biblical scripture found in Timothy 6:12. It became an old church hymn. A modern singer called Unspoken remixed it into a new song called Good fight. Eminem sang Till I Collapse. Now I'd like to put the concept into perspective.
We're also taught that contention is of the Devil. Christ himself appeared to give us a mixed message on the subject. In one breath Christ said turn the other check. In the next breath he said think not that I come to bring peace. I come not to bring peace but a sword. Then he said my peace I leave with you, not as the world giveth. Christ's peace comes from within. The answer to the apparent contradiction is found in Ecclesiastics. Everything has it's time and place. There's a time for war, a time for peace, a time to fight and a time to forgive. The Byrds also sang about it.
This brings us to a series of talks I recently discovered by a prominent member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. As many of you know I have served in the LDS Church in the past. I wasn't raised in that Church I was raised in the United Church of Canada. I've served in that church as well. I still believe in the creed of the United Church which pledges to seek justice and resist evil which I believe is a fundamental principle of the gospel.
I am no longer active in the LDS Church but I still share many of their beliefs. I had a conversation with a former Mormon who asked me why I was no longer active. I simply said it's complicated. Recently I had an interview with a local leader of the church that kind of went sideways and I rushed over to visit an old friend to smoothing things out.
My friend is a former Bishop who has served many years in the church and has recently retired. I have served with him for many years. I trust him. He is the executor of my will. He has also served many years with hospice and other organizations. I suppose that's why we got along so well. We shared a common belief in community service.
I said to my friend I want to be on good terms with the church like a former employer but not really. It's more than that.
I had shared some concerns with the other leader and he abruptly said you don't know what you believe. You don't believe anything. Then he tried to make me sound like I was a bitter apostate and I was like no, no, that's not what I'm saying at all. I quickly regretted attending the meeting. Consequently I'm just doing my own thing so to speak.
Anyways, recently I came across some information on the Internet about the wife of the prophet, Wendy Watson Nelson. I looked at the name and thought Watson is an uncommon middle name. That's normally a surname. The wife of the prophet has a hyphenated surname? I know that's common in Central America but not so common in the LDS church.
Then I find out Watson is her maiden name and that she is a Canadian. She's from Alberta, I am not. Yet her story intrigued me. Turns out she marred President Nelson in 2006 when he was an apostle. Then I read that President Nelson was a widow and this is his second marriage.
I like President Nelson, he's a nice guy and a good man. He was a surgeon. I admire and respect that.
I was a bit disappointed when he announced a new Temple was to be built in China. We all know about the atrocities of Xi Jinping. I have friends who are Falun Gong. They are peaceful Buddhists who are put in jail for their political beliefs then executed to order for their organs. It is an abomination. President Nelson was a heart surgeon. He would know about that.
I'll admit there's no way Ezra Taft Benson would have been able to get a Temple built in Communist China. He would not have been silent about their atrocities. When I expressed that concern to the other leader he said what are the members of the church in China supposed to do? Are they supposed to go without the Temple ordinances? No... I thought. I guess he's not necessarily condoning it and there rightfully should be a separation between church and state.
This brings us to his wife, Wendy Watson Nelson. I most certainly am not going to trash the wife of the prophet. I'm going to put some of her statements into perspective just like I did about some of Christ's statements earlier on. Sister Nelson has a wonderful story. Several actually.
She said when she was 24 she was engaged to be married. He was a really nice guy but as she was fasting and praying about it she felt in her heart something was amiss and broke off the engagement. Her family scolded her and said what, are you crazy? She said she just didn't feel right about it. So she went on to pursue her education and got a masters in psychology. Years later he contacted her. He had married a woman and had a family but changed his lifestyle and left them. I kinda get the feeling that he became Gay.
She said he expressed sorrow for hurting his wife with his decision. People are free to embrace whatever lifestyle they choose. Perhaps sister Nelson saw the writing on the wall when her family didn't. Perusing an education was time well spent.
There's another profound story about a picture she took of a Cheetah on an African safari with her husband. She wrote a book entitled Change Your Questions, Change Your Life. If you go to Amazon and click look inside you can find the picture and read the story behind it. It's intriguing.
Her and President Nelson were in an open land rover in Africa. She said note the rifle on the dash. This was no Disney safari. She said the guide gave them instructions on how to stay safe. He said don't stand up to take pictures and keep you arms and limbs in the vehicle at all times.
She explained how a cheetah came up close to the vehicle and when it left President Nelson said I didn't like the way it was looking at you. That's the first thing I said when I saw the picture.
I found an article the fake news ran about her which said
After tension over her speaking, here’s what the wife of the LDS president told graduates at Utah Valley University. I was like, her controversial? Are you kidding me?
Her being controversial is somewhat unlikely. I on the other hand am very controversial. I'll own that but she is not. So I scroll down in the article to find out what was so controversial about her. Turns out she believes in the traditional family and the LDS Proclamation on the family. That's not controversial. That's her God given unalienable right.
