Stephen Beecroft wrote:
> RE: Iraq and war
> > I felt that it should throw a bucket of cold water on some of those
> > saints who are in favor of a war with Iraq. He said that as a Church
> > we have to remain neutral and our members have to obey the laws of
> > the land even if that means fighting in a war. But as individuals
> > we don't have to be so circumspect. On a personal level we are to
> > oppose war and be peacemakers.
> > I thought Elder Nelson's remarks would put to rest the recent thread
> > on war vs. peace with Iraq. We'll see if anyone was listening.
> > I don't mean to belabour the point, but I'm sometimes amazed at the
> > things you and I agree on.
> Is it possible for antiwar sentiments to become a gospel hobby? I
> believe it is, when those sentiments lead us to distort or misapprehend
> the words of our leaders. I think that's what is being done here.
> Elder Nelson quoted Section 135 and a WWII FP statement to this effect:
> [The scriptures] strongly condemn wars of aggression, but sustain
> obligations of citizens to defend their families and freedoms.
> Because "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents,
> rulers, and magistrates in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the
> law", members of this Church will be called into military service
> of many nations. "We believe that governments were instituted of
> God for the benefit of man, and that he holds men accountable for
> their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and in
> administering them for the good and safety of society." During
> the second world war, when members of the Church were forced to
> fight on opposing sides, the First presidency affirmed that "the
> state is responsible for the civil control of its citizens or
> subjects; for their political welfare; and for the carrying
> forward of political policies, domestic and foreign. But the
> Church itself, as such, has no responsibility for these policies,
> other than urging its members fully to render loyalty to their
> country." [...]
> Peace is a prime priority that pleads for our pursuit.
> He then made the following comments:
> Now, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
> Saints, what does the Lord expect of us? As a Church, we must
> renounce war and proclaim peace. As individuals, we should follow
> after the things which make for peace. We should be personal
> peacemakers. We should live peacefully as couples, families, and
> neighbors. We should live by the Golden Rule. We have writings of
> the descendents of Judah, as now merged with writings of the
> descendents of Ephraim. We should employ them, and expand our
> circle of love to embrace the whole human family. We should bring
> divine love and revealed doctrines of restored religion to our
> neighbors and friends. We should serve them according to our
> abilities and opportunities. We should keep our principles on a
> high level, and stand for the right. We should continue to gather
> scattered Israel from the four corners of the earth and offer the
> ordinances and covenants that seal families together forever.
> These blessings we are to bring to people of all nations. By so
> living, our Master will bless us.
> My analysis:
> Nowhere in here is found an explicit or implicit condemnation of the US
> actions against Iraq.
Something neither John nor I said, incidentally. Elder Nelson's sense of timing
is interesting, however, but I realize it could be coincidental. I'll snip the
rest of your analysis because as you point out, we all have our opinion, and I'll
let you express your's without any criticism from me.
Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland
"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and
falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark."
Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author
solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the authorís employer,
nor those of any organization with which the author may be associated.
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