Loving Our Enemies: An American Mormon Perspective

Loving Our Enemies:
An American Mormon Perspective
By Brett Wilcox

In memory of Eugene England.
May he rest as he lived, as an advocate for peace.

Loving Our Enemies: An American Mormon Perspective

I delivered a version of the following talk in Sacrament Meeting in Sitka, Alaska, on 15 February, 2015.

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
But I say unto you, 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: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:43-45)

This scripture, perhaps more than any other, illustrates the tremendous gulf that exists between the Natural man and the Savior. How do we bridge that gulf? By loving, blessing, praying, and doing good to our enemies, or by asking God to bless us as we hate, curse, or kill our enemies?

As people of faith, Muslims, Jews, Christians, Catholics, and Protestants have all killed in the name of God. Mormons did the same at Mountain Meadows in 1857, and American Mormons have, for the most part, endorsed and participated in America’s wars for over a century.

During that century Christian America routinely evoked the image and words of Jesus to inspire Americans to take up arms to kill our enemies. In World War One, the Prince of Peace appears in an army recruitment poster, dressed in khakis and sighting down the barrel of a rifle.(1) World War Two posters include an image of a black soldier brandishing a rifle and bayonet. The text reads, “Pvt. Joe Louis says . . . ‘We’re going to do our part . . . and we’ll win because we’re on God’s side’.” Another depicts the close up image of hand grasping a 12-inch knife. The knife is piercing the Bible. On the man’s coat sleeve we see a Nazi Swastika.(2)

Religious themes dominated the Korean, Vietnam, and Cold Wars. If we were righteous, God would help Christians defeat godless atheist communists.

And if we are to believe the rhetoric that supports America’s war against Iraq, then Jesus consults with the Pentagon, or if not, He should be. In 2013, a candidate for the U.S. Senate said, “We’ve got all the technology in the world and we’re losing that because we’re taking Christianity out of the military.”(3)

In January 2015, a Fox News analyst shared what he believed Jesus might say to the man who inspired the hit movie American Sniper. “I’m no theologian, but I suspect Jesus would tell that God fearing, red-blooded American sniper, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant for dispatching another godless Jihadist to the lake of fire.’”(4)

We pay lip service to loving our enemies while we engross ourselves in movies that turn war into entertainment. The more these movies manipulate us into hating “the bad guys,” the greater our identification with “the good guys,” the greater our satisfaction when we vicariously destroy these enemies, and the more righteous we feel for having done so. While serving in the First Presidency, J. Reuben Clark, a former State Department officer, described this phenomenon two years after World War Two had ended:

Popular feeling is being flogged into a support of this plan [to wage more war]. The press, the movies, the radio, the rostrum, all are deliberately used to build this terrible aim in our hearts. Enormous sums are expended by the military in propaganda, to scare us civilians into a blind following of their insanity. Often this propagandizing is crudely done, at other times it is carried on with great craft and cunning. We are to be made so jittery with fear that we shall follow with eyes shut where they lead.(5)

Are Mormon people who profess to believe in the concept of loving our enemies justified in killing in the name of God? The Book of Mormon contrasts righteous and unrighteous justifications for war. The unrighteous fight for power, with the intent to enslave, control, and profit from the labor and resources of others. The righteous fight in support of “their lands, and their houses, and their wives, and their children, that they might preserve them from the hands of their enemies; and also that they might preserve their rights and their privileges, yea, and also their liberty, that they might worship God according to their desires.” (Alma 43:9)

In modern times, the Lord admonishes us to “renounce war and proclaim peace,” (D&C 98:16) and then provides the rare and specific circumstances in which retaliatory violence is justified. We are told to “bear it patiently” once, twice, and three times and “revile not against them, neither seek revenge.”

The Lord, then, authorizes the use of violence, but even then, He promises greater blessings for those who forbear:

“And then if thou wilt spare him, thou shalt be rewarded for thy righteousness; and also thy children and thy children’s children unto the third and fourth generation.” (D&C 98:30)

Were it not for the following verses, we might falsely conclude that this standard applies only to individuals and families, with no application to nations.

