November 10th, 2007

On President Hinckley’s “War and Peace”


photo credit: ChrisM70

Those who wish to either emphasize the fallibility of the Prophet or rubber-stamp the current Iraq war frequently cite President Hinckley’s “War and Peace” talk from the April 2003 General Conference. This talk is used by both sides of the aisle: the left, aiming to show the Prophet as being “just a man” who bought on to the neoconservative propaganda leading us into war; the right, aiming to show support from President Hinckley for the entire “war on terror”.

With both sides of the aisle using the same talk to justify their stances, where does one find firm ground to stand upon? What did Pres. Hinckley really say (and not say)?

First, it is important to understand the context in which the talk was given. This timeline of the Iraq war reminds us that only days before General Conference, the United States officially launched their offensive assault on the nation of Iraq, expanding the “war on terror” into another nation, this one ruled by a former ally. Support for the war was very high among Americans, and President Bush enjoyed a high approval rating (see table 2).

President Hinckley begins by stating that the war to which he refers is the “war on terrorism”:

And so I venture to say something about the war and the gospel we teach. I spoke of this somewhat in our October conference of 2001. When I came to this pulpit at that time, the war against terrorism had just begun. The present war [in Iraq] is really an outgrowth and continuation of that conflict. Hopefully it is now drawing to a conclusion. (emphasis and bracketed comments added)

He then goes on to discuss war in general, and highlights the underpinning theme common to all wars:

Isaiah speaks further concerning that great conflict (see Isa. 14:12-20). Modern revelation gives additional light (see D&C 76:25-29), as does the book of Moses (see Moses 4:14), which tells of Satan’s plan to destroy the agency of man. (emphasis added)

Having stated who is at the head of such catastrophic campaigns, Pres. Hinckley discusses man’s propensity to glorify brutality (not unlike Pres. Kimball’s infamous talk on the subject):

We sometimes are prone to glorify the great empires of the past, such as the Ottoman Empire, the Roman and Byzantine Empires, and in more recent times, the vast British Empire. But there is a darker side to every one of them. There is a grim and tragic overlay of brutal conquest, of subjugation, of repression, and an astronomical cost in life and treasure. (emphasis added)

In an effort to apply such things to ourselves, the question should be asked: do we glorify any current empires? Are we nationalists who support or ignore the “darker side” of modern empire, or patriots who bind our leaders down to the Constitution? While there are various types of governments throughout the world (some quite oppressive), even a Republic can produce “brutal conquest”, “subjugation”, “repression” and “astronomical cost in life and treasure”. Surely we’ve seen such things in our own land.

But empires cannot long survive without an emperor or tyrant at its helm, fanning the flames of war. Of such tyrants, President Hinckley said:

In the course of history tyrants have arisen from time to time who have oppressed their own people and threatened the world. Such is adjudged to be the case presently, and consequently great and terrifying forces with sophisticated and fearsome armaments have been engaged in battle. (emphasis added)

There are two important things of note here. The first is that a characteristic of a tyrant is one who oppresses his own people and threatens the world. In our day of the Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act, domestic wiretapping, insanely high deficit spending, and all sorts of other repressive political policies, one might consider our own government oppressive (in some cases physically so, in most others, economically/socially). And the fact that we have soldiers and bases established in over 130 countries lends credence to the argument that we threaten the world through our hegemony.

Now, some might play the “luxury” card, arguing that because of our freedoms and standard of living, we are not nearly as oppressed as others throughout the world. While in comparison this is true, it nevertheless remains a fact that our own government has been oppressive not only to certain individuals whose constitutional liberties were refused, but also to the general public through the passing of comprehensive legislation which infringes upon constitutional guarantees and sidesteps fundamental liberties once enjoyed by and secured for all.

Regardless of one’s desire to apply this statement to our own nation, it is easy to apply this statement to a man like Saddam Hussein. But the second important thing to notice is the word ‘adjudged’ used by President Hinckley, indicating a transfer of responsibility for judgment. He did not say that “this is the case presently,” but instead that others have judged and decided that such was the case at the time.

Some might say that because he is the prophet, President Hinckley should have known the truth about the government’s judgment and claim of the war, and spoken out accordingly. Perhaps he did very well know the faulty nature of the government’s claim; we do not know, since he here only states what others in power have judged to be the case.

But in the case of speculating how much the prophet knew at the time, let us not assume that the prophet can make any demands of the Lord. While he has access to revelation and guidance for the church as a whole, and no doubt understands things far better than the rest of us do, in no way does his prophetic mantle entitle him to know whatever it is he desires. Who is to say that the Lord withheld an answer from his questions regarding the war? Who is to say he even asked? While the Lord can give revelation in response to a question, or even when no question was asked, it is naïve to assume that the prophet knows everything about everything.

The talk continues citing the condition of soldiers and civilians alike, all with different perspectives on and experiences regarding the war, showing what a difference of opinion is held by various members of the Church throughout the world. The question is then posed by President Hinckley: “Where does the Church stand in all of this?”

After stating our love and respect for people of all faiths, he says:

But as citizens we are all under the direction of our respective national leaders.

This is in harmony with our scriptures, which say that “we believe that all men are bound to sustain and uphold the respective governments in which they reside”.

I pause here to note an important distinction regarding the office of the President. Despite low approval ratings, a widespread recognition that he has plummeted our nation into debt, and the creation of ill feelings towards our nation abroad, many feel that the office of the President should still command our respect and support. The distinction I wish to make is that the President is our President, and only our President. Unfortunately, many also seem to feel that during wartime he is also our Commander-in-Chief. This is not the case.

Inasmuch as our leaders are respecting the rule of law and adhering to the Constitution, they deserve our support and obedience. But as the verse cited above continues, we are to do so “while protected in [our] inherent and inalienable rights by the laws of such governments”. A president who abuses his power deserves neither our respect nor our allegiance. So said Theodore Roosevelt:

Every man who parrots the cry of ‘stand by the President’ without adding the proviso ‘so far as he serves the Republic’ takes an attitude as essentially unmanly as that of any Stuart royalist who championed the doctrine that the King could do no wrong. No self-respecting and intelligent free man could take such an attitude. (Theodore Roosevelt, via Quoty)

Referring to the leaders of nations, President Hinckley then says:

They have access to greater political and military intelligence than do the people generally.

Again, President Hinckley defers judgment to those with access to such intelligence (or lack thereof, some might argue). Rather than openly stating his approval of the war or its proposed reasons, he shifts accountability to those who have acted on the information they had.

This statement is true—political and military leaders have access to more intelligence than we do. But it is also true that such intelligence can be skewed, suppressed, misinterpreted, manipulated, and fabricated. Such has clearly been the case with the Iraq war, showing that those who adjudged that Saddam had WMDs were either lying or completely misinformed.

The fact that our leaders generally have access to greater intelligence does not condone their actions in the slightest.

Continuing:

Those in the armed services are under obligation to their respective governments to execute the will of the sovereign. When they joined the military service, they entered into a contract by which they are presently bound and to which they have dutifully responded.

As the scripture cited above shows, the allegiance is contingent upon the respect of law. The oaths of enlistment and of office clearly state that our military is to guard against enemies both foreign and domestic. Under no circumstance are they obliged at any time, future or present, to become the puppets of a dictator imposing his will on the masses as he pleases. President Hinckley is correct in stating that they have entered a contract by which they are bound. One would hope that all such soldiers would take it seriously.

Such a regard for law was evident in our Church’s history, when General Doniphan was ordered by his superior to shoot Joseph Smith. His response:

It is cold blooded murder. I will not obey your order. … and if you execute these men, I will hold you responsible before an earthly tribunal, so help me God.

And so, subjecting ourselves to the executive is clearly contingent upon the Constitutionality and legality of their orders.

Continuing:

In a democracy we can renounce war and proclaim peace. There is opportunity for dissent. Many have been speaking out and doing so emphatically. That is their privilege. That is their right, so long as they do so legally. However, we all must also be mindful of another overriding responsibility, which I may add, governs my personal feelings and dictates my personal loyalties in the present situation.

First, President Hinckley acknowledges the opportunity to legally protest and dissent. He recognizes this as a privilege and right. In doing so, however, he states that we must be mindful of another responsibility. The reader will note that he states that this responsibility governs his personal feeelings and loyalties in the current situation (war). This is a statement of personal opinion, not an over-the-pulpit suggestion, declaration, or commandment to think likewise.

That responsibility, as he goes on to explain, is the need to sometimes “fight for family, for liberty, and against tyranny, threat, and oppression.” He cites a few scriptures supporting this fact, and states that nations at times are justified in doing so, and at other times obligated to do so.

The question to be asked, then, is “when are nations justified in doing so?” President McKay gave us the answer:

We see that war is incompatible with Christ’s teachings. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the gospel of peace. War is its antithesis and produces hate. It is vain to attempt to reconcile war with true Christianity. There are, however, two conditions which may justify a truly Christian man to enter, mind you, I say enter, not begin, a war: (1) an attempt to dominate and to deprive another of his free agency, and (2) loyalty to his country. Possibly there is a third, viz., defense of a weak nation that is being unjustly crushed by a strong ruthless one. (David O. McKay, via Quoty)

One might opine that President Hinckley was indirectly stating that he supported the Iraq war, as a war to fight for liberty, against tyranny, and topple a dictator. Even if that was his exact opinion at the time, he previously stated that it was based on the judgment of our leaders who had stated such to be the case. At no time did he express approval in general of the current policy, nor dictate that our support should be given down the road when new information was discovered or our cause, once thought to be noble, was learned to be fraudulent and pre-planned.

In a talk he gave three years ago, President Hinckley described the Book of Mormon as being “as current as the morning newspaper and much more definitive, inspired, and inspiring concerning the solutions of [our] problems.” Documenting its prophetic nature regarding our day, he said:

I know of no other writing which sets forth with such clarity the tragic consequences to societies that follow courses contrary to the commandments of God. Its pages trace the stories of two distinct civilizations that flourished on the Western Hemisphere. Each began as a small nation, its people walking in the fear of the Lord. But with prosperity came growing evils. The people succumbed to the wiles of ambitious and scheming leaders who oppressed them with burdensome taxes, who lulled them with hollow promises, who countenanced and even encouraged loose and lascivious living. These evil schemers led the people into terrible wars that resulted in the death of millions and the final and total extinction of two great civilizations in two different eras. (emphasis added)

Again we find the characteristic of a tyrant President Hinckley earlier described. This time, however, it refers to a leader oppressing the citizens of his own nation, leading them into wars, taxing them beyond reason, and lying to them.

If a person wishes to believe that the talk currently being analyzed gives express approval of the Iraq war and “war on terrorism” in general, s/he would need to reconcile those statements and beliefs with the talk cited here by the same author. Clearly our nation has not been given prophetic approbation regarding the current war.

Continuing:

This places us in the position of those who long for peace, who teach peace, who work for peace, but who also are citizens of nations and are subject to the laws of our governments. Furthermore, we are a freedom-loving people, committed to the defense of liberty wherever it is in jeopardy.

This single statement has been used by some to defend foreign intervention—America getting involved in the business of other nations. Surely President Hinckley is not endorsing anything that would run contrary to the Constitution. Nowhere in the Constitution is our President authorized to invade other nations and change their forms of governments. What, then, is President Hinckley endorsing?

Said President Benson on the matter:

There is one and only one legitimate goal of United States foreign policy. It is a narrow goal, a nationalistic goal: the preservation of our national independence. Nothing in the Constitution grants that the president shall have the privilege of offering himself as a world leader. He is our executive; he is on our payroll; he is supposed to put our best interests in front of those of other nations. Nothing in the Constitution nor in logic grants to the president of the United States or Congress the power to influence the political life of other countries, to ‘uplift’ their cultures, to bolster their economies, to feed their people, or even defend them against their enemies. (Ezra Taft Benson, via Quoty)

So when President Hinckley says that we are committed to the defense of liberty wherever it is in jeopardy, is he suggesting that we are morally authorized to go around the world “spreading democracy”? I don’t think so. Rather, I think that he’s suggesting that Americans can defend liberty in America, Spaniards can do so in Spain, Afghans in Afghanistan, etc..

Those who believe otherwise need to apply the Golden Rule to their assertions. If it’s okay for us to meddle in the affairs of other nations to defend liberty, would we be so willing to see China, Russia, or Chile enter our borders to safeguard our liberties and oppose un-Constitutional laws? Hardly. Why, then, are we somehow morally justified in doing so?

Additionally, I might add that being “committed to the defense of liberty” does not necessarily imply military force. Can we not as a people unite in prayer, monetary support, and vocal action to defend liberty and urge change? I’m very committed right now to the defense of liberty in Darfur, but you don’t see me joining up with the UN police forces to patrol the streets and stop the bloodshed. Does that mean I’m not truly trying to defend liberty wherever it is in jeopardy?

Continuing, President Hinckley says:

I believe that God will not hold men and women in uniform responsible as agents of their government in carrying forward that which they are legally obligated to do. It may even be that He will hold us responsible if we try to impede or hedge up the way of those who are involved in a contest with forces of evil and repression.

This statement is in harmony with a First Presidency message from 1942 that said:

The whole world is in the midst of a war that seems the worst of all time. This Church is a worldwide church. Its devoted members are in both camps. They are the innocent war instrumentalities of their warring sovereignties. On each side they believe they are fighting for home and country and freedom. On each side, our brethren pray to the same God, in the same name, for victory. Both sides cannot be wholly right; perhaps neither is without wrong. God will work out in His own due time and in His own sovereign way the justice and right of the conflict, but He will not hold the innocent instrumentalities of the war, our brethren in arms, responsible for the conflict. This is a major crisis in the world-life of man. God is at the helm.

The next statement I find to be interesting, in light of the sentiment many seem to have towards those in the Middle East:

Now, there is much that we can and must do in these perilous times. We can give our opinions on the merits of the situation as we see it, but never let us become a party to words or works of evil concerning our brothers and sisters in various nations on one side or the other. Political differences never justify hatred or ill will. I hope that the Lord’s people may be at peace one with another during times of trouble, regardless of what loyalties they may have to different governments or parties.

A tactic used by pro-war politicians in every age and type of government is to demonize the enemy. Those who subscribe to the notion that our enemies are evil reincarnate must ponder these words by President Hinckley. To be sure, there are many throughout the world (and in our own country) that have a desire for bloodshed and death. This is nothing new, and we read of it extensively in the Book of Mormon. But is it a characteristic of swaths of people our government has declared to be in the “axis of evil”? Are there not innocent people who stand in the path of destruction in every war?

We know that you are not in that land of blowing sand and brutal heat because you enjoy the games of war. The strength of your commitment is measured by your willingness to give your very lives for that in which you believe.

Obviously, both sides of the battle are not fighting for the “true” cause. As the First Presidency message above noted, both sides feel they are right, yet both are probably not without wrong. And so, President Hinckley here does not say that they are giving their lives for “that which is right”, but instead says “that in which you believe”. Soldiers often are nothing more than pawns in a politician’s game of Risk, and are subject to the propaganda of their respective governments regarding their respective policies and positions.

Closing his remarks, President Hinckley says:

We call upon the Lord, whose strength is mighty and whose powers are infinite, to bring an end to the conflict, an end that will result in a better life for all concerned. The Lord has declared, “For I, the Lord, rule in the heavens above, and among the armies of the earth” (D&C 60:4).

Few notice that President Hinckley, a man suing for peace, calls for an end to the war—an end, he notes, that “will result in a better life for all concerned.” Could it just be that President Hinckley recognizes the moral, Constitutional, and societal benefits of bringing our troops home and ending this bloodshed? Granted, the Lord knows how best to end such conflict, but leaves man with the very agency which allows him to wage war and bring and early death to those who would otherwise continue to enjoy peace and a long life.

Not one to focus on negative, depressing things, President Hinckley ends his talk on a positive note, reinforcing the need for and possibility to attain peace:

[Jesus] has said, “Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me” (D&C 19:23).

And there, my brothers and sisters, we rest our faith. Regardless of the circumstances, we have the comfort and peace of Christ our Savior, our Redeemer, the living Son of the living God. I so testify in His holy name, even the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

And there you have it. I find this to be a masterful discourse by our Prophet, and am saddened to see it being twisted both to the left and the right, used by both sides to advance their agendas and claim prophetic endorsement.

107 Responses to “On President Hinckley’s “War and Peace””

  1. Dan
    November 10, 2007 at 12:34 pm #

    That was a good spin, Connor. Unfortunately, it isn’t accurate. But if it helps you sleep better at night, believe what you like.

  2. Kelly W.
    November 10, 2007 at 1:51 pm #

    Interesting to me is the fact that President Hinckley has not brought up the subject again in any General Conference talk since then, nor has any other speaker. This fact, in and of itself, ought to speak volumes. It is almost as if the speakers have avoided the subject on purpose.

    In an interview with Larry King (or was it Dan Rather?) after his famous talk was delivered, President Hinckley was on record saying the war on Iraq has been a disaster.

