Friday, May 26, 2017

Rejected Gospel

Previously: Why Our Scriptures Need An Overhaul

On this Memorial Day weekend, I'm re-posting a piece I wrote three years ago which I feel appropriate to the occasion. Memorial Day is a time to remember not only America's needless dead, but also the kind of pride and arrogance that has led both our nation and our church to suffer repeated tragedies.  

Vengeance And The Latter-Day Saint
Originally posted Memorial Day 2014

One of the strangest occurrences that took place after the sudden death of Joseph Smith in June, 1844 was that almost immediately his followers rejected the things he taught them about not holding a grudge.

The first reaction of the Saints to the news that Joseph and Hyrum had been murdered was disbelief.  Joseph and Hyrum dead? It was inconceivable! But as the truth of the deed was confirmed, disbelief gave way to overwhelming grief. The grieving period was short-lived, however, turning quickly to anger and demands for retribution against the killers.

Which is understandable; who wouldn't want justice? But when only five members of the mob were brought up on charges, and all of them acquitted (no surprise) by a jury of non-Mormons, the Saints began calling upon God to exact His own swift vengeance. William Clayton's prayer for retribution was typical of many, which he recorded the day after the murders took place:
"And now O God wilt thou not come out of thy hiding place and avenge the blood of thy servants.—that blood which thou hast so long watched over with a fatherly care—that blood so noble—so generous—so dignified, so heavenly you O Lord will thou not avenge it speedily and bring down vengeance upon the murderers of thy servants that they may be rid from off the earth and that the earth may be cleansed from these scenes, even so O Lord thy will be done. We look to thee for justice. Hear thy people O God of Jacob even so Amen."
Again, an understandable response, if not exactly Christlike. There is a difference between seeking justice and seeking revenge, but this is the early church so let's cut these folks some slack. I probably would have reacted just like Clayton, hoping God would smite those smirking killers who snuffed out the lives of Joseph and Hyrum. A perfectly understandable reaction.

Except right after the jury voted not guilty and the killers got away scot-free, Clayton demanded God enlarge the scope of his wrath to include the entire population of the state of Illinois just to get even with that jury:
“Thus the whole State of Illinois have made themselves guilty of shedding the blood of the prophets by acquitting those who committed the horrid deed, and it is now left to God and his saints to take vengeance in his own way, and in his own time.”
Seems a little harsh. And a bit lacking in reason and logic. I'm sure there were lots of people living in Illinois who had never heard of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, let alone wished them any harm. Why hold them all accountable for the verdict of one twelve-man jury in one corner of the state?

Curse Of The Gentile Nation
I've recently become friends with William Shepard after discovering his writings on Mormon history[1]so I'm currently reading a piece of his published in a back issue of The Journal of Mormon history entitled "The Concept Of A 'Rejected Gospel' in Mormon History." Shepard provides several examples of the Saints' intense desire for bloody retribution, and I was struck by how many of these early Saints were so blinded by grief and anger and a gnawing demand for "satisfaction" that they didn't care if every man, woman, and child in America was wiped out in the process. In fact, that's what they were hoping for. They soon laid the blame for the prophet's murders on the entire nation, and hoped to see America utterly destroyed for reasons that made little sense. As Shepard reports,
"For most of the nineteenth century, Brigham Young and the Twelve saw in the murders of Joseph and Hyrum Smith the final proof that the Gentile nation of the United States had reached the fullness of iniquity, had rejected the gospel, and would soon be cut off from salvation..." -Journal of Mormon History Volume 34, No.8 (2008)  (Subsequent quotes are from that article.)
[1].  William Shepard is co-author (with Michael Marquardt) of Lost Apostles, the latest must-have book on Mormon History that you likely won't find at Deseret Book. Find out why by reading this free excerpt.

William Hyde, who was on a mission in Vermont when he heard of the murders, predicted in his journal  “For that blood the nation will be obliged to atone.”

And this from Wilford Woodruff's Journal:
“I asked my heavenly father in the name of Jesus Christ and by virtue of the Holy Priesthood and the Keys of the kingdom of God that he would speedily avenge the blood of Joseph the Prophet Seer and Revelator, and Hiram the Patriarch, which had been shed by the hands of the American gentile nation, upon all the heads of the Nation and State that have aided, abetted or perpetrated the horrid deed, of shedding the blood of those righteous men even the Lords anointed.”
This call for the destruction of America looks to put a crimp in the church's missionary efforts, but they didn't care. The Mormons figured the rest of America had had their chance, and by gum they were dusting their feet and done.

Most Mormons weren't patient enough to wait for God to get around to exacting punishment, but vowed instead to take matters into their own hands. After viewing the bodies of Joseph and Hyrum, Allen Stout took a personal vow of revenge:
"I there and then resolved in my mind that I would never let an opportunity slip unimproved of avenging their blood upon the head of the enemies of the church of Jesus Christ. I felt as though I could not live. I knew not how to contain myself, and when I see one of the men who persuaded them to give up to be tried, I feel like cutting their throats. And I hope to live to avenge their blood; but if I do not I will teach my children to never cease to try to avenge their blood and then their children and children's children to the fourth generation as long as there is one descendant of the murderers upon the earth."
Pretty heavy, right? The surprising thing is, Stout's keening oath was pretty typical of the time.

Mosiah Hancock tells how, at ten years old, his father Levi had him place his right hand on the cold bosoms of Joseph and Hyrum in turn, and raising his left hand to the square the kid then swore a similar oath to that of Stout's, "which vow I took with a determination to fulfill to the very letter."

If merely getting even with the killer's descendants was enough for some, others like apostle Orson Hyde were barely able to contain their enthusiasm for bringing on the destruction of their home country:
“Carthage Jail presents a scene of blood, and that blood has not been avenged; and when the time can come, and when it can be ordered in wisdom in the heavenly council, the scourge shall come.  And when you see these things come to pass, then rejoice and be exceeding glad.”
Hyde's fellow apostle, Orson Pratt, who referred to the enemy Americans as as "bloodthirsty Christians," was downright giddy in anticipation of the coming apocalypse:
 “It is with the greatest of joy that I forsake this Republic, and all the saints have abundant reasons to rejoice that they are counted worthy to be cast out as exiles from this wicked nation; for we have received nothing but one continual scene of the most horrid and unrelenting persecutions at their hands for the last sixteen years.”
If it seems a bit impatient for the Saints to give up on America after only sixteen years of proselyting, it's worth noting that apostle Parley Pratt had predicted the second coming would occur by 1845. So America's time was clearly up anyway.

Wilford Woodruff viewed the Saint's abandoning the United States as necessary so that “the judgments of God might be poured out on that guilty nation that is already drunk with the blood of the Saints."

The editor of the church newspaper wrote:
“And they [the Mormons] will go forth shaking off the dust of their feet upon her [United States], and leaving their curse upon the doomed and fated people and rulers of the United States.”
And let's not forget the Oath of Vengeance inserted into the temple endowment by Brigham Young:
"You and each of you do covenant and promise that you will pray and never cease to pray to Almighty God to avenge the blood of the prophets upon this nation, and that you will teach the same to your children and to your children's children unto the third and fourth generation."[2]
I've never been quite certain what it means to "defile the temple," but the introduction of something as distasteful as this into a sacred holy ritual would top my list. It would be hard to come up with anything more in opposition to the gospel of peace than to implore God to murder your enemies for you, and do so in the very place Jesus Christ purportedly calls home.

Happily, Almighty God chose not to act on those vindictive supplications, but we shouldn't take that to mean those who offered those imprecations weren't ready to do their part if the opportunity arose. Apostle Abraham Cannon tells how, when Hyrum's son Joseph F. Smith returned to Carthage at age 21, he encountered a man who said he had arrived five minutes too late to see the Smiths killed. Young Joseph F. came this close to knifing the poor guy before learning the man had disapproved of the killings. (Kenney, "Before the Beard: Trials of the Young Joseph F. Smith," Sunstone, November 2001.)
[2].  The Oath of Vengeance was removed from the endowment ritual in 1927, thank goodness. Yet there are some Fundamentalists who take its removal as another evidence that the everlasting ordinances of the temple have been changed. Just proves you can't please everybody.

Anyway, you get the idea. A handful of men committed a horrendous crime, and the victim's friends couldn't wait to make an entire nation of innocents suffer for it. I couldn't help thinking there was something familiar about all this. Then I noticed the calendar showing Memorial day approaching, which brought back memories of vindictive conversations that took place in my ward priesthood quorum in the weeks following the attacks of September 11th, 2001.

Discussions of what should be done to the perpetrators often crowded out the scheduled lesson, with some in the class expressing hope that the U.S military would immediately retaliate. The military did retaliate, of course, and there was no shortage of young latter-day Saints rushing to join the fight.

But fight who? Even if you buy into the conventional narrative (which I don't) that the perpetrators of 9/11 consisted of 19 Arab hijackers armed with boxcutters, the perpetrators of that crime were now all dead by suicide. Justice served, wouldn't you think?

Nope. Those deaths weren't enough to satisfy the bloodlust of most Americans, least of all many of my Mormon brethren. I heard proposals from my fellow Saints wishing our government would just nuke the entire middle east and get it over with.  Our nation had been breached by unknown assassins, and they refused to be consoled.

Millions did pay, of course, including many of the young soldiers who so enthusiastically participated in our national revenge-fest. A dozen Memorial Days have come and gone since the first cries of vengeance were heard, and today, thankfully, the voices are more subdued.  Americans have died in these wars of vengeance. Mormons have died.

And to what end?

The tired bromide that "they fought to protect our freedoms" doesn't quite wash anymore. Look around: while our idealistic young warriors were occupied fighting phantoms overseas, our freedoms have been seriously eroded here at home. And in the cruelest twist of all, the very politicians most vigorously engaged in eroding those freedoms have officially declared returning veterans to be America's newest enemy.

And why not? There is nothing more dangerous to tyrants than a soldier who has awakened to the reality that he has been duped. A former soldier who is fully awake is a threat to the establishment, no matter which party is currently in power.

Is it any wonder the very government agency charged with caring for our returning wounded is dragging its feet and letting soldiers die while awaiting treatment? On The Daily Show of May 19th, Jon Stewart expressed bewilderment:
 "Somehow we as a country were able to ship 300,000 troops halfway across the world in just a few months to fight a war that cost us two trillion dollars -an amount that didn't count towards our deficit because we paid for it somehow under the table. Yet for some reason it takes longer than that to get someone hurt in that war needed medical care or reimbursement, all while we profess undying love for their service."
And John Whitehead recently noted:
"The plight of veterans today is deplorable, with large numbers of them impoverished, unemployed, traumatized mentally and physically, struggling with depression, thoughts of suicide, marital stress, homeless (a third of all homeless Americans are veterans), subjected to sub-par treatment at clinics and hospitals, and left to molder while their paperwork piles up within Veterans Administration offices."
We erect monuments to those who die while serving in the military, but those lucky enough to have made it back are learning a harsh lesson:  Their own government really doesn't want them here. You bought the lie. You served your purpose. Now please just go away.

With every Memorial Day that's passed since 9/11, a growing number of Americans -Mormons included- are waking up to the reality that they have been played. Their emotions were manipulated in order to get them to support two wars that have resulted in...what, exactly? Certainly not more freedom or safety.  Americans are less free and less safe than ever before, and the dangers we face today don't happen to have originated with some hapless "enemy" living in Iraq or Afghanistan.

As for the brave Mormon soldier, why did his Church leaders not issue a voice of warning against the secret combinations who were conspiring to undermine the country in his absence? Silly question. Because they were in collusion, that's why.

You think that accusation is a bit harsh? Then I invite you to watch a video that was produced by the corporate Church and distributed on DVD to LDS servicemen and their families to coincide with the start of the war with Iraq. With the passage of time, the reassurances contained in this film ring more and more hollow.

"What Is My Standing Before God?"
That was a question posed to Elder Robert Oaks of the Presidency of the Seventy by a young combat soldier struggling to reconcile his religious teachings with the obligation the government had put on him to engage in random shootings. This video, which used to be available on the official LDS website but has since been removed, can still be seen here on Youtube. It was intended to assuage the concerns of this young man and others like him. Entitled "Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled," it's a blatant propaganda piece that contradicts every legitimate LDS doctrine regarding war ever revealed.

