America the Peaceful

On July 4th, 2011, I still think that the United States of America is the greatest nation on earth. But not because we are a superpower. America is not great because America is warlike. We are great in spite of that dismal fact. In order to survive, the United States as a political entity will have to learn from its citizens and from its churches how to be peaceful.

Yesterday morning, as I awoke, I felt the distinct impression to read an international news magazine that I visit on the internet every so often. I had some other things I needed to get done, so I ignored the feeling, but it didn't go away. Eventually I typed in the URL. In the next couple of hours, I learned something new about the people of Pakistan, the people of China, the people of Russia, and the people of Palestine. And in general, I learned that in far more ways than not, the citizens of those countries are just like me. They have families. They laugh. They cry. They get sick. Their family members die. And they mourn. They go to work. They exercise. They go to concerts and sporting events. And they yearn for freedom. They yearn for peace--not war. In sort, I learned that we are all children of God.

The Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that one of the most important pursuits we can engage in while in this life is to learn. And one of the most important things we can learn about is people and other cultures that are different than we are. What I learned when reading that news magazine yesterday was that we can't learn much about other peoples and cultures when we are at war with them all the time.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in my opinion, is the only true church on the earth. I don't say that to belittle anyone else's beliefs, but merely because I believe it to be so. I have great respect for anyone who disagrees with me. The reason I bring this point up in this context, though, is that I believe that my Church will save my country.

The United States is currently the world's only superpower and, unfortunately, proud of it. I see the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which Leo Tolstoy called "the American religion," as a peaceful counterbalance to a US government bent on militaristic and financial war and world domination. United States foreign policy, in short, goes against the grain of teachings of Jesus Christ.

In order for the LDS Church to continue to grow, it must be a beacon of peace, which, at least in the short term, would put it more and more at odds with the government of the United States. A revelation in the LDS Doctrine and Covenants teaches that the United States Constitution promulgates principles that are applicable to all people--not just Americans.
According to the laws and aconstitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the brights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles;

That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral aagency which I have given unto him, that every man may be baccountable for his own sins in the day of cjudgment.

Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in abondage one to another.

And for this purpose have I established the aConstitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose...

The principles enshrined in Constitution of the United States--that all men are free to act according to their own consciences--cannot be promulgated by war. They cannot be promulgated by anger. Those principles must be promulgated by peaceful means.

As the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints becomes more and more an international church, I see it as the organization that can most successfully (i.e. most peacefully) promulgate the eternal principles vouchsafed in the Constitution of the United States. Hopefully, the government of the United States can learn a thing or two about peace in the process. And hopefully, America can become peaceful again.

Comments

  1. Great thoughts, Frank. Posts like this remind me of J. Reuben Clark (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Reuben_Clark) -- who had experience as both the under-Secretary of State of the United States and in the first presidency of the LDS Church -- who said:

    "For America has a destiny – a destiny to conquer the world – not by force of arms, not by purchase and favor, for these conquests wash away, but by high purpose, by unselfish effort, by uplifting achievement, by a course of Christian living; a conquest that shall leave every nation free to move out to its own destiny; a conquest that shall bring, through the workings of our own example, the blessings of freedom and liberty to every people, without restraint or imposition or compulsion from us; a conquest that shall weld the whole earth together in one great brotherhood in a reign of mutual patience, forbearance, and charity, in a reign of peace to which we shall lead all others by the persuasion of our own righteous example."

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