But leaving aside the question of whether the life of Christian and other nations is possible without armies and wars to defend their governments and States, or even supposing it to be necessary for their welfare that they should slavishly submit to institutions called governments consisting of people they do not personally know , and that it is necessary to yield up the produce of their labor to these institutions and fulfill all their demands — including the murder of their neighbors — granting them all that, there yet remains in our world an unsolved difficulty.
This difficulty lies in the impossibility of making the Christian faith which those who form the governments profess with particular emphasis accord with armies composed of Christians trained to slay. Perhaps Christianity may be obsolete, and when choosing between the two — Christianity and love of the State and murder — the people of our time will conclude that the existence of the State and murder is more important than Christianity, we must forgo Christianity and retain only what is important: the State and murder.
That may be so — at least people may think and feel so. But in that case they should say so! They should openly admit that people in our time have ceased to believe in what the collective wisdom of mankind has said, and what is said by the Law of God they profess: have ceased to believe in what is written indelibly on the heart of each man, and must now believe only in what is ordered by various people who by accident or birth have happened to become emperors and kings, or by various intrigues and elections have become presidents or members of senates and parliaments — even if those orders include murder.
That is what they ought to say! But it is impossible to say it; and yet one of these two things has to be said. If it is admitted that Christianity forbids murder, both armies and governments become impossible. And if it is admitted that government acknowledges the lawfulness of murder and denies Christianity, no one will wish to obey a government that exists merely by its power to kill.
And besides, if murder is allowed in war it must be still more allowable when a people seek its rights in a revolution. And therefore the governments, being unable to say either one thing or the other, are anxious to hid from their subjects the necessity of solving the dilemma. And for us who are assembled here to counteract the evil of war, if we really desire to attain our end, only one thing is necessary: namely to put that dilemma quite clearly and definitely both to those who form governments and to the masses of the people who compose the army.
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To do that we must not only clearly and openly repeat the truth we all know and cannot help knowing — that man should not slay his fellow man — but we must also make it clear that no considerations can destroy the demand made by the truth on people in the Christian world. Therefore I propose that our Meeting draw up and publish an appeal to all men, and especially to the Christian nations, in which we clearly and definitely express what everybody knows, but hardly anyone says: namely war is not — as most people assume — a good and laudable affair, but that like all murder, it is a vile and criminal business not only for those who voluntarily choose a military career but for those who submit to it from avarice, or fear of punishment.
With regard to those who voluntarily choose a military career, I would propose to state clearly and definitely that not withstanding all the pomp, glitter, and general approval with which it is surrounded, it is a criminal and shameful activity; and that the higher the position a man holds in the military profession the more criminal and shameful his occupation.
In the same way with regard to men of the people who are drawn into military service by bribes or by threats of punishments, I propose to speak clearly about the gross mistake they make — contrary to their faith, morality and common sense — when they consent to enter the army; contrary to their faith because when they enter the ranks of murderers contrary to the Law of God which they acknowledge; contrary to morality , because for pay or from fear of punishment they agreed to what in their souls they know to be wrong; and contrary to common sense, because if they enter the army and war breaks out they risk having to suffer any consequences, bad or worse than those they are threatened with if they refuse.
Above all they act contrary to common sense in that they join that caste of people which deprives them of freedom and compels them to be soldiers. For the executioner only holds himself in readiness to kill those who have been adjudged to be harmful and criminal, while a soldier promises to kill all who he is told to kill, even though they may be the dearest to him or the best of men.
The demand for a different social order, evoked by that inner contradiction which is so clearly illustrated by our preparations for murder, becomes more and more insistent every year and every day. The tension which demands that alteration has reached such a degree that, just as sometimes only a slight shock is required to change a liquid into a solid body, so perhaps with a slight effort or even a single word may be needed to change the cruel and irrational life of our time — with its divisions, armaments and armies — into a reasonable life in keeping with the consciousness of contemporary humanity.
Every such effort, every such word, may be the shock which will instantly solidify the super cooled liquid. Why should not our gathering be the shock? We must say the same. We must say what everybody knows but does not venture to say. The Lord's book is for each of us today. The teachings can and must be applied in our lives. Thus, every revelation has meaning, application, and purpose for each of us.
A Message of Hope for Mankind (ISBN: 145688283X)
Every prophecy and every promise contained in the Doctrine and Covenants will be fulfilled. Part of that which was prophetic in Joseph Smith's day is now historical.
Many of these promises and prophecies have already been realized. What a great testimony we have before us that the remaining ones will likewise be fulfilled.
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Joseph Smith was and is the Lord's prophet. The Lord's work will be directed by Him. However, the world will see the direction as it is carried out by and through His servants. His promises assure the world that He endows His servants with His power to accomplish His purposes upon the earth. His servants are the reflection of His mind and will. As the 21st century opens, the message and promises contained in the Doctrine and Covenants continue to be fulfilled.
The following are a few examples:. The Lord informs us throughout His book that His gospel will be taken to all the world by His authorized servants. The magnitude of this sacred work is emphasized as follows: "For it shall come to pass in that day [meaning today], that every man shall hear the fulness of the gospel in his own tongue, and in his own language, through those who are ordained unto this power, by the administration of the Comforter, shed forth upon them for the revelation of Jesus Christ.
From Samuel Smith, the first missionary of the Church in , to more than 60, missionaries today serving in most of the countries of the world is a testimony to all that the prophecies and promises in the Lord's book are in fulfillment.
Welcome to Messages for Humankind
Missionary training centers have been established in various nations. Converts number in the thousands each year. We are informed by the Lord that sacred ordinances pertaining to the salvation of man must be performed in the Lord's holy temples. Doctrine and Covenants , When the Lord directed the saints in Nauvoo to construct a holy edifice for these sacred ordinances, He also revealed that His temples would be erected in Zion Jackson County, Mo.
Today, there are working temples throughout the world.
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It is marvelous to behold the living Christ's words in fulfillment. Although this revelation known as "the Word of Wisdom" Doctrine and Covenants 89 is not exhaustive, it is a point of orientation. Those who catch the spirit of this revelation and build upon it as a foundation or standard will reap the benefits of obedience to its principles.
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It serves as a bulwark or protection against the enslavement of our bodies to harmful addictive substances as well as teaching us about earthly substances that are good and healthful for our bodies. As the frightful addiction to drugs increases, and the desecration continues of the physical body through lack of proper nutrition, we are humbled as we see the fulfillment of the Lord's promises to those who will adhere to His law of health. An article which appeared in The Reader's Digest March , pp.
The article stated:. They also die of cancer at about half of the rate of other Californians, according to a study made by James E.