And that's the problem. The film completely avoids addressing doctrinal questions such as where and when it is permissible in the eyes of God for his people to go into battle.  The only place I heard the word of God quoted at all was in the title. "Let not your hearts be troubled" was a comforting reassurance Jesus gave to his apostles at the last supper before he left them on his way to being crucified. It had nothing to do with palliating the concerns of worried young men headed into battle.

The purpose of this DVD is clearly intended to reassure the Mormon soldier that he need not worry about the consequences of his actions. Let not your heart be troubled, the narrators tell him. Don't worry about it if you end up inadvertently killing innocents. You'll be doing God's work.

From start to finish, this presentation is a disgrace to our religion.

The video is introduced by Boyd K. Packer, who assures the young LDS soldier that he will receive blessings for serving his country in this difficult time, and suggests that his efforts as a hired killer may even result in missionary opportunities. See son, you're not a mere soldier, you're an instrument of God in helping His kingdom roll forth! Sure, you may one day be forced to kill innocent Iraqi families, but look on the bright side: you're preparing for the day when our missionaries will come in and give the discussions to their surviving relatives.

Call me a cynic, but I don't think it works the way Packer expects it to. You can't convert people to the gospel of peace after violently decimating their homeland.

The DVD includes an excerpt from President Hinckley's conference talk given in April 2003, a talk that has given Hinckley a degree of posthumous fame as the most equivocating prophet ever in the history of the Church.  It was full of useless platitudes, and devoid of any useful doctrine. That talk couldn't have been more insidiously brilliant if it had been written by Lucifer himself. Don't believe me? Go read it for yourself.

The video shows us a short clip of apostle Robert D. Hales speaking before a roomful of young recruits and assuring them "You are the defenders of the constitution."

Oh really? Defenders of the constitution?  I wish you'd walk me through exactly how that works, Bob, seeing as the government that recruited these kids violated article one, section eight of the constitution by failing to obtain authorization from the people through their congress to wage this very war in the first place.

We used to have actual theologians as members of the Twelve, not just former executives who happened to distinguish themselves in the corporate world. I wonder what Robert Hales would think if he ever got around to reading D&C 98:7 where the Lord declares that, pertaining to the laws of man, whatsoever is more or less than the constitution comes of evil?  Non-members can believe what they want, but we Mormons can't have it both ways. According to the revealed word of God, either a war is constitutional, or it's evil. You can't send Mormon kids to fight an unconstitutional war and tell them they're defending the constitution.

Where's The Theology?
My guess is that anyone watching this video on their way to the front is hoping to understand how God feels about the adventure they are about to embark on. Anyone raised properly in the church is bound to have some reservations about being required to kill strangers. Presumably this DVD the Church has provided will answer their troubling questions.

They presume in vain.

Incredibly, the word of God is never used to bolster the feel-good message of this film. The viewer is introduced to Lance Wickman and Robert Oaks, two general authorities who were once career military men, and they offer their wartime stories about how life in uniform can be both difficult and rewarding.  Instead of delivering a message the LDS soldier can use, apparently it was thought the departing soldier could better identify with GAs who once had military careers. Too bad neither of these guys seems to know anything about LDS doctrine as it pertains to the issue at hand.

The message of the movie can be distilled in one sentence: War is dirty, nasty work, but it's unavoidable and necessary, so thank goodness we have righteous young priesthood holders like you to handle that dirty, nasty work that is for some reason unavoidable.  Oh, and by the way, thank you for your service.

Although the word of God is never quoted in this video, the twisting of scripture is apparent in several places. At one point Elder Wickman looks into the camera and says,
"Many have asked why so much of the Book of Mormon dwells upon battles and warfare. The answer, I believe, is that Mormon and Moroni understood exquisitely that we would also be forced to contend with war and bloodshed as we strive to live according to the teachings and examples of the master in these last days."
Holy cow. Face palm, anyone?

I'm usually considered the dumbest guy in the room, but even I can see that Oaks got the message of the Book of Mormon wars completely inside out.  What Mormon and Moroni understood exquisitely was that the record they wrote would one day be in our hands and they wanted to make super-duper certain that we did not make the same stupid mistakes their people did.  Mormon compiled the record and included all those chapters about war so that we gentiles could understand two essential teachings:
1.  God's people have a right and a duty to defend their homes, their families, and their lands from invasion. We are justified in repelling those who invade our homes and lands, even to the taking of life, if necessary.
2.  God's people are never, ever, EVER justified in taking the battle into the enemy's lands. When we do that, the enemy is justified in repelling us for invading their homes, lands, and families, even to the taking of our lives.
 There you go, Wickman and Oaks. I just saved you both a lot of reading.

In Boyd Packer's segment of the video, behind him on the wall we see the famous Arnold Friberg paintings of Book of Mormon war heroes Helaman and Captain Moroni. Packer even quotes a scripture from Alma showing that war is sometimes justified to defend our lands and families. But what he fails to remind the viewer is that these men are heroes because they repelled invasions, not because they led invasions. They did not fight because they chose to, but because they had no choice. Their lands were being overun, so they stood in defense of home and country. And this is the key element: they stood their ground and defended from inside the borders of their own country, not in someone else's.

We honor Captain Moroni as a great patriot not only because he stood up to the foreign enemy, but also because he challenged the corrupt manipulators behind the politicians at home. Tyrants quake at the thought of an army of awakened Moronis returning home.

If Lance Wickman wants to understand why Mormon and Moroni included all that stuff about war, he should have consulted Mormon himself, who tells us explicitly why he stopped participating in the wars with his Nephite Brethren:
"It came to pass that I utterly refused to go up against mine enemies; and I did even as the Lord commanded me; and I did stand as an idle witness to manifest unto the world the things which I saw and heard, according to the manifestations of the spirit which had testified of things to come." (Mormon 3:16)
Did you catch that, Wickman? Mormon didn't include those war chapters because he understood we would be forced to contend with war and bloodshed. He did it to warn us to beware of our own hubris that could easily lead us into unnecessary and destructive wars. He included those warnings in hopes we would be able to tell the difference between being forced to go to war and choosing to go to war. His entire personal saga is a warning to us to carefully differentiate between repelling an invader and being an invader.

Here's what got Mormon to throw down his sword in disgust and quit his own army:  A large force of Lamanite warriors had crossed over into Nephite territory and, mirabile dictu, the Nephites won the battle! They managed to drive the superior force of Lamanites all the way back across their borders and back where they had come from.

This unexpected victory drove the Nephite soldiers out of their heads with exhilaration. They had actually beaten back the mighty Lamanites!  They started cracking open beers and chanting whatever the Nephite equivalent is to "U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A!!  (It's all there in Mormon chapter 3, I swear.)

Next thing you know, the Nephite soldiers, full of piss and vinegar after that decisive victory, got it in their heads that they should put their armor back on and cross the border deep into the Lamanite's homeland so they could finish this thing with the Lamanites once and for all. Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out.

That's why Mormon quit, because he knew God does not protect the soldier who is the aggressor, and he refused to have any part in such goings on. That, Lance Wickman, is the lesson we are meant to take from the war chapters of the Book of Mormon.  Here is how the Lord himself revealed that doctrine in the latter days:
"This is the law that I gave unto mine ancients, that they should not go out unto battle against any nation, kindred, tongue, or people, save I, the Lord, commanded them." (D&C 98:33)
The Lord goes on to instruct us that this law still holds for us today except that today we have to be extra careful not to take offense. That's the Lord's doctrine on war in a nutshell, and it sure seems plain enough to me.

So what I would ask Boyd Packer, Robert Hales, Robert Oaks, Lance Wickman, Gordon Hinckley, and every other person involved in the making of that little feel-good pro-war disgrace of a video monstrosity is this: Why didn't you include God's word as a counterweight to your own useless, hollow opinions? Why did you leave out the only counsel that would have really mattered to the doomed young man in my former ward who gave his life for nothing, instead of blathering into the camera about how "the military is a noble profession" and "You are mighty men of valor"?

Maybe if you had been honest in your counsel and presented God's will in all this, there might be one less pair of grieving parents in the graveyard this Memorial day; one less young Mormon widow; one or two less fatherless children. You men had the opportunity to tell the truth to those in your charge, and you failed. You made false promises about military service bringing blessings when you know it brings nothing but death, sorrow, and destruction.

How many additional LDS families will forgo the joyous picnic reunion this Memorial day and instead hang their heads with grief over yet another unnecessary loss of a young son or daughter?

Mea Culpa
I am sometimes accused of being less than deferential to LDS Church authorities."It's wrong to criticize leaders of the Church," Apostle Dallin Oaks smugly asserts in this video, "even if the criticism is true."

Oh Yeah, Dallin? Well, I'll tell you what: You just go ahead and show me where the Lord himself has ever made that statement, and I'll give you a dollar. Otherwise it's not doctrinal, so wipe that smirk off your face, stop making up your own rules, and try preaching the gospel of Christ for a change.

Young, idealistic young Mormon men and women are DEAD because they were taught not to question or criticize Church leaders. Other young latter-day Saints are maimed, divorced, depressed, homeless, and suicidal, much of their troubles traceable to the belief that whenever a general authority opens his mouth, even if it's two-bit lower rung GAs like Robert Oaks and Lance Wickman, their very utterances represent the word of God, the mind of God, and the will of God.

These palpably false teachings are causing real harm to actual, living, breathing members of our congregations. And they need to stop being promulgated right now.

What we could use from you in the next conference session, Elder Oaks, is a talk reminding the members that the leaders are as human and fallible as the rest of us, and that most importantly, a prophet is only a prophet when he is speaking the words God has put into his mouth, and that ANY OTHER TIME, he is presenting his own thoughts and opinions.

Joseph Smith would not have allowed the members in his day to slather adoration on him, yet you guys lap it up. Joseph had the integrity to rebuke the Saints when he found they were depending upon him and not Christ. He told them that following the prophet was causing them to be darkened in their minds.  Do your duty and teach the Saints that whenever a Church leader teaches contrary to the established word of God, that leader should be shunned and ignored, not slavishly followed like some dark-suited demigod.

Okay, I'm not sure where I was going with this blog entry, but it has clearly gotten away from me. I'm going to stop now and go cool down.

When properly observed, Memorial Day is a time for solemn introspection rather than playful celebration. I wish you all a happy Memorial day just the same.

Love and Light,

Related Post:
"Why Do We Keep Celebrating Our Disobedience?"


Unknown said...

You use the word "innocent" a lot, my friend, where it simply does not apply. Thus, you exaggerate the issue in favor of your thesis. Pure Mormonism requires we learn the lessons of the Book of Mormon.

Inspire said...

If there are to be lessons learned, let us follow the bread crumbs all the way back to their origination. In regards to the Book of Mormon, the template for conflict resolution was established by Father Nephi himself when he stole the mighty sword of Laban, took it over seas and then Xeroxed it to give his people an advantage over the "loathsome" Lamanites (who, by the way, were cursed according to the racist Nephites distaste for dark skin). Imagine Mormon's disappointment when he realized that his hero's (Captain Moroni's) mantra, even if it was noble, ultimately failed.

And with the early LDS Church, there were plenty of provocations like the Salt Sermon and the destruction of the Expositor which fueled the rage of the mobs and politicians, ending in Joseph's death and the church's exile.

Don't we have enough evidence now to see that the only thing which "never faileth" is the doctrine of Christ, which says we should bless our enemies, give to those who ask, and above all, to do away with contention? For those who have been abused by the church leaders and kicked out, have they not self-identified as the ones who should now serve and succor their "adversaries?"

Rock, we all talk a good talk when it comes to the doctrine of Christ, but I don't see that things will ever be any different for us if we don't learn the lessons from the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith's life and death, and actually follow the "commandments" Jesus gave to us in Bountiful and elsewhere.

Unknown said...

We will never have any power to stop these types of abuses if we do not see how we ourselves are perpetuating them in our personal lives. Americans are blind to the truth on these matters because they perpetuate the same mentalities in their own homes, and so when a voice of authority outside the home tells them the same things, they naturally resonate with them and believe it. It is all too familiar to them.

