We Are A Warlike People

From: The August 1977 1st Presidency Message, The False Gods We Worship

by Spencer W. Kimball

“In spite of our delight in regarding ourselves as modern, and our tendency to think we possess a sophistication that no people in the past ever had—in spite of these things, we are, on the whole, an idolatrous people—a condition most repugnant to the Lord.

We are a warlike people, easily distracted from our assignment of preparing for the coming of the Lord. When enemies rise up, we commit vast resources to the fabrication of gods of stone and steel—ships, planes, missiles, fortifications—and depend on them for protection and deliverance. When threatened, we align ourselves against the enemy instead of aligning ourselves with the kingdom of God; we train a man in the art of war and call him a patriot, thus, in the manner of Satan’s counterfeit of true patriotism, perverting the Savior’s teaching:

“Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

“That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:44–45.)

We forget that if we are righteous, the Lord will either not suffer our enemies to come upon us—and this is the special promise to the inhabitants of the land of the Americas (see 2 Ne. 1:7)—or he will fight our battles for us (Ex. 14:14D&C 98:37, to name only two references of many). This he is able to do, for as he said at the time of his betrayal, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matt. 26:53.) We can imagine what fearsome soldiers they would be. King Jehoshaphat and his people were delivered by such a troop (see 2 Chr. 20), and when Elisha’s life was threatened, he comforted his servant by saying, “Fear not; for they that be with us are more than they that be with them” (2 Kgs. 6:16). The Lord then opened the eyes of the servant, “And he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” (2 Kgs. 6:17.)

Enoch, too, was a man of great faith who would not be distracted from his duties by the enemy: “And so great was the faith of Enoch, that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions were heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch.” (Moses 7:13.)

What are we to fear when the Lord is with us? Can we not take the Lord at his word and exercise a particle of faith in him? Our assignment is positive: to forsake the things of the world as goals in themselves; to desist from idolatry and press forward in faith; to carry the gospel to our enemies, that they might no longer be our enemies.

We must leave off the worship of modern-day idols and a reliance on the “arm of flesh,” for the Lord has said to all the world in our day, “I will not spare any that remain in Babylon.” (D&C 64:24.)

When Peter preached such a message as this to the people on the day of Pentecost, many of them “were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37.)

And Peter answered: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and … receive the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38.)

As we near the year 2,000, our message is the same as that which Peter gave. And further, that which the Lord himself gave “unto the ends of the earth, that all that will hear may hear:

“Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh.” (D&C 1:11–12.)

We believe that the way for each person and each family to prepare as the Lord has directed is to begin to exercise greater faith, to repent, and to enter into the work of his kingdom on earth, which is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It may seem a little difficult at first, but when a person begins to catch a vision of the true work, when he begins to see something of eternity in its true perspective, the blessings begin to far outweigh the cost of leaving “the world” behind.

Herein lies the only true happiness, and therefore, we invite and welcome all men, everywhere, to join in this work. For those who are determined to serve the Lord at all costs, this is the way to eternal life. All else is but a means to that end.”

Image: LDS Media Library

13 comments

  1. Why are we so blood thirsty, willing to slaughter innocent people in foreign lands by the hundreds of thousands simply because they have something we want, like oil? Why do we no longer regard the restrictions on going to war that are found in the writings of Jefferson and the other Founders, as well as in D&C 98:33–37? I honestly don’t understand this. How are we any longer a peculiar people? This is crazy! What in the world is wrong with us? Something is very seriously wrong here.

    1. Bro. Craig,

      I think you know the answer to your question, as it is found in 2 Nephi 28, among other similar scriptures that warn of the latter day apostasy, that I know you are aware of. It’s just hard for any of us to accept & awake to how awful our situation is today. The apostasy is far worse & happened far earlier than most anyone realizes.

      The Saints refused to listen to Joseph Smith. They did not follow his counsel & warnings about the abominations & whoredoms happening among them, but instead embraced those whoredoms. So after Joseph was taken from them, they were driven out into the wilderness to dwindle in unbelief until they repented & started living according to the teachings in the Book of Mormon, (including Jacob 2), which they still haven’t done yet, except a few.

      The salt has lost it’s savor, except for a rare few today in every religion.

  2. I just discovered this website today, and I think it is wonderful. This article perfectly reflects the thoughts that have been running through my mind since last week, after I attended the GOP debate in Mesa, AZ. I walked away after that debate sickened by how eager people were to cheer as many of the candidates fought over who could beat most loudly on the drums of war. Less than a mile away from where we were stands the Mesa Arizona Temple, where many of those in attendance have covenanted to build the Kingdom of God, and here they sat cheering for bloodshed. “We are justified,” they say, “in killing in order to prevent killing.” There is a time and a place, as the Lord will dictate, but we cannot feign call it defense when we have become the aggressor.

    1. Heya Tom, I”m glad that you’re with us. I hope you continue to read the articles and listen to the shows. We’re bias , but we feel that as LDS people, few subjects are as important as this one.

  3. And yet we continue to beat the war drums in utter disregard for the words of prophets and the savior himself. When will we ever learn?

    1. I was sitting here holding my baby and I wanted to cry. I watched your video. I’m still somewhat skeptical all those injuries were results of American attacks cuz it was Russian tv… but I get the point and it doesn’t matter anyway. I’m awake. I see what you’ve been trying to say. My heart is grieved for our people and their people. All I want to do is cry and pray to the Lord that I’m sorry. I’m so sorry for not understanding sooner! When Ron Paul talked about the golden rule in their debate about war I thought “what are we going to do, let them kill us?”

