The Book of Mormon: A Political Lesson on Peace
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!
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 The clue is in what Abinadi teaches them about those who do not publish peace, or who "wilfully rebel" against the Gospel of Jesus Christ.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:
Just before he was betrayed, Jesus Christ reiterated that his is a gospel of peace.
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:
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.
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
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.