    I like it when a prophet of the Lord gives me not only permission, but a suggestion to voice my opinions on the matter – whatever they may be – as long as I don’t break any laws doing so.

    But, it appears now that our Constitutional liberties of free speech to oppose the war and the Neocons’ imperialistic attempts of world hegemony are quickly coming to a close. Perhaps even my rights of free speech on this blog are vulnerable to wiretapping, and endanger me of being placed on some secret No Fly List in the future. But, if such ends up being the case, I can sleep well at night because a prophet of the Lord told me to voice my opinions on the matter.

  3. Michael L. McKee
    November 10, 2007 at 2:55 pm #

    Connor:

    Congratulations on offering such a profoundly accurate summation on this topic. I am certain President Hinckley would emphatically concur with your assessment of his words. I certainly do and I believe anyone else who takes the time to ponder and consider your exhaustive research and efforts would feel likewise.

    I was particularly pleased with the words of President Benson. They are so true and spot on with pure Constitutional understanding and logic. He was such a wise and judicious leader of the Lord’s Church as well as an asset to our government during his tenure with the Department of Agriculture. I am grateful to Heavenly Father for his work before, during and after his call to be the mouthpiece of the Lord. It would have been a tremendous blessing to this nation had it been possible to elect him as President of the United States.

    Hopefully the people of the United States will realize just how much we need a man such as Ron Paul. I am confident he can turn this land around and convince the majority of the people to deny those who have been most destructive to our spiritual welfare any further control of our government. I believe his efforts are going to deliver a severe blow to the so-called top tier presidential candidates on the left and the right.

    BTW, I appreciate knowing that I shall enjoy a restful and recouperative sleep tonight after reading your inspired and insightful commentary. Keep up the good work and may God bless the Republic of the United States of America.

  4. Allie
    November 10, 2007 at 3:14 pm #

    How do you know that this interpretation is spin Dan? Perhaps your interpretation is spin.

    Nice Post.

  5. Michael L. McKee
    November 10, 2007 at 4:22 pm #

    I hope others will find wisdom in the following:

    “I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic…so help me God.”
    — Oath taken to become a lawful American citizen

    “We the people are the rightful masters of both congress and the courts — not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”
    — Abraham Lincoln

    “Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful woes of Republican government.– James Madison

    “Americans think their danger is terrorists. They don’t understand the terrorists cannot take away habeas corpus, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution…. The terrorists are not anything like the threat we face from our own government in the name of fighting terrorism…. The American constitutional system is near to being overthrown.”
    — Paul Craig Roberts

    “Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficial.”
    — Justice Louis Brandeis

    “When the people fear their government, there is Tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”
    — Thomas Jefferson

    “John Adams wrote, ‘Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.’ We stand at a defining moment for America. If we do not act now, we risk the freedoms that sweat, blood, sacrifice, and loyalty to inalienable rights have earned us over the past two-hundred thirty-one years.”
    — Naomi Wolf Author of “‘The end of America: letter of warning to a young patriot.’

    “When even one American — who has done nothing wrong — is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth, then all Americans are in peril.”
    — Harry S. Truman

    “To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”
    — Theodore Roosevelt

    “The Greatest Enemy Of Knowledge Is Not Ignorance…
    … It Is The illusion Of Knowledge”
    — Stephen Hawking

    “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”
    — William Casey, CIA Director (first staff meeting, 1981)

    Finally, I found an article @ Meridian Magazine a few days ago entitled “RENOUNCE WAR AND PROCLAIM PEACE – Early Beginnings by Andrew C. Skinner. It was quite thought provoking and informative. It was Chapter One, and I will be looking forward to reading additional wisdom from this prolific author and man of wisdom and understanding. I have also found a web site with daily emails which is http://www.NewsWithViews.com.

  6. Kelly Winterton
    November 10, 2007 at 7:26 pm #

    Michael, you say – “finally” you found an article on peace at Meridian Magazine. I am not quite sure what you mean by that. Having at one time been a consistent reader at Meridian Magazine, I think I can interpret your word “finally.” I used to read Meridian for the religious content, but was very turned off by the pro-war stance of the site during the run-up to the Iraq War and the support of Bush in his lies of WMD. I even wrote an email about the blatant support for pre-emptive war and lies of WMD to the editor of Meridian, and received back a very short and to the point reply wherein he said to me in no uncertain terms that Bush and Republicans were pushing through God’s will in the Iraq War. I was very turned off, and quit at that point even going to Meridian Magazine anymore. But, at your suggestion of a good article on proclaiming peace, I went to Meridian Magazine for the first time in a couple years. I found the article and read it. It was a super-great article that expresses my desire for LDS Saints to proclaim peace, not pre-emptive war, and the article also stated my very firm belief that Satan is the one who wants war, not the Prince of Peace. Any endowed member ought to know from Temple teachings that Satan’s promise to us, as he was being cast out of the Garden, was to buy up armies and navies and use them to bring God’s plan to naught by the use of blood and horror (Shock and Awe).

    I hope Meridian’s editor is coming around to see that pre-emptive war is not the answer.

    As for NewsWithViews, I have also visited there from time to time. It is at this site where I learned to love the articles of one of the contributors there – Deanna Spingola. She is LDS, and is one of USA’s brightest minds in political things. I would recommend everybody – LDS or not – to visit her site at http://www.spingola.com/my_articles.htm

  7. Josh Williams
    November 10, 2007 at 9:03 pm #

    In the course of history tyrants have arisen from time to time who have oppressed their own people and threatened the world. Such is adjudged to be the case presently, and consequently great and terrifying forces with sophisticated and fearsome armaments have been engaged in battle………

    I believe that Pres. Hinckley was referring specifically to Saddam Husein here; how ironic that the statement might equally well apply to Bush/Cheney and friends…..

    Are there not innocent people who stand in the path of destruction in every war?

    A fair question, but a naive one. The business of war is death; a colt revolver is the great equalizer. War doesn’t discriminate between guilty or innocent, good or bad. Most of the time it doesn’t really discriminate between friend and foe; a gun doesn’t care who it is pointed at. In essence, the only point of war, is for one group of people to destroy another.

    Now, I am not saying this to condone unethical and criminal wartime behavior. I am saying that by starting a war, you are presuming that and that the rest is just details. You are presuming that all the alternatives to going war, are even worse….

    That was a good spin, Connor. Unfortunately, it isn’t accurate…….

    How so, Dan? Please elaborate?

    Sure, this site is, in fact, a blog, a freelance editorial. As such most of the content should be considered at least partly a matter of personal opinion. I’d rather see Connor, or other posters on this site, accused of fallacious reasoning, or of using false information, or taking quotes out of context; I don’t really care about “spin.”

  8. Jay
    November 11, 2007 at 12:46 am #

    Connor, I only disagree with one thing you said.

    “A president who abuses his power deserves neither our respect nor our allegiance.”

    I do not believe in the notion that respect must be earned. I believe that we are required to give respect freely to all of God’s children, whether we disagree with them or not. That is the example that the Savior taught, as beautifully illustrated in the story of the adultress who was caught in the very act.

    I respect George W. Bush. I think he’s an awful president. But he is my brother and child of God.

    Jay

  9. Michael L. McKee
    November 11, 2007 at 7:59 am #

    Kelly

    My reference to “finally” indicated I was about to finish my commentary. However your point is well taken.

    I, too, have stopped receiving daily email feeds from some organizations when they began to mix political spin in with their typical format. I consider the overall content of Meridian Magazine to be to my liking so I therefore continue to receive it as a daily feed. That being said, I have been rather put-off by the Proctors lately since they seem to be in the Mitt Romney camp personally, and it seems they are actively seeking second-hand negative rhetoric concerning Ron Paul. I even emailed them with my concerns, but it was not delivered. It is likely due to my ineptness in doing some of the things I attempt to do, but I am uncertain. The Andrew Skinner article is just one of the many articles I have considered which will keep me going back for the goodness of the site. Besides I have found that when I reject a site simply because I do not agree with the stand they foist upon me, I am losing touch with my constitutional understanding as well as denying myself the benefit of worthy reading.

    I receive NWV as a daily Email Alert and I recommend this to all. Deanna Spingola is one of many contributors who have done and do a great deal of research to offer readers an alternative to so-called mainstream news. I rely on my daily feeds from many sources to help be better understand where I need to study more to be certain I am an effective force in the fight for restoration of our freedoms and liberty. I also believe the Lord would want us to consider the views of others outside of our faith. That is especially true when they are Christians who are fighting to save the Constitution as well. One of my favorites is Pastor Chuck Baldwin who believes in the Mormon cult theory. He is for Ron Paul all the way, and his understanding of the Constitution is exceptional.

    May God bless the Republic of the United States of America and the Ron Paul Revolution.

  10. Sam Hennis
    November 11, 2007 at 12:34 pm #

    Excellent post Connor.

    “If America is destroyed, it may be by Americans who salute the flag, sing the national anthem, march in patriotic parades, cheer Fourth of July speakers – normally good Americans who fail to comprehend what is required to keep our country strong and free – Americans who have been lulled away into a false security.” (April 1968, General Conference Report)

    “If the Gentiles on this land reject the word of God and conspire to overthrow liberty and the Constitution, their doom is fixed, and they ‘shall be cut off from among my people who are of the covenant’ (1 Nephi 14:6; 3 Nephi 21:11, 14, 21; D&C 84:114-115, 117). (God Family, Country, p. 345.) (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson p. 618-119.)

  11. Dan
    November 11, 2007 at 3:50 pm #

    Let me explain why I see Connor’s thesis here as spin. It actually starts with Connor himself, who was opposed to the war in Iraq (I’m guessing from the start, but I don’t know that. At least he is opposed to it now). He considers the war in Iraq to be illegal and unconstitutional. As such, he probably considers our president to have violated the Constitution, and worthy to be subject to war crimes trials. That is an assumption, and I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. In any case, Connor sees the war in Iraq as the wrong thing to have done.

    Connor also take the word of the prophets very seriously. If indeed the prophet were to have fully supported the war, that means that he should too, because in his eyes, whatever the prophet says, goes. He’s said that before, on several occasions. Follow the Prophet, right?

    So we have Connor against the war in Iraq, and Connor believing in the word of the prophet. Now that we have that angle covered, we can move on to President Hinckley’s talk. See, if President Hinckley’s talk in any way shape or form approved the war in Iraq, that means that Connor must approve of the war in Iraq. And to do so would either mean that Connor and the Prophet are going against the Constitution, or Connor’s beliefs can’t handle this apparent paradox. It cannot be the latter, because that would destroy all Connor believes in. And it cannot be the former, because that also would destroy all Connor believes in. So it must be something else.

    It must be that President Hinckley somehow did NOT support the war in Iraq. Of course President Hinckley is a much kinder, more subdued man than Connor’s favorite prophets, Ezra Taft Benson etc, who don’t mince their words. President Hinckley was supposedly subtle about his non-support. See, it doesn’t matter that most everybody else who listened to his talk agree that President Hinckley, while chiding empire-building, gave Captain Moroni-type support to the actions America had just undertaken.

    But, just, what IF President Hinckley indeed supported the war in Iraq? What if indeed he, stating his personal opinions on the matter, felt it was the right thing to do? Can Connor continue supporting a man like Ron Paul who has been clearly against the war? How could he when his prophet was supporting the war?

    Now, let’s get to his talk and Connor’s commentary. To understand President Hinckley’s talk best, we need to read some of his comments from his October 2001 talk called “The Times In Which We Live.” In that talk, President Hinckley states:

    Those of us who are American citizens stand solidly with the president of our nation. The terrible forces of evil must be confronted and held accountable for their actions. This is not a matter of Christian against Muslim. I am pleased that food is being dropped to the hungry people of a targeted nation. We value our Muslim neighbors across the world and hope that those who live by the tenets of their faith will not suffer. I ask particularly that our own people do not become a party in any way to the persecution of the innocent. Rather, let us be friendly and helpful, protective and supportive. It is the terrorist organizations that must be ferreted out and brought down.

    To this point, everything is cool. We’re going after the bad guys who actually attacked us. They were all in Afghanistan (even though they mostly came from Saudi Arabia, but we’re not going to open that can of worms now).

    We of this Church know something of such groups. The Book of Mormon speaks of the Gadianton robbers, a vicious, oath-bound, and secret organization bent on evil and destruction. In their day they did all in their power, by whatever means available, to bring down the Church, to woo the people with sophistry, and to take control of the society. We see the same thing in the present situation.

    This argument has been made before, that today’s terrorists are like the long ago Gadianton Robbers. (I wonder what President Hinckley personally thinks about how the Nephites took care of the Gadianton Robbers in 3 Nephi 3:20-21. I’ve always been curious about that). He continues:

    We are people of peace. We are followers of the Christ who was and is the Prince of Peace. But there are times when we must stand up for right and decency, for freedom and civilization, just as Moroni rallied his people in his day to the defense of their wives, their children, and the cause of liberty (see Alma 48:10).

    Now here is where we start getting into trouble. Standing up for right and decency is one thing, and Captain Moroni was a worthy man to follow. But…well…the problem is that Captain Moroni never once took Nephite soldiers into Lamanite territory to “stop indecency.” Captain Moroni defended his country when his country was attacked. Once repelling his enemy’s forces from their territory, he did not pursue them to their homes to wipe them out. And in 3 Nephi 3:20-21, we read the following about how the Nephites took care of the Gadianton Robbers who kept terrorizing them:

    20 Now the people said unto Gidgiddoni: Pray unto the Lord, and let us go up upon the mountains and into the wilderness, that we may fall upon the robbers and destroy them in their own lands.
    21 But Gidgiddoni saith unto them: The Lord forbid; for if we should go up against them the Lord would deliver us into their hands; therefore we will prepare ourselves in the center of our lands, and we will gather all our armies together, and we will not go against them, but we will wait till they shall come against us; therefore as the Lord liveth, if we do this he will deliver them into our hands.

    The people wanted revenge. They wanted to go into the lands of the Robbers and wipe them out. The prophet said, no, for if we were to go to them, they would kill us. But if we wait here in our land, they will come against us and lose.

    Now, why would President Hinckley use two examples from the Book of Mormon that DO NOT fit with our actions today? We weren’t defending America by going into Afghanistan. We were going into the lands of our enemies to wipe them out. In both examples, taking out the Gadianton Robbers, and defending against Lamanite encroaches, both actions were done IN NEPHITE COUNTRY. How can those be used as justification for action anywhere else in the world? They can’t. Not justifiably.

    In any case, he was speaking to an audience that wanted blood.

    No one knows how long it will last. No one knows precisely where it will be fought. No one knows what it may entail before it is over. We have launched an undertaking the size and nature of which we cannot see at this time.

    It didn’t have to be like this, President Hinckley. We were merely going after terrorists. This is nothing at all in the same scope as say World War I or World War II. Why make it larger than it was?

    Now the following is what should send chills down your spine, Connor. You and the rest of your libertarian friends. A prophet of the Lord just said the following in October 2001:

    Now, brothers and sisters, we must do our duty, whatever that duty might be. Peace may be denied for a season. Some of our liberties may be curtailed. We may be inconvenienced. We may even be called on to suffer in one way or another. But God our Eternal Father will watch over this nation and all of the civilized world who look to Him. He has declared, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Ps. 33:12). Our safety lies in repentance. Our strength comes of obedience to the commandments of God.

    He just gave tacit approval of curtailing liberties. I wonder which liberties he meant? How about being spied on by our government? What about torture? What about free speech? What liberties are worth the price, President Hinckley? These are the words of neo-conservatives here, not libertarians. These are the words of the enemies of the likes of Mr. Ron Paul.

    So now that we have that in mind, we can move on to President Hinckley’s War and Peace talk from April 2003, a mere two weeks after we invaded Iraq. It would be the following week that we would officially “win” the battle, and the following month that President Bush would strut around like a peacock on the deck of an aircraft carrier.

    So what does President Hinckley say about the war in Iraq?

    And so I venture to say something about the war and the gospel we teach. I spoke of this somewhat in our October conference of 2001. When I came to this pulpit at that time, the war against terrorism had just begun. The present war is really an outgrowth and continuation of that conflict. Hopefully it is now drawing to a conclusion.

    Note what is imporant here. This war in Iraq is an extension of the war in Afghanistan. What was the war in Afghanistan about? Let’s read President Hinckley’s words again:

    Those of us who are American citizens stand solidly with the president of our nation. The terrible forces of evil must be confronted and held accountable for their actions. This is not a matter of Christian against Muslim. I am pleased that food is being dropped to the hungry people of a targeted nation. We value our Muslim neighbors across the world and hope that those who live by the tenets of their faith will not suffer. I ask particularly that our own people do not become a party in any way to the persecution of the innocent. Rather, let us be friendly and helpful, protective and supportive. It is the terrorist organizations that must be ferreted out and brought down.