When you are offended by a family member, what do you do? Unfortunately, the common response in our country is similar to the national response. We attack the offender, usually verbally, seeking to reform them, rather than turning our attention to the person who we have the ability to change, our own self. Symbolically speaking, we are going out to war against our own family members rather than merely defending our own borders.

Defending our own borders personally means enforcing personal boundaries but does not include trying to change other people. Most of us don't understand the difference because we've been taught from birth that attacking others is personal defense. That is why young adults buy the line that we can go out and attack other countries and believe we are merely defending ourselves. They never learned at home to distinguish the difference and so they are blind to it on a national level as well.

For a country so blind to true principles, the Lord gave us the law of justification in D&C 98. We are to suffer offenses patiently at least 3 times. After the third time, we may return to our enemies the same behavior they have shown us, or we may choose to continue suffering patiently. Incidentally, suffering patiently does not mean allowing your enemy to kill you. You can still defend yourself but you also need to forgive and defend yourself.

You can't dictate the behavior of the whole nation, but you can practice this in your own homes with your family members and learn the lessons you need to in order to understand the balance between self defense and attack. It will only be after people begin to be more charitable in their own homes that we will see a difference on the national level. Unfortunately, it is possible to recognize and criticize your nation for the very actions you are guilty of in your own home. Regardless of the behavior of the nation, I would urge anyone who is concerned by this disturbing problem to analyze their private behavior and do everything in their power to eradicate it from themselves so that they will then have the power to address it on a larger scale.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Anthony, I'm afraid I'm not seeing your point. Would you care to elaborate? You say I use the word "innocents" a lot where it does not apply. I think it does. Surely the members of the mob at carthage were not innocent, but the rest of the population of Illinois can't shoulder the blame for those murders.

Likewise, those responsible for the carnage of 9/11 are not innocent, but it did not make sense for our military to invade a country full of people who had nothing to do with the sordid events of that day. What I attempted to illustrate is that often in times of collective grief, we tend to want to find someone to lash out at, regardless of whether the target of our wrath is guilty of the crime or not. Justice is not served by random acts of retribution.

So what am I missing in my analysis that would lead you to suggest I'm misapplying the word "innocents"? I'm unclear as to your point.

Advoc8 Tom M said...

Very thought provoking. How much do the faithful LDS follow the Book of Mormon vs following contrary teachings and commandments of men, in the name of God? D&C 46:7

You almost said it, but I'll say it for you. 9-11 WAS an inside job. The military industrial complex must thrive, feed itself on... "We the Sheeple." Yes, EWE too. The same goes for the Food and Drug Industrial Complex. The two intermarry to force fake "medicine" onto the people and onto the militry inparticular, esp in the form of vaccines (ie: Gulf War syndrome" mostly serious damage from vaccines).

How can the Lord's Anointed or faithful followers of Christ's and Moroni's admonitions to question and veryify all truths (all truths are of Christ), just happen to Not-See that the drug companies' prescriptions have all those horid side effects, including permanent dissability and death? Yet how can we Not-See their vaccines (having speciall immunity from liability - NO accountability, a free pass - really of Christ?) and having many much more toxic ingredients, "could not possibly have the same and much greater risks?"

Awake much? Ether 8:24 D&C 89:4? It's not just about 4-Don'ts anymore (and never was), but about growing thousands of Don'ts, replacing the Do's - fake foods and medicines, yes, vaccines too. Al 5 prophets of the 1800's refused intense pressures from other leaders and saints, for 70 years, to force the Word of Wisdom as a 4-Don'ts "commandment," violating verse 2. In fact those prophets said that making the WoW into a comandment would become a stumbling block to the saints. Oh, and has it ever, as prophecied... So, are those 5 prophets now invladid, blasphemers, non-belivers in the new "higher laws," and the newer propehts and leaders are the true prophets?

How did they get God to change His mind and say, "Ah, never mind the Gadiantons I warned you of in the last days counterfieting everything (verse 4). The new 4-don'ts will do, and are what's really important, and forced, as a test."? A test, yes, to see if EWE are dumb enough to follow contradictory blather and idolatry, or Him, who never changes or vaires in His love and care for us, and not by Satanic means of force, guiting, shaming, punnishing, bullying or compulsion ("...not by commandment or constraint" - verse 2).

Ewe were warned and forewarned - D&C 89:4 - to look to God's thousands of wholesome herbs and foods for health and healing (and Wisdom)? So, why does the only True Church for some odd reason promote refined foods, additives, prescriptions and ship vaccines overseas and tells members they are bad parents if they don't vax their kids...? Saint'n speaking there? Forcing the lies of toxic evil in the name of goodness?

OK, just look at one tiny corner of this undeniably growing contradiction - the Bishop's Storehouse foods. See all the refined ingredients and chemicals in many, esp in that fruit drink mix? And the ingredients of their canned fruit? "By their fruits you will know them?" How about by their vaccines Ewe will know them? By their comandments EWE will know them? But we are obedient and thus Ewe must refuse to have eyes to hear and ears to see the True Gadiantons, the True Zoramites, the True Kingdom of King Noah; all lessons and likenesses given for our day?

James Q. Muir said...

Brigham's famous quote regarding the Civil War seemed aimed at vengeance for the Smith assassinations.


"By his own account, Brigham “earnestly prayed for the success of both North & South,” hoping that “both parties might be used up.”[99]

Aqua Fortis said...

Don't we always do this sort of thing tho? For example, I know this guy who was excommunicated from the LDS Church. Not that this is anything new, they've excommunicated lots of people, and many of them wrongly. Anyway, after his excommunication he condemned the entire worldwide church for it. Said they were all guilty for his wrongful excommunication (as evidenced, he said, by the Lord revoking thier priesthood).

When I first heard this do you know what my first thoughts were?

Seems a little harsh. And a bit lacking in reason and logic. I'm sure there were lots of people in the church who had never heard of him, let alone wished him excommunicated. Why hold them all accountable for the verdict of one twelve man jury in one corner of the state?

David said...

It seems a bit ironic that the Church Leaders, who were colluding with the mob to kill Joseph and Hyrum Smith, were so adamant about seeking revenge against those who killed them; is seems like a diversion scam, not unlike what I see in modern day TV shows and movies; a distraction to pull any possible attention from themselves.

I find it interesting too, that the Gentle LDS members have been so taken by pride that they seek revenge, but then I guess, not having the Holy Ghost, they were not tempered, and they did not like their light being taken. If they had followed Joseph and come close to Christ, they would of not acted contrary to a Christ like behavior; interesting, so blinded they do not see they are worse then the the non members; became they rejected the LIGHT, Christ offered them

Matthias said...

Interesting post Rock. Definitely gives one food for thought. You make some excellent points about the LDS warhawks in both high and low places supporting any war the U.S. wages whether just of unjust. Both wars in Iraq are certainly hard to justify.

I'm curious though. If we take the logic that it is always wrong to wage wars that go beyond literally defending our homeland within our own borders, and apply it beyond the recent war in Iraq and the invasion of the land of the Lamanites by the Nephites at the end of the Book of Mormon, things get more complicated.

For example, was it wrong for the allies, including the U.S., to attack Germany during WWII? France was defeated and Great Britain was being bombed and attacked on the open seas, but what about the U.S.? Our homeland was not threatened. Were we justified in "liberating" Europe and bringing Nazi Germany to its knees?

What about Korea and Vietnam, where our troops fought to contain the spread of communism. Was that justified?

Or lets take it a step further was the U.S. justified in fighting the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 against Great Britain? The U.S attempted to conquer Canada both times and failed miserably. Or what about the Civil War, was the North justified in invading the South?

The call for vengeance against the murders of Joseph and Hyrum, the inhabitants of Illinois, and even the entire U.S. by the early saints doesn't bother me at all. Neither does the oath of vengeance in the temple. I believe they were completely justified in asking the Lord to avenge them of their enemies. The D&C speaks repeatedly of the Lord's vengeance and burning speedily coming upon the wicked and ungodly. In fact the Lord did cause desolation to come upon the U.S. not many years later via the Civil War, as prophesied by Joseph Smith. The saints in Utah made it through the Civil War virtually unscathed, while the South, including Jackson County Missouri, was ravished by the war. Not to mention all of the lives that were lost by Union soldiers as well. That conflict was the bloodiest war in U.S. history. I see a direct correlation between it and the the persecution of the early saints.

Andrew Teasdale said...

MC, of course the North was not justified in invading the South. The South had every right to leave (Tom Woods has written some excellent arguments in defense of this). It was the US involvement in WW I that made the monstrosity that was the peace settlement possible and led directly to WW II. The US had no business being in Korea or Vietnam either. If you're interested in an enlightening read, read "Kill Anything that Moves," by Turse - it will help you better understand what happened in Vietnam.

War is the health of the state and the single biggest threat to the liberties previously enjoyed in this country (and those few remaining). The people who established this country understood this and warned us accordingly.

We're to renounce war and proclaim peace. Living in the US gives us ample opportunity.

R. Metz said...

This essay was originally posted on may 25, 2014, exactly three years ago. I still consider it as THE most powerful post on this blog. I was outraged after reading it. As a matter of fact I read it again just a few days ago, and again shocked I tried to see that video "Let not your heart be troubled", but the link provided was not able to open it on the official website of the church. I found out that it is possible to open it by going to youtube and click in the title (Let not your heart be troubled) followed by the word mormon, and you will find it.
The video is a disgrace and an insult to every mormon, and it shows how far the leadership of this - my - church is able and willing to go against the scriptures these days. If this not priestcraft I don't know what is. Just watch the video and draw your own conclusions.

Matthias said...


I completely agree with you that the Union was not justified in invading the Confederacy during the American Civil War. The D&C makes it clear that it was unlawful and unjust to interfere with the master-bond-servant system, aka slavery. (See D&C 134:12) That verse also states that the reason for it being unlawful and unjust was because it would lead to much bloodshed.

I also agree with you that the U.S. was not justified in entering WWI. That was none of our business. Not sure if the U.S. can be blamed for the Treaty of Versailles fiasco that essentially caused WWII. Woodrow Wilson was adamantly against severely punishing Germany. The U.S. also refused to join the League of Nations at that time.

Personally I believe that the U.S. was justified in entering WWII. We were fighting to stop tyranny and uphold freedom, even if it wasn't on our home soil. Had the U.S. not intervened the axis powers would have very likely won, which would not have been good for democracy and freedom. On the other hand, had Germany defeated the Soviet Union communism would have been destroyed, which one could argue would have been a good thing.

Korea and Vietnam are certainly tricky. Personally I believe that the U.S. was justified in participating in both of those wars, because our allies South Korea and South Vietnam wanted us there and asked for our help. I also believe that stopping the spread of communism was a noble cause. The Book of Mormon clearly teaches that at times one must fight for freedom. That's not to say that we waged those wars completely honorably. Things got out of hand as they always do in war. Things got especially bad in Vietnam. Also because of the draft most of the U.S. servicemen who fought in those wars did not have a choice.

Invading Iraq both times is much harder to justify. Especially considering the fact that our foreign policy of meddling with the affairs of others and preserving our oil interests in the middle east created a lot of the terrorism in the first place. We have proven time and time again that we are willing to support tyranny if it benefits our interests. Only when that tyrant stops benefiting us do we do something about it. The "Let not you heart be troubled" video and unwavering support for the most recent war on Iraq and war on terror by the brethren is absolutely disturbing.

Underdog2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Underdog2 said...


You said, "Korea and Vietnam are certainly tricky. Personally I believe that the U.S. was justified in participating in both of those wars, because our allies South Korea and South Vietnam wanted us there and asked for our help."

Rock correctly attempts to teach the idea that going to war should be based on certain principles.

Having a CIA-installed puppet ally (S. Korea or S. Vietnam) "asking" for our help hardly qualifies as adhering to sacred principles in Scripture.

My comment may offend you because I imply you've been a victim of propaganda. Victims who reject that they're victims usually cannot acknowledge they've been duped.

I praise you if you are a rare exception.