Here we have the Salt Lake Tribune calling that controversial quoting a source that called that rhetoric. This is why many Mormons believe Salk Lake will become evil. They will break their covenants like the Nephites of old. Don't get me wrong. I have no problem with LGBT. I think non-binary are stupid and the use of the pronouns they and them is stupid but I agree that is their right. I think MAPS and pedophiles are evil but what consenting adults do behind closed doors is their business. The key words are consenting adults. Raping and brainwashing children is evil.
Jacob 5 is a history of the church. It's a parable about nourishing and pruning a vineyard. It cross references to the parable in Matthew 13:24-30. The Lord looked down upon the vineyard and saw the fruit had become corrupted and said Who is it that has corrupted my vineyard? The response in Mathew was an enemy hath done this. That was the title of one of Ezra Taft Benson's books.
The parable in Mathew described wheat and tares or weeds. The Lord of the vineyard said where did these tares come from? The servant said an enemy had sown the tares among the good seed to corrupt the fruit of the vineyard. The servant asked if he should remove the tares but the Lord said no. The good seeds are too weak. If we take out the tares now, we'll damage the frail roots of the good seeds. Let them grow together until the harvest. Then we will separate the wheat from the tares.
That principle is also explained in Doctrine and Covenants 86:1-7.
The State does not have the right to tell the Church what it can or cannot believe. The freedom of religion is protected by law. The United Church of Canada had a simple solution to the Gay marriage conundrum.
They said allow Gay civil marriage and allow churches to perform Gay marriage if they elect to do so but don't force churches to perform Gay marriage if they disagree with it. That's fair. No one likes to have someone else's beliefs forced upon them.
People are going to do what they're going to do and if people want to be faithful to one partner we should support that. However, taking a church's non profit status away for disagreeing with Gay marriage is wrong. Yet the purpose of this post is not about that.
The purpose of this post is about some of the other comments sister Nelson has said about conflict and put them into perspective like I did with Christ's statements. Sister Nelson said everyone would be healthier if they let go of disagreements and contentions. OK that I agree with. We could all do with less conflict. However, we cannot embrace peace at any price. Like everything else, we need to find a balance. Everything has it's time and place.
Sometimes I find church psychologists can be a little bit on the jelly fish side. They say if there's no justice there will be no peace but they also say if you know justice you will know peace. This brings us back to the United Church creed which pledges to seek justice and resit evil. Martin Luther King taught that "Noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good."
He also taught "the belief that God will do everything for man while he himself does nothing is not faith but superstition."
On that note, the Book of Mormon is a record of a fallen people. Actually two different civilizations that were wiped off the face of the earth because of their wickedness - the Nephites and the Jaradites. The Nephites had become oath breakers. They made an oath and broke it. God allowed their enemies to wipe them off the face of the earth just like he allowed Nebuchadnezzar to conquer the Jews and carry them away into Babylonian captivity. Pride cometh before the fall.
A large portion of the Book of Mormon is about wars. People fighting the good fight so to speak in defense of civil liberty. One famous character in the book is a soldier by the name of Captain Moroni. He was buff and courageous. He led his men like the Israelis. He wasn't a pencil pusher. He was on the front line and said to his men come follow me.
On one occasion, apostates within the church joined a WEF to turn everyone into slaves. Captain Moroni rent his coat and wrote a famous pledge on it called the Title of Liberty. Then he fastened it to a pole and waved it like a flag for everyone to see.
The sign said "In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children." Everyone who was willing to fight for that cause entered into a covenant to do so. They were oath keepers and they prevailed against their enemies in defense of freedom.
It was reminiscent of Moses and the Levites during the Exodus when Moses came down from Mount Sinai and saw the wickedness of the people. He declared who is on the Lord's side? Let him come unto me. And the Levites gathered and slew three thousand - oath breakers.
My point is, Jehovah Witnesses believe in peace at any price. I do not.
Joseph Smith once said "Any man who will not fight for his wife and children is a coward. One thing uglier than war is cowardice and the refusal to stand for one's loved ones in the breech." I agree with Jospeh.
There's another heart warming story tied to this Captain Moroni. On another occasion he was waging war against his enemies and had prevailed against them. His enemies had surrendered their weapons of war and Captain Moroni said Alright, I want you to depart and make a covenant of peace. I want you to swear an oath that you will never return to enslave us.
His enemy said we will leave but we will make no such covenant. We will be back. Upon hearing that Captain Moroni returned all their weapons of war and declared "Behold, we shall end the conflict." That was freaking awesome. It reminds me of the New Zealand All Black's Haka and my current conflict.
One of the original Hakas from the All Blacks dates back to a time when their ancestors were in battle with an overwhelming army.
Their leader looked at the size of the army they faced and declared we're going to die! His warriors looked at the same army and said, We're going to live! The leader looked at the army again, shook his head and said, we're going to die! Again his warriors said We're going to live! Then together they renewed their resolve, live or die, we will fight. That is my pledge to you and that is my pledge to Scott Dawson. Behold, we shall end the conflict. Gag me with a spoon yo.