“And again, this is the law that I gave unto mine ancients, that they should not go out unto battle against any nation, kindred, tongue, or people, save I, the Lord, commanded them.
Behold, this is an ensample unto all people, saith the Lord your God, for justification before me.” (D&C 98: 33, 38)

As of 2013, the US has invaded 70 nations—some of them multiple times—in its nearly 250-year history, including American Indian and Alaska Native nations, Mexico, Nicaragua, Argentina, Chile, Haiti, Hawaii, China, Korea, Panama, Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, Samoa, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Germany, Russia, Yugoslavia, Guatemala, Turkey, El Salvador, Italy, Morocco, France, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, India, Burma, Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Austria, Hungary, Japan, Iran, Uruguay, Greece, Vietnam, Lebanon, Iraq, Laos, Indonesia, Cambodia, Oman, Laos, Angola, Grenada, Bolivia, Virgin Islands, Liberia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Somalia, Bosnia, Zaire (Congo), Albania, Sudan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Macedonia, Colombia, Pakistan, Syria, Uganda, Mali, and Niger.(6)

If the U.S. government had consistently employed the Lord’s specific and limited justification for war, including authorization from God Himself before invading foreign nations, how many of those invasions might have been prevented? President Spencer W. Kimball had surely pondered such a question when he authored a 1976 Ensign article titled “The False Gods That We Worship.” His conclusions challenge the cherished concept held by American believers—regardless of faith—that “God is on our side.”

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 become anti-enemy instead of pro-kingdom of God; we train a man in the art of war and call him a patriot, thus . . . 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). . . . 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 affirmative; to forsake the things of the world as ends in themselves; to leave off 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.)(7)

How vast are the resources we’ve committed to fabricate our “gods of stone and steel?” And how much power do these gods possess in the world today?

“The U.S. operates and/or controls between 700 and 800 military bases worldwide. There is a confirmed U.S. military presence in 156 countries.(8)

We “Americans spend more money on our military than any other nation, amounting to about 45 percent of the whole world’s military expenditures. The top 15 nations account for 83 percent of the world’s military spending, and the United States spends more than numbers 2 through 15 combined.”(9)

I was a 15-year old boy when President Kimball identified as idolatry the American and Mormon love affair with our instruments of war. I used to join with thousands of other people, many of them Latter-day Saints, on summer days to watch the United States Air Force Thunderbirds perform. Like the ancient Greeks who worshipped their pantheon of gods in the starlit skies, we turned our eyes upward, transfixed as this team of fighter jets shot through the sky, performing with stunning precision their loops, twists, and turns. Our bodies shook with the power of these killing machines. With the memory of the Vietnam War still fresh on my young mind, and with the thoughts of my teen-aged brothers and I possibly fighting Communists in the next war, I was grateful for American gods of steel that might one day deliver us from our enemies.

As a child, war filled our minds and our conversations. I remember gluing myself to the TV night after night, absorbing Walter Cronkite’s sober description of the day’s events in Vietnam. I can still feel the apprehension in my gut as I waited for the number of the day’s dead to appear on the screen. Fear and hope would rise and fall with those numbers.

War in those days was an event, with distinct beginnings and endings. Now, we don’t war against nations; we war against terror. And inasmuch as terror will always exist, we hold out little hope or belief that the carnage will ever end. With no end in sight, war has largely dropped from public consciousness. Which terrorist groups are we at war with at this moment? To which nations, tribes, or races are we supplying arms, cash, and military training? Do we even know? Do we even care?

It is a tragedy that our children may never know the day in which our country is not waging war on foreign soil. It is a greater tragedy that many of our children don’t even know that our country is at war. Not knowing, they can’t pray, work, or advocate for peace.