I encourage you to judge our past or current wars against gospel principles. And also to be fully aware that despotism always comes draped in a flag and carrying a cross. In other words, deceit is the #1 tool of politicians.

And deceit is very effective, as many duped and unduped people believe Vietnam was a righteous war, and that an estimated 2 million dead Vietnamese and 68,000 dead Americans (let me repeat those numbers 20 times in fierce righteous indignation which pains my soul esp on this Memorial Day--their blood shall cry from the dust!) were worth it. Shame on the evil people who championed that war. Same can be said of all wars of aggression.

Dave P. said...

Arguably, the only justified war the US has been involved with was the Revolutionary War. Even then there are arguments from libertarian columnists who state that could have been avoided as well.

A quick rundown:

War of 1812 - Began as a US invasion of Canada.
Mexican-American War - US invasion of Mexico.
Civil War - The first act of war was Lincoln's blockade of Ft. Sumter. The South only fired the first shot, but did not commit the first act of war.
WWI - Not a defensive war. Most of the atrocities of the 20th century trace back to the US getting involved.
WWII - Same deal as the Civil War. FDR goaded the Japanese to bomb Pearl Harbor with an oil blockade.
Korea - Did nothing to protect US interests.
Vietnam - Ditto
Iraq - Ditto
Afghanistan and Iraq II and Libya and Syria - "We have to fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here," double-speak for still waging aggressive war.

It's time to wake up. Those who join the military aren't fighting for our freedoms. They are dying in vain and for a lie all while pushing us closer to the promised destruction as Mormon outlined.

Jared Livesey said...

War is a necessary outcome of the philosophy of property (whether private, public, or whatever), which philosophy was instituted by Cain, who received it from Satan - that one may eliminate competitors for resources, and claim those resources for one's own. If you really don't like war, why not try personally keeping the commandments of Jesus Christ and stop personally rebuffing, threatening, or fighting others for property?

Matthias said...


Yes Vietnam was especially costly in human lives. U.S. troops certainly killed their fair share of the innocent. Had the U.S. government actually done what it took to win the war by invading and occupying North Vietnam things may have turned out very differently. In hidesite it looks like a complete waste of human life. It should be remembered that inspite of the misdeeds of some of the U.S. troops at times, the North Vietnamese and Vietkong were much worse. Literally massacring any who would not support them and forcing young men to fight for them under the penalty of death if they refused.

I'm sure those who live in South Korea are thankful that we helped them avoid falling to communism. Conditions in North Korea are awful under the rule of a tyrant.

But yes both wars were tricky. However it must be remembered that the U.S. was not the aggressor in either war. We were fighting to uphold liberity and democracy. That is a noble cause. South Korea and South Vietnam had no chance of defending themselves alone against communist aggression, because the communists of North Korea and later Vietnam were being supported by the Soviets and Chinese.

Are you suggesting that we should have allowed communist oppression to spread throughout the world unabated? Should we have allowed the Soviets and Chinese to just roll over weaker nations? Wouldn't that be like the Nephites leaving the people of Ammon to fend for themselves against the Lamanites?

Matthias said...


Well the Book of Mormon clearly validates the revolutionary war as God's will. (See 1 Nephi 13) Interestingly enough it also validates the Europeans and Americans in driving the Native Americans off of the land.

I completely agree with you on the Mexican-American war being a war of aggression. Perhaps it does fall under the Lord's will of the gentiles being a scourge to the decendents of the Nephites and Lamanites though.

Historians have debated to what degree FDR baited Japan into attacking Pearl Harbor for decades. I think there's a very good chance FDR wanted war for economic reasons. However are you suggesting that the U.S. should have continued supplying the Japanese with oil knowing full well that they were using it to conquer the Chinese and the rest of South East Asia?

The question I originally posed was not about FDR being a warhawk, but whether or not the U.S. was justified in sending troops to Europe to defeat Nazi Germany. I don't see how anyone can suggest that we were fighting a war of aggression in WWII or that our cause was unjust.

As for Korea and Vietnam see my comments above. Those wars were fought to prevent the domino effect (communist oppression spreading from one country to the next) not the defense of the U.S. and our interests.

Underdog2 said...


"Are you suggesting that we should have allowed communist oppression to spread throughout the world unabated?"

Absolutely! But keep in mind WE (meaning the globalist Gadiantons which run our gov't) put the communists in power.

Get out of the Matrix by reading The Naked Capitalist or None Dare Call It Conspiracy.

Should we have allowed the Soviets and Chinese to just roll over weaker nations?

Absolutely! Keep in mind WE were behind the Bolshevik Revolution. The ruling oligarchy funded them and controlled them. Ironically they don't fully control Putin. Hence, they blame him for everything in American politics they don't like.

The modern Gadiantons' one-trick pony creates conflict and offers war as solution. It's Satanic. It's about death. It's about stamping out Liberty.

When THEY say "it's a war for Freedom" (as you are parroting) they really are for strenthening the police state and assaulting Freedom. Think "the Patriot Act". They don't want peace and life but war and death. They lie and camouflage their lies in patriotic slogans to deceive the masses. Either Hinckley (refer to his 2003 talk) was deceived or PARTICIPATING in the deception. Either shows he was weak and utterly unworthy to hold such an important position.

"Wouldn't that be like the Nephites leaving the people of Ammon to fend for themselves against the Lamanites?"

No. The Nephites voted to take in the Ammonites. They CHOSE to assimilate them and then the Nephite nation was attacked. So the Nephites, under the leadership of a contemporary and peer of Ammon- General Moroni- fought a defensive war.

And come to think about it---YES, the Nephites DID IN FACT let the Ammonites get slaughtered TWICE by the Lamanites!! You didn't see General Moroni leading a pre-emptive strike against the Lamanites to save the innocents, did you? He didn't. This is a huge object lesson embedded in the BoM that has never been told, as far as I know. And I'd say through Moroni's intelligence network, he was fully aware of the work of the sons of Mosiah and the genocide that was under way! But General Moroni knew he had to fight only in defense. See Alma 43:46-47. These very verses were quoted by Elder Packer in the video above as an argument FOR preemptive war.

So given these assumptions the Nephites DID do something to help the Ammonites. They took them in, full well knowing war would ensue. And as an aside, you can see Moroni did absolutely nothing to defend the wicked people in Ammonihah who were first attacked.

Unfortunately it appears, due to wickedness in high places (incl dupes and/or infiltrators in LDS leadership), there will probably be more calls to take in Islamic terrorist "refugees" who seek our destruction. In the name of naive Christian charity will some LDS leaders exhort members to care for the poor and needy "Ammonites" who were made refugees by U.S. bombs and preemptive wars against nations that haven't attacked us. The result will be obvious "blowback", as Ron Paul correctly predicted.

Underdog2 said...


"As for Korea and Vietnam see my comments above. Those wars were fought to prevent the domino effect (communist oppression spreading from one country to the next) not the defense of the U.S. and our interests."

The domino theory was a lie, swallowed hook line and sinker. But whether it was true or not is actually irrelevant.

The question (in whether or nit we should go to war) should center on whether any nation commits an aggressive act of war against the U.S.

If the answer is yes, then Congress can vote to declare war or to not. The PEOPLE thereby decide the matter. That is the Constitutional method on how we go to war.

The War on Drugs is another lie. How do you fight "drugs"? Same with "terror". How do you fight "terror"? Or "poverty"?

Because there is no enemy in these "declared" wars, THERE CAN BE NO VICTORY AND THEREFORE NO END to the contrived war.

War is the health of the state.

Perpetual war is the goal. "Wars and rumors of wars" is how Jesus phrased perpetual war.

And we have that today.

Which means we have a large standing army and a huge bureaucracy to support it.

We have a police and surveillance state as envisioned by George Orwell.

We are enslaved, as planned by Satan. The final scene is our "temporal destruction" as described in 1 Nephi 14:7.

Underdog2 said...


In case you were attacking the idea of private property (and I'm not sure you were), I ask:

Is it not possible or even desirable to have private property ownership in a Zion society?

Did Enoch or any of those who dwelt in his city not own property?

Or is it more accurate to say that private property ownership has nothing to do with war, but rather it has to do with violating the non-aggression principle, as you described when arguing we should "stop personally rebuffing, threatening, or fighting others for property?"

Focusing on property (or the "philosophy of...") seems to me akin to the anti gun people saying guns are bad when obviously it's not guns but the people who use the guns.

If there was no such thing as private property, then Satan would focus attention on our bodies. Rape, torture, abuse and murder of our "property" -- our bodies -- would be the game that Babylon plays. Oh wait, that is happening now.

Which I think proves the point that it's not the misnamed "philosophy of property" (for which there is a good and bad one), but rather it's just plain old avarice and covetousness, versus the virtue of selflessness and charity.

Jared Livesey said...


I am unclear on your intent, and your response to this question determines my response to you.

Are you asking me to explain why property, including self-ownership, is antithetical to Zion, or are you trying to tell me I'm wrong?



Matthias said...


Wow...we were behind the Bolshevik revolution, really? Never heard that one before. Not sure which books you've been reading, but that's crazy talk.

Please enlighten me as to who exactly this ruling oligarchy is that funded and controlled the Bolsheviks and supposedly still controls Putin today?

I fully believe that there are secret combinations in play in high places, but your claims seem way over the top to me.

Please explain to me how Korea and Vietnam were wars of aggression by the U.S. or a preemptive strike.

I believe you are wresting the scriptures by suggesting that the Book of Mormon teaches that we should leave others out to dry who are facing serious threats to their freedom.

First off, there is ZERO evidence to suggest that the Nephites had any idea that the people of Ammon had twice been slaughtered by the Lamanites. You're forgetting that when Alma ran into the sons of Mosiah as they were returning from their missions that he had no idea what had transpired with them the past 14 years.

Secondly, the Nephites gave the people of Ammon their own seperate land to live on. They did not assimilate them. They then sent their armies into the land of Jershon to protect the Ammonites.

To me this is very similar to the U.S. sending troops to Korea and Vietnam to try and preserve their liberity. The U.S. was not trying to conquer anything. Infact the reason we lost in Vietnam was because we refused to go on the offensive to destroy the Ho Chi Minh trail and the strongholds in North Vietnam.

Based on your logic that we should have let communism and tyranny spread all over the world because apparently it's inevitable that the secret combination in high places take over the world one day, then Captain Moroni and the Nephites should never have fought to preserve liberity and their own lives from the Lamanites since it was already prophesied that eventually the Lamanites would exterminate the Nephites.

Your statement that those U.S. soldiers who have died fighting for what they believed was the cause of liberity died in vain is extremely disrespectful and ungrateful. You sound like a free loving hippie who is more than willing to exercise the freedoms he enjoys as an American citizen but has no respect for those who made the ultimate sacrifice to uphold those freedoms.

Underdog2 said...


I was unclear what you were saying. Ignorant on the topic, I suppose you could say. If the mere owning of private property is contrary to becoming like Christ, then that is a HUGE unbelief I have and that would stand as an impediment to personal salvation.

Jared Livesey said...

This then might be a start:

Other essays there might help to understand the issues.

In Zion, none calls anything that he possesses his own.

Steven Retz said...

I do like the polar configuration and believe in it, but there is more to the gospel than just that

Underdog2 said...


It has been widely-known (not mainstream) history for many decades that the Rothschild/Chase Morgan global interests (who run the Federal Reserve banking cartel and who run the world) funded the communist overthrow of the Russian czars in 1917.

They and their surrogates openly confess their crimes and are proud of what they do!!! Tragedy and Hope is their confessional. Cleon Skousen reviewed that book in 'The Naked Capitalist'. Read it. It will be like taking the red pill.
Watch It's your choice. Stay asleep by taking the blue pill or be brave and take the red pill.

They do NOT control Putin is what I said. They want Trump to attack Putin. Trump is refusing so naturally they call him a Russian agent.

You are simply unaware of history. You believe the mainstream narrative fed you.

And that would explain your rash judgment of me as an ungrateful American. Heard it before. Rock has written of your ilk in this very post.

Says Rock at the beginning: "Memorial Day is a time to remember not only America's needless dead, but also the kind of pride and arrogance that has led both our nation and our church to suffer repeated tragedies."