    The war in Afghanistan, in President Hinckley’s words, was about confronting and holding accountable those who attacked us, to “ferret” out and bring down those terrorist organizations.” So if Iraq is a continuation of that war, then President Hinckley agreed with President Bush who made it his business to tie the two wars together, who desperately worked to convince Americans that Al-Qaeda and Saddam had the closest of relationships. It sure looks to me like President Hinckley bought the rationale.

    Twice he goes on to quote the war in heaven, using the book of Revelation as his guide. Both in this talk and in the October 2001 talk. He really believes that the current conflict is a continuation of THAT conflict. If he didn’t, then he would not bring it up.

    Isaiah speaks further concerning that great conflict (see Isa. 14:1220). Modern revelation gives additional light (see D&C 76:2529), as does the book of Moses (see Moses 4:14), which tells of Satan’s plan to destroy the agency of man.

    He continues with that line, which is where Connor gets off track and begins his spin of what President Hinckley believes about Iraq. Connor states:

    In an effort to apply such things to ourselves, the question should be asked: do we glorify any current empires? Are we nationalists who support or ignore the “darker side” of modern empire, or patriots who bind our leaders down to the Constitution? While there are various types of governments throughout the world (some quite oppressive), even a Republic can produce “brutal conquest”, “subjugation”, “repression” and “astronomical cost in life and treasure”. Surely we’ve seen such things in our own land.

    And

    There are two important things of note here. The first is that a characteristic of a tyrant is one who oppresses his own people and threatens the world. In our day of the Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act, domestic wiretapping, insanely high deficit spending, and all sorts of other repressive political policies, one might consider our own government oppressive (in some cases physically so, in most others, economically/socially). And the fact that we have soldiers and bases established in over 130 countries lends credence to the argument that we threaten the world through our hegemony.

    I don’t think Connor understood President Hinckley’s words well. When President Hinckley was talking about tyrants who oppress their own people, he was NOT talking about America. See, the Revelation talk should have given it away. But Connor needs to cover his butt, sort to speak. President Hinckley believes America is continuing the “good fight” from the war in heaven against today’s tyrants who oppress their own people. After all, if Connor had read President Hinckley’s October 2001 talk well enough, he would have realized that President Hinckley gave his tacit approval of “curtailing civil liberties.” Personally, I doubt President Hinckley realized his good friend Mr. Bush would have taken it so far. But that’s what happens when you have blind trust in your political leaders.

    In any case, let’s continue on with President Hinckley’s approval of the war in Iraq. We read:

    There have been casualties in this terrible conflict, and there likely will be more. Public protests will likely continue. Leaders of other nations have, in no uncertain terms, condemned the coalition strategy.

    This is another key evidence to show that he does NOT condemn the coalition strategy, by stating that other leaders have, “in no uncertain terms” condemned the strategy. If President Hinckley were truly speaking out AGAINST the war, wouldn’t he join these and in “no uncertain terms” say something against the strategy? But he doesn’t. Instead, he begins to use again the Captain Moroni justification. Before he does that, however, he states:

    But as citizens we are all under the direction of our respective national leaders. They have access to greater political and military intelligence than do the people generally

    This is his ultimate failing in this war. He trusted that his government leaders 1) actually DID have access to greater political and military intelligence, and 2) would not have used it to take advantage. This is where his whole rationale about supporting the war fails. If our political leaders actually had access to better intelligence, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY would not be using it for nefarious reasons, then truly President Hinckley is correct. However, unfortunately, as Joseph Smith taught us in D&C 121, with even a small amount of authority, we begin to abuse it. And please, who in their right mind would ever trust a man like Bush with the protection of the nation?

    Personally I have never once given my support to President Bush. I was one of the 9% of Americans who disapproved of him after 9/11. I knew right from the start he would abuse that power he got with 9/11. NEVER trust your political officials with such power. President Hinckley should have known better.

    In a democracy we can renounce war and proclaim peace. There is opportunity for dissent. Many have been speaking out and doing so emphatically. That is their privilege. That is their right, so long as they do so legally. However, we all must also be mindful of another overriding responsibility, which I may add, governs my personal feelings and dictates my personal loyalties in the present situation.

    Now we get to his personal loyalties. It is interesting that he said “loyalties” and not “opinions.” Why loyalties? In any case, he speaks about one group, the ones who have been dissenting “emphatically.” He does not belong to that group. He says, “However,” we must be mindful to a “responsibility” which governs his “loyalties.” What is this responsibility that supposedly war critics weren’t watchful of? What is it about dissent that doesn’t support this “responsibility” vis a vis this particular war?

    It is here he gets into the Captain Moroni justification. After quoting the account of Captain Moroni, he says:

    It is clear from these and other writings that there are times and circumstances when nations are justified, in fact have an obligation, to fight for family, for liberty, and against tyranny, threat, and oppression.

    Unfortunately, President Hinckely is incorrect. While this account does justify an obligation to “fight for family, for liberty, and against tyranny, threat and oppression,” it does NOT justify taking this kind of fight to ANOTHER COUNTRY, especially one we are not at war with, and one that is not an actual threat to “our family, our liberty,” a nation that may be tyrannical and oppressive, but it does not threaten us, nor is tyrannical towards us, nor oppresses us. Ironically, we’ve been oppressing them!

    This places us in the position of those who long for peace, who teach peace, who work for peace, but who also are citizens of nations and are subject to the laws of our governments

    That’s a fine argument.

    Furthermore, we are a freedom-loving people, committed to the defense of liberty wherever it is in jeopardy.

    That is NOT. Captain Moroni was NOT “committed to the defense of liberty WHEREVER it is in jeopardy.” Ironically, there was no liberty in “jeopardy” in Iraq, because, hey, there WAS NO liberty to begin with!

    This is the most neo-conservative argument of President Hinckley’s, that we’ve gotta use our might for the fight of freedom ‘wherever it is in jeopardy.’ How can someone who supports Ron Paul agree with this? Or better yet, how can someone who supports the Prophet support someone like Ron Paul who criticizes this VERY KIND of philosophy?

    It may even be that He will hold us responsible if we try to impede or hedge up the way of those who are involved in a contest with forces of evil and repression.

    President Hinckley then sends a warning to the likes of me who will do anything I can to bring the troops back home from this reckless war which he calls “a contest with forces of evil and repression.” Do you really want more evidence that President Hinckley approved of the war in Iraq? When he states something like this, this should be evidence enough!

    Now, there is much that we can and must do in these perilous times. We can give our opinions on the merits of the situation as we see it, but never let us become a party to words or works of evil concerning our brothers and sisters in various nations on one side or the other. Political differences never justify hatred or ill will. I hope that the Lord’s people may be at peace one with another during times of trouble, regardless of what loyalties they may have to different governments or parties.

    This is a nice belief, President Hinckley, but I’m sorry to say that your silence on the topic since your War and Peace talk has been deafening, and not enough at all to keep members of your church from lashing at each other over political differences. I really wonder why you have not spoken on the topic since. After all, it is the topic the whole world is interested in. Maybe we could use a little inspired divine counsel on it. Maybe we could use some more words of comfort and guidance, so as to not have members of the church barking at each other over differences of opinion regarding the war you once supported. All we get is a vague reference from your good friend Mike Wallace that you think the war in Iraq is going badly. That’s not enough from the Prophet of the Lord, President Hinckley.

    We can hope and pray for that glorious day foretold by the prophet Isaiah when men “shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isa. 2:4).

    It won’t be anytime soon. Not as long as our prophet continues to be silent about the wars going on around us. Either we work to make a world where swords become plowshares, or we sit back and hope it becomes so. One will make it happen, the other will not.

    Now, where does Connor get it completely wrong? Let’s start here:

    Again, President Hinckley defers judgment to those with access to such intelligence (or lack thereof, some might argue). Rather than openly stating his approval of the war or its proposed reasons, he shifts accountability to those who have acted on the information they had.

    That is in reference to President Hinckley stating that political leaders have access to greater intelligence. While Connor may believe President Hinckley “shifts accountability” to political leaders, he is wrong, because President Hinckley, by stating so, puts his trust that what he is about to say will be valid because his political leaders say so. That’s like saying Colin Powell wasn’t at fault for his faulty UN speech. After all, it was a drunk taxi driver aptly named “Curveball” who gave him the false information. Colin Powell SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER. And sorry, Connor, but yes, indeed President Hinckley SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER. Heck YOU even say so yourself:

    But it is also true that such intelligence can be skewed, suppressed, misinterpreted, manipulated, and fabricated. Such has clearly been the case with the Iraq war, showing that those who adjudged that Saddam had WMDs were either lying or completely misinformed.

    What, did President Hinckley somehow NOT know this? How come a 22 year old boy know more than a 90 year old well travelled well learned prophet?

    And now we come to the ultimate paragraph of spin. This is where Connor must dance around his competing conflicts. The prophet must somehow not be supportive of the war in Iraq. Connor must still find a way to justify his own conflicting positions. He must support whatever the prophet says, and he must support his political views which are against the war in Iraq. So here he goes:

    One might opine that President Hinckley was indirectly stating that he supported the Iraq war, as a war to fight for liberty, against tyranny, and topple a dictator. Even if that was his exact opinion at the time, he previously stated that it was based on the judgment of our leaders who had stated such to be the case. At no time did he express approval in general of the current policy, nor dictate that our support should be given down the road when new information was discovered or our cause, once thought to be noble, was learned to be fraudulent and pre-planned.

    See, President Hinckley was NOT supporting the war in Iraq. You see, his view was “based on the judgment of our leaders who had stated that to be the case. At no time did he express approval in general of the current policy,” and so on. See, President Hinckley didn’t give us marching orders. He was subtle, see. Therefore, no support of the war. It’s a nice dance, Connor, but doesn’t pass muster.

    So when President Hinckley says that we are committed to the defense of liberty wherever it is in jeopardy, is he suggesting that we are morally authorized to go around the world “spreading democracy”? I don’t think so. Rather, I think that he’s suggesting that Americans can defend liberty in America, Spaniards can do so in Spain, Afghans in Afghanistan, etc..

    And here again, when faced with the possibility that President Hinckley’s views are not his own, Connor chooses a middle ground that does not exist. In no way shape or form was President Hinckley restricting our “fight for freedom wherever in jeopardy” to the Americas for the Americans, etc. Please, Connor, stop the spin.

    Additionally, I might add that being “committed to the defense of liberty” does not necessarily imply military force. Can we not as a people unite in prayer, monetary support, and vocal action to defend liberty and urge change? I’m very committed right now to the defense of liberty in Darfur, but you don’t see me joining up with the UN police forces to patrol the streets and stop the bloodshed. Does that mean I’m not truly trying to defend liberty wherever it is in jeopardy?

    That’s all nice, but unfortunately President Hinckley is not only talking about our action in Iraq, but he’s sure quoting a lot of military letters, and comments. He’s quoting a military leader (Captain Moroni) who used the military to “defend their homes, and liberty.” Sorry, Connor, but it is not the case that he was speaking generally about “defending liberty.”

    And there you have it. I find this to be a masterful discourse by our Prophet, and am saddened to see it being twisted both to the left and the right, used by both sides to advance their agendas and claim prophetic endorsement.

    And I find it saddening that some people would go out of their way to spin this into something it isn’t. You don’t think I was hoping that in April 2003 he would speak out forcefully against the war? I’ve been silently praying every conference that President Hinckley would finally denounce the war. Unfortunately all I’ve heard is silence, and this one and only talk of support. At least I’ve come around to accepting that our prophet supported the war. I wonder if you ever will, Connor.

  12. Jay
    November 11, 2007 at 6:22 pm #

    “At least I’ve come around to accepting that our prophet supported the war.”

    Until he says that he supported the war, it’s just speculation and you are certainly entitled to speculate.

    Jay

  13. Dan
    November 11, 2007 at 6:35 pm #

    Jay,

    Like I said, president Hinckley is a subtle man, unlike Benson. But he did support the war. His language matches that of war supporters. Fight for freedom wherever in jeopardy. Fight against tyranny. Look Captain Moroni did it, so can we. This is a continuation of the war in heaven. It is the same language all Mormon war supporters have used time and time again.

  14. AussieOi
    November 11, 2007 at 6:37 pm #

    Connor I really enjoyed your article. I saw your link from the RKY web site, where you can find me posting under my “19.5 Mysteries” moniker

    I am one who has chosen to interpret his words as speaking against Bush and war (as the metaphor/ puppet for the powers that be).

    However, hard as I try, I can’t get around that the 2003 conference talk was a supporting statement for that war action, as hard as I try to read into it otherwise.

    I think what you are doing is looking for the correct interpretation of what is the correct position. However, I don’t think that in this instance we can go to statements by other people, up to 60 years earlier, and subsequent statements, to clarify what he meant while the context of it was apparent.

    We were facing a brutal war where 60 million people had marches globally saying there are no WMD’s and a million Iraqis may die in this instance of shock and awe.

    I feel that your excellent work was undone by the neglect to explore one small bit, which I feel is central to the context of what he said. That was invoking the story of the US soldier and his mother and the freedom, sand, flies bit, and also invoking Captain Moroni. Invoking this was a clear position that one side was fighting for freedom, for their wives, freedom, liberty, god, religion.

    When I get a moment (with the markets crashing who gets a moment anymore in my game) I’ll send through my edits to that speech, which lean more to the left..(or right??) of what you have said, and suggests that the Iraqi’s were/ are justified in fighting for their freedom, for their wives, for their liberty, god, religion. But in any regards its just my interpretation of it.

    Like I say, I agree with your position when looked over the subsequent 4 years, but at that point in time I do feel that he stated a position as at that point in time.

    Having said that, you correctly picked up on 2 key words/ phrases. First was adjudged. That was critical. The second was about “that governs my feelings at this time” (words to effect).
    I
    was disappointed at the time- and still scratch my head before I defer to his greater wisdom/ judgement/ inspiration/ keys etc- as to why anyone’s opinion has a place at the rostrum- especially when so many Warmongering LDS will take those words as a fully sanctioned advocation for that war. I say this as we have countless talks in years gone by and also the D&C98 as our guide.

    If there was no inspiration for whatever reason as you allude to, then surely the safest bet was not to be ambiguous but revert to our doctrinal position- that no one can go to war unless the lord tells the prophet. D&C98 is pretty clear on that one.

    So, to that end, I say I am confused and remain confused, as subsequent events including accepting the Presidential Medal of Freedom from George Bush and awarding Dick Cheney with an honourary doctorate from BYU for services to humanity, or whatever it is, allude to tacit support of the US administration and their foreign policy.
    Having said this, instead of questioning the Prophets for speaking out less about one principle than they did before, I prefer to question why the Lord is causing His servants to be very cautious about what they say on the subject of Gadiantons today. I have to believe that greater good is being served by doing this? Perhaps the Lord has shown the Prophet what would happen to the Church if this subject was emphasized today with the eyes of the world upon us? Is it possible that the Gadianton influence is so pervasive that it would do more harm than good to speak directly out against it at this time?

    As frustrated as I geet because the church appears to not stand against the Gadiantons, I remember the following statement from Elder Benson in 1978 (emphasis mine)

    “Why is the Church not doing more to expose the evils of society?”

    Ezra Taft Benson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “May the Kingdom of God Go Forth,” Ensign, vol. 8, no. 5 (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, May 1978 pp. 32–33

    We may not be too far from the day prophesied by Heber C. Kimball, grandfather of President Spencer W. Kimball and member of the First Presidency. He said:

    “The Saints will be put to tests that will try the integrity of the best of them. The pressure will become so great that the more righteous among them will cry unto the Lord day and night until deliverance comes.” (“Prophecy of Heber C. Kimball,” Deseret News, Church Section, May 23, 1931, p. 3.)

    But remember the Lord has said in modern revelation, “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” (D&C 38:30.) Are we prepared? God help us to be so for the tests of the days ahead.

    With these prophetic warnings and assurances before us and evidences of evil increasing, Church members are asking: “Why is not the Church doing more to expose the evils of our society?” “Is there a great conspiracy?” “What can I do to fight false philosophies which have crept into our school systems and society in general?” …

    The Church will always stand for that which is honest, virtuous, true and praiseworthy. Such a pronounced stand for righteousness constitutes a repudiation against every evil and all false philosophies. The First Presidency and the Twelve are not oblivious to false philosophies and evils and will continue to warn the world and the Saints as the Lord directs.

    Yes, there is a conspiracy of evil. The source of it all is Satan and his hosts. He has a great power over men to “lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken” to the voice of the Lord. (Moses 4:4.) His evil influence may be manifest through governments; through false educational, political, economic, religious, and social philosophies; through secret societies and organizations; and through myriads of other forms.

  15. Sam Hennis
    November 11, 2007 at 7:00 pm #

    Is it possible that the Gadianton influence is so pervasive that it would do more harm than good to speak directly out against it at this time?

    I believe that has something to do with it.

    Here is an excerpt from the “Brother Law fireside.”