President Kimball is one of several modern prophets to indict American warmongering. More than a century earlier, Brigham Young declared:

Our traditions have been such that we are not apt to look upon war between two nations as murder; but suppose that one family should rise up against another and begin to slay them, would they not be taken up and tried for murder: And why not nations that rise up and slay each other in a scientific way be equally guilty of murder? . . . Does it justify the slaying of men, women, and children that otherwise would have remained at home in peace, because a great army is doing the work? No! The guilty will be damned for it.(10)

Joseph F. Smith shared his thoughts on World War One in The Improvement Era: “For years it has been held that peace comes only by preparation for war; the present conflict should prove that peace comes only by preparing for peace, through training the people in righteousness and justice, and selecting rulers who respect the righteous will of the people.”(11)

Following the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, a time of nationalistic fury, President Clark spoke in General Conference on behalf of the First Presidency saying, “The Church is and must be against war. . . . It cannot regard war as a righteous means of settling international disputes; these should and could be settled—the nations agreeing—by peaceful negotiation and adjustment.”(12)

In the same conference, George Albert Smith, J. Reuben Clark and David O. McKay declared in a First Presidency statement: “By building a huge armed establishment, we shall belie our protestations of peace and peaceful intent and force other nations to a like course of militarism . . .”(13)

David O. McKay called for forbearance and spelled out the circumstances in which war may be justified:

There are conditions when entrance into war is justifiable, and when a Christian nation may, without violation of principles, take up arms against an opposing force. Such a condition, however, is not a real or fancied insult given by one nation to another. When this occurs proper reparation may be made by mutual understanding, apology, or by arbitration. Neither is there justifiable cause found in a desire or even a need for territorial expansion. The taking of territory implies the subjugation of the weak by the strong—the application of the jungle law. Nor is war justified in an attempt to enforce a new order of government, or even to impel others to a particular form of worship, however better the government or eternally true the principles of the enforced religion may be.(14)

In an essay titled “United States Foreign Policy,” Ezra Taft Benson commented on several of the reasons political leaders offer to justify war:

Nothing in the Constitution nor in logic grants to the President of the United States or to Congress the power to influence the political life of other countries, to ‘uplift’ their cultures, to bolster their economies, to feed their people, or even to defend them against their enemies.(15)

In the General Conference that followed World War Two, President Clark referred to the act of destroying two Japanese cities with Atomic Bombs as “the crowning savagery of war.”

And the worst of this atomic bomb tragedy is not that not only did the people of the United States not rise up in protest against this savagery, not only did it not shock us to read of this wholesale destruction of men, women, and children, and cripples, but that it actually drew from the nation at large a general approval of this fiendish butchery. Thus we in America are now deliberately searching out and developing the most savage, murderous means of exterminating peoples that Satan can plant in our minds. We do it not only shamelessly, but with a boast. God will not forgive us for this.(16)

Based on the Savior’s command that we love our enemies, and with so many scriptures advocating for peace and so many prophets—both ancient and modern—condemning nearly all war in nearly all circumstances, including modern American wars, one might expect Mormons to be known as pacifists and Conscientious Objectors to war. Such is not the case. Loyalty to country is a highly regarded virtue among Mormon people. Inasmuch as the church was restored in the USA, loyalty to country has traditionally meant loyalty to the United States. As much as most Mormons might have disapproved of American Mormon Conscientious Objectors during the Vietnam War, we speak in reverence of the Conscientious Objectors in the Book of Mormon who buried their weapons of war out of love for their brethren. We also view as heroes Helmuth Hübener, Karl-Heinz Schnibbe and Rudi Wobbe, three German Mormon teen-agers who actively resisted the Third Reich.