You are repeating "the tired bromide that "they fought to protect our freedoms"".

You said, "Please explain to me how Korea and Vietnam were wars of aggression by the U.S. or a preemptive strike."

Ask the millions of dead Vietnamese and Koreans. Did they attack the U.S.? Yet they are dead. As Stalin mused you muse, "One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic."

Of your ilk the Lord speaks in 3 Nephi 16:10, when he describes Mormon Gentiles who sin against the gospel and "shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders...

You are correct that there is ZERO evidence to suggest that the Nephites had any idea that the people of Ammon had twice been slaughtered by the Lamanites. I am speculating. It is a possibility.

But why do you argue the point? Moroni didn't preemptively strike the Lamanites. The Nephites did voluntarily give up THEIR land (and the Ammonites were no doubt assimilated over time). Why argue or try to wrest the scriptures to conform to your warmongering beliefs?

Underdog2 said...

Part 2 of 2:

Warmongering is a serious sin. But I have heard many a "good" Mormon priesthood leader through the years boldly proclaim our cause is righteous when we kill the yellow or brown man (by the millions!). This makes me sick.

How do you know if I haven't lost a loved one in one of our unrighteous wars, or have served myself?

Why am I defending life and why do I have to convince you that just ONE Vietnamese child's death is a terrible tragedy, much less millions? My soul aches in agony that fathers, brothers, moms, sons and daughters from real families have been murdered by our military!

And you sincerely say of me, "You sound like a free loving hippie who is more than willing to exercise the freedoms he enjoys as an American citizen but has no respect for those who made the ultimate sacrifice to uphold those freedoms."

You believe our wars have been or are righteous wars. You believe the propaganda of the church video listed above. It is your choice. May God bless you to see how wrong you are before it's too late. I'm sick. I'm guessing you're probably a faithful Mormon, who no doubt adored Mitt Romney. I have friends at church who believe like you, who call evil good. See

Even Pres. Kimball spoke these words in condemnation of warmongering Mormons in 1976, a year removed from our defeat in Vietnam:

"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."

Underdog2 said...

Thanks Log for the link. I'll study later. Good food for thought.

matt lohrke said...

I sent an email to Orrin Hatch, Mia Love and Jason Chaffetz after the Syrian missile strike. I encouraged them to refer to D&C 98, the history of Nephite and Lamanite battles of aggression and defense, etc, and America's endless wars of conquest and occupation. I ended the email to each that as Latter-Day Saints only our Lord can compel us to war.

The only person I've heard back from so far is Borin' Orrin, who replied with this email (which I'm sure is a form letter drafted by a low-level staffer). It's full of typical NeoCon/Zionist talking points and platitudes. To me its just further evidence that we, as a people, are completely scripturally illiterate. This illiteracy, of course, prevents our receiving additional promised scripture.

At any rate, here's Orrin:

Thank you for taking the time to write in with your concerns regarding U.S. airstrikes in Syria. I welcome the opportunity to respond.
            On April 6, 2017, the United States launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on a Syrian government airfield in response to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians. While I believe these actions against Assad were necessary, I also believe we need to establish a longer-term strategy for the region.  Unfortunately, what we are witnessing in Syria is the result of a series of shortsighted decisions by the past Administration—decisions made without a well-defined regional strategy.
            The ongoing crisis in the Middle East is truly a humanitarian disaster. Over 11 million people have already been displaced, and every day, more people and families are risking their lives to escape their home countries plagued by war and ruthless violence. I care deeply about the plight of these people, and it is heartbreaking to witness their suffering.
            Of particular note, I am deeply concerned for the safety and security of the people of Syria and any other country in which ISIS operates. ISIS ruthlessly targets many ethnicities, religious sects, and minority groups throughout the region. Because of this persecution of Christians and other religious minorities, I support giving the President the war powers he needs to fight this dangerous enemy.
            While we live in troubled times, I am confident that as long as we maintain a strong and stable presence in the world, peace can be maintained. I am a firm believer that war is not inevitable, and I hope that the administration will pursue a robust foreign policy to restore peace to this troubled region.
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. If you would like to receive regular updates on my work in the U.S. Senate, I welcome you to subscribe to my e-mail newsletter, visit my Facebook page, and follow me on Twitter.

Matthias said...


I'll try to take things down a notch. I apologize for jumping to conclusions and saying that you sound like a free loving hippie. That was uncalled for.

Just for the record I'm not a warmongerer. Though I admit to being blind for many years about these things. I use to think America was a righteous nation. I know that we no longer are. Things are very bad now.

I do not believe that the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were just wars nor do I agree with most of what the CIA does.

I stated my position about the churches video in one of my commments. I find it disturbing. Yet I do believe that there are times when wars must be fought to preserve freedom. I believe that WWII was one of these times. Yes Hitler was supported by world-wide bankers including Americans, but that does not make the allied cause unjust in liberating Europe nor does it make those who died senseless deaths.

As I said before, Korea and Vietnam are much less cut and dry. I do believe that our cause was just, but of course I could be wrong. Regardless I don't believe that those who died in the name of defending freedom who waged war honorably died a senseless death. Perhaps I'm naive.

Perhaps as you say I don't understand history and am simply believing propaganda. I certainly try my best to see things objectively. I will check out some of the readings you suggested.

I'm not denying that there are secret powers in high places behind the scenes who have way too much control over the world. Perhaps things are in fact worse than I thought.

My initial point in commenting on this post was not to defend all the wars the U.S. has waged and Mormon warhawks. Rather my point was that fightying outside of one's own soil and in direct defense of one's homeland being invaded does not automatically constitute an unjust war as Rock suggested.

Nor does praying for God's vengeance to come upon the wicked mean that one is not Christlike. Yes we are to love our enemies, but that does not mean that one can't pray for the Lord's justice. Joseph Smith himself cursed the inhabitants of Jackson County Missouri for their role in the persecution of the saints. This curse was carried out by Union soldiers during the Civil War who essentially wiped out the area.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

MC posed a list of questions regarding the propriety of certain wars the US has been engaged in, suggesting some of them may have been justified. I see that Andrew Teasdale, Dave P, and Underdog2 have already responded with answers similar to what I would have given, but I figure I may as well throw in my two cents.

MC's suggestion that Underdog2 sounds like a free love hippie reminds me how not too long ago someone in this forum assumed I was a raging leftist. That was a new one on me, because for most of my adult life I've been accused of being a right-wing extremist. That was the label leftists in the 70's and 80's liked to slap on those of us who advocated adherence to the constitution. Today they don't know what to call us, so sometimes we're right-wing nutjobs and sometimes we're hippie commie pinkos. Seems like these days you just can't get a decent label if you take the middle way and advocate for freedom.

Anyway, I've long felt this idea that World War II was "the good war" deserves its own blog post dedicated to the topic, because I don't know how to address it briefly. I should write that post soon, but in the meantime allow me to toss out a few thoughts.

God has clearly commanded His people not to "go up unto battle" against any nation unless He himself commands it. I interpret those words "go up unto" as going into another people's lands, which is perceptually distinct from finding one's self in a position of being forced to defend one's own lands within one's own borders. You get to realize I grew up on military bases in a military family, so when my assumptions about "the good war" bumped up against God's Rules of Engagement, I had to rethink my assumptions, and do a little reading.

I think it's safe to say that the majority of Americans still retain a grade-school view of American history, a view that concludes WWII was necessary, unavoidable, and righteous, because Hitler and Tojo were hell-bent on taking over the world. "If we had lost that war," we hear some people say, "We would all be speaking German today." Or Japanese.

Yet if you take the time to read the pre-war speeches of Hitler and Tojo, you get the distinct impression that they did not seek war, but that it was imposed on them.

This is not to say the German, Italian, and Japanese leaders were not ruthless. They were VERY Ruthless. But if you look at the lead-up to WWII you can't help but realize that Winston Churchill was just as ruthless, and that he was goading the Germans into a fight that heretofore was between only Germany and Russia. Once in over his head, he conspired with members of FDR's cabinet to get America involved so England could prevail.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

A highly readable book on the topic is "Human Smoke" by Nicholson Baker which came out a few years back. The book reviewer for the LA Times wrote, "people are going to get really angry at Baker for criticizing their favorite war. But he hasn't fashioned his tale from gossip. It is documented, with copious notes and attributions. The grace of these well-ordered snapshots is that there is no diatribe; you are left to put things together yourself. Human Smoke may be one of the most important books you will ever read."

I concur. You can read that review here:

Also pertinent is John Toland's "Infamy" and Robert Stinnet's "Day of Deceit, which fully document the perfidy involved in goading Japan into attacking a US installation near Japan not because these conspirators wanted war with Japan, but so that America would be forced into war against Japan's ally, Germany.

I could recommend books describing the truth about "the good war" all day long, including Pat Buchanan's aptly titled "Hitler, Churchill, and the Unnecessary War." But I'm trying to be brief. So let's just say I personally believe Churchill and Hitler are sharing a very warm cell in hell right now, and Abraham Lincoln is in there with them.

MC mentions the War of 1812, which no one seems to know the reasons for. It was the result of Americans deciding since they won their independence from England, they might as well annex Canada as well. But the Canadians didn't want to be annexed. American Tories had fled to Canada, and the Americans got a whooping because unlike their own war for independence, they had no right to invade their neighbor.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

My friend MC expresses astonishment at the idea that "we were behind the Bolshevik revolution, because he had never heard that before.

Well, to begin with "we" were not. But some Americans in very high places were indeed, as Underdog2 points out. These are the "secret combinations" the Book of Mormon warns us to watch out for: men who combine in secret with the aim to get gain and enslave all mankind.

Professor Antony Sutton was a highly regarded economic historian who uncovered proof that the eleven wealthy families who owned the Federal Reserve Bank had financed not only the Bolshevik revolution, but were also providing money and technology to the Soviet Union so America would have a perpetual enemy to fight, generating tax payments that ended up in the hands of the owners of the banks. He documented his findings in his three volume "Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development," and later in "Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler" Sutton documented how American economic interests were responsible for bringing Hitler to power by providing money and raw materials used to build planes and armaments that were used against American soldiers. Tons of scrap metal and other resources were also provided to Japan, also used to kill Americans.

As a result of these exposures, Sutton lost his prestigious position with the Hoover Institution. So he paid a price, as do most people who go up against the modern Gadiantons.

Well, there's lots more to say about this, which is why I think it deserves its own blog post. The lesson, I think, is that we ought to recognize that God knows what he's talking about when he warns us against pre-emptive war. As we've seen in Iraq and Afghanistan, no matter how much we think we might be able to help, and no matter how noble our motives, violating God's will only makes things worse for the people in the countries we thought we were helping.

At a certain point in the hostilities, all sides in the First World War had reached a stalemate. Trench warfare was such that no side could gain ground against another, so leaders of all the countries involved were on the verge of declaring a standoff. There is a term for it which I can't remember: "something" de guerre. What it means is that no one is declared a victor, everyone just calls it off and goes home. No winners, no losers, just a general calling it quits.

But just as that war in Europe was winding down, the propaganda machine went into high gear here in America, and Woodrow Wilson persuaded Americans to enter that foreign war "to make the world safe for democracy." Millions of Europeans who were just about to be allowed to go home and resume their lives ended up staying and getting killed. World War I escalated beyond what anyone expected, and all because America got involved.

Matthias said...


You make some very good points. I will look into the subject further and check out some of the readings you suggest.

Just a few quick thoughts...

I agree with your take on the U.S. entry into WWI. We should have stayed out of it and only made things worse.

Not sure if the War of 1812 was started because the U.S. wanted to conquer Canada or if we decided to invade Canada because of the war. Either way we had no business invading Canada in that war or the Revolutionary War.

As I've stated several times, Vietnam and Korea are tricky. Perhaps our meddling made things worse, perhaps not. I would suspect most South Koreans are thankful for our assistance and are happy to enjoy the freedoms that their kin to the North are denied.

