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Date Posted: 20:52:48 06/01/05 Wed
Author: Chuck in ND
Subject: I would like to think others
In reply to: Mary, quite contrary 's message, "I didn't take them that way, President Hinckley's words" on 17:29:14 06/01/05 Wed

saw the same meaning in those words (about Empire). I'm afraid not enough did.

Did anyone, but myself, hear his warning about empires? Immediately, I thought of America, not of Iraq. He was warning us. I took the warning.

Now here you say: What would be the point of his saying, "Washington are leading us into war, and even many of our LDS are becoming involved." Would it really help? I've asked myself that many times, and the answer is always, "no". Would any of us have the courage to get behind a pulpit where our words are going to be broadcast to millions of people and say something like that? What would be the point? As long as people are rejecting Christ, what would be the point? As long as general moral climate is deteriorating, what would be the point? Better to teach of Christ, give hope to those who are enmired in political quagmires and warn against moral decay.

I want to be very respectful here--both to you and our church leaders, so please, please don't get too upset at what I'm trying to say (a little upset is OK :D) But as to the first couple sentences: the Pope (Pope John Paul, that is) did just that. He condemmned this "war on terrorism" on numerous occasions, in blunt, unmistakable terms. He did not fear the political repercussions. I know, I know, we (LDS) walk a fine line between not seeming too strange to the world and yet speaking boldly about moral issues. But I wonder if we are sometimes too timid. As one friends said "I'd rather get hammered for doing what's right than praised for doing what's wrong." This is something that just niggles at me and I'm not sure what the right answer is, but my gut tells me go with boldness.

Second part(about it doesn't really matter as long as they're not denying Christ. More important to teach Christ.)--it was the preachers of the Great Awakening (late 1600's) that planted the seeds of freedom in the American people. They stirred the embers in their hearts that soon blazed into a desire for freedom. It is the shepherds of the people who must set the pace, point the direction (as Ezekiel tells us). Yes, there is a connection, an a priori link between righteousness and liberty, but can we (should we) preach the one to the exclusion of the other?

I know you've interpretted Pres. Hinckley's remarks in the most generous, liberal light possible. But let's be honest: Most (like 85%) American LDS have interpretted his comments to be 180deg the opposite. (What's the way to make that deg sign???) I want to give Pres. Hinckley the same interpretation as you do, but, as Leif points out, while the church spokesman was quick to clarify Elder Nelson's comments were definitely NOT anti-war, the church spokesman has yet to clarify Pres. Hinckley's comments as NOT pro-war. I hope you're right, I just don't know what to make of it. And as Leif has pointed out, being a worldwide church makes it more incumbent on leadership to be resoundingly neutral (at least).


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