Thus we see that our gut level aversion to Conscientious Objectors is more about to whom and to what people object, rather than the objection of war as a matter of conscience. Notwithstanding, the First Presidency issued the following statement during the Vietnam War:

As the brethren understand, the existing law provides that men who have conscientious objection may be excused from combat service. There would seem to be no objection, therefore, to a man availing himself on a personal basis of the exemptions provided by law.(17)

The advent of the nuclear weapons era provides yet another reason to object to modern warfare, not only for the exponentially increased capacity to destroy human life, but also for the inconceivable and nearly eternal capacity to destroy the environment. As previously quoted, J. Reuben Clark warned of that capacity in 1946. World leaders didn’t listen. As of 1998, seven different nations were responsible for more than 2000 nuclear bomb detonations, with the U.S. accounting for more detonations than the other six nations combined.(18)

Both the bomb blasts and the radioactive waste products generated in the production of the bombs have contributed to what the original atomic bomb scientists warned would be “an era of devastation on an unimaginable scale.”(19)

David and I experienced a small piece of that devastation last summer while enjoying the snakes, turtles, and scenery on Missouri’s beautiful Katy Trail. The trail features numerous markers and displays designed to enlighten travelers such as ourselves. One such display provides a brief history of Weldon Spring, a city the government created when it purchased 47,000 acres and relocated the citizens from three different towns from that land.

The display tells the story of the nearly one billion dollar, 16-year, uranium-processing cleanup project. “The project involved encapsulating about 1.5 million cubic yards of radioactive chemical waste in a 45-acre [seven-story] disposal cell.”

Burying the toxic waste from our toxic weapons is reminiscent of the Lamanites who buried their weapons as a covenant that they would never murder again. Sending a powerful message of peace and love to their descendants, they even opted for death rather than take up arms again.

The display at Weldon Spring sends a different message: “Long-term stewardship should ensure that the Weldon Spring site is fully protective of human health, public welfare and the environment.” It then explains that “the uranium waste in the cell has a half-life of 4.5 billion years” while the disposal cell is designed to last only a thousand years. It also acknowledges that “technologies and governments change over time. Because of these concerns, long-term stewardship activities include having citizens visit the site and understand the actions that have taken place. This will help ensure the safety of the site for many generations.”(20)

Our government could have used the display to shine light on and take responsibility for the appalling consequences of our nuclear arms program. Instead it poisoned the site yet again with its shallow propaganda.

But at least the government leaders of that era had sense enough to bury the waste. Their successors now fashion bombs and bullets from depleted uranium and, in the name of peace and freedom, they use those weapons to kill our enemies. In recent wars, 90% of those “enemies” are civilians.(21)

Leuren Moret, an international expert on depleted uranium, explains the profound implication of DU bombs:

The U.S. has illegally conducted four nuclear wars in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and twice in Iraq since 1991, calling DU “conventional” weapons when in fact they are nuclear weapons. Since 1991, the U.S. has released the radioactive atomicity equivalent of at least 400,000 Nagasaki bombs into the global atmosphere. That is 10 times the amount released during atmospheric testing which was the equivalent of 40,000 Hiroshima bombs. The U.S. has permanently contaminated the global atmosphere with radioactive pollution having a half-life of 2.5 billion years.(22)

Of course depleted uranium doesn’t discriminate between Iraqi civilians and U.S. soldiers. In addition to DU, American soldiers have also been exposed to series of experimental and unrecorded vaccines, pesticides, organophosphates, nerve agent pre-treatment tablets (NAPS), and smoke from burning chemical weapons and burnt-oil. What are the consequences? According to the Boston Globe, as of 2012:

A staggering 45 percent of the 1.6 million veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now seeking compensation for injuries they say are service-related.
. . . What’s more these new veterans are claiming eight to nine ailments on average, and the most recent ones over the last year are claiming 11 to 14.(23)

But Western soldiers leave the polluted ecosystems of war and return back home. Home for many Iraqi citizens now includes what one writer describes as a “hellish mixture of nano-particularized heavy metals and other toxins generated by the US military occupation and heavy bombardment of Iraqi cities. . . . Levels are now much higher than those recorded among survivors of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. . . . [C]ancer, child cancer and birth defects (BD) have reached historically unprecedented levels in Fallujah and other Iraqi cities.”(24)