      I have a few thoughts that I need to write down before I lose them. First is, I didn’t really give Ron Paul a chance because so many of his “followers” were rude and mean and caused me to stumble before I could really hear his msg. Also he should stop saying that it’s our fault they hate us. That may be true.. but what are we going to do about that as a new rising generation? He should focus on the present and future. I didn’t do anything to anybody. I wasn’t calling for war after 9/11 I just figured my gov’t knew what they were doing to protect us. So he should focus the attention on our corrupt gov’t, and leaders from both parties, and the media, all those who inclined the American people for war the last 50 years. I’ve always thought Ron Paul was a good guy. He means what he says and that was refreshing. But so many dopes talk about legalizing drugs, same sex marriage, etc it had me worried what kind of revolution people wanted when they advocated Ron Paul. As for LDS supporters, it didn’t help that you’d get angry with the saints and talk about not fitting in at church. That was kind of weird to me. Honestly all your positions (my newly enlightened positions) really arent that radical, we just need to change our approach. We need to be more Christlike in our delivery.. optimistic, humble, patient, full of love, and entreating others to follow our example. We need to stop calling him Dr. Paul. We need to pray and fast for an awakening in the church! I know I’m being really critical right now and I’m sorry about that but I’m really excited. I can finally see how this thing comes together! It’s the members of the church! We need to concentrate on waking them up because honestly they’re the only ones that already believe these things because of the BoM. We just have to connect the dots for them and our leaders can’t do it because that merges w/politics & they’re already in danger right now. Guys! This is it! Your msg, is the church’s msg, is the BoM’s msg, is the Savior’s msg. We’ve got to do this on our own and from a diff angle. LDS Liberty, if youre reading this, email me I’d like to talk to you. We need to join forces, all of us… latterdayconservative, LDS for Ron Paul fb, LDSliberty, maybe Constitution Party, Sam B., etc… and coalesce under one banner (kind of like the left does) if we even want to have a chance. And I dont mean a chance for RP necessarily. I’m going to be voting for him here & Ill ask my friends and family to vote for him, but I don’t see how it could happen this year? He won’t have enough delegates and his name is so polarizing (again not his fault.) What I have in mind is bigger than one election. I’m putting something together in July and I may need your help. Trust in the Lord! That’s something I know I could do better at. Talk to you soon!
      Rachel

  4. Ok guys please listen. The average GOP member is not thinking to themselves that they want to go out and kill innocents. I do not believe most saints are rooting for this either. They simply have be conditioned to live in fear and see a threat that they want to bravely stand up to. They feel they are standing up to modern Nazi’s before they take over half the globe. This is why the scriptures tell us we are deceived. In the name of protecting us we have allowed evil and conspiring men to take the reins of our government and our rights to self DEFENSE as they promise to do it for us. I am disturbed by the War drums that the GOP and Dems are beating. Neither is any better they are both doing the same dang thing. Where are all the Dems that complained about Bush as we invade Libya and other nations left and right assassinating their leaders and undermining their governments? President Kimbal is correct but we must not climb down from our Rameumpton and start patting each other on the back as if we are a greater people and a more advanced people either. We need to be an example of Love and virtue that no one can assail. Hardly no one believes that they are sending their government in to slaughter innocents. C’mon. They have been deceived by power hungry elites(as have many of us) that they are just fighting terrorists and by fighting them on their own turf they keep our streets safe. We know this is a deception to centralize more tyrannical power in the hands of those whom Ether warned us about. But we will not awaken our brothers and sisters by mocking, scorning, or acting superior. Lets stick with love unfeigned.

    1. Connor, if I may, I would like to talk to you too (about something that was said on tv.) I hate to leave my email right here so if you could get it from JC. We need to all talk and come together quickly.
      Thanks!
      rachel

  5. You know what’s even more interesting about this position held by President’s Kimball? He and the First Presidency gave a rare official church message to protest against the proposed MX missiles system slated to be built in Utah. This system was basically a moving missile launching system on rails that would use the mountains as cover. Speaks volumes for the anti-war message of the Gospel–though admittedly some concern was also expressed by the First Presidency what the construction of the missile system would do to the delicate desert environment . I’ll see if I can find the original statement to post here.

  6. Here’s the proclamation

    First Presidency Statement on Basing of MX Missile

    The First Presidency issued on Tuesday, 5 May 1981, the following statement on the proposal to base the MX missile in Utah and Nevada.

    We have received many inquiries concerning our feelings on the proposed basing of the MX missile system in Utah and Nevada. After assessing in great detail information recently available, and after the most careful and prayerful consideration, we make the following statement, aware of the response our words are likely to evoke from both proponents and opponents of the system.

    First, by way of general observation we repeat our warnings against the terrifying arms race in which the nations of the earth are presently engaged. We deplore in particular the building of vast arsenals of nuclear weaponry. We are advised that there is already enough such weaponry to destroy in large measure our civilization, with consequent suffering and misery of incalculable extent.

    Secondly, with reference to the presently proposed MX basing in Utah and Nevada, we are told that if this goes forward as planned, it will involve the construction of thousands of miles of heavy-duty roads, with the building of some 4600 shelters in which will be hidden some 200 missiles, each armed with ten warheads. Each one of these ten nuclear warheads will have far greater destructive potential than did the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    http://www.lds.org/ensign/1981/06/news-of-the-church?lang=eng

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