Even with influential bankers from the U.S. and other places funding the Bolsheviks, this does not make the U.S. responsible for the terrible bloodshed of the Bolsheviks. Nor does it even me that those wicked bankers were even driving the Bolshevik Revolution either. They loaned money to them, just as they loan money to anyone regardless of how wicked their cause may be. I'm not defending those wicked bankers in a way, but I don't see how anyone could have predicted the kind of carnage that came from the Bolshevik Revolution besides Satan himself.

You make some excellent points about WWII as well. I will just say that I don't think that the people of Europe would enjoy the freedoms they do today if the U.S. had not aided France, Britain, and the other allies in defending their homelands and defeating the Nazis. The fact that there has been relative peace in Europe since WWII and the fact that the Western allies gave Germany and Italy their freedom back very quickly shows that it was not a war of U.S. aggression. We were not out to conquer. We were out to free those who had been conquered and to keep those who had not from being conquered. The fact is that Britain and France could not have defended themselves on their own.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I guess I didn't make my point very clear, MC. If and when Americans awaken to their awful situation, as Moroni put it in Ether 8 and come to realize all these wars are created and manipulated by the secret combinations among us, there would be none of these wars. There would have been no enslaved people in the Soviet Union, and no wars threatening England and France. Germany went through France to get to England, but England started the fight against Germany. And all financed and supported by men behind the scenes whose ultimate aim is world conquest, and who always get off scot-free because the hidden hand is not readily noticable. There would be no need for America to step in and help because if we cut off the funding that makes these wars possible, they would peter out just as World War I was about to before we stepped in. America's interference doesn't help, it exacerbates.

I say we take God at his word and refuse to participate in the charade, because every time we set out to help or defend other countries, more people die than if we had obeyed that simple commandment: Don't go against any nation unless the Lord Himself commands us to.

Chip said...

A Swede named Juri Lina has done a lot of research into who fomented the Bolshevik Revolution. He traces it to Freemasons and New York City bankers. I think this video of his, "In the Shadow of Hermes", paints a very thorough picture:

Liberty Ghost said...

One clue as to the righteousness (or lack thereof) in modern wars is that US leadership had to resort to deceit in order to convince Americans that they had a righteous cause. The excuse for WWI was the Lusitania, a legal warship (it was carrying arms), which was sunk in British waters when the British under Churchill's leadership conveniently neglected to send destroyers to clear the submarine known to be operating there.

In WWII, the deceit was Pearl Harbor, the only reason the attack achieved so much is that the military higher ups committed treason by withholding information about the attack from their commands. Following the attack, they destroyed the leaders that their actions betrayed. FDR and the Joint Chiefs should have been hung instead of lionized.

I don't know enough about the start of the Korean conflict to comment, but it was certainly extra Constitutional as it was undeclared.

Vietnam was another extra Constitutional war, but even though it didn't have enough support for Congress to declare war, it needed the deceit about the Tonkin Gulf to sucker enough financial support to jump into high gear.

The First Gulf war was a result of false propaganda and deceit regarding the permission we had secretly given to Saddam to invade Kuwait and his supposed atrocities once there.

The Iraq and Afghani wars were based on false claims of Mass Weapons of Destruction (most of which we supplied to Saddam when he was killing Iranians) and, of course, the false flag of 9/11.

It's often difficult to see through the hype and propaganda when the events are unwinding, but a good first step, as Rock suggests is to first ask if we are currently under attack in our own lands. This would have eliminated Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Cuba, Grenada and the First Gulf War from consideration. We would be far ahead if we'd just stick to the Constitution. I certainly agree with Rock that as a Church we have never seriously understood the message within the Book of Mormon. Until I read the original post, I had never really considered it. Thanks again Rock for opening my eyes to this doctrine.
Dale B.

Matthias said...


Your point was crystal clear. I agree that something should be done about the secret combinations in high places. Not sure what exactly can be done. Just ask JFK.

Of course it would be great if these wars didn't happen at all. At the same time all anyone can do is try to make the best of very difficult situations.

You take a hard line stance that the scriptures say we shouldn't ever fight anywhere beyond repelling an invasion on our own soil unless the Lord specifically commands it.

I on the other hand interpret the Book of Mormon to mean that we should do all we can to uphold liberity and freedom even if that means fighting for it.

Here's a hypothetical situation for you. Lets say Russia invades Canada and starts sweeping the Canadians off the face of the earth. Do we just sit back and watch our friends get slaughtered and consider ourselves lucky that we haven't been attacked yet?

Or what if Russia started dropping nukes on our cities. Do we only shoot down their planes or do we fight back and destroy the bases in Russia where the planes are coming from?

Things are more complicated now than they were in Book of Mormon times. We don't live in a bubble with only one identifiable mortal enemy who can only attack via a ground invasion and can only fight hand to hand combat like the Nephites.

It's easy for us to sit back and play armchair quarterback and judge the morality of allied troops in WWII who in their heart of hearts believed they were fighting for liberity. Then when they succeed in liberating Europe from the clutches of tyranny we can just sit back and say, "well thanks for your service and for ending the bloodshed and tyranny, but you were really all duped and are guilty of murder because you shed blood on foreign soil." From were I sit those men legitimately fought for freedom and liberity. Had they not fought I believe God would not have held them blaimless for sitting back while the world was overrun by tyrants. Let's not forget that Captain Moroni had the King Men put to death who refused to fight for the cause of liberity.

You are correct that America as a whole needs to wake up to the secret combinations in high places. Doubt it is going to happen though.

I look forward to your future post about WWII being an unjust American War and how we were either duped or were the aggressors.

Jared Livesey said...

On another topic: the difference between Rock and some of you on the topic of war seems to be Rock starts with D&C 98. If D&C 98 precludes certain things that men esteem highly, that's just too bad; those things don't get done.

Others, on the other hand, start off with their desired results and try to shoehorn D&C 98 into conformity with those results. If that does violence to the text of D&C 98, that's just too bad; those things get done.

Entangling alliances, as Washington called them, function in the realm of warfare like secret combinations. Those illicit agreements and combinations are honored before the commandments of God.

Around and around goeth the winds of war, and where shall they stop? Methinks: "no more."

Dave P. said...

A few things to remember:
Christ summed up His position perfectly when He stated, "He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword." The US's position of endless war and attempt to "save" the world through violence has begun to come home to roost with greater threats of terrorist attacks on our home soil.

Second, the word of the Lord is far more powerful than the sword. The US and the church were raised to be a shining beacon and example for the rest of the world to emulate and follow the example of. They have failed in that mission without realizing it, believing falsely that God supports anything and everything they do without consequence.

Third, we are told to cast away the natural man who is an enemy to God. The natural man is lazy and seeks the easy way out every time. Dismissing something because it is sounds like a "conspiracy theory" or "left-wing hippie idea" or "right-wing extremist talk" is not only not providing an argument but also entirely succumbs to the natural man AND Satan's drivel of "simply do as you're told without question and you will be saved."

Underdog2 said...

Part 1 of 2


You said, "I on the other hand interpret the Book of Mormon to mean that we should do all we can to uphold liberty and freedom even if that means fighting for it."

Me: You sound like you just read and are parroting that horrible 2003 talk by Pres Hinckley! You and he don't believe that despotism/ tyranny / fascism/ any of Satan's manifestations via the voice of government leaders come draped in a flag and carrying a cross. If you both understood this, you would realize that you are very possibly and likely supporting LIES spoon fed by the propaganda machine. We live in an empire of LIES. That's why I encourage you to watch The Matrix. Let the message of truth sink deep into your brain. It may go over your head because you're in the Matrix and don't even realize it. It's profound. The spiritual side of the Matrix, esp for TBM's, is the implications of Denver Snuffer. You probably reject D.S. too, I'm guessing. But that's another topic. Let's move on.

You said: Here's a hypothetical situation for you. Lets say Russia invades Canada and starts sweeping the Canadians off the face of the earth. Do we just sit back and watch our friends get slaughtered and consider ourselves lucky that we haven't been attacked yet?

This is THE argument that every self-righteous Mormon has made to me in my debates through the years about their neo con support of the war state. They always quote a hypothetical in some form or another, just like you did. It's logical, to a point. But they don't think it through. Usually they quote the latest false flag (like the Syrian gov't using chemical weapons on their own people), and say, "You would stand by and let this happen? You would do nothing? You despicable coward! You sick hippie who doesn't have the guts to fight for Freedom and to help your fellowman who is getting killed in yonder land."

I normally reply that the info they're basing their hypothetical on is a lie fabricated by the rogue criminal elements of our government who want war and death and profits for their companies. Lies such as chemical gas attacks (Syrian), the WMD threat (Iraq), the domino effect (as you quoted), the babies getting thrown to the floor (Kuwait), etc. etc. They universally don't buy that they are being lied to and being played. "The MSM wouldn't lie. My loving gov't wouldn't lie."

But the answer to your question is found in the Constitution, which God gave us. The voice of the people through Congress could quickly declare war, and THAT would be the mechanism by which we go to war, or don't go to war, to fight an enemy slaughtering Canadians. It's that simple.

But it's helpful if not conclusive to this question, to also look at the fate of the people of Switzerland. Have they invaded their fellow European counties when war was being waged all around them? The Swiss are armed to the teeth, and ready to fight a defensive war at any moment. Interestingly, nobody has bothered them or wants to bother them. Have they been invaded?

You said: "Or what if Russia started dropping nukes on our cities. Do we only shoot down their planes or do we fight back and destroy the bases in Russia where the planes are coming from?"

There is a precedent in the BoM where General Moroni makes this "offensive" threat to his enemy in Alma 54:12: "And behold, if ye do not this (exchange prisoners as proposed), I will come against you with my armies; yea, even I will arm my women and my children, and I will come against you, and I will follow you even into your own land, which is the land of our first inheritance; yea, and it shall be blood for blood, yea, life for life; and I will give you battle even until you are destroyed from off the face of the earth." The OT has examples where God commanded His people to go into somebody else's land and kill the inhabitants.

Underdog2 said...

Part 2 of 2

To MC,

You said, "Things are more complicated now than they were in Book of Mormon times. We don't live in a bubble with only one identifiable mortal enemy who can only attack via a ground invasion and can only fight hand to hand combat like the Nephites. It's easy for us to sit back and play armchair quarterback and judge the morality of allied troops in WWII who in their heart of hearts believed they were fighting for liberty. Then when they succeed in liberating Europe from the clutches of tyranny we can just sit back and say, "well thanks for your service and for ending the bloodshed and tyranny, but you were really all duped and are guilty of murder because you shed blood on foreign soil."

I hear this argument all the time when opponents of the Constitution argue against that inspired document. "The world is different now," they say. I would suggest that principles are timeless and that things are NOT so "complicated" that principles don't provide answers for us. The Lord teaches principles. Rock has explained these principles well throughout his blog. What he has not mentioned is in the Scriptures. We have the word of the Lord to guide us. Or we can make excuses and say our time is different and the principles don't apply to us. Is that what you are saying, are you saying certain principles or commandments don't apply to us in these "complicated" days? Which principles? Which commandments?

And as far as our grandfathers who fought in WWII, they fought in a "declared war", so it was at least constitutional. But we must never do a blanket blessing of a war which MEN declare. Thus the principle outlined in DC 98:33 is so very important. God should command to go to war, not men. Let me ask you, How would you respond to your German counterpart who similarly and sarcastically said this of his Nazi forefathers, "Well thanks for your service to the Fuhrer, but you were really all duped and are guilty of murder because you shed blood on foreign soil?"

Obviously, MC, both sides can't be right. Both may be wrong. At best, one is right. My point is that the side which is wrong will use the very justification that you are using. They would say they're fighting for patriotic, honorable, and virtuous reasons (and by the way, the Germans believed THEY were being virtuous!). How else do you get volunteers to join? Tyranny comes draped in the flag and carrying the cross!! We live in a world of deceit. Take the red pill.

Matthias said...


You amaze me. I really don't know where to begin.

Thank you for pointing out that the Book of Mormon does in fact justify an offensive war in certain situations. You'll notice in the verse you quoted that Moroni doesn't mention being specifically commanded by the Lord to take the offensive against the Lamanites if they don't comply with his prisoner exchange terms. In fact as far as I know there isn't a SINGLE instance in the Book of Mormon were the Lord expressly commands the Nephites to go fight the Lamanites.

