successful financially projects. It is also said that one of the largest money laundering operations in the world is run within those church programs and that Harold B. Lee was given a shot of potassium chloride to simulate a heart attack when he attempted to make public the church corporation ownership to the church members by changing a corporate amendment. Is there any truth in it or is it all total nonsense? I'm sure that I don't know. All I know is I got some free buffalo jerky and an interesting tale.

Many would say that the Lord would never permit such a thing to happen. My grandma used to refuse any idea that the Lord would allow the temple ceremony to be made public. I'd say Gran, it's on the internet and I can show you. No it's not! she would insist. The Lord would destroy anyone that reveals the sacred ceremonies. But I can show you Gran. I don't need to look. It's not there! For myself, I've never thought that all the historical exposee nonsense about who supposedly did this or supposedly said that has any matter. In fact, rather than try to explain my thoughts on all that here, I think I will save it for a separate post because - to me it is the crux and whole of the matter.

LDSDPer said...

@Allisa,

Before there were Mormon blogs (long before) I found it interesting to read little tidbits of the early conference reports, and I can remember finding it interesting how often the 'bondage' to the 'eastern' bankers was mentioned by early church leaders.

It's been there all along, I suspect, but it just got deeper. I also believe that either President Woodruff went into bondage with them again or was trying to get out when he, suddenly, died. That is a mystery.

I had heard the same thing about President Lee; his death was so sudden and unexpected. Well, it happens all the time in the 'world', so why not in the church?

As for the NSA data center, I know there is no perfect place to live, but I am glad to be thousands of miles from there--

So sad to hear; all of it.

Allisa Mint said...

I was working at the Bishop's Storehouse today. I think it is a wonderful program, but something struck me as I was shelving in the huge warehouse. Everything I stocked were commercial brands, bought and trucked in. What I'm saying is that I didn't see anything that we make locally anymore. In a disaster scenario would members be any better off than non-members after the short-lived storehouse buffer was divvied out. And in a time of great shortages would we be willing to defend our storehouse from the desperate anger of a surrounding non-member community? Oh well, I thought to myself, I leave all that worry in the Lord's hands.

On the way back to campus, I rode my bike past several homeless people and several panhandlers with sad cardboard signs. I know some kids in my class that live in their cars. Only 40% of US workers have full time jobs because companies don't need to pay benefits to part-time and contract workers. 50 million households can't afford to buy food every month and thus rely on food stamps and food banks and charity. Some estimates say it is as high as 80 million people when the unregistered are included. The Fed continues to print money unbacked by new production or corresponding wealth. Entire cities the size of Stockton and Detroit are declaring bankruptcy. Existing wealth is being concentrated into 1% of the population. Manufacturing continues to be moved offshore at alarming rates. The government continues to engage in new costly foreign wars like Syria and Iran. The BRIC nation alliance is working hard to remove the US dollar as the accepted global petro dollar. I won't even start on what is being done to our national food supply especially by Monsanto via GMO and terminator seeds. Foreign corporations are buying the exclusive rights to our remaining viable fresh water sources. I don't need to go on because I think everyone already knows and in fact probably knows even more about the awfulness of our situation than I do.

Here's my point. Government no longer serves people but rather protects the interests of mega corporations. The homeless situation and people living in cars and unemployment and hunger is like a spreading wild fire.

It's time to break our dependence on government and stop believing that if we can just get our guy into the Whitehouse then all will be well. It's time to stop believing that another wrong-headed costly government program is going to fix everything. Or that more government legislation such as raising the minimum wage will be the answer. It's time that we as people in our own community start our own programs and start producing.

Here is an example of what I'm talking about. I recently joined a community group that is constructing multiple mini aquaponic and multiponic grow operations that are incredibly efficient at producing paying jobs for anyone that needs one and massive amounts of GOOD food in very small areas and use only a tenth the water and energy required by big agri soil-based mono-crops that are laden with pesticides & herbicides & chemical fertilizers and is GMO non-nutritive frankenfood garbage.

