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War

Posted: 30 Apr 2019, 09:10
by rrosskopf
Did you ever notice that at the very time when the US was about to embark on its bloodiest war, and only decades before the first world war, that God gave us the Book of Mormon that talks extensively about - you guessed it - war. We are told explicitly that contention is not of God. When God later tells Joseph Smith about "war being poured out on all nations", it is not God that is doing the pouring. Contention is of the Devil. "War" in this instance is not the standard definition of "armed conflict" but rather a determination to kill. It is the determination to kill that is poured out on all nations, an attitude of contention, a disrespect of human life. Those that followed Joseph Smith and his successor, Brigham Young, escaped the Civil war, and even when Mormon pioneers volunteered to fight in the war against Mexico, Brigham Young promised the new recruits that they would never see battle. Fort after fort fell without a fight. The US sent troops to depose Brigham Young in what became known as the Utah war, but even this war was bloodless on both sides. Brigham used other strategies to accomplish his designs.

Re: War

Posted: 30 Apr 2019, 09:50
by Minyan Man
rrosskopf, what is the point you're trying to make? I'm not being sarcastic, I would like to know.

Re: War

Posted: 30 Apr 2019, 11:53
by SamBee
The twentieth century was an unholy mess. About the one thing that can be said for the second half is that WWIII never started

We are seeing massive social contention just now. Shootings in religious buildings in five continents. Social groups, genders etc being turned on each other... The big one has never happened but simmering hate is to be found all over social media.

Re: War

Posted: 30 Apr 2019, 12:22
by On Own Now
rrosskopf wrote:
30 Apr 2019, 09:10
...in what became known as the Utah war, but even this war was bloodless on both sides.
Well, as long as you don't count the Mountain Meadows Massacre, anyway. Unfortunately, it's really hard not to count it. The impending invasion heavily influenced the idea of hold-your-ground-at-all-costs in an us-vs-them struggle, in which Mormons sought to stir up Native Americans to help them fight against non-Mormons. In my view, the Mormon Reformation and the looming Utah War were the two primary causes of the MMM.

To your point, though, I think the MMM narrative would have fit nicely into the BofM War Stories.

Re: War

Posted: 30 Apr 2019, 13:11
by Roy
rrosskopf wrote:
30 Apr 2019, 09:10
a disrespect of human life
I love that today we have a greater respect for human life than at any other time in history. People have always had respect for their fellows, their kin, neighbors, community, and country men. I feel that today people tend to have a sense of compassion and sympathy for human lives outside of their tribe and people that was largely absent before. I feel that even though the technology to create destruction has grown ever more powerful war has become more civilized. There is an attempt to distinguish military targets from civilian populations. Pillaging and/or sexual assault against the local populace is no longer allowed.

Recently I have discovered the work of Eleanor Roosevelt as part of the first ever US delegation to the UN. She was one of the principal architects for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I believe that document to be inspired and the principles espoused therein to be revelation. All people everywhere have rights by virtue of their personhood - amazing, radical, and wonderful!

Re: War

Posted: 30 Apr 2019, 23:42
by rrosskopf
Minyan Man wrote:
30 Apr 2019, 09:50
rrosskopf, what is the point you're trying to make? I'm not being sarcastic, I would like to know.
I'm not trying to make any point. I've always read the Book of Mormon from a 20th century point of view, where such wars were long past, and wondered why the Book of Mormon talks so much about war. Then it occurred to me today that it was very timely - from a 19th century point of view. I mean God tells Joseph Smith right up front that he is restoring the gospel because of the "calamities" which are about to befall the children of men, and those calamities are the wars that are about to change the world. Modern warfare is introduced in the US Civil war, and then even more modern warfare is introduced in the 1st world war, and then even more modern warfare is introduced in the 2nd world war. Within a relatively short span of time, warfare changed dramatically. I was wondering if this late recognition on my part was shared by anyone else, or if this was something obvious that only I missed.