Yet what does D&C 98 actually say about war?

32 Behold, this is the law I gave unto my servant Nephi, and thy fathers, Joseph, and Jacob, and Isaac, and Abraham, and all mine ancient prophets and apostles.

33 And again, this is the law that I gave unto mine ancients, that they should not go out unto battle against any nation, kindred, tongue, or people, save I, the Lord, commanded them.

It would appear that based on the way you and Rock interpret these verses that even Captain Moroni was not keeping this commandment given to his forefather Nephi, since we have no indication that the Lord expressly commanded the Nephites to go out to battle against the Lamanites. Or what about the prophet Mormon. When he decided to break his oath which he had sworn and took up is sword again and fought with his people in spite of their wickedness; do the scriptures say the Lord commanded him to do this?

You and Rock are clearly taking an extremist view of these verses that cannot be justified by other scripture.

One more example that demonstrates my point. D&C 98 mentions that this law was also given to Abraham. Let's look at how Abraham interpreted this commandment when Lot was taken captive in the war of the Kings.

Genesis 14

14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.

15 And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.

16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.

You'll notice that the those verses fail to mention any command of the Lord to arm himself and his servants and go out and rescue Lot and slay those who took him captive. In fact these verses say that as soon as he heard the predicament Lot was he went off to battle to save him.

So what's the answer to this little discrepancy? Perhaps in each and every case the Lord did expressly command the Nephites to go and fight. And perhaps the Lord did expressly command Abraham to go and fight? Perhaps the scriptures just fail to mention it ever. Or perhaps fighting for the oppressed and the cause of liberty is always approved or even commanded by the Lord.

Also while we're at it, how exactly is this alleged required command of the Lord to go out and fight supposed to be received? Does it go to the wicked President of the United States? Does the Lord speak to the President of the church who then commands the President of the U.S. to go fight or what?

You accuse me of trying to change God's word to fit today's changed circumstances. That's not at all what I'm doing. In fact what I'm doing is trying to apply the scriptures to today's complicated circumstances.

Matthias said...


Yes you are absolutely correct that most of the German soldiers in WWII believed they were fighting a just war, at least initially. There was good reason for that. Of course they didn't know all of Hitler's sinister plans. Most of the fighting took place on the Eastern Front against the wicked Bolsheviks. Later as the tied turned they were in fact fighting a very justified war in doing everything in their power to keep the Red army from reaching their homeland and raping and murdering millions of their women and enslaving them. I suppose you'd have them lay down their arms and sit idly by as the Russians raped and tortured helpless women, children, and elderly, after all the Lord didn't expressly command them to go out and fight the Red Army did He?

You accuse me of being stuck in the matrix and accuse me of plagiarizing Hinckley's talk from 2003. I actually haven't heard or read that talk since I watched it in conference back in 2003. I do recall him making a good point about Christ saying that He wasn't coming to bring peace on earth but rather the sword. I do agree with that.

You are correct we do live in a world of lies where things are not just as they appear. So what are we going to do about it? Do we just sit back and point fingers at people and ring our hands hands and say it's all an illusion? Or do we do our best to do what good we can and make the best of whatever is thrust upon us?

Underdog2 said...

The great challenge and test in life is to discern truth from lies.

Alma 43 should address your concern about what the Lord is okay with:

46 Inasmuch as ye are not guilty of the first offense, neither the second, ye shall not suffer yourselves to be slain by the hands of your enemies.
47 And again, the Lord has said that: Ye shall defend your families even unto bloodshed. Therefore for this cause were the Nephites contending with the Lamanites, to defend themselves, and their families, and their lands, their country, and their rights, and their religion.

Other than Alma 43, some relevant principles are:

1) Forgive 70 x 7.
2) Forgive in order to be forgiven.
3) Turn the other cheek.
4) Thou shalt not kill.
5) If somebody goes after your coat, give him your cloak also!
6) Love one another!
7) Love God!

Would there be war with people forgiving others as the Lord did and taught, even when on the cross?

How could there be war if life was valued so that murder didn't happen.

But we live in a sinful world. And bad stuff happens. It's "complicated", right? So these commandments can't really be lived, right?

Luckily, we have the inspired Constitution. War is supposed to start only if done by the voice of the people.

In absence of a true prophet who says "thus saith the Lord", the voice of the people had to suffice.

And for individuals, we have the right to defend ourselves even unto bloodshed.

"Extremist views"? I would beg to differ. I think "extreme" is 2 million dead Vietnamese and 68,000 dead Americans. THAT is an extremist view and an abomination.

Madeline Albright and those who support the warstate are the extremists, not people like me or Rock: Madeline and her friends support these illegal, unnecessary, immoral, unconstitutional, and frankly anti Christ, Satanic wars "in the name of democracy or liberty" or whatever euphemism you care to attach. You are guilty of murder if you support these wars. It's perfectly logical and just for you to be convicted of murder if you hire somebody to do the killing for you. I.e., support your military waging unprovoked war as you arguing for. Yes, YOU can vote for neocon warmongers like Romney, whom no doubt you voted for!

Why not just repent instead of arguing Satan's argument? You are a Christian? What are you hardened against the gospel?

Last point, lest you think people who subscribe to love and forgiveness and defensive force are weak. I can assure you that you do not want to get in a fight, a war, with people like me, with people that try to forgive and live the gospel. Don't mistake love and goodwill as weakness.

The most vicious and mighty fighting warriors are people like Captain Moroni and Lehi and Teancum, or your regular father or son who love God and man. "They had fought as if with the strength of God; yea, never were men known to have fought with such miraculous strength; and with such mighty power did they fall upon the Lamanites, that they did frighten them."

There is much power in truth, and I know that what I'm telling you is true, while those who promote and defend the warfare state are of Satan, and he could care less about those who serve him.

I got to move on. If you can't comprehend the gospel of love and understand it's antithetical to offensive war, after hearing the scriptures and logic laid out above then I am wasting my time, and yours. Good luck.

Matthias said...


I forgot to address your Switzerland comment.

Switzerland has not been attacked in during the World Wars not because the have such a good defense and stay out of everyone else's business, but rather because they lend money too and hide the money of anyone and everyone, especially the wicked. They were hiding Nazi money and posed no threat to Hitler. This is why they were left alone. The Nazi's could have rolled over them if they wanted to. That's not to say that keeping to themselves and having an amazing defense plan hasn't worked to their advantage.

Also in response to your accusation that I made a blanket statement as to the allies being justified in WWII, I will just say that I do not think every action the allies took in WWII was justified. I don't condone their bombing of civilian targets, especially Dresden and Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I don't condone the rape and pillage the Soviets perpetrated against Germany and the rest of Eastern Europe. I don't condone British and American soldiers raping German and Italian women either. Nor do I condone allied soldiers killing axis soldiers in cases were the could have clearly captured them instead.

Matthias said...


I have to move on too.

I hope you're prepared for the Lord to judge you with the same selfrighteousness and arrogance in which you have judged me and most of mankind. For as you know we all will be judged in the same manner in which we ourselves judge others. You have repeatedly called me a murderer and have made a number of other unjustified accusations against me.

Not sure where all your hatred is coming from.

Of course you have the right to say and believe whatever you want.

Good thing you are so privileged to be an American citizen and not living under the rule of facism or communism where you could be sent to a slave labor camp or shot outright just for speaking your mind.

You even have the right to go spit on the graves of our murderous WWII vets too if you want, who even you have to admit fought a constitutional war. Their service and sacrfice very likely preserved your rights.

Take care

Underdog2 said...

Part 1 of 2

Quoting Ezra Taft Benson's classic:

"The proper function of government is limited only to those spheres of activity within which the individual citizen has the right to act. By deriving its just powers from the governed, government becomes primarily a mechanism for defense against bodily harm, theft, and involuntary servitude. It cannot claim the power to redistribute the wealth or force reluctant citizens to perform acts of charity against their will. Government is created by man. No man can delegate a power that he does not possess. The creature cannot exceed the creator.
In general terms, therefore, the proper role of government includes such defensive activities as maintaining national military and local police forces for protection against loss of life, loss of property, and loss of liberty at the hands of either foreign despots or domestic criminals.

"It also includes those powers necessarily incidental to the protective function.
"We should recognize that government is no plaything. It is an instrument of force; and unless our conscience is clear that we would not hesitate to put a man to death, put him in jail, or forcibly deprive him of his property for failing to obey a given law, we should oppose that law...."

How do we determine if, for example, government can go kill others (wage war).

"There is one simple test. Do I as an individual have a right to use force upon my neighbor to accomplish this goal? If I do, then I may delegate that power to my government to exercise it in my behalf. If I do not have that right, I cannot delegate it.

"If we permit government to manufacture its own authority and to create self-proclaimed powers not delegated to it by the people, then the creature exceeds the creator and becomes master."

Underdog2 said...

Part 2 of 2:

If some Vietnamese hasn't attacked me, then I certainly have no right to attack him, much less kill him. That would be called murder and a capital crime.

Thus I can't hire somebody to go kill him either. I'm guilty either way of murder.

In 3 Nephi 16:10 and other verses, Christ says the Gentiles are guilty of murder. I don't believe hoardes of Gentiles are going around literally murdering people with their own hands. But they DO murder by voting for and sustaining Congressman and presidents who send American troops overseas to kill in preemptive wars where there has been no attack.

Do I look at my WWII vet grandfather as a murderer? No. We were attacked. War was declared. Volunteers enlisted to repel and defeat those who attacked us.

We shall be judged according to our knowledge just as we can't be saved in ignorance. I don't judge anybody's salvation. We are required to judge righteously and discern the wolves from the sheep, the truth from the lies.

I've laid out the case why pre-emptive war is akin to murder. It certainly isn't love or forgiveness. Based on Benson's and common sense logic above, it would be an obvious crime of murder.

I am amazed that I have to have an argument with a fellow Mormon brother, where he is defending unprovoked bloodshed/killing/murder, and I'm trying in vain to persuade him to forgive and love and certainly not to go around killing any one person (certainly not millions) who is no more threat to us than we are to him. In fact WHO is more of a threat? America or any other nation. WE are the terrorists today. Ask the half a million dead Iraqi children and their parents who is more of a threat! And please don't think I'm referring to uncle Jim or father Ed who is serving in the military. I'm mainly referring to the globalist scum who run our country. (God bless Trump to stand against them. We shall see.)

How can a decent person (I assume) like MC or anybody, who values human life and who is a Christian, not be convinced? What monsters have we become? I am truly horrified that many Mormons cannot be reasoned with and cannot be EASILY convinced to let go of their wicked traditions! Instead they dig in and argue FOR death and destruction.

If the logic and scriptures above aren't persuasive, please explain how they fall short instead of saying I have hate when I'm the one defending human life and preaching the gospel of love while MC is preaching war and death.

Forgive me for defending life and opposing death! I think life is precious and worthy of defense. And make no mistake, I would be a vicious killer like the sons of Helaman if I had to be. I'm no pansy, no chicken hawk who would shrink from a righteous fight.

But my model should be Christ and He teaches tolerance until one has to defend himself at which time, you better be ready for a fierce warrior to inflict death as Captain Moroni and Mormon and his son were all skilled in the arts of war.

Matthias said...


You really need to get off your high horse. Your logic is seriously flawed, as is your understanding of the scriptures.

I had intended to sign off, but your last comment was so ridiculous that I'm going to set the record straight.

First off, I honestly have no idea where you got the notion that I somehow am "preaching war and death" and "defending unprovoked bloodshed/killing/murder." Seriously, I have no clue how any sane person could get that from my comments. I'm saying just the opposite.

What I am saying is that there are times when one must defend freedom and liberty even unto the shedding of blood. You seem to agree with that, but only when one has to defend one's self. Sounds to me like we're more in agreement than we are at odds, but somehow you insist that you are defending life and opposing death, while somehow I am advocating the slaughter of the innocent.

What you're doing is putting words in my mouth, building a straw man argument, and then trying your best to knock that straw man down.

I have not once insinuated that you are a coward, but somehow you feel the need to use tough talk on me to prove how macho you would be if someone tried to attack you. Sounds to me like you are a little insecure.

