The Book of Mormon: A Political Lesson on Peace

Once we have a correct understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we no longer beat the drums of war. Instead, we seek to understand other peoples and cultures and what motivates them. Disciples of Jesus Christ advocate peaceful solutions to our problems.

As a nation, we Americans are not doing a very good job of living the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Isn't it ironic that many of the people who want to bring the United States back to the supposed glorious yesteryear of being a "Christian Nation" are the same ones who advocate a war-like foreign policy? Jesus Christ was not a warrior. Neither can a people be warlike who call themselves by his name.

The United States of America has a very dangerous foreign policy.  American political leaders, regardless of which major party they belong to, seem to revel in the fact that America is the world's only remaining superpower. Many rank and file Americans share in the same revelry. Not only is this a very dangerous foreign policy, it is a very precarious spiritual policy as well.

In The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, the Prophet Abinadi spoke to the leaders of one of the more decadent Nephite states, whose leader was called King Noah. In the middle of teaching them what they as leaders should have been doing, he launched into a lesson first taught by Isaiah:
how beautiful upon the mountains were the feet of them  who have cpublished salvation; and said unto Zion: Thy God reigneth!
And again, how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that are still publishing peace!

And again, how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who shall hereafter publish peace, yea, from this time henceforth and forever!

And behold, I say unto you, this is not all. For O how beautiful upon the mountains are the afeet of him that bringeth good tidings, that is the founder of bpeace, yea, even the Lord, who has redeemed his people
I've read that passage of scripture dozens of times, and it never made sense to me why he would be talking about peace to the wicked King Noah and his corrupt priests. The clue is in what Abinadi teaches them about those who do not publish peace, or who "wilfully rebel" against the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Abinadi continues:
But behold, and afear, and tremble before God, for ye ought to tremble; for the Lord redeemeth none such that brebel against him and cdie in their sins; yea, even all those that have perished in their sins ever since the world began, that have wilfully rebelled against God...

 Just before he was betrayed, Jesus Christ reiterated that his is a gospel of peace.
aPeace I leave with you, my bpeace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you
If Christ's gospel is a gospel of peace then one of the worst ways that we can wilfully rebel is to be warlike. To go on the offensive.  To prosecute pre-emptive bombings and other attacks because someone might decide sometime in the future to attack us.

Elsewhere in the Book of Mormon, we learn that in our day a mighty nation would be raised up that would be of great benefit to the rest of the world. That mighty nation is the United States of America.  With the help of the mighty nation:
the Lord God will proceed to do a amarvelous work among the bGentiles, which shall be of great cworth unto our seed; wherefore, it is likened unto their being nourished by the dGentiles and being carried in their arms and upon their shoulders. 

And it shall also be of aworth unto the Gentiles; and not only unto the Gentiles but bunto all the chouse of Israel, unto the making known of the dcovenants of the Father of heaven unto Abraham, saying: In thy eseed shall all the kindreds of the earth be fblessed.

And I would, my brethren, that ye should know that all the kindreds of the earth cannot be blessed unless he shall make abare his arm in the eyes of the nations.

Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to make bare his arm in the eyes of all the anations, in bringing about his covenants and his gospel unto those who are of the house of Israel.

and they shall know that the gLord is their hSavior and their Redeemer
In other words, the mighty nation would be mighty and respected and a benefit to the nations of the world because it exported peace. The United States of the 21st century does not export peace. We export war. The Book of Mormon talks a lot about war, too. It refers to those might nations who export war as 
that great and aabominable church, which is the whore of all the earth, shall turn upon their own heads; for they shall bwar among themselves, and the sword of their cown hands shall fall upon their own heads, and they shall be drunken with their own blood.
It doesn't matter that our leaders are the ones voting to send our soldiers and our M-1 Abrams tanks and our Apache helicopters and our Predator unmanned aerial vehicles and our Tomahawk cruise missiles into battle. In many cases, we were the ones who voted them into office.

We Americans need to fix our foreign policy. It certainly doesn't match the American foreign policy prescribed by the Book of Mormon.


Comments

  1. I recently reached the war chapters in Alma during my current reading of the Book of Mormon and I was struck with inspiration on what one of the modern-day parallels today are: The only reason Amalickiah was able to conquer so many Nephite cities was because Moroni was distracted with dealing with the king-men who wanted to overthrow Pahoran and establish a king. Nowadays political pundits are intentionally keeping us distracted and divided while the real enemies, the terrorists on Capitol Hill, destroy our freedoms and Constitution more and more. Sadly we have no leaders like Moroni today in the church or in the government.

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  2. Dave: That is an extremely well thought-out and appropriate comparison. Divide, distract, and conquer seems to work pretty well, unfortunately.

    I wrote an article here called "Throwing the Rascals Out is Not Enough" which explains how they are so successful and keeping us divided, distracted, and conquered.

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  3. Excellent, post, Frank. As you know, the unwarranted number of Mormons who advocate war is a hot button issue of mine over at my blog, Pure Mormonism.

    Sometime in the future I'm going to borrow your declaration that "The United States of the 21st century does not export peace. We export war." Sad but true that prominent latter-day Saints such as Mitt Romney and Glenn Beck advocate such un-Mormon and un-Christian positions.

    Your well-written piece deserves wide distribution, and I will be sending it out.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Rock: Thank you sir! You may use my "We export war" phrase without royalties! ;-)

    Others: I encourage you to visit Rock's excellent blog by clicking here.

    ReplyDelete

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