Dr. Al Sabbak, an Iraqi gynecologist visited the US in the fall of 2014 to increase awareness of the terrifying consequences of the U.S. War on Terror. He states that the Iraqi city of Basra has experienced “a 17-fold increase in child birth defects between 1995 and 2003,” including “limb deformities, stunted extremities, cleft lips and palates, internal organs on the outside of the body, and hands and feet on which all fingers and toes are fused together.”(24)

In a 2003 article titled “War on The Earth,” we read:

Following the Pentagon’s 2001-2002 military campaign in Afghanistan, the Uranium Medical Research Center (UMRC) sent two scientific teams to Afghanistan to examine the effects of U.S. bombing on Kabul. Many residents, the UMRC teams found, had symptoms consistent with uranium exposure (joint pains, flulike illnesses, bleeding mucous membranes, etc.). One fourth of the Kabul newborns examined had health problems consistent with uranium, including lethargy, skin rashes, and enlarged heads.(25)

The atrocity of the Vietnam War’s Agent Orange era with its ongoing intergenerational illness, disease, and birth defects pales in significance when compared to the billion year consequences of our leaders’ strategy to free oppressed people by bombing their neighborhoods with nuclear weapons.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.”(26) Nowhere is that permanence more evident than with nuclear weapons.

On April 4th, 1967, Martin Luther King delivered what may have been his most courageous sermon when he publicly denounced America’s illegal war in Vietnam and when he declared his government to be “the greatest purveyor of violence” on Earth.(27)

His allegiance to God over government proved to be just as subversive as was Jesus’s allegiance to God over the Roman Empire. One year to the day following King’s historic sermon, the most violent government on Earth arranged for and carried out the preacher’s assassination, a crime for which it was found guilty in an American court of law some 32 years later.(28)

If Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, David O. McKay, Spencer W. Kimball, Reuben J. Clark and so many others were alive today, surely their hearts would break to see the growth of violent, American imperialism as it spreads throughout the Earth, not unlike the cancers that spread throughout the bodies of the babies in the neighborhoods we bomb. What would they say? What would they do? More importantly, what are we saying and what are we doing?

Do we still believe our government when it tells us that our children are killing and being killed to defend American freedom, that they’re killing for peace, that the people we oppress view us as liberators, that it’s our God-given right to invade sovereign states, steal their resources, and set up puppet governments? Or do we stand up as many church leaders have done and condemn our unethical, illegal, and catastrophically toxic wars?

In former days, when the government and the criminal elite maintained control of the airwaves, we might have had a limited excuse for believing government lies. But with the advent of the Internet, that excuse is gone.

We now know that the only weapons of mass destruction that Iraq possessed were those the USA gave Iraq, we know that the USA used 9/11 to lie its citizens into supporting yet another war with Iraq, we know that the government fabricated the Tonkin Gulf incident to lie Americans into a war in Southeast Asia, we know that the Japanese secret attack on Pearl Harbor was anything but a secret to U.S. military leaders, we know that dropping Atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki was needed only as a worldwide display of our brutality, not as a means to save American lives or to end the war with Japan, and we know that American bankers and industrialists conducted business with and profited from the Nazi war machine.

Nowadays, choosing to believe government lies is just that: a conscious choice. By choosing to bury the truth in the dark recesses of our minds, we also bury our capacity to feel empathy for our sisters and brothers whom we oppress, starve, and kill.

As President McKay said in General Conference in April 1942:

War impels you to hate your enemies. The Prince of Peace says, Love your enemies. War says, Curse them that curse you. The Prince of Peace says, Pray for them that curse you. War says, Injure and kill them that hate you. The risen Lord says, Do good to them that hate you. . . . It is vain to attempt to reconcile war with true Christianity.(29)

The irony in this situation is that Christian people such as ourselves do pray for our enemies every time we pray for our government leaders, blind to the fact that some of the very people we ask God to bless are responsible for far more death and destruction than the people they would have us fear and hate.

Whenever my thinking becomes clouded and my soul becomes darkened with nationalistic propaganda, I ask myself the simple and sometimes derided questions, “What would Jesus do?” Or “What would Jesus have done?”