You don't consider your WWII vet grandfather to be a murderer, nor do you consider those currently serving in the military to be murderers, yet somehow I am a murderer and so are the rest of the Mormons and Americans because we uphold our military? That doesn't make any sense. By the way, unless you don't pay any taxes, you are upholding our military which makes you just as murderous as the rest of us.

For the record I have stated several times that I don't condone the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. I wasn't even born during Korea or Vietnam so I'm not sure how exactly I am guilty of murder or hiring killers to murder for me as you have repeatedly suggested.

I also have stated repeatedly that Korea and Vietnam are tricky and that I could in fact be wrong about those wars being just. I guess that's not good enough for you since you keep carrying on about 2 million dead Vietnamese.

Two million dead Vietnamese is a terrible tragedy, as is the loss of American lives in that conflict. Not really sure how many of that two million dead Vietnamese were killed by U.S. troops, and I'm not sure how many were civilians. I would suspect that a large amount of those deaths were South Vietnamese killed by the Vietcong or Vietcong/North Korean soldiers. Hard to say for sure. I wasn't there. The loss of life, although tragic, does not in and of itself make it an unjust U.S. war. By that logic the Nephites fighting off the Lamanites and having so many dead on both sides that they couldn't be counted would automatically make the Nephites warmongers and murders. Also using that logic one could say that France was somehow responsible for all the deaths in the revolutionary war, because they aided the Americans.

Matthias said...

Underdog cont...

You asked me to show you were your logic is flawed from the scriptures. That is what I have been trying to do. I showed that there are no instances in the scriptures to suggest that the Nephites and Abraham waited to fight in a just cause until the Lord expressly commanded it.

You had no response to that.

For the record based on D&C 98 the Nephites and Abraham were not justified in going out to fight at all, even in the defense of their homes and family. D&C 98 says that saints were only permitted to fight after they had been attacked 4 times. They were to bare the first 3 attacks. Even on the 4th offense they were to forgive, but the Lord would justify them in fighting. There is no evidence that the Nephites waited until the 4th attack to defend themselves or that Abraham was even threatened at all. Clearly D&C 98 is talking about something other than the way you and Rock interpret it. D&C 98 does not supersede the rest of the scriptures.

As for your repeated quoting of 3 Nephi 16:10, you have that wrong, too. The members of the church are not the gentiles. They are Israelites. This is clear from the D&C and many other scriptures. When 3 Nephi 16 talks about the Book of Mormon going forth to the gentiles it is talking about the Israelites (Mormons) bringing it to them. In fact Mormons are not only Israelites, but essentially the gathered tribe of Ephraim. The vast majority of patriarchal blessing identify church members as being of the house of Ephraim. It is the non-Mormon gentiles who are rejecting the fullness of the gospel by rejecting the Book of Mormon, not the other way around. The time is soon coming when the New Jerusalem will be established and the tribes of Israel will be gathered there in safety against the day of destruction against the wicked. That is when the gospel will taken from the gentiles and given only to the house of Israel.

Underdog your problem is that you buy into the false teachings of that false prophet Denver Snuffer. He is the one who erroneously interpreted 3 Nephi 16:10 that way. You would do well to drop that guy like a bad habit and search the scriptures without the incorrect lens he provides blinding you. The movement he is leading is not the real thing. It is an illusion. The real movement hasn't begun yet. The One Mighty and Strong has not yet been sent forth to restore all things and gather the tribes of Israel home to Zion.

Underdog2 said...


You said, "Sounds to me like we're more in agreement than we are at odds."

Glad you finally came around. I thought the scriptures and reason I shared were persuasive.

I try to be humble and willing to make concessions when faced with truth.

I'm not macho. I was responding to your insult about sitting back while others fought "for my freedom." Not sure how that got lost by you.

But since we're lovey dovey now, that's great. I'm very happy that you're not for war and death.

The next time we invade a foreign land who hasn't attacked us, please try to restrain your prior instincts of "let's go kill them to protect our freedom!"

Underdog2 said...


You said: I showed that there are no instances in the scriptures to suggest that the Nephites and Abraham waited to fight in a just cause until the Lord expressly commanded it.

Because it's not expressly said Jesus was married, does that make it not so? Come on, MC.

The rest of your logic I find circular.

Matthias said...


I sent my last reply to you before reading your response, so I wasn't trying to pick a new fight. I'd rather we just bury the hatchet. At the risk of starting a new argument, which I don't want, I will just say that I don't believe Christ was married during his mortal life. I don't believe it fit into His mission at all. Could be wrong. Doesn't matter one way or the other to me though.

I whole heartedly agree with your advice about not falling into the pitfall of the natural man and screaming for bloodlust when the U.S. invades a foreign land. In my youth I was certainly guilty of that to one degree or another.

Hope there's no hard feelings over our little back and forth. All's forgiven on my end.


Underdog2 said...


No hard feelings at all. Hatchet buried. I appreciate the goodwill.

Take care and good night.

PNW_DPer said...


Have you thought of the US support of the State of Israel? I remember reading that Bruce R. McConkie said that the political State of Israel is NOT the spiritual gathering prophesied in the scriptures (yes, even our friend Bruce can get some things right) and that President Hunter said that all of the people of that area of the middle east are children of the promise and that "we" do not take sides.

I'm reminded of this by the following article; . It might be an idea for a blog post, especially if you could research and include opinions of religious Jews who do not support the aggression of the political state of Israel.

Cecil Champenois, Jr. said...

I always wondered why the LDS church would force vaccinations upon our young missionaries, if the leaders were truly inspired. I know that the Lord knows that mercury is bad news and that vaccinations containing such toxins would invariably harm the young adults we send on missions. We know several who have come home early suffering from the toxic ewffects of vaccinations.

Underdog2 said...

Cecil, I have wondered the same thing. However what I can tell you is that when a missionary arrives at the MTC, he or she can sign a waiver that will allow him/ her to avoid getting any vaccinations. I know this from personal experience.

But this doesn't excuse the lack of a warning voice from anybody in church leadership. As far as I know there has been no warning issued against vaccines. And in fact Church leaders are completely pro medical establishment and are either 100% deceived or willing participants in the mass deception. It's one or the other, there can be no middle ground. I'd hope they are "just" deceived. But how embarrassing and ignominious that is by itself. Really shameful.

Dave P. said...

The church leaders are not divinely inspired. They submit to their god the government over everything, otherwise the church would be fighting tooth and nail to decriminalize marijuana because of the miraculous properties of the cannabis plant.

No, the corporation is a perfect example of unrighteous dominion for utilizing the power of secular law to enforce its image-protecting beliefs on the non-members in Utah.

Cecil Champenois, Jr. said...

For a long time, I wondered certain things about our leaders. For example, I remember when Michael Wallace interviewed President Gordon B. Hinckley and asked him, "Are you a prophet?" President Hinckley's response was very lame, "I am so sustained." Believe me, I loved hearing what President Hinckley had to say, but I always wondered why if he had seen the Lord why he was not more bold in his declaration that he was a true prophet. Joseph Smith certainly did not hold back. Joseph Smith declared he had seen both the Father and the Son. He declared he was a Prophet as well. He was not weak in his declarations, as I saw in President Hinckley. I am sorry, "I am so sustained" is a very weak declaration. As I say, this troubled me at the time.

Cecil Champenois, Jr. said...

So, back to the point about the Church pushing vaccinations. In my own family among my own adult children, there is a disagreement as to whether or not the vaccinations are actually good or bad for us. I can see there is going to be major disagreement world-wide and church-wide on this point. However, studies do show that many are negatively impacted by the vaccinations, the worst being the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccination. Suspicions are that it causes autism and other brain-affecting problems for our children. There is evidence to show that it does help and there is evidence that it also damages brains. Why does it damage brains? I would answer that is is the preservatives which are used, i.e., formaldehyde and mercury.

If a child is in a science class and a thermometer breaks open and ,mercury flies all over the floor it is called a hazard area. However, if a Doctor or nurse injects that same mercury into a child it is called a well-visit. So, a metal which we all know is very toxic to one's health and does cause brain damage is actually injected into our children and ourselves when we accept vaccinations.

These are my summations and opinions that vaccinations cause more harm than good due to the additional things included in them which are really not a part of the real intent of the vaccination. A vaccination absent these brain damaging toxins may do well for everyone, but I will leave that to the experts. But any fool knows that mercury is toxic, so why do we give it to ourselves and our children just because it is called a vaccination and a degreed medical Doctor is behind it?

I had many vaccinations in the military (USMC) which did not seem to affect me. However, before being transferred to Okinawa, Japan, in 1974, I was given four vaccinations which caused me and others to go into delirium overnight. As the day dawned, I recovered as did the others, but why did it cause this delirium? What caused it? Are there any effects which may visit me sometime in the future? How does it affect the heart, the brain, or other organs?

If a leader in this church is inspired, he would get down on his knees and ask the Lord what to do about vaccinations. This is only my opinion.

Dave P. said...

At the same time, we should not be deferring such things to church leaders or even the "experts" the church leaders would redirect us to. It is our job and our job alone to do the research and take it to the Lord ourselves.

Underdog2 said...


I couldn't find that quote you mention in the Mike Wallace interview (can you reference it?). That sounds like vintage Hinckley though -- being lukewarm and all.

In the Larry King interview, Hinckley says some more wishy washy statements like "I don't hear His voice" but I receive "impressions".

Hinckley then quotes the Conference Center decision as an example of receiving prophetic revelation from God:

KING: And that came from something higher than you.

HINCKLEY: I think so.


Wishy. Washy.

At the beginning of the interview at, after he's asked if he's the prophet and speaks for the Church, Hinckley replies: "I think so."

Not real confident in his beliefs.

Vs Joseph or Denver saying, "I have seen the Lord and he commanded me to deliver this message."

R. Metz said...

After going through the blog again, this sunday morning, I am still perplexed by this Dallin Oaks saying "It's wrong to critisize leaders of the Church, even if the criticism is true." That is a fascist dogma, is it not? Is this a lawyer speaking or an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ? Did not our Lord say that the truth shall make us free? If the prophet Joseph Smith was around I am sure he would give Oaks a good kick, like he did so to his brother Hyrum at one time when the latter said something terribly wrong, as I read some day. Joseph could be quite rough on such occasions.

Dave P. said...


It's basically a fulfillment of 2 Nephi 26-28 wherein Nephi is speaking to the corporation pretending to be the restored church and calling it out on its lies and hypocrisies for robbing the poor and persecuting the true followers of Christ all while thinking they cannot be deceived while of course falling into satan's plan hook, line, and sinker.

Andy said...

A book with a lot of other great references to backup some of the points made above and to give answers to some of the questions in the commenta above is a book that Rock previously recommended on this blog - "War: A Book of Mormon Perspective: How The War Chapters of the Book of Mormon Warn Against Wars of Aggression and the Warfare State" by Mr. Kendal T Anderson.

I was shocked but really appreciated the reeducation. May we all find and accept the Truth here in life.


Morgan Deane said...

After reading the comment from Andy/unknown, I'll have to add my own recommendation. A person relying upon Anderson's book "War: a Book of Mormon Perspective" will be under served and ill equipped to apply scriptures to warfare. As I described in my book review (as far as I know, the only one to offer such a detailed review) its poorly researched and written as well as fatally flawed:

People are free to believe whatever they want of course, but when they offer books filled with supposed research and academic rhetoric on the matter they open themselves to rigorous cross examination.

Rob said...

Around 2011 I saw Elder Lance B. Wickman at the Salt Lake City Airport. I had been very troubled about war, being an LDS serviceman group leader for my National Guard company. I found the DVD Rock referred to very disheartening. I asked Elder Wickman about the DVD, raising the discrepancy between the policy of the church and the law of war revealed in D&C 98, to Nephi, and to Abraham. During that conversation and a subsequent email exchange, Elder Wickman told me that those scriptures do not apply to us today. When I asked him if any church president had received a revelation from God superseding God's previous word, he replied that I would find the doctrine of the church in his (Elder Wickman's) general conference talks. When I repeated the question, he repeated his answer.

That is pretty much all you need to know about the brethren. Their opinion supersedes the revealed word of God.

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