    “I was a member of the police commission in Calgary and in Canada and much involved in the anti-Communist activities, in fact, I was the first director of the Freeman Institute in Provo, Utah with Cleon Skousen. But I left that association and that activity because of President Lee’s request that we not tweak the tail of the beast. He told Bro. Skousen his whole program, the prophet is under constant pressure to protect the church against our own government. He said the beast is alive and thriving and he said we are threatened constantly with annihilation of the church, its properties, its ways of doing things, by our own system of government. He asked Bro. Benson to give no more anti-Communist talks and you have not heard him since that time. It’s kind of interesting; we have to be aware that when the prophet is changed, that often the direction of the church is changed.”

    You may read the rest of the talk here.

  16. AussieOi
    November 11, 2007 at 7:15 pm #

    I really enjoyed reading your response. If it were a debate I think you’d get the points over connor, as much as I want to believe his account. I think over time with the benefit of past speeches and later comments, Connors interpretation may prove to be correct in regards to the deliberate ambiguity, however, as at that time, and in isoltation- with the 2001 address as reference, context, and the invasion starting a few weeks earlier, I think you are on the money.

    You still sounds like you are active LDS? If so, you must have come to terms with it for various reasons. I know I have. It did take me 2 years to renew my TR though. If you go to http://www.latterdayconservative.com.au and search for posts from AussieOi you will see much of this has been explored and some good (positive) conclusions have emerged.

    As much as I personally believe that legally, morally & scripturally the pro-war position was wrong, and is wrong, I am also fundamentalist enough to believe- I have to believe- that there must be a greater reason as to why it was allowed to go and stand.

    I comment on a few of your comments.

    >>>>>>>>Now, brothers and sisters, we must do our duty, whatever that duty might be. Peace may be denied for a season. Some of our liberties may be curtailed. We may be inconvenienced. We may even be called on to suffer in one way or another.

    …………..He just gave tacit approval of curtailing liberties. I wonder which liberties he meant? How about being spied on by our government? What about torture? What about free speech? What liberties are worth the price, President Hinckley? These are the words of neo-conse

    It is possible he is telling those who understand that it is their duty to stand against those who are removing our liberties in our own government?

    >>>>>>>What was the war in Afghanistan about? Let’s read President Hinckley’s words again: Those of us who are American citizens stand solidly with the president of our nation. The terrible forces of evil must be confronted and held accountable for their actions…..It is the terrorist organizations that must be ferreted out and brought down.

    ……………I don’t think Connor understood President Hinckley’s words well. When President Hinckley was talking about tyrants who oppress their own people, he was NOT talking about America.

    I hope that he was talking about the gadiantons. I have decided to believe this. But it does appear it was referring to Saddam. Gosh I hope not.

    >>>>>>NEVER trust your political officials with such power. President Hinckley should have known better.

    I can only hope that he does and did. Prophets of the last dispendation could surely not defer foreign policy of such critical consequence to political hacks, aides, agencies and think tanks, which brings us to

    >>>>>>>It may even be that He will hold us responsible if we try to impede or hedge up the way of those who are involved in a contest with forces of evil and repression.

    This is a nice belief, President Hinckley, but I’m sorry to say that your silence on the topic since your War and Peace talk has been deafening, and not enough at all to keep members of your church from lashing at each other over political differences.

    Don’t I know it. At RKY (as 19.5) I sure get a heap for voicing a connor style interpretation.

    Which is what makes it so hard. Add lining up with those other false priests and accepting the Presidential Medal Of Freedom from Bush pre the 2004 election to their justification. I wondered if Samuel would have lined up next to the priests of Baal to accept a medal from Nebudchanezaar (or whoever/ whenever but you get my point)? Dittto Cheney at BYU and the honorary doctorate. That one really hurt.

    All I can hope is that there is greater reason. Personally I think there is. It is because the truth about this right and wrong is so bleedingly obvious that the heavens may have decided to remain silent.

    I mean, if one cannot see the depleted uranium, cluster bomb, abu ghraib, habeus corpus, white phosphorous, blackwater, guantanamo, secret rendition shock and awe horror that is being perpetrated in our name is purely a manifestation of satan on earth (gold, money, armies, navies, priests, tryants, oppress) then one must be are a blinded warmonger who does not even know their own scriptures- especially D&C98 v 30’s.

    I wonder if the membership is being sifted throug this?

    I hold that that prophet holds all the keys, does receive revelation and will never lead us astray. I also believe that he is not infallible either, for whatever reason that may entail.

  17. Sam Hennis
    November 11, 2007 at 8:06 pm #

    I wonder if the membership is being sifted throug this?

    Oh, most definitely. We’re at the point where if you don’t know your scriptures and have a keen sense of right and wrong, you’re hopeless.

    I don’t expect the prophet to say much if anything more about the “war on terror.” It’s up to us as church members to seek the truth individually by the Spirit.

  18. Kelly Winterton
    November 11, 2007 at 8:11 pm #

    I am reminded of the fact that there is one Bible as the foundation of literally thousands of different denominations. Each denomination spins the Bible to their own interpretation.

    There is one War and Peace talk, and now there are seemingly many different interpretations thereof.

    I take comfort in the fact that we are trying to analyze a prophet’s “personal opinion” and not the Lord’s official declaration to us. It is pretty clear from all the discussion on this one talk, that the Prophet was speaking as an individual, not as a mouthpiece of the Lord demanding that we should support Cheney as His divine tool to ferret out terrorists from you and me here at the WTC.

    Something else I take comfort in is our luxury of hindsight. I think most LDS can now see that Bush has squandered any legitimacy he once had, at least LDS who live in parts of the world outside of Utah.

    In fact, most people outside of Utah can now in hindsight see that even the premise of rooting out terrorists who attacked the WTC on 9/11 was totally wrong because there has never been any proof yet that shows this attack was caused by a man in a cave and 19 Saudis with boxcutters.

    The “terrorists” who perpetrated 9/11 were in fact part of the Book of Mormon’s prophecied “Gadiantons” and Secret Combinations. Since the USA has not successfully captured or prosecuted anyone yet for the crimes of 9/11, those who DID perpetrate these crimes are still out there.

    I propose with all the sobriety I can muster, that the Prophets at the head of our Church actually do know who those perpetrators are! They are protecting the flock of God by speaking in subtelties. It is our obligation to follow their counsel. If we obey the commandments we will be blessed. Our obedience to living prophets is our only hope as we are called upon to weather the Constitution’s hanging by a thread. It appears to me that when good people are called upon to save our Constitution from the snapping thread, both Connor and Dan are well-equipped to help save it.

  19. Dan
    November 11, 2007 at 8:18 pm #

    AussieOi,

    I came to terms of his support of this war as basically that it was in the best interest of the church to go in that direction. I didn’t care for his warning that the Lord would hold those accountable who would try to impede those in this fight “against evil and repression.” That part was a sign to me that it was more than just about the best interest of the church. But the fruits of this war are NOT of God. They are reprehensible and evil.

  20. Sam Hennis
    November 11, 2007 at 8:20 pm #

    I propose with all the sobriety I can muster, that the Prophets at the head of our Church actually do know who those perpetrators are! They are protecting the flock of God by speaking in subtelties. It is our obligation to follow their counsel. If we obey the commandments we will be blessed.

    I believe that is very true Kelly. The Gadiantons have gained enough strength to constitute a grave threat to the church. I believe that is why we haven’t heard much about them from the pulpit since Ezra Taft Benson.

    It is now our duty as individual members to do all we can to warn our neighbors about the threats to our liberty from secret combinations.

  21. AussieOi
    November 11, 2007 at 8:22 pm #

    KELLY

    >>>I propose with all the sobriety I can muster, that the Prophets at the head of our Church actually do know who those perpetrators are! They are protecting the flock of God by speaking in subtelties. It is our obligation to follow their counsel. If we obey the commandments we will be blessed. Our obedience to living prophets is our only hope as we are called upon to weather the Constitution’s hanging by a thread. It appears to me that when good people are called upon to save our Constitution from the snapping thread, both Connor and Dan are well-equipped to help save it.

    Agree entirely. Absolutely

    I also think that if they came out with a statement along the lines of “Bush is a war criminal and shoudl be impeached” they’d either lose half the membership or a LOT of nutter fundo members might go out and buy a gun and try to shoot him, so protect the church from its own members as against external forces.
    But we are a global church and there are more members outside of it. I am personally disappointed that what was said, was very pro USA centric. The reality is that much of the world lives in abject proverty, and….oh dear, I’m rambling.

  22. Dan
    November 11, 2007 at 8:23 pm #

    I don’t believe that one bit, Sam. For one, plenty of people speak out against this or that, name your favorite “-ism” and there are credible detractors. I’m talking about the quote that the prophets were told not to speak out against the evils of the world anymore. That’s a bunch of bull.

  23. Dan
    November 11, 2007 at 8:27 pm #

    AussieOi,

    and you should have finished your statement that not only are most members outside of the USA, but most of them were also AGAINST the war. The place where most members were FOR the war is here in America, and in Utah particularly.

  24. AussieOi
    November 11, 2007 at 8:52 pm #

    DAN

    >>>>>AussieOi, and you should have finished your statement

    Mate, if I kept typing, they’d take away from TR ;-)

    SAM/ KELLY

    >>>>the Prophets at the head of our Church actually do know who those perpetrators are!

    well, do we believe they have a urim and thummin? now we are getting to how jedi in tune they are. I used to think they were that switched on, now I just belive they hold all the keys, are righteous and somehow the lords plan rolls forward.

    RE: tweak The Tail / dragon

    There was a good discussion at RKY on this, and it was flayed as rubbish. In the coming week when i get a chance I’ll post extracts, maybe connot can open a new blog line for that one?

  25. Kelly Winterton
    November 11, 2007 at 8:53 pm #

    Through the years I have often wondered about the plight of the Saints in Germany at the time of Hitler. What did the prophet and other Church leaders of the time say about Hitler?

    The Church officials kept silent. Some members were against Hitler, some were “for” him. (Mainly from the A of F that says we support kings, magistrates…).

    But, after WWII, German saints were pretty much of one mind, agreeing that the Church’s silence was the reason they were able to survive the situation mostly unscathed, because the Saints were, for the most part, showing the brownshirts that they were harmless. In fact, some even were proud of the fact that Hitler’s minions turned a blind eye to them because they “supported” the laws of the land.

    In fact, some survivors of the Hamburg Branch now have even said that if they knew then what they know now, they would have been more vocal AGAINST Hitler.

    I wonder if I might could repeat what I just typed and use the name Bush instead of Hitler……..

  26. AussieOi
    November 11, 2007 at 9:42 pm #

    Kelly

    Google “order of the white rose” “sophie scholl”

    Also, i understand a few German LDS were exco’d for their opposition to Nazi german govt (by german leaders) and later had their membership reinstated. but this is heresay admittedly.

  27. Kelly Winterton
    November 11, 2007 at 10:07 pm #

    AussieOi, it is not hear-say. Helmut Hübener was indeed excommunicated from the Church for his disobedience to the laws of the land. In fact, this makes my case even stronger.

    Helmut Hübener was actively typing up and distributing anti-Hitler literature. He was even using a Church-owned typewriter to do the typing. (Helmut was some kind of Branch clerk or secretary, and it was totally uncommon for normal people to own a typewriter.) When the Nazis finally caught up with Helmut, they traced the typewriter to the Church, and the Branch President was, unfortunately for Helmut, a Hitler supporter. The Branch President must have been under much pressure from the Nazis to demonstrate to them that he and his congregation were law-abiding citizens, and that Helmut’s actions were an anomoly. Through this scrutiny from the Nazis, Helmut was indeed excommunicated.

    But, after the war, the Church scrutinized the actions of the Branch President, and reversed his excommunication. Unfortunately, Helmut had already been beheaded by the Nazis for his actions, and never lived to see his membership re-instated.

    Many of the Hamburg members in hindsight have forgiven the Branch President for his pro-Hitler stand, recognizing that without his pro-Hitler stand, their Branch would have suffered who knows what!

    I hope this info is 100% correct. I have the Helmut Hübener story on VHS tape. There is also a book or two written about him. The Helmut Hübener gang was a gang of three LDS boys. Helmut was executed, but the other two were sentenced to years of labor in concentration camps. They survived and came to Utah after the war. The one survivor is now dead, but I heard the last survivor speak in a Fireside just a couple years ago (unfortunately I cannot remember his name right now!). I stayed after the Fireside to talk personally to him. But, those were the facts about the excommunication as I remember hearing them.

  28. AussieOi
    November 11, 2007 at 10:48 pm #

    kelly that was a great post, thanks. no doubt you are way ahead of me on that sophie scholl this. i am pretty sure he was a member of their group- the white rose.

    anyway, there you go. can a person lose their membership and still enter heaven when they die? how hard are some of our “absolutes” i wonder.

    idle speculation, but it does go to the heart of another thread we discussed at http://www.latterdayconservative.com wherein we discussed whether a person who went conscientious objector in the U$ military and used their new found understanding of the position in regards to illegal and unconstutional war as per the LDS faith as their prime reason.

    what would their stake president/ bishop, church leaders say on this one? if s/he is found guilty of a charge and sent to jail, can s/he still remain a member in good standing?

  29. Dan
    November 12, 2007 at 5:14 am #

    Kelly,

    1. Bush is not Hitler.

    2. Our Prophets never cuddled up to Hitler like they have been doing with Bush. Maybe because the difference is that Bush is over America.

    In any case, I believe President Hinckley said what he said about supporting the war not because of external factors, but because most American Mormons agreed with George W. Bush.

  30. Jay
    November 12, 2007 at 9:36 am #

    “In any case, I believe President Hinckley said what he said about supporting the war . . .”

    Oh really? You’ve said this how many times now but you’ve never produced a thing where he said he supported the war. Face it, it’s getting pretty old and yet you continue to assert that he said certain things that he did not. Why can’t you just say that it is your opinion that he supported the war rather than extrapolating his words to mean whatever is was you wanted to hear? He didn’t anywhere say that he supported the war.

    “. . . not because of external factors, but because most American Mormons agreed with George W. Bush.”

    Interesting. So you’re saying that his words were chosen in order to be popular among the American membership and had nothing to do with inspiration?

    Jay

  31. Kelly W.
    November 12, 2007 at 9:44 am #

    “Bush is not Hitler”

    No, Cheney fits the description better.

    Bush is only Cheney’s puppet. Bush was in his glory when reading the pet goat book.

  32. Jay
    November 12, 2007 at 9:50 am #

    “anyway, there you go. can a person lose their membership and still enter heaven when they die? how hard are some of our “absolutes” i wonder.”

    I believe they can. I had a friend who in protecting his daughter shot and killed a man and was found guilty of second degree murder. His excommunication was mandatory wit no possibility of being rebaptized in this life. I have no worries about his eternal salvation. Thankfully, God is wise, good and kind and judgment will be His.

    There’s no law requiring most people to file or pay income taxes, yet, refusal to do so can put you membership in jeopardy in terms of not being able to hold certain callings or attend the temple.

    I have grown children with mental illnesses whose lives are total wrecks, who commit some of the most heinous of sins, yet, I worry more about my salvation than theirs.

    Those are things that I don’t consider absolutes. I’m just thankful for a loving Father who will make everything right in the end.

    Jay

  33. Jonathan
    November 12, 2007 at 10:39 am #

    After all, if Connor had read President Hinckley’s October 2001 talk well enough, he would have realized that President Hinckley gave his tacit approval of “curtailing civil liberties.”

    This is odd.. I read that passage and didn’t interpret it that way at all. Where in the world did he say that he’s giving approval for the curtailing of our civil liberties? All he said was that it may happen. How does that indicate approval of such an occurrence?

  34. Dan
    November 12, 2007 at 12:04 pm #

    Jay,

    Oh really? You’ve said this how many times now but you’ve never produced a thing where he said he supported the war.

    You choose not to read my comments it seems. I clearly pointed out President Hinckley’s support. Sure he does not come out to say it, but it really is clear that he supported the war. And most likely, he thought it would be over fairly quickly, like Cheney.

    Why is it so hard for you to accept this, Jay?

  35. Dan
    November 12, 2007 at 12:05 pm #

    Jonathan,

    How did you interpret it then?

  36. Jay
    November 12, 2007 at 12:29 pm #

    Dan, what is clear to you is obviously not clear to others, which boils it down to opinion, only. I read the first two or three times you posted on this subject, was totally unimpressed, and admittedly, have not read any of your other long posts. What you seem to refuse to admit is that you are not able to show his support, only your opinion of such.

    Why is it so hard for you to accept this, Dan?

    Jay

  37. Dan
    November 12, 2007 at 2:00 pm #

    Jay,

    If you have not read my long post, then you have not read where I show his support of the war.

    In any case it doesn’t matter. It is incomprehensible to you that the prophet of the Lord could possibly support an illegal war. So it doesn’t matter what he said.