Re: War

Posted: 30 Apr 2019, 23:54
by rrosskopf
On Own Now wrote:
30 Apr 2019, 12:22
rrosskopf wrote:
30 Apr 2019, 09:10
...in what became known as the Utah war, but even this war was bloodless on both sides.
Well, as long as you don't count the Mountain Meadows Massacre, anyway.
Yeah, I debated with myself whether to count it. I finally decided not to count it because it was not a military on military encounter. The people of Utah had a genuine beef with the wagon train, which they tried to settle first through legal means, and although they were extremely paranoid because of the current tension between the US and the church, it wasn't part of Brigham Young's war plans. It was an independent and isolated decision. The wagon train either 1) shouldn't have poisoned the well or 2) turned over the people suspected of poisoning the well to let justice decide their guilt or innocence. If you put it in today's context, you can't just go to New York, poison a public water utility, and then refuse arrest because you are not a New Yorker.

Re: War

Posted: 01 May 2019, 04:57
by nibbler
rrosskopf wrote:
30 Apr 2019, 23:42
I was wondering if this late recognition on my part was shared by anyone else, or if this was something obvious that only I missed.
Many use Doctrine & Covenants 87 to strengthen their position that JS was a prophet. The section starts out with:
Verily, thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls;

And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place.

For behold, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and then war shall be poured out upon all nations.

Re: War

Posted: 01 May 2019, 05:27
by nibbler
rrosskopf wrote:
30 Apr 2019, 23:54
The people of Utah had a genuine beef with the wagon train, which they tried to settle first through legal means...
Genuine beef with that specific wagon train? Are you referring to the rumor that was started that Parley P. Pratt's widow recognized someone in the wagon train as having participated in her husband's murder? Can you provide a citation to the issue that Utah had with the Baker–Fancher wagon train that they first tried to settle through legal means?
rrosskopf wrote:
30 Apr 2019, 23:54
...it wasn't part of Brigham Young's war plans.
War plans, probably not. Rash decisions are seldom part of a plan. I haven't read a whole lot about MMM but I suspect that the person or event that led people to transition from rhetoric to action will forever remain a mystery. IMO it was more of a product of an environment than a product of an individual. That said, an individual can have great influence over an environment.
rrosskopf wrote:
30 Apr 2019, 23:54
The wagon train either 1) shouldn't have poisoned the well or 2) turned over the people suspected of poisoning the well to let justice decide their guilt or innocence.
Here I believe you are presenting speculation as though it were fact. It's possible that the Baker–Fancher wagon train did poison a well but anthrax is naturally occurring. Anthrax could have killed the cattle and handling an animal that died from anthrax could have killed Proctor Hancock Robison. War hysteria could have led people to conclude that what was a unfortunate series of natural events was a deliberate poisoning.

Re: War

Posted: 01 May 2019, 06:54
by dande48
War is an awful thing. We're still killing far too many people for no good reason. But we have seen an unprecedented amount of peace these past few decades, that I'm grateful for. The news will always sensationalize things, and make it seem like the end of the world is nigh. But all things considered, we're doing very well (comparatively).
rrosskopf wrote:
30 Apr 2019, 23:54
The people of Utah had a genuine beef with the wagon train, which they tried to settle first through legal means, and although they were extremely paranoid because of the current tension between the US and the church, it wasn't part of Brigham Young's war plans. It was an independent and isolated decision. The wagon train either 1) shouldn't have poisoned the well or 2) turned over the people suspected of poisoning the well to let justice decide their guilt or innocence. If you put it in today's context, you can't just go to New York, poison a public water utility, and then refuse arrest because you are not a New Yorker.
Far too many assumptions in this. Utah was a theocracy, in practice. Early Mormons were extraordinarily superstitious. They were out for blood. And to be very frank, the Mormon method for determining truth should NEVER be allowed in a court of law. I think your example could better be rephrased as:

"If you put it in today's context, you can't travel through Saudi Arabia, get accused of poisoning the water supply (because you hate their religion), and then refuse arrest because you are afraid they'll stone you without a fair trial."