While Brother Pulsipher's "suggestion" that we emulate the Ammonites
pacifism, I noticed that in the article, he doesn't mention Captain Moroni, and
his valor in battle. Perhaps if Pulsipher didn't reside in the sleepy confines
of Madison County, and lived in a more intense metropolitan area, he might not
be so willing to "suggest" pacifism, as a means to greater spiritual
insights.It is rather easy to suggest turning the other cheek, when no
threat exists, in particular, when no threat to your immediate family exists. I
think that while his intentions appear to be "good", reality has a way
of changing one's mind.I for one am not ashamed to say I refuse to be a
pacifist, and don't feel spiritually diminished at all.(nor ashamed)
The ammonites were a group of people that covenanted not to go to war to make up
for past wrongs. There children who did not take the oath fought though. If we
did not stop Hitler it would be bad. There are times when war is necessary to
protect innocent people. In Old Testamant times it was necessary for
protection. We are not to wage offensive wars. But like Captain Moroni need to
be on the lookout for evil people fighting us.
The Ammonites weren't pacifists. After that first memorable encounter when they
lay prostrate and prayed even as they were slaughtered, they instead sought out
Nephite protection (as answer to prayer) when the Lamanites resumed hostilities.
They accepted land from the Nephites, and provided harvests to support the
Nephite armies. When their land in Jershon was threatened by the course of the
war, they accepted relocation to help maintain more defensible borders. They
even considered breaking the oath to assist directly in the war effort, but
ultimately allowed their children to volunteer to fight for the Nephites.It wasn't war itself that they had renounced, but the Lamanite way of
war - the motivation behind that nation's aggression. The parents abandoned the
cause of blood feud; the children fought under the Title of Liberty. When / who
/ how / and why we fight (and don't) matters a great deal.
For those who have read this article, I would highly recommend reading President
Spencer W. Kimball's First Presidency Message that appears in The Ensign
Magazine, for June 1976.The comments from Brother Berrett no doubt
are valuable, but President Kimball's words were addressed to members of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to the world as he served as
President and as a Prophet of God in our times.What he had to say, I
believe, will astound many active members of the Church.
It doesn't matter what president Kimball said in 1976 - it was just his opinion,
not doctrine. Although I think there are some good lessons in the Book of
Mormon, I don't think it should be relied on for historical value. If you
believe that the events in the Book of Mormon happened as they are stated than I
guess it can help you quite a bit. I rather think it is a religious fiction,
with little historical value. While the book can inspire, uplift, and guide it
should not be taken literally in my view.
Dear Brahmabull,It does matter, if your a member of the LDS Church.
If you are not, or do not believe that President Kimball was a
prophet, that's fine. You certainly don't have to so believe.But if
someone does believe that the Church is true and that it is lead by a Prophet of
God, then the words of President Kimball are not just his opinion, they are the
words the Lord would have him say (see D&C 1: 38).
yarrlydarb - Yes I am a member of the church. The frustration is that people
automatically dismiss a prophets statements if they are controversial. This is
my problem. I agree that when a prophet speaks he is speaking for god. But most
members now days reject statements by Brigham Young (and others) such as the
adam-god doctrine, the word of wisdom, and many other points of doctrine. People
have said "doesn't matter what a past prophet said, it is what the current
prophet says that matters." I don't disagree that a current prophet may be
important, but why do we dismiss statements made by past prophets just because
they are controversial or taboo? So if you say that about Brigham Young than you
must also say that about all of the prophets. That is the point I was trying to
Interesting exchange yarrlydarb and Brahmabull. You can see that the
epistemological has to be resolved before anyone can move ahead. And just what
epistemological model do "big tent" Latter-day Saints propose?
Brahmabull I understand what you are saying on your second
comment, when I teach in church I have read things that modern prophets have
said "yes while they were prophets" and I have had people come to me
and tell me that "we'll that doesnt pertain to now days that was back then
to their time" (yea the 1950's). These people are sometimes ward
leadership, and I always let them "so why do we still read out of the BoM
that was in the 400BC's". Well that always shuts people up, a lot of church
members would rather believe Nephi's words then Ezra Taft Bensons, when they
should believe in both. When I tell people that they like to tell me "well
Ezra Taft Benson was controversial and had weird beliefs". Thats why too
many people in the church today are sheep that are becoming lost, they pick and
choose which doctrine to follow.
I cannot find anything that Jesus said that would conflict with the advice to
'emulate' the example of the Ammonites. Turn the other cheek, love your enemy,
avoid contention, avoid the spirit of contention, avoid disputations, avoid
being even angry with your brother, the spirit of contention is from Satan, etc.
-- need I go on? Nothing Jesus ever said supports 'war'.Modern LDS often
take a pick-and-choose approach to gospel principles, and try to make excuses
for those scriptures that don't agree with their politics or individual desires.
Elder Nelson in the last conference referred to the improper 'cafeteria
approach' to religion. Just where do you 'hide' Jesus when you advocate
'wars' of any kind? Brave warriors like Moroni and others in the BofM do NOT
create a new principle of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Principles are enternal
truths. Wars are evidences of the weaknesses of man, in every instance, and find
no justification within the gospel whatsoever. Jesus never said that if your
enemy is 'evil' it changes his teachings and principles -- these are man-made
excuses, and from your perspective your enemy is always 'evil'. "War is
hell...war is evil".