  38. Dan Farnsworth
    November 12, 2007 at 3:48 pm #

    Dan, when the Prophet tells you something is coming, like curtailment of liberties, where do you get it in your head that he’s approving it? We still have duties to the nations we live in. Voice dissent, but if you sabotaged a charter-plane with my old military unit on it because you opposed the war, then you’re hedging up the way. President Hinckley has always been clear about being active in politics, and he does love this country. I love this country. I spent six years as an intelligence analyst with a special ops unit, and I formerly supported the war. I don’t now, because I misunderstood the conditions and made a mistake. However, while I am able to voice my opinion in politics, when my commanding officer or NCO gives me an order, I obey it, because I am loyal to my country. As citizens, we have a similar duty to be loyal to our country and to our president, who we are subject to. Disagree all you want, but your loyalty and your duty is to your country. Tell Bush he’s wrong (unless it’s illegal), but obey the law. That is what President Hinckley said, and that is what all the prophets have always said. “But as citizens we are all under the direction of our respective national leaders.” Mormons who were members of the Iraqi military had an obligation to obey orders too (though I don’t imagine there were any).

    The Prophet was careful about the words he used not so he could be vague, but so he could say exactly what he meant. We pray for peace. We are in a struggle against evil. We have loyalties to our respective nations. Preserving life and liberty are just reasons for entering conflict. He did speak of the war in heaven, but he used it to say that war is not new, and hang on, war will continue. We will still have to fight. That war is continuing today, among nations, inside nations, among all people. Our Prophet is not out of line in saying so. He gave the example of Moroni, and said that people were justified in fighting against tyranny.

    This nation, he said, is a freedom loving people, committed to the defense of liberty. If our nation goes to war, then we are part of that, and that is where our loyalty belongs, even while voicing our dissent, if we disagree. We did make a mistake in Iraq, and I honestly believed we were doing the right thing and now I honestly believe we did the wrong thing.

    I don’t believe President Hinckley is omniscient, nor does God reveal everything to him. I remember Elder Ballard saying, in a fireside with my stake YSA, about a year and a half ago, that God reveals nothing to the prophets that isn’t intended for the Church as a whole. So the Prophet told us what had been revealed, and that we should seek peace and the defense of liberty, and left the rest up to us, as God often leaves things to our judgment.

  39. Jay
    November 12, 2007 at 3:53 pm #

    “If you have not read my long post, then you have not read where I show his support of the war.”

    i’ve read a few of your long posts and you keep saying the same things over and over. I’ve not read the latest few. I got sort of bored with them, to be honest. But it doesn’t matter. You refuse to admit that it is just your opinion, that he never has stated his support for the war. NEVER. Perhaps he supports it, or supported it, but he has never publicly said so. And you can jump up and down and post a zillion posts, and you will never get me to believe something that doesn’t exist. Period. Because it doesn’t exist. If it did, you wouldn’t need to post long diatribes about it. You could just cut and paste his exact words, saying that he supports the war. Is that so hard to comprehend?

    “It is incomprehensible to you that the prophet of the Lord could possibly support an illegal war. ”

    Well, I know that the Lord commanded Nephi to slay Laban, so there are exceptions to the commandments, but I am not inclined to believe that this was one of them.

    Jay

  40. AussieOi
    November 12, 2007 at 4:38 pm #

    DAN

    Kelly,

    1. Bush is not Hitler.

    Correct. Hitler served his nation in the military. Bush ran and hid

    2….I believe President Hinckley said what he said about supporting the war not because of external factors, but because most American Mormons agreed with George W. Bush.

    Agree, he may also be a barometer of who we are, collectively

  41. AussieOi
    November 12, 2007 at 4:54 pm #

    DAN FARNSWORTH
    >>>>>Voice dissent, but if you sabotaged a charter-plane with my old military unit on it because you opposed the war, then you’re hedging up the way.

    We don’t need anyones permission to voice dissent to illegal actions. The plane sabotage analogy was pointless, that is an illegal act. Now standing in front of it with a peace flag, that’s fair enough

    >>>>while I am able to voice my opinion in politics, when my commanding officer or NCO gives me an order, I obey it, because I am loyal to my country.

    This is where your intelligence drops to Zero in my opinion. “Onward Christian Soldiers? God is with us? Kill them all, god knows his own”? Loyalty to country means you disobey illegal orders, precisely the opposite of what you are suggesting, that you blindly obey orders. Your is a dangerous pathological philosophy

    >>>>As citizens, we have a similar duty to be loyal to our country and to our president, who we are subject to.

    Insofar as what they say are legal AND constitutional. If you are LDS you want to read our own D&C on this.

    >>>>Disagree all you want, but your loyalty and your duty is to your country.

    Patriotism, refuge, scoundrel. No its not. It is to the higher law and your god, not your country.

    >>>>Tell Bush he’s wrong (unless it’s illegal), but obey the law. That is what President Hinckley said, and that is what all the prophets have always said. “But as citizens we are all under the direction of our respective national leaders.” Mormons who were members of the Iraqi military had an obligation to obey orders too (though I don’t imagine there were any).

    Provided they were legal with their own nation, morally justifiable, and internationally legal- although that is more of a moot point, notwithstanding both the Geneva & Conventions and Nuremburg charter

    >>>The Prophet was careful about the words he used not so he could be vague, but so he could say exactly what he meant. We pray for peace. We are in a struggle against evil. We have loyalties to our respective nations. Preserving life and liberty are just reasons for entering conflict.

    Again, while I want, I really, really want it to be vague, it didn’t read that way. I have vascillated on this, and have to accept that at the time, in isolation, in the context of what was going on, the US constitution and D&C98 was the better option, rather than “this is where my personal loyalties lie”. I have to accept the lords wisdom however, and bite my tongue on it and swallow my pride.

    >>>>>He gave the example of Moroni, and said that people were justified in fighting against tyranny. This nation, he said, is a freedom loving people, committed to the defense of liberty. If our nation goes to war, then we are part of that, and that is where our loyalty belongs, even while voicing our dissent, if we disagree. We did make a mistake in Iraq, and I honestly believed we were doing the right thing and now I honestly believe we did the wrong thing.

    I think Dan said it best in post # 37 when he said “It is incomprehensible to you that the prophet of the Lord could possibly support an illegal war.” I can’t read his words any other way. If you don’t come out and speak against it, being vague, in the hotbed of what it was, and invoking the freedom line with the soldier and his mother in that land of heat and flies (when we are told we can NOT write to the GA’s too BTW), and Invoking Captain Moroni, can only be read in not being opposed to the action at the least, and support at the best.

  42. Kelly W.
    November 12, 2007 at 5:05 pm #

    Dan, I read your long post, and I’m glad I did. It made a lot of sense. I even agreed with some of your opinions. Your long post was definitely worth reading. Every child of God has importance, and I tried to view the long post as an opinion of someone important.

    After reading it, one can then use agency to agree, disagree, or whatever.

    But, the long post revealed a side of you that doesn’t come through in your short posts. I think many readers of your short posts are reluctant to read your long post because they mistakenly think it’ll just be more of the same but longer. They then short-change themselves by so doing. You definitely put a lot of thought and study into it, and for them not to read it in full is too bad.

    But, in the end, your long post did not change my own personal feelings on war and prophets, but it did change my opinion of you personally. I think that if I were to meet you in person, I’d probably like you.

  43. Dan
    November 12, 2007 at 5:35 pm #

    Dan Ellsworth,

    As citizens, we have a similar duty to be loyal to our country and to our president, who we are subject to. Disagree all you want, but your loyalty and your duty is to your country. Tell Bush he’s wrong (unless it’s illegal), but obey the law.

    But that’s EXACTLY the point! The war was Illegal! Spying on Americans is illegal! Torture is illegal! How often must one say these things?

  44. Dan
    November 12, 2007 at 5:39 pm #

    Disagree all you want, but your loyalty and your duty is to your country.

    No it isn’t. My loyalty is first to God, second to my family, third to my church, and fourth to my friends. Beyond that, nothing else matters.

  45. Dan
    November 12, 2007 at 5:40 pm #

    Kelly,

    But, in the end, your long post did not change my own personal feelings on war and prophets, but it did change my opinion of you personally. I think that if I were to meet you in person, I’d probably like you.

    I really am a nice guy. :)

  46. AussieOi
    November 12, 2007 at 6:00 pm #

    All this hugging…. I want to throw up!

    No, not really.

    Can we agree on this. And it might be a good way to meet in the middle and stop going around in circles (because we’re all on so much of the same page here its counterproductive to get a wedge between ourselves).
    Seriously, compare us to the general LDS or Christian or US citizen on the street, wow, we’re “far left kool aid socialists” just for asking for peace its not funny.

    So, can we agree on this I wonder?

    The President (the real one) WAS vague, for whatever reasons.

    It is hard to determine one way or another what his meaning was.

    In the context of speeches before and subsequent it is clear the 1st presidency are against war in all forms and seek for peace.

    In the context of the talk in isolation it would appear that his lack of opposition to the Iraq action suggests support rather than objection.

    It would be nice if we as a people, a church, and a church leadership spoke louder about our LDS values, in seeking peace, and not allowing ourselves to being manipulated and whipped up by latter day gadiantons, and professed for Peace and divine protection as per instruction in D&C98.

    Accepting the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Bush and allowing Cheney to address BYU and receive an honourary doctorate only served to marginalise those who do not agree that the Church is locked in step with the current Republican administrations foreign policy.

    Something is going on, I’m glad I’m not a warmonger.

    IS that close? Maybe we can make a charter or something? ;-)

  47. Michael L. McKee
    November 12, 2007 at 6:28 pm #

    Kelly said to Dan:

    But, in the end, your long post did not change my own personal feelings on war and prophets, but it did change my opinion of you personally. I think that if I were to meet you in person, I’d probably like you.

    I fully concur with this statement, and, for the most part, the entire content of the post.

  48. Michael L. McKee
    November 12, 2007 at 6:34 pm #

    AussieOi said:

    Can we agree on this. And it might be a good way to meet in the middle and stop going around in circles (because we’re all on so much of the same page here its counterproductive to get a wedge between ourselves).
    Seriously, compare us to the general LDS or Christian or US citizen on the street, wow, we’re “far left kool aid socialists” just for asking for peace its not funny.

    Ditto

  49. Sam Hennis
    November 12, 2007 at 7:45 pm #

    Can we agree on this. And it might be a good way to meet in the middle and stop going around in circles (because we’re all on so much of the same page here its counterproductive to get a wedge between ourselves).
    Seriously, compare us to the general LDS or Christian or US citizen on the street, wow, we’re “far left kool aid socialists” just for asking for peace its not funny.

    Very much agreed. I’m glad there are other Latter-Day Saints out there who are not warmongers.

    Unfortunately my Mission President thinks that we were justified in invading Iraq, and that Pres. Bush is a great guy. We’ve had a few e-mail discussions about it.

  50. AussieOi
    November 12, 2007 at 9:05 pm #

    SAM

    I too have spent countless hours trying to get it into peoples heads.

    How LDS can possibly be in support of war, any war, anywhere….unless the Lord commands it of course.

    I think the entire argument can be put to bed simply by 2 scriptures. The first an example:

    And in 3 Nephi 3:20-21, we read the following about how the Nephites took care of the Gadianton Robbers who kept terrorizing them:

    20 Now the people said unto Gidgiddoni: Pray unto the Lord, and let us go up upon the mountains and into the wilderness, that we may fall upon the robbers and destroy them in their own lands.
    21 But Gidgiddoni saith unto them: The Lord forbid; for if we should go up against them the Lord would deliver us into their hands; therefore we will prepare ourselves in the center of our lands, and we will gather all our armies together, and we will not go against them, but we will wait till they shall come against us; therefore as the Lord liveth, if we do this he will deliver them into our hands.

    The 2nd D&C98. End of story

    If anyone wants to read further on this one, then we had a good thread over at http://www.latterdayconservative.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=7792&highlight=&sid=b2fbc54ede6b23d062b415f5c0c24c48

    We started the thread with this question….
    ————————————–

    My question to you is…

    What do we learn from the experience of Teancum found in Alma 52-62?

    Twice he goes into the camps of the enemy and slays their leaders. Are we to understand that this was in keeping with the will of the Lord?

    There are a crowd of people that would use this experience of Teancum…of how he went into the enemy camp and assassinated the enemies leader….as a justification for preemptive war….or a justification to assassinate leaders of other countries or their armies leaders.

    What is your response? Scriptures…and words of prophets please!

    ————————–

    it was a reasonable debate. discussion

  51. Curtis
    November 12, 2007 at 11:39 pm #

    Aussie,

    I’m new to this discussion, but the question you pose is easy. Amalickiah and Ammoron had invaded Nephite land and were occupying Nephite territory. As such he was perfectly justified in killing them. Actually, international law affords similar protections for occupied peoples to resist occupation. That’s why it’s actually ok (strictly speaking from the viewpoint of international law) that Palestinians resist Israeli occupation. That’s why it’s ok that Iraqis resist US occupation of their land. However, there was no occupation of the USA and it was no Teancum technique to go to Iraq and start murdering their people.

    I would actually have liked an Ammon approach to the whole issue of Iraq. Remember that the Nephites wanted to destroy the Lamanites at the time, but Ammon was for the Word of God instead. Alas, not this time was it to be. However, someday, we will go into hostile nations and bring out all of those who will not raise the sword against their neighbor if we are to believe the scriptures. In fact, if the scriptures have anything to do with our day at all, I look forward to the day that a Helaman 5 type of situation stops a war cold in its tracks.

  52. Dan
    November 12, 2007 at 11:50 pm #

    Curtis,

    but note a very important point about the story of Ammon. For his actions to have effect, the Nephites and Lamanites must be at peace.

    How can we EVER bring the gospel to our “enemies” if we are continuously at war with them?

  53. AussieOi
    November 13, 2007 at 12:58 am #

    Curtis youe Helaman 5 was a great chapter. The last 2 verses are so critical. I wonder how long they were in jail first before all this happened?

    51 And as many as were aconvinced did lay down their weapons of war, and also their hatred and the tradition of their fathers.
    52 And it came to pass that they did ayield up unto the Nephites the lands of their possession.

    I find it interesting that they took the passive, ministry approach, rather than the violent approach, which you could possibly make a case that they were entitled too. After all, this was their land, they had an invader possessing it. Yet they relied on the lord for their deliverance. what an amazing story.

    I take your points in regards to the resistance very seriously. Under new sedition and treason laws in my country, my views most definately can get me arrested for giving comfirt to the enemy, a tru thought crime.

    Anyway, Pres Hinckley said this

    It may even be that He will hold us responsible if we try to impede or hedge up the way of those who are involved in a contest with forces of evil and repression.

    Don’t reply, but me, personally, I know who I believe is currently involved in a contest with forces of evil and repression., and who that evil is.

    When Elder Benson tells us Nothing in the Constitution nor in logic grants to the president of the United States or Congress the power to influence the political life of other countries, to ‘uplift’ their cultures, to bolster their economies, to feed their people, or even defend them against their enemies. (Ezra Taft Benson then if we are doing this it is unconstitutional, as well as possibly being illegal and immoral, not to forget in contravention of D&C98.

    When Pres Hinckley described the Book of Mormon as being “as current as the morning newspaper and much more definitive, inspired, and inspiring concerning the solutions of [our] problems and then said The people succumbed to the wiles of ambitious and scheming leaders who oppressed them with burdensome taxes, who lulled them with hollow promises, who countenanced and even encouraged loose and lascivious living. These evil schemers led the people into terrible wars that resulted in the death of millions and the final and total extinction of two great civilizations in two different eras.

    I have my opinion of who he is referring to.

    Also reference to Captain Moroni- with the past 4 years as verification I’d say that it is the the Iraqi’s that were and still are justified in fighting for their freedom, for their wives, for their liberty, for their god and for their religion.

    Our militaries aren’t there delivering candy. they are protecting oil supplies and establishing forward bases in the middle east in the race for the worlds last remaining oil. they serve the machine.

    I can’t say who I barrack, or root for, or support. I’d be arrested under George Orwells 1984 Though Crime. The Office of Homeland Security can disappear me to any US secret rendition base in Turkey, Kazahkstan, Egypt, or Guantanamo.

    I might not know who is in the right, but I sure as heck know who is in the wrong.

    As for the Genocide in Palestine (you know- the one thats happening “one person at a time”), well, thats just Satan on fire. He must be loving that one.

    But we’re getting into dangerous territory now, because by our own definitions the US founders were terrorists also. What was their beef against those “leaders we are obliged by scripture to obey” about? what was it??? 5% taxation or something.

    thats another one we explored over at http://www.latterdayconservative.com . i came around however. Once I saw they were given retro-spective divine dispensation they became heroes. That Benedict Arnold. What kind of patriot was he I ask you ;-)

  54. Curtis
    November 13, 2007 at 1:59 am #

    Dan,

    I know what you are talking about. It would be nice to preach to our neighbors in a peaceful atmosphere, but I think there will come a time when our missionaries will actually be going into war zones as Nephi and Lehi in Helaman 5. Joseph Smith said:

    “The servants of God will not have gone over the nations of the Gentiles, with a warning voice, until the destroying angel will commence to waste the inhabitants of the earth, and as the prophet hath said, ‘It shall be a vexation to hear the report.’ I speak thus because I feel for my fellow men; I do it in the name of the Lord, being moved upon by the Holy Spirit. Oh, that I could snatch them from the vortex of misery, into which I behold them plunging themselves, by their sins; that I might be enabled by the warning voice, to be an instrument of bringing them to unfeigned repentance, that they might have faith to stand in the evil day!” (Teachings, p. 87.)