I see other projects like this happening locally in housing, energy production and healthcare. Local communities CAN break their dependence on the big centralized segments. People producing locally could render the biggies irrelevant in as little as a decade. If we don't do this then you don't want to be living here when the Robin Hood syndrome kicks into gear.

Allisa Mint said...

I just read Mr Waterman's essay on How Corporatism Has Undermined and Subverted The Church of Jesus Christ. The essay brought tears to my eyes and left me feeling sick. However, it does not surprise me. Big money attracts big rats. It always has. We like to believe that our modern church has been kept immune even though it is clear that the ancient churches were not.

Christ said that he would build his church upon the Rock of his gospel. Christ repeatedly defined exactly what that Rock is. Now let me be as clear as I can possibly be as to what the Rock is because this is absolutely critical. The gospel is just ONE thing. The gospel is the gift of the holy ghost. It bears repeating:

The fulness of the gospel of Jesus Chris is the gift of the holy ghost.
The fulness of the gospel of Jesus Chris is the gift of the holy ghost.
The fulness of the gospel of Jesus Chris is the gift of the holy ghost.
The fulness of the gospel of Jesus Chris is the gift of the holy ghost.
The fulness of the gospel of Jesus Chris is the gift of the holy ghost.
The fulness of the gospel of Jesus Chris is the gift of the holy ghost.

The Lord explains in 84:54-59 why everything is turning to sheet. It is because we have treated the gospel lightly rather than as the most important and powerful gift given to mortals.

Now here's my point and the whole of the matter regarding the awfulness of our situation: Christ declared that the church was to be built upon the Rock of [the gift of the holy ghost] which provides us a consistent (not hit or miss), on-demand (like opening your eyes for sight), full volume (not a wispy intuition) access to ALL truth. With this gift activated, we would do the works that Christ did and even greater! That is the test that is given you to know if you have your gift truly activated or you are using a pretend version of the gift.

Here is what must be clarified and underlined: the church is built upon the Rock of the gospel. It is not the other way around!!!! Somehow we have allowed that simple truth to be perv'd into the gospel being built upon the Rock of the Church.
IT IS NOT TRUE!
IT IS NOT TRUE!
IT IS NOT TRUE!

What happens when the gospel (ie. the gift of the holy ghost) is erroneously accepted to be built upon the church? First of all the gifts of the spirit begin disappearing. Then you have officials come 'round claiming the authority to cancel your celestial passport if you are not aligned to the church policy manual because they are employed as the kingdom's gatekeepers. Before you know it there is a turnkey tyranny NSA data center being built in your backyard and you are being told to pay it no attention because all is well in zion!

I am sure that this all sounds off-the-chart apostate to many that will read this. So how do we know for sure if what I have postulated is evil and apostate? How can we know the truth and not be deceived? There has only been one answer EVER given to those questions. The answer is the activation of a portal within each of us. This amazing portal is within each and every one of us. It has always been there just like our heart or spleen or liver. It just needs to be activated. The activation is the gift that the holy ghost gives. The activation is the gift of the holy ghost.

Gary Hunt said...

Allisa Mint,

Well said.

Allisa Mint said...

Thank you Gary and I love you for being so nice. I'm huffing and puffing and ranting because it is just so clear that something is indeed wrong in zion. I have a knot in my gut and a pain in my head over it. Half our membership is inactive from boredom. The gifts of the spirit seem to be manifested less and less. It's like Mr Waterman said to me once about the church seemed to be running on fumes. I just feel like such a silly, helpless girl and I don't really know what to do about any of it.

Gary Hunt said...

Allisa Mint,

Thank you for your kind words. I would have responded sooner but I have been out of town this last week.

I believe it's okay to do "huffing and puffing and ranting" because it is an outward sign of the emotion and passion which helps motivate all of us to action. Sometimes people will huff and puff about silly or illogical things. You do not. You are a very good writer who's ideas demonstate your intelligence, understanding, and passion. In other words you ain't no "silly, helpless girl".