Would Jesus have dropped Atomic bombs on his family members living in Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Would Jesus drop depleted uranium bombs on his family members living in Afghanistan or Iraq? Would Jesus implement economic sanctions against Iraq, knowing those sanctions would result in the deaths of half a million of his young siblings?

Even though Jesus would never commit such acts, based on our understanding of the atonement, He experienced the terror of those acts some 2,000 years ago. If we’re going to continue killing our enemies, let’s at least have the decency to stop doing it in the name of the Jesus.

Better still, let’s add our voices to those of Dr. King, Gandhi, a host of ancient and modern prophets, as well as the Prince of Peace himself. Our power to destroy has never been greater; therefore our love for others has never been more needed. Let us not only love and pray for our enemies abroad, let the power of our love and good will transform our enemies into allies.

Our active commitment to peace may not change the course of history, but it will change our hearts. With hearts open, we are free to take responsibility for and repent of the part we play in the hatred countless nations and people understandably feel toward the U.S. government. With hearts open, we are free to expose and cleanse the system that fuels that hatred.

J. Reuben Clark’s prophetic warning and call for peace rings as true today as it did in 1946. I conclude with his words.

If we are to avoid extermination, if the world is not to be wiped out, we must find some way to curb the fiendish ingenuity of men who have apparently no fear of God, man, or the devil, and who are willing to plot and plan and invent instrumentalities that will wipe out all the flesh of the earth. And, as one American citizen of one hundred thirty millions, as one in one billion population of the world, I protest with all of the energy I possess against this fiendish activity, and as an American citizen, I call upon our government and its agencies to see that these unholy experimentations are stopped, and that somehow we get into the minds of our war-minded general staff and its satellites, and into the general staffs of all the world, a proper respect for human life.”(30)

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Notes
1. David Swanson, “Fahrenheit 11/11/11,” War Is a Crime .org, November 8, 2011, http://warisacrime.org/content/fahrenheit-111111
2. “U.S. religious propaganda posters from World War II,” Reason & Society, February 26, 2010, http://reasonsociety.blogspot.com/2010/02/us-religious-propaganda-posters-from.html
3. “US Senate Candidate: American Military Needs ‘More Jesus’,” Fitnews, December 18, 2013, http://www.fitsnews.com/2013/12/18/us-senate-candidate-military-needs-jesus/
4. “American Sniper Chris Kyle Was Full Of Lies, Just Like The Movie,” The Young Turks, January 26, 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ej_SRJNz9ls
5. “Slipping from Our Old Moorings,” in David H. Yarn, Jr., ed., J. Reuben Clark Selected Papers, vol. 5 (Provo: Brigham Young University, 1987), 161, http://archive.lewrockwell.com/orig8/boyack4.1.1.html
6. Dr Gideon Polya, “The US Has Invaded 70 Nations Since 1776 – Make 4 July Independence From America Day, Countercurrents.org, July 5, 2013, http://www.countercurrents.org/polya050713.htm
7. President Spencer W. Kimball, “The False Gods That We Worship,” Ensign, June 1976, https://www.lds.org/ensign/1976/06/the-false-gods-we-worship?lang=eng
8. Jules Dufour, “The Worldwide Network of US Military Bases,” GlobalResearch, November 15, 2014, http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-worldwide-network-of-us-military-bases/5564
9. David Swanson, War is a Lie, Charlottesville, Virginia, 2010, p. 49
10. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 16 vols. (London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot. 1854–86), 7:137.)
11. Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, comp. John Widtsoe (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1939), 421.
12. Ibid.
13. In Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6:241.
14. In Conference Report, Apr. 1942, p. 72.
15. Ezra Taft Benson, “United States Foreign Policy,” Quoted in Essays on Foundations of American Constitutional Government, by Robert D. Gorgoglione Sr., 2010, p. iii, http://www.amazon.com/Essays-Foundations-American-Constitutional-Government-ebook/dp/B0041HXOCY/
16. In Conference Report, October 1946, 89, http://