    This does not paint a bright picture of future missionary work does it?

    Here’s more support for that view by Bruce R. Mckonkie from “Millenial Messiah”

    “But what is not as well understood among us as it should be is that the harvest is to go forward under increasingly difficult circumstances. It could not be otherwise in a world that is ripening in iniquity. War and pestilence and desolation shall cover the earth before the Lord comes, and the preaching of his holy word must and shall go forward in the midst of these. “I call upon the weak things of the world,” the Lord says, “those who are unlearned and despised, to thrash the nations by the power of my Spirit.” To thrash is to thresh; they are one and the same.”
    “How and under what circumstances shall this preaching go forward? “Their arm shall be my arm,” the Lord says of his servants, “and I will be their shield and their buckler; and I will gird up their loins, and they shall fight manfully for me; and their enemies shall be under their feet; and I will let fall the sword in their behalf, and by the fire of mine indignation will I preserve them.” This promise to let the sword fall in behalf of his servants must of necessity mean that the Lord will use the wars that are fomented and fought by the wicked to open nations and kingdoms to the preaching of the gospel. Thus, by the weak and the simple, laboring in the midst of tribulation, “the poor and the meek shall have the gospel preached unto them, and they shall be looking forth for the time of my coming,” saith the Lord, “for it is nigh at hand.” (“D&C 35:11-15.)

  55. Curtis
    November 13, 2007 at 2:06 am #

    Aussie,

    I can read between your lines. They need people like me who can read between your lines in the thought police force!

    I’m right there with you of course. However, I have not developed this healthy fear of the thought police yet. I tend to label the secret combinations as I see them.

    Isn’t it interesting that Captain Moroni was compared by Alma to Ammon? What a great man he was to sense weakness in the enemy and halt the carnage and allow the enemy to sign a peace agreement and go home! These days agreements with people our governments want us to think are our enemies are shunned and scoffed at as naive etc. Of course the real purpose for enemies is not to make them into our friends ultimately. The real purpose is to allow us to be in fear (Ahmadinejad is gonna get yo mama) so that we support policy that allows huge corporations to get filthy rich at the expense of life in its various forms. This is the definition of secret combinations that the Book of Mormon gives us. Make profit and gain the glory of the world at the expense of life.

  56. Jay
    November 13, 2007 at 8:00 am #

    Here’s a scripture that I like:

    4 And it was because the armies of the Nephites went up unto the Lamanites that they began to be smitten; for were it not for that, the Lamanites could have had no power over them.

    Defense or preemptive strike?

    Jay

  57. Aaron
    November 13, 2007 at 1:42 pm #

    This is in harmony with our scriptures, which say that “we believe that all men are bound to sustain and uphold the respective governments in which they reside”.

    Connor,
    The quote above, does it even apply to sustain and uphold governments that are tyrannical and wicked, oppressing the people? In other words, that statement could be saying that we should uphold evil and even secret combinations, if this were the case. If that is what it is saying than I do not believe the above statement as scripture.
    Aaron

  58. Connor
    November 13, 2007 at 1:58 pm #

    The quote above, does it even apply to sustain and uphold governments that are tyrannical and wicked, oppressing the people?

    The full verse, containing the qualifiers, answers your question, Aaron:

    We believe that all men are bound to sustain and uphold the respective governments in which they reside, while protected in their inherent and inalienable rights by the laws of such governments; and that sedition and rebellion are unbecoming every citizen thus protected, and should be punished accordingly; and that all governments have a right to enact such laws as in their own judgments are best calculated to secure the public interest; at the same time, however, holding sacred the freedom of conscience. (D&C 134:5, emphasis mine)

  59. Aaron
    November 13, 2007 at 2:30 pm #

    That makes better sense.

    I have encountered alot of members who refer to that quote when I talk about what our government has done and is doing to many of us. Whether we know it or not.

    One other question. Why then when one is born into the United States is forced to sustain it. Why is it that one cannot declare my land as my own country and have my own laws. Why is one forced to submit to the USA’s laws and not their own, if desired and without a fight? if other people “Governments” can do it why not any “one” else? That to me is true freedom or free agency. One example of oppression now: property tax- if one owns land why do they pay rent “tax” to someone else. No one else has any right to force their opinion of what public interest is on another without their consent. Majority rules is still force usless written consent is obtained by EACH PERSON. If not wickedness of force will abound.
    Please no one take any personal offence if it sounds that way.
    Aaron

  60. Connor
    November 13, 2007 at 2:39 pm #

    Why then when one is born into the United States is forced to sustain it.

    Because growing up as a citizen of this nation, you enjoy the various resources, programs, protections, and offerings of its government.

    Why is it that one cannot declare my land as my own country and have my own laws.

    Because your land exists in the boundaries of another nation. You’d have to secede, which would be impossible to do for a single person and his/her quarter acre. But hey, the Indians have done it.. but they were here first. :)

    That to me is true freedom or free agency.

    That, to me, is anarchy. Each person defining his/her own laws? Granted, so long as nobody infringes upon the life, liberty, and property of another, then sure. But any common association of individuals requires a method of governance to administer and enforce common laws.

    Even God has a government.

    Majority rules is still force usless written consent is obtained by EACH PERSON.

    I disagree. It’s not force when you’ve already said that you’d abide by the outcome based on the vote. You can’t agree to pick a number in a lottery, and then complain when you lose, refusing to acknowledge your loss. You agreed to abide by the conditions when you signed up. So it is with elections and republican government.

    Think of the Constitutional Convention. The ratification process found several state delegates refusing to sign, and yet they found themselves bound to the majority interest.

  61. Josh Kim
    November 13, 2007 at 2:40 pm #

    Dan, as a veteran of the Iraq War and a former Marine, I denounce you in almost everything you say. You make it seem as if President Hinckley endorses the Iraq War. He doesn’t.

  62. Curtis
    November 13, 2007 at 2:54 pm #

    Josh,
    What unique qualifications does being an Iraq war vet and a former marine give you that help you to denounce Dan?

  63. Josh Kim
    November 13, 2007 at 4:33 pm #

    IMO, Dan is a very strident warmonger who thinks his military experience as an Intelligence Officer gives him a God’s eye view of the war. I have the ground eye view of the war and I’ve spoken to buddies. This war in Iraq was a fiasco from the beginning.

    Any combat veteran worth his salt would denounce even the “good” war where innocents are hurt and where young men come home in body bags.

  64. Dan
    November 13, 2007 at 6:13 pm #

    I don’t think Josh Kim read my comment well, if he thinks I’m a warmonger with military experience.

  65. Jay
    November 13, 2007 at 7:04 pm #

    I sort of thought the same thing. (Agreeing with you, Dan)

    Jay

  66. AussieOi
    November 13, 2007 at 7:37 pm #

    I can’t follow this thread. too hard who says what

    AARON
    Go to http://www.latterdayconservative.com search most recent posts by CHH. He is ceceding from the US in Nevada I think.

    JOSH
    Dan, as a veteran of the Iraq War and a former Marine, I denounce you in almost everything you say. You make it seem as if President Hinckley endorses the Iraq War. He doesn’t.

    1st part irrelevent. 2nd part, covered above. No agreement really. Isn’t that what makes is so sad/ difficult/ confusing. Try as I may, to use the sand/ heat/ flies/ mom/ freedom/ evil/ captian moroni is language that does infer a position. Likewise the actions following do also..
    Note I believe it was the wrong position by our own doctrine and international law and the US constitution. So to believe that he was in support of it, then I am out of step and I recognise that. I want it to be so, I just can’t see it.

    Connor did not explore why he invoked Captain Moroni in his expoloration, which is a key point in the reason people believe he was in support of it.

    DAN

    Are you saying you see him as not speaking against it, so therefore considering the nature an dimportance of it, lack of opposition (together with subsequent actions and lack of denouncement) suggests tacit support of it?

    With that in mind, do you personally disagree with that position?

    CURTIS

    I am being ironic/ Of course I can come out and say I barrack for those who defend their homes from foreign mnercenary armies, and that by todays definition and all definitions, the US founders were terrorists and seditious and in contravention of D&C145 (although that was not revealed yet so they were in no position to have to obey it)

    We believe that all men are bound to sustain and uphold the respective governments in which they reside, while protected in their inherent and inalienable rights by the laws of such governments; and that sedition and rebellion are unbecoming every citizen thus protected, and should be punished accordingly; and that all governments have a right to enact such laws as in their own judgments are best calculated to secure the public interest; at the same time, however, holding sacred the freedom of conscience. (D&C 134:5, emphasis )

    I ask, if it was good enough for them to violently seek to overthrow the king / ruler of their country, isn’t it good enough for us today?

  67. Dan
    November 13, 2007 at 8:01 pm #

    AussieOi,

    I think President Hinckley’s War and Peace talk was a tacit approval of the war in Iraq. Furthermore, he said close to the beginning that he was hoping it was nearing a close. The Bush administration actually sincerely believed the war would be over by summer, and troops would be home. They were really that clueless. And they sold it that way. Heck, I remember when Paul Wolfowitz testified in front of Congress that this war would only cost a couple of billion dollars and that’s it. I think they really believed it would be over with before the summer ended. They were that dumb. And I’m sorry to say, but I believe President Hinckley, a conservative, felt the same way about the war, that it would end quickly and basically be a blimp on the history screen. These are his words:

    The present war is really an outgrowth and continuation of that conflict. Hopefully it is now drawing to a conclusion.

    Obviously that doesn’t really reveal much. This is where I offer my opinion on the matter, that President Hinckley felt, like Bush, and other war supporters, that the war would have a quick termination.

    What saddens me most about this whole thing is that President Hinckley has not said a single word on the matter since, in General Conference that is. I know he said something to BYU last summer I think it was. I would like, before he passes away, to hear his thoughts on the matter now.

  68. Sam Hennis
    November 13, 2007 at 8:05 pm #

    I don’t think Josh Kim read my comment well, if he thinks I’m a warmonger with military experience.

    Perhaps he’s referring to Dan Farnsworth, the other Dan. :)

  69. AussieOi
    November 13, 2007 at 8:14 pm #

    DAN

    Was it you who said “he should have known better”?

    By our doctrine, International law and the US constitution this was an unsupportable position to hold.

    I can only accept (as I have to accept I am a fundamentalist by believing it) that there ws a reason, and it doesnt lead the church astray.

    It might enable members to draw their own warmongering conclusions, and sift who is on the side of scripture and right and truth, and who isn’t.

    My understanding of our doctrine is that information and inspiration come form the Lord, and not the Fox News Network. i can only hope this is still correct.

    I know it caused HUGE problems with my wife and I, but we realised the only way we could move on and get my TR again was to accept it, for right or wrong.

  70. Dan
    November 13, 2007 at 8:46 pm #

    AussieOi,

    The way I reconciled my feelings regarding the matter is that the Lord didn’t really care one way or the other on the war in Iraq. If He did, His prophet would have spoken out one way or the other. As we have it, President Hinckley stated his personal “loyalties” on the matter at hand.

    What I can’t fathom (because of my limited vision compared to the Lord) is how this war helps spread the Gospel. I mean, here we are a Christian nation, taking a war to a Muslim nation, the second war with a second Muslim nation. How the heck do you NOT shoot the credibility of Christianity in the foot with this kind of action? How can other people, of other faiths consider joining Christianity if Christianity is so violent?

    Perhaps the growth of the church is not the overriding priority here. Perhaps this church is doomed to remain small proportionally speaking, not really to attain the ranks of the major religions of the world. At least until the Second Coming.

    President Hinckley would not lead the church astray. I believe he stated his personal “loyalties” and let it be at that. Let the chips fall where they may. I think, however, that the church’s credibility has been hurt by having such close ties to Bush and Cheney. Having Cheney speak at BYU’s commencement was not a good move. BYU should have kindly declined. It goes to show how close that connection is, and the world sees better than we give them credit, the hypocrisy of the Bush administration.

  71. AussieOi
    November 13, 2007 at 9:05 pm #

    DAN

    >>>>>the Lord didn’t really care one way or the other on the war in Iraq.

    I just can’t accept that he doesn’t love all of his children. I am sure he cares, maybe its getting close to the end and he’s letting us dig our own hole

    >>>>If He did, His prophet would have spoken out one way or the other. As we have it, President Hinckley stated his personal “loyalties” on the matter at hand.

    hang on, disengenous. You said “the Lord didn’t really care one way or the other on the war in Iraq” but the Prophet didnt say that, so you can’t say “if he did” the prophet would have told us. moot point, irrelevent all the same, sorry to be technical

    >>>What I can’t fathom (because of my limited vision compared to the Lord) is how this war helps spread the Gospel.

    why would this have ANYthing at all to do with spreading the gospel. thats an imperialist view of things. Thi saction was AGAINST scripture, law, and the constitution. Unless the Lord says “we’re doing this my way” then it is wrong. No good thing grows out of bad trees. Although I do have quote from Hinckley (or Benson??) in Vietnam late 60’s saying to soldiers at a service that hopefully something good missionary wise can come of it. and regrettfully no, nothing good did come of it. Just mass misery and the Khmer Rouge.
    that missionary argument is perpetuated by the warmongering fascists amongst us who try to find reason for the bloodshed and horror. furthermore, for most of them they consider that 1 million killed and 4 million displaced and a nation destroyed is worth finding a few hundred iraqis to baptise. that is reprehensible.

    >>>>>>I mean, here we are a Christian nation, taking a war to a Muslim nation, the second war with a second Muslim nation. How the heck do you NOT shoot the credibility of Christianity in the foot with this kind of action?

    well there you have it. you can’t. so ergo it was inspired by Satan. The Lord using Satan as his bastion into teaching all nations etc? doubt it

    >>>>>How can other people, of other faiths consider joining Christianity if Christianity is so violent?

    And Who would be a catholic when it seems all of their priests are child abusers? Christianity is a religion of peace. we know that, it says so in our scripture. but we know by D&C it is the nature of all men to do what? exactly. Near the Lord with their mouths but their actions bely them

    >>>>>Perhaps the growth of the church is not the overriding priority here. Perhaps this church is doomed to remain small proportionally speaking, not really to attain the ranks of the major religions of the world. At least until the Second Coming.

    always was going to be that way. christ said as much. the celestial kingdom is only valuable because so few will be there. value has to have something to compare it to, to be determinable. the goats have the be sorted from the sheep. the path is narrow brother. but we still want to get as many people onto it as possible


    >>>>President Hinckley would not lead the church astray. I believe he stated his personal “loyalties” and let it be at that.

    I agree. I am entitled to disagree with them as well as we do not believe in the infallibility of the brethren- unless they say “thus saith the lord”.

    >>>>>Let the chips fall where they may. I think, however, that the church’s credibility has been hurt by having such close ties to Bush and Cheney. Having Cheney speak at BYU’s commencement was not a good move. BYU should have kindly declined. It goes to show how close that connection is, and the world sees better than we give them credit, the hypocrisy of the Bush administration.

    the BYU/ church/ membership thing is a nexus. if the members didnt want him, then BYU would have said no, and the Church would have said no.
    It did damage us AND I cannot see how it didnt damage our missionary work.

    just curious….where you live?

  72. Dan
    November 13, 2007 at 9:27 pm #

    AussieOi,

    I just can’t accept that he doesn’t love all of his children. I am sure he cares, maybe its getting close to the end and he’s letting us dig our own hole

    It’s not that he doesn’t love us, but that—and I’m of course attempting to understand the mind of the Lord here, so take this with a grain of salt—he didn’t see this conflict as worth commenting on, just like we have not heard anything about the civil war in The Sudan, etc.

    why would this have ANYthing at all to do with spreading the gospel. thats an imperialist view of things.

    No it’s not. I don’t want to spread Western polity and philosophy around, but the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which we ALL chose to accept in the premortal life. That was the prerequisite for coming to this world, choosing God’s plan over Satan’s.

    furthermore, for most of them they consider that 1 million killed and 4 million displaced and a nation destroyed is worth finding a few hundred iraqis to baptise. that is reprehensible.

    And you’ll obviously not find me in that group. When I speak of spreading the Gospel, I speak in the terms of Ammon, Aaron, Omner and Himni, who being inspired of the Lord, chose to bring peace and service to the Lamanites, something which the Lamanites were unaccustomed to from the Nephites. I speak in terms of respecting the laws of the country to which we take the Gospel. If at any time someone in the church speaks of missionary work as justification for military action, I say they lost the spirit of true missionary work. That’s not how it is done. It never was, and never will be.

    just curious….where you live?