I think that many of us have felt (and feel) the same feelings and frustrations you describe. The trick is to not let it get us down and/or hurt our health. When I start getting those feelings I like to take a walk and think (work) things out in my mind by putting them into proper perspective. Another technique I like to use is to sit down somewhere quiet, close my eyes and take in a deep breath and imagine the energy going into different parts of my body and returning to my lungs. Then I slowly exhale. "In with the good air, out with the bad air". It really works for me.

Finally, here's the original (until last week I didn't know there was an original), unwatered down version of Reinhold Niebuhr's "Serenity Prayer"...

"God, give me grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, Courage to change the things which should be changed, and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other. Living one day at a time, Enjoying one moment at a time, Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, Taking, as Jesus did, This sinful world as it is, Not as I would have it, Trusting that You will make all things right, If I surrender to Your will, So that I may be reasonably happy in this life, And supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen."

BTW I really love your line..."Big money attracts big rats."... and your perspective on the "rock" (Holy Ghost)we are supposed to build upon. Growing up I learned it as the "rock of revelation", which could be taken as revelation through the church leaders or revelation through the Holy Ghost. The emphasis was usually put on the former and not the later.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Now see? If I had the gift of writing half as well as Alissa Mint just did above, THAT would have been what my original post looked like!

Well done, Alissa. You encapsulated all the truth I've been trying to get across.

James Brian Marshall said...

War is the art of being a victim, or a victor. War is how we justify ourselves in doing wrong to our brother.

Most assuredly if the Kingdom is "within" ourselves, then the war is within ourselves also. When we war against our brother, we war against ourselves. We war against our brother, because internally, we are at war against ourselves, and we don't want to admit our weakness and inability to deal with our own reality.

War is the art if internal in-congruence, and how we justify existing unrepentant in our own sin before God. Blaming someone else for why "I cannot change". War is finger pointing.

War also is Basket Ball, Finnway Park, NFL Gladiators, and friendly Lions Club pool competitions. War is becoming a team of people so that later, we can polish our fingernails after we ground some poor schmucks in the dirt for 60 minutes better than they did to us.

War something else altogether. War is also not nourishing our bodies, our souls our wives, our children both spiritually and temporally as they should be. A church cannot be 1 as a people, until the people each personally decide to become congruent within themselves. Only single, whole, congruent, healthy people can inherit the Kingdom.

Perhaps if you think I wax preachy and hypocritical, let me stop you short... I was and still to some degree, still am guilty of all the above. I was one of the best at war. But it nearly destroyed me.

It's been 12 hard years of repenting.

Gary Hunt said...

Here is a great article by Butler Shaffer over at lewrockwell.com.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/2013/11/butler-shaffer/the-commies-are-coming-the-commies-are-coming/

Colt H. said...

I really enjoyed this post Rock. Back in 2004 after returning home from my mission I was set apart as one of the gospel doctrine teachers. I remember specifically teaching this section of the Book of Mormon. I remember vividly my dad warning me not to bring up anything inflammatory concerning the Iraq War.

I was a bit nervous but after studying and praying I knew what I would have to teach. Thankfully for prayer and asking for there to be a spirit of understanding and learning I stuck with the scriptures and teachings of the prophets and used other source material not suggested by the Sunday school guide.

My class was one that the Bishop of the ward attended. Before long it was the class making comments about the errors of our pre-emotive strikes and wars of aggression. Even the Bishop was offering similar comments. Even when I posed the question if the current war was justified there wasn't one person in the class that attempted to defend it.

Take into account that this wasn't a ward in a liberal leaning area, but one in the reddest of red areas of rural Southeast Idaho.

There definitely remains times that I'm pleasantly surprised by members.

MrHFMetz said...

There are no easy answers here. If the Americans would not have intervened, together with the Canadians, during World War II, we would now all speak German. They even thought it more important to liberate Europe first than to conquer Japan, their real enemy.
May God bless all those foreign boys who lost their precious lives on our shores.