    New York City.

  73. AussieOi
    November 13, 2007 at 10:39 pm #

    >>>>It’s not that he doesn’t love us, but that—and I’m of course attempting to understand the mind of the Lord here, so take this with a grain of salt—he didn’t see this conflict as worth commenting on, just like we have not heard anything about the civil war in The Sudan, etc.

    Not worth commenting on. You may be like me and wonder then why Pres Hinckley did speak of this when so much else isn’t? 9/11 hits the USa and the whole world stops. General conferences are meant to take on a new meaning, protect our freedoms. Welcome to the day in the life of the rest of the world America.
    Thinking laterally, is it possible that you are suggesting he didn’t enquire of the Lord as to the most pressing matter of the time? If he did, how could that be his reply, unless even the prophet can sometimes not receive revelation when he asks for it? Some LDS hold that he knows the Lords will on everything. Ours that he might not, or worse still, might give his own opinion and be wrong in it, is a pretty strong position to hold.
    Personally I find it extremely sad that we haven’t heard anything about the 30million children who die from lack of water sugar and food each and every year, or the millions of children suffering right now in s exual slavery, and indentured labour, or the 40% of his cons and daughters who live in abject poverty, suffering under the exploitation of the misallocation of his resources at the hands of robber barrons, thieves and Latter Day Gadiantons- that they aren’t worth a comment, when our conferences are filled with stories about little Johnny, and don’t watch porn, etc. I wonder if the heavens are closed- for now? Maybe he’s sick of the lot of us? That would be sad. My vision of a church and a prophet is along the lines of an Abinadi and Isiaih. One who instead of inviting King Noah to lunch and accepting medals from him speaks against him. I guess there is reason. We are instructed in D&C to befriend our enemies. I thought that meant in the Missouri context of course, not in the Gadianton, Powers that be context. I also thought we shun the avoidance of evil, and seek after praiseworthy things. Still, who knows what they say to these men in private. I am sure they are on the ball- after all, they can’t be that naïve right

    >>>>>>And you’ll obviously not find me in that group. When I speak of spreading the Gospel, I speak in the terms of Ammon, Aaron, Omner and Himni, who being inspired of the Lord, chose to bring peace and service to the Lamanites, something which the Lamanites were unaccustomed to from the Nephites. I speak in terms of respecting the laws of the country to which we take the Gospel.

    Agree x 50 and could explore this at length

    >>>>>>> If at any time someone in the church speaks of missionary work as justification for military action, I say they lost the spirit of true missionary work. That’s not how it is done. It never was, and never will be.

    My guess is they are Republican, Live in Utah (or Texas), and think Democrats are evil because they support abortion and g ay marriage. Oh, and they have issues with guns and their mothers too. (don’t you love generalisations?)

    >>>>>New York City.
    My wife and I are coming over to USA for a month next year (provided I’m not on a no fly list ;-). Family is doing Disneyland at vegas and Utah. Don’t think we can afford getting to NYC???????

  74. Jay
    November 13, 2007 at 11:50 pm #

    Dan,

    I guess it was inevitable that we would eventually agree on something. :o)

    “What I can’t fathom . . . is how this war helps spread the Gospel. . .”

    That seems to be the common philosophy of warmonger Mormons–a philosophy that I abjure heart and soul.

    “I think, however, that the church’s credibility has been hurt by having such close ties to Bush and Cheney. Having Cheney speak at BYU’s commencement was not a good move. BYU should have kindly declined. It goes to show how close that connection is, and the world sees better than we give them credit, the hypocrisy of the Bush administration”

    I get a phone call every year from BYU, because I am alumni, asking for donations. I’ve already rehearsed my speech about how they won’t be getting a plug nickel out of me this year, thanks to their choice in Cheney as a commencement speaker. That was just way too over the top for my taste.

    I didn’t vote for Bush in either election and am proud to say it. I heard Rush complaining today about how many Americans consider him to be the worst president ever. While I’m not sure I’d go that far, I do believe him to be the worst president, by far, in my lifetime.

    Jay

  75. Dan
    November 14, 2007 at 4:29 am #

    Well guys, it’s been fun. I’m going to stop commenting and frequenting Connor’s blog, as I promised earlier. I had to comment on this particular post, because it was inspired by my challenge. I’ve said my peace. I am disappointed that Connor probably didn’t even bother reading my rebuttal. Probably not used to reading such long exercises because his poor high school was so bad. Anyways, nice talking to y’all.

  76. Michael L. McKee
    November 14, 2007 at 7:04 am #

    “Profound insights arise only in debate,
    with a possibility of counterargument,
    only when there is a possibility of expressing
    not only correct ideas but also dubious ideas.”
    — Andrei Sakharov
    (1921-1989)
    Source: Progress, Coexistence and Intellectual Freedom, 1968
    http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/Andrei.Sakharov.Quote.30AA

  77. AussieOi
    November 14, 2007 at 5:35 pm #

    MICHAEL

    Great quote. There s a lot of truth in that. I am tired of people saying I bring contention simply because I am trying to use my brain to explore things further.

    DAN

    >>>>>I am disappointed that Connor probably didn’t even bother reading my rebuttal

    I too am disappointed. I agree with much of what he wrote, but then he disappeared. I also think his failure to address Pres Hinckleys letter from the soldier “heat, sand, flies, freedom” and his invocation of Captain Moroni was not acceptable if he was offering a true dissection of what Pres Hinckley might have been meaning.

    Perhaps it all comes to down to “can the President of the church, when speaking at the pulpit, express an opinion that may be wrong, illegal and against the constitution and scripture”?

  78. Connor
    November 14, 2007 at 5:44 pm #

    …but then he disappeared.

    No I didn’t.

    I also think his failure to address Pres Hinckleys letter from the soldier “heat, sand, flies, freedom” and his invocation of Captain Moroni was not acceptable if he was offering a true dissection of what Pres Hinckley might have been meaning.

    This portion offers no substance that differs from the rest of his talk. He states in the sentence you’re referring to that he’s addressing our brothers and sisters who are in harm’s way. This implies that he’s referring to all those currently fighting in the middle east. Is he referring specifically to Americans? No. Does his addressing these soldiers condone the cause for which they are fighting? Hardly.

    As per his invocation of Captain Moroni, this too follows the pattern of the rest of his talk wherein he stresses the continual struggle for liberty and basic freedoms.

  79. Kelly Winterton
    November 14, 2007 at 6:55 pm #

    Dan, if you for sure leave, might I put in my 2 cents. I liked the opposition, but not the contention. You were just a little bold when you started off this thread by saying “good spin, but you’re just not accurate.” You could have been much more polite. But I did appreciate many of your comments whether I agreed or not. I like to hear other’s points of view, and then weigh them against my own. Through this process I evolve in my own way of thinking.

    But going on to comment on some of the latest posts here, I also find it WAY weird that Utahns always are saying that God brings war so that people get humble and then we send missionaries in later. This is so stupid! I think they have really gone out of their way to rationalize that one!

    I usually counter by saying: “I guess you think that’s what happened in Viet Nam?”

    Viet Nam currently has no LDS branches there. There are however refugees from Viet Nam who fled to places like California who have joined the Church. I suppose Utah LDS people would still use that as part of their “missionary work thru war” rationalization.

  80. AussieOi
    November 14, 2007 at 7:54 pm #

    >>>>>No I didn’t (disappear).

    That was a troll buddy, a teaser, and it worked too I see.

    >>>>>>>>>I also think his failure to address Pres Hinckleys letter from the soldier “heat, sand, flies, freedom” and his invocation of Captain Moroni was not acceptable if he was offering a true dissection of what Pres Hinckley might have been meaning.
    >>>>>>This portion offers no substance that differs from the rest of his talk. He states in the sentence you’re referring to that he’s addressing our brothers and sisters who are in harm’s way. This implies that he’s referring to all those currently fighting in the middle east. Is he referring specifically to Americans? No. Does his addressing these soldiers condone the cause for which they are fighting? Hardly.

    Connor I am on your side of this. I have to be. I can’t accept that a Prophet could have fallen for it. But, when I heard this, and in its context, it did appear to me that is way saying that their suffering (in the far off land of brutal heat etc etc) was for a greater cause. And then he invoked Captain Moroni. I can’t get away from that. We are a global church and this was using the local US soldier as being the one defending our freedom in foreign lands. I can’t see how it was anything other than condoning their being there for a greater cause.

    >>>>>>As per his invocation of Captain Moroni, this too follows the pattern of the rest of his talk wherein he stresses the continual struggle for liberty and basic freedoms.

    I don’t disagree. But, stating a doctrinal position was more than enough for a few million redneck warmongering LDS to believe he was speaking officially. Plus the subsequent failure to clarify that is was ambiguous, or otherwise, plus Cheney @ BYU & the accepting the Presidential Medal of Freedom. These statement together are too easily recognisable as a clear position.

  81. AussieOi
    November 14, 2007 at 7:56 pm #

    KELLY

    Great post. You might be very surprised what some of the brethren said in regards to Vietnam, missionary work, anti-war protests in the 60’s etc.

  82. Kelly Winterton
    November 14, 2007 at 9:34 pm #

    AussieOi, That would be very interesting – where is a good place to start on reading what the brethren were saying back in the 60s?

  83. AussieOi
    November 14, 2007 at 10:37 pm #

    Kelly

    I’m not trying to ramp the web site, but it is the best I have seen for resources.

    just go to http://www.latterdayconservative.com and click the “forums” button

    also there are a million links and articles.

    just depends how long you want to search

  84. Trent
    November 15, 2007 at 12:05 pm #

    The thing I would say to all of this is that there seems to be a propensity on all blogs, and here is no exception, for those commenting and posting to believe they have a monopoly on reason. For most opinions each side has some logical arguments to believe what they do. I can understand the rationale for those supporting some action in Iraq as well as though that feel it was done illegally. However, it seems so often on here to belittle any dissenting opinion and lumping people in large groups. AussieOi said “few million redneck warmongering LDS”, and a ton of comments have been made on here in the same vein when describing members who believe differently than they do. It appears that anyone that doesn’t conform to what you see as “so clear” are redneck, stupid LDS. Are we not completely disregarding Hinckley’s constant admonitions to “be a little kinder”. State your opinion that you feel the war is wrong, against the constitution, but give people the respect that some “gasp” might have an intelligent reason to believe otherwise. I find the idea that many hold on here that 9/11 was orchestrated (I had Jones as a professor at BYU) to be completely false and the science seems clear to me against it. That said, I understand and respect the reasons some have to believe this. I guess we can all do better at measuring our vanity of thinking we know it all.

  85. Connor
    November 15, 2007 at 1:10 pm #

    In response to this talk by Pres. Hinckley, a friend wrote me an email with a question, which I post here along with my response, for the curious reader:

    Connor,

    Do you think it is possible that were Ron Paul elected that there might be any scenario in which information to which he currently isn’t fully aware would have him change his mind regarding our current military direction?

    Is there any scenario in which if you had such information would cause you to change your mind?

    Is it possible that President Bush might have such information?

    I’d be interested in your thoughts / opinions.

    My response:

    I fully agree that, as Pres. Hinckley said, our leaders have access to greater intelligence that do us common folk. Recognizing that, however, I think it’s been demonstrated numerous times (and I argued this in my blog post) that intelligence can be manipulated, created out of thin air, or be totally inaccurate. In recent administrations, insiders have affirmed that our nation’s leaders had a pre-determined goal they sought after, and thus wanted intelligence to match. That’s… kind of backwards. :)

    But assuming that we receive a piece of intelligence that comes from a legitimate source (i.e. not torture!) and is accurate, that indeed would, as you say, present a scenario in which information might change a person’s mind.

    But, I disagree that it should change anybody’s mind. I draw a distinction in my mind between something I call “practicalities and principles”. Recent administrations, especially since WWII, have been a perfect example of practical politics – or perhaps, worded different, reactive politics. An issue comes up, people debate about it, and something is decided that seems like the best solution to the problem. Then the next problem comes along, people think about what they should do, and then they do something.

    But what of principles? What of the rule of law? What of being “bound to the Constitution” and only doing that which we are empowered to do? What of scrutinizing an issue to understand how to maximize liberty and ensure personal autonomy as much as possible? This is what I call “principled politics” – where yes, hard decisions have to be made, but always within the parameters previously established and agreed upon.

    And so, if something happens and a President desires to lead our nation into war, he has one way of doing it: going through Congress. If a President wants to wiretap citizens, he has a method already established: the FISA court. The examples go on, all showing that there are established laws regarding the operation of politics. Circumventing these rules is done by “practical politicians”, those reacting to a situation who feel that their hands are tied (rightly so!) by the rules. They feel that rules are made to be broken, and so they sidestep the rule of law (and the Constitution) as they see fit.

    So back to your question. If Ron Paul became President, and was introduced to a piece of intelligence that wasn’t popularly known, would it change his mind regarding our current military direction? My opinion is no. Our Constitution provides a framework through which he can operate if he desires to go to war. If we’re under attack, that’s another issue, and the President is empowered to act immediately and report to Congress shortly thereafter. But whatever the intelligence may be, his hands are tied by law, meaning that if he wants to send our sons and daughters into battle, he needs the approval of the people, through their representatives.

    So while President Bush might have such information, as you postulate, it does not (in my mind) justify his actions of disregarding Constitutional law and executive power. There’s a right way to do things, and a wrong way. Principled politicians follow the rule of law, regardless of the circumstances – because principles endure and are universal. Practical politicians follow personal whims, the voice of the people (remember that the Founders said that for this reason, democracy is dangerous to liberty), and whatever they feel is the best solution. One perfect example of this is Mitt Romney saying in one of the recent debates that he would “consult [his] lawyers” regarding the lawfulness of a strike on Iran.

    Any intelligence might make a decision more difficult, as imperfect men are tempted to do practical things based on lobbying, peer pressure, and public support, but principled men will follow the law regardless of what’s popular or desired in the heat of the moment.

  86. Michael L. McKee
    November 15, 2007 at 2:56 pm #

    “The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.” D&C 96:36

    Government, on the other hand, and our current administration in particular, is antithetical to intelligence and is largely devoid of light and truth. This administration has an agenda to bring the United States into line with the NWO worldview, and they are not going to let anything dissuade them.

    Connor is accurate in his assertions concerning the manner in which Ron Paul does and would function. He, Ron Paul, is a principled Constitutionalist who not only understands Constitutional truth, he also understands the critical need at this time to restore the principled understanding of our Founding Fathers to the current political landscape before we have no liberty left to protect.

    I cannot determine what brought about the following responses from George W. Bush or why he chose to articulate them:

    “A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there’s no question about it.”

    “I am mindful not only of preserving executive powers for myself, but for predecessors as well.”

    “We don’t believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans.”

    May God bless Ron Paul and the Republic of the United States of America.

  87. AussieOi
    November 15, 2007 at 4:56 pm #

    >>>>> AussieOi said “few million redneck warmongering LDS”, and a ton of comments have been made on here in the same vein when describing members who believe differently than they do. It appears that anyone that doesn’t conform to what you see as “so clear” are redneck, stupid LDS.

    No, calling them red-neck is my using perjoratives, however inaccurate, stereotypical or unfounded it may be. However, the fact remains, ANYONE who is LDS who does not ascribe to 1) The 10 commandments- Thou Shalt not kill, 2) The instructions of Christ- Love your enemies, pray for them & 3) D&C98- No war, unless the Lord tells his prophet, and THEN the Lord will fight that battle for us, as their way in dealing with warfare in this dispensation is in error. Stupid means slow of learning or understanding, in a state of stupor, not clever. It is the EXACT correct word to describe it. Would you prefer I suggested they are filled with an evil spirit?

    >>>>> State your opinion that you feel the war is wrong, against the constitution, but give people the respect that some “gasp” might have an intelligent reason to believe otherwise.

    NO. The respect thing stopped 6 months after this war started when most of the truth about the fabricated WMD was admitted by Rumsfeld and his crony warmongering neo-con mates, who admitted there never were any it was just an agreed pretense. A million of us in Oz and 30 + million worldwide marched in Feb 2003 saying its all lies, we knew it ws lies then. It is a LACK of intelligence to believe otherwise that this was is nothing more than an illegal, unconstitutional, immoral, and contra to scriptural act. What part of “I support shock and awe” deserves respect? It is precisely because we “respect the office of president” that these sick murderous criminals do what they do. LDS have the spirit and should know better.

    >>>>>I find the idea that many hold on here that 9/11 was orchestrated (I had Jones as a professor at BYU) to be completely false and the science seems clear to me against it. That said, I understand and respect the reasons some have to believe this. I guess we can all do better at measuring our vanity of thinking we know it all.

    Sorry Trent. You and I are completely distinct human beings on different roads her bro. I wish you well when you sign up for the next war of imperial invasion. You tell yourself it is to protect freedom from tyranny and I’ll shake my head at your ignorance. Your telling me that you had Prof Jones at BYU is irrelevant, unless you are using that as a character reference that he is no good therefore the entire 9/11 discussion must be false. What science would we know? Show me another building that has fallen into its footprint that was hi tby a plane (WTC 1 & 2) or even one that wasn’t even hit by a plane (WTC7) or even ANY building anywhere that fell into its footprint and I’ll call that a good control point to start with scientific reasons.

    As long as you are tolerant of my intolerance we’re fine.

  88. AussieOi
    November 15, 2007 at 4:57 pm #

    CONNOR,

    Great reply to a good question.
    I could only add to that, that these are our servants, and that we should not be one for works of darkness. As soon as we let people hide behind “national security”, more and more abuses are made.
    The Straussian philosophy is that “the end justifies the means” and that the public, could not handle the full truth if they were made aware of it. Therefore, rules are generally smarter and more informed, and can use any truth to placate the masses in order to bring about the end that they seek.
    I am sure many of our rules have good intentions, and best ends in mind, its just that that is an easily abused and manipulated position to hold, and is too easy for corporate interests to get a free ride along the way. Rarely is the publics actual best interest the final objective

  89. Kelly Winterton
    November 15, 2007 at 7:16 pm #

    Trent, I have yet to see any evidence that a guy in a cave told 19 Saudis who couldn’t fly to use boxcutters to outsmart NORAD, FAA, and the US Military to bring down 3 buildings with 2 planes, leaving behind molten metal in the sub-basements of all three buildings.

    Perhaps (but I think not) Professor Jones is wrong. But he has more proofs, evidence and logic than the official conspiracy theory.

    Since the FBI claims it has no proof or evidence to convict Osama, this leaves open the fact that those who actually did perpetrate 9/11 are still out there, because we haven’t found anyone guilty of it yet. Hmmmm.

  90. Trent Miskin
    November 15, 2007 at 9:55 pm #

    Aussie, you just proved my point with your response, so thank you. I do not support the war in how it was started and carried out, and believe the way it has been handled has been an embarrassment to our country. I am especially disgusted with the way we have handled interrogations and imprisonment often without cause. We have stretched the power of the executive branch much farther than the constitution ever intended. I like how you automatically made a judgment on me and began to spout about your intellectual and moral superiority. You are confusing being right with being intelligent. You can be an intelligent person and still be wrong. Have you ever given an intelligent response on a test that turned out to be wrong? Of course, just sometimes you misunderstand things or don’t have all the info. Brigham Young is quoted saying there are people on the moon, so was he not intelligent?

    Kelly, both my brother and I graduated in the sciences at BYU, my brother graduating in engineering. We both took a high level physics class from Jones. I have studied a large number of papers on both sides without really reading the official government accounts so I’m not being “brainwashed”. Jones is a nuclear physicist, and has no special expertise more than my brother or me to comment on this stuff. His work in my opinion was very mediocre in both research and documentation. This isn’t me repeating someone, I have read it in its entirety as well as researched pictures, metals, etc. Jones helped work with the cold fusion guys at Utah and still works towards this end. He has shown a propensity to work on things that the majority of the scientific community doesn’t believe in. He has had to split from the original people he was running with as they now believe the buildings were taken out by a cloaked plane firing a laser. The reason I bring up these character references is because Jones is quoted more than any other author on this matter and has been the center piece in this. I have read at least 100 pages of technical documents on this and personally believe there is no way you could ever believe this was done by the government. I could go on. I promise I have studied it extensively and no matter how much proof I give to the contrary people will believe what they want to. People WANT to believe that the Bush administration is not only incompetent, but downright evil. It is the same as people believing we didn’t land on the moon.

    Seriously, I have never commented on a blog where there is more of a mob mentality. People are searching for any little mistake in wording or something “anti constitution” so they can jump down their throat. It is this same attitude that will doom any chance of Ron Paul in any type of general election. It feels like a bunch of piranhas waiting for someone to say something wrong.

  91. Kelly Winterton
    November 15, 2007 at 10:20 pm #

    Trent, I only suggested it was my own opinion that Jones was right, and also suggested he could be wrong. But what I asked you for was for some solid proof or evidence that the Government’s conspiracy theory was right more so than Jones’. Can you show me some proof that boxcutters were the culprit? You say you’ve read hundreds of pages from both sides, and that you have a “degree in the sciences.” Can you show some proof through the sciences that the molten metal pooled in the sub-basements of the three buildings five weeks after 9/11 was caused by jet fuel?

  92. joelfarm
    November 15, 2007 at 10:24 pm #

    ‘ Just want to let ALL of you whom posted on this thread that there are many of us reading and absorbing your profound thoughts. A great chance to intermingle scripture reading and assimilation of thought concerning world events today and modern revelation mixed with political talk. I love it!!
    THIS is the luxury of living in a truly free and open nation! I thank you all!

  93. Trent Miskin
    November 15, 2007 at 10:48 pm #

    Kelly, it is a circular argument. Can you prove that it wasn’t caused by jet fuel or explosions? No you can’t, because there was no actual molten metal retrieved. The only thing we have are pictures and a few accounts from walking through the wreckage much later. You can’t truly prove either one. These conditions set up the perfect stage for all arguments and conspiracy theories. You can’t replicate the events. Can you prove to me we landed on the moon? Can you prove Joseph Smith had the gold plates?

    That all said, the weight of scientific evidence is so much in the favor of the original explanation it isn’t even close. How many papers have you actually read? Jones major talking point used by Hollywood and you, should actually make you question the entirety of Jones work. This of course is his theory of thermite. Like I said, Jones is not a demolition expert by any stretch, and his lack of knowledge about these materials is quite evident. Thermite is unpredictable and very slow burning. It is never used in demolitions, because a proper demolition relies on all contact points going off near simultaneously.

    Read here under the section Molten Metal: Flowing and in Pools. I can give you 20-30 more articles supporting this point. Demolitions are not done using thermite, and to suggest this is absurd if he would have spent time researching. That was the thrust of the argument from the civil engineering department at BYU. He didn’t even consult people with much more experience than him. It is like a hardware IT guy writing a book on programming in C++.

    The people refuting these theories are not Bush apologists. Almost across the board they are liberal or completely against the war. Like the author above says, don’t fight ignorance with ignorance. Jones paper reads much like a normal college science paper in my opinion. He often throws out evidence with no reason just like a young student would. Jones has no credentials to make the claims he did in his paper, and his astonishing lack of research on the materials he supposes were used shows it.

    I know this is a completely biased site, but this page shows a very good breakdown of the conspiracy movement and who is involved. There are no engineers of any merit. A lot of philosophy professors though…hmmmm.

  94. Connor
    November 15, 2007 at 10:50 pm #

    Gents, please take your 9/11 conversation over here if you wish. Let’s keep on topic. President Hinckley. :)

  95. Trent Miskin
    November 15, 2007 at 10:56 pm #

    Good call Connor, but can we still talk about three-toed sloths and their effect on the world economy?

  96. AussieOi
    November 16, 2007 at 1:03 am #

    TRENT

    >>>>>>> You are confusing being right with being intelligent. You can be an intelligent person and still be wrong.

    Trent you are probably right with the 1st paragraph, bit, in regards to the war, no, you can’t hope to call yourself intelligent and still think this was/ is a good thing

    >>>>Brigham Young is quoted saying there are people on the moon, so was he not intelligent?
    It was Joseph Smith, as said by a 90yr old called Oliver B Huntington if I remember the god-makers, he heard it when he was 10yrs old too. B.Y might have too though


    >>>>I have studied a large number of papers on both sides

    Just watch the video of WTC7 falling, you need research papers to tell you that it is not right?

    >>>>Jones….. has no special expertise more than my brother or me to comment on this stuff. His work … very mediocre ……the cold fusion guys ……..has shown a propensity to work on things that the majority of the scientific community doesn’t believe in…… other people believe buildings a cloaked plane firing a laser. ….character references

    Mate, that’s not a reference, that’s called an assassinatation!

    >>>>is because Jones is quoted more than any other author on this matter and has been the center piece in this.
    Jones? Centrepiece? What crap. WTC7 is, if anything. Is thi swhy you just assassinated the guy? And the other 300 anomolies? but we’re not here to debate 9/11

    >>>>>I have read at least 100 pages of technical documents on this and personally believe there is no way you could ever believe this was done by the government.

    What happens if the govt comes out and acknowledges that there must have been explosives in the building. Does your argument shift?

    >>>> People WANT to believe that the Bush administration is not only incompetent, but downright evil. It is the same as people believing we didn’t land on the moon.

    You forgot to mention the Protocols of Zion and that I must be a holocaust denier because I am pro-palestine and therefore anti-semitic,and anti semites are holocaust deniers. Did you miss anything in there?

    >>>>> It feels like a bunch of piranhas waiting for someone to say something wrong.

    I’ll admit to being a Pharisee if you do too

  97. Trent Miskin
    November 16, 2007 at 1:37 am #

    “Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon?…when you inquire about the inhabitants of that sphere you find that the most learned are as ignorant in regard to them as the ignorant of their fellows. So it is in regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 271)

    What I said about Jones is relevant to the discussion, he was a centerpiece and co-founder of the Scholars for 9/11 Truth. You are truly oblivious to not acknowledge him as a centerpiece of the movement. I never commented on his base intelligence, his morality, or his religion as you have about anyone that ever supported or supports the war. If he puts himself out there as an expert then it is fair game to question his authority on the subject. Because of his lack of expertise and past he really had no right to do the research in my opinion. Yes I have watched the video hundreds of times, in slow mo, still photos and do not hold your opinion in the least. I’m not alone in this opinion at all among the foremost experts in demolition, physics, and engineering.

    “What happens if the govt comes out and acknowledges that there must have been explosives in the building. Does your argument shift?”

    What happens if the church comes out and says Joseph Smith wasn’t a prophet? See how I did that? They won’t acknowledge there were explosives in the building, because there wasn’t.

    Anyway, time to listen to Connor. No more about 9/11 for me.

  98. Trent
    November 16, 2007 at 2:13 am #

    Just as one last note as I myself was mistaken and didn’t want to let it slip. I just looked at my class schedules from back in the day and noticed that I did not have Jones for physics. I had him for a New Testament class. I did take some of the physics classes he taught, just had different professors. My brother did have him for a class though. Anyway, his New Testament class was very good and he focused on the scriptures much more than some religion teachers.

  99. AussieOi
    November 16, 2007 at 6:41 pm #

    Trent, like your name you are a real treat. a real class act.
    so you didn’t have him for physics eh, bit of a uh, slight dent in your character assassination and your ad hominems ad well.

    have you ever thought of contacting your former professor to discuss or clarify with him? i’m sure he’d remember you, you seem a memorable type of character.

    while we’re reminiscent of your technical magnificence, I don’t find any specific critiques of the 13 points he made in his original paper on 911, nor any mention of his latest paper which provides an update on metal-catalyzed fusion research — confirmation by outside labs of his 1989 claims in the journal NATURE.

    His BYU research web site is still active and records these confirmations, with specific references and quotations.

    And although you call him mediocre, I wonder if you have been published in Scientific American, in Nature 3 times, in Physical Review Letters?

    or, are you just like me……just another internet loudmouth and know it all?

  100. Trent
    November 16, 2007 at 9:42 pm #

    Well, I didn’t have to tell you that I found I actually had him for religion instead of physics did I? Especially on an Internet message board. But instead of acknowledging that, you had to attack that as well. Nothing in my supposed “character assassinations” involved experiences I had in my class, so I have no idea what you referred to as a “slight dent”. I just mentioned it because I knew of him before and his work and was not some random person who didn’t know what he did before he wrote the paper. He spoke about what he researched in class. I had a lot of teachers, and he looks strikingly similar to another physics professor and I got the classes they respectively taught mixed up. It has been four years after all. Anyway, if you want me to break down his paper, comments on a blog aren’t the place. It would take pages. I would be glad to do it via email. He did some great research in nuclear fusion in the 80s and was published as all tenured professors are required to do. They had nothing to do with demolition or engineering. If I am published and schooled in web development do I get to write authoritatively on distributed system design? Of course not, and people would call me on it. And of course we are all Internet loudmouths. I don’t even think that needs to be asked. I’ll let you have the last word and call me a few more names. The last few have been so very creative.

  101. AussieOi
    November 16, 2007 at 11:19 pm #

    thanks Trent.
    but seriously, isn’t he entitled to bring what expertise he does have to the table to start the ball rolling on all this, get others to take the baton so to speak.

    it sounds like you have read a few govt reports and said “Case closed”. surely you can see this just isn’t right?

    ditto OKC bombing. we now know (as we did then) that the building was bought down by explosives inside the building, and not _just_ mcveigh and a truck.

    doesn’t the_absence_of site material for analysis disturb
    you?

    no video footage, no flight recorder (ever heard of that happening before, let alone 4 times in 1 day?), no building materials left. I mean who scooped up the materials from all 4 sites and sent them to the Bottom of the ocean or wherever. ? you don’t think we might have wanted to look at it later on? in a murder case do you cremate the body before the autopsy ?

    add it all up!!

    then consider who benefited from it.

    And nobody claiming responsibility for it? hmmm

    what kind of heat sliced those WTC metal beams at a 45degree angle?

    just because many say there are anomolies that indicate explosives or thermite doesn’t mean that our government did it.

    5 words from the NYFD Trent, “boom-boom-boom-boom-boom”

    what was that do you think.?

  102. Connor
    November 16, 2007 at 11:20 pm #

    Aussie, as I said, if you want to talk 9/11, take it to the other thread.

  103. Jordan
    November 19, 2007 at 6:39 pm #

    Hey sorry to get slightly off the topic of this post but seeing as many here are Ron Paul supporters as well as a few opponents I would like to hear some discussion on the ramifications of Ron Paul’s foreign and monetary policies. I have been interested in Ron Paul’s overall message but because the media have all but dismissed him as a nuisance I have not heard any real debate about what possible scenarios might be were his policies implemented. As I have been working through my own political belief system the only conclusion that I have come to so far is that no body knows the future which makes it difficult to determine which course of action would be most beneficial. That being said I am interested to hear what you people think the ramifications might be of Ron Paul’s foreign and monetary policies. Please excuse me if I have breached some kind of blog etiquette as this is my first time blogging.

  104. Marc
    November 20, 2007 at 10:09 am #

    Hey , everyone,

    Great discussion here about Pres Hinckleys talk. I as many of you have been confused as to the meaning of it. He seems to say some things that appear to be completely off base, Such as the statement about defending our families, liberty etc, and defending liberty wherever it is in jeopardy and so forth.

    I have been praying to understand what all of this meant for the last few years because I want to not only to be sincere in my beliefs, but i want to be “right” as well.

    It c ame to my mind that perhaps since Pres H inckley is speaking to a world wide audiance that we should look at the talk from a worldwide perspective. Read the talk again but pretend you are a saint in iraq, France or Japan, the talk takes on a new meaning. The talk will likely have different meanings to people in these various countries.

    Let em know if you see it this way. As always I love to learn from all of you.

  105. Troy
    January 16, 2008 at 3:13 pm #

    I am little late on this subject, I have read the talk several times. President Hinckley is talking to the world collectively. I believe the tyrant he is talking about is our goverment. Explaining to others in the world that there are rightous people in this country that are bound by our laws to fight this war. Asking all Saint’s not to judge or hate others because of the nation in which they live. He declares our goverment is withholding the truth from our nation. There are those with a darkerside that are in rule. He tells The Saint’s in those Countries that they are justified to fight for liberty and family. I agreed with Marc before reading his post. Read this talk with a humble heart drop your pride and you will see too

  106. Robert
    July 14, 2010 at 8:00 pm #

    Why do people say, “If America (meaning the USA) is ever destroyed”? The Lord has promised that it will occur. Many people say, “But it says if the gentiles repent then He won’t destroy it.” That doesn’t provide an out when he said, “Wo be unto the Gentiles, saith the Lord God of Hosts! For notwithstanding I shall lengthen out mine arm unto them from day to day, they will deny me;…” (2 Ne 28:32) This same verse says if they repent He will be merciful but doesn’t say the gentile nation shall not be destroyed.
    And why do people who have been told the Book of Mormon is the best source of finding out the truth about today’s world and national events place more trust in the news media than in the word of God? In Helaman and 3 Nephi there was a secret combination which filled the seats of Government. Moroni testifies Satan is the leader of this group and that it will be worldwide in our day. Last I looked the US is part of the world. So how can the present day secret combination not be filling our seats of government? Helaman 7 describes the state of affairs among the Nephites and the same conditions have been plainly evident in the US since the days of Clinton and before.
    Has it occured to anyone I mean anyone out there that both the “left” and “right” wings of politics are wrong. Asking which side is right Republican and Democrats is the same as asking which is better cyanide or antrax.

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  1. President Gordon B. Hinckley and the War in Iraq « The Good Democrat - July 4, 2008

    [...] In the April 2003 General Conference, President Hinckley addressed the war in Iraq. There has been debate about whether or not he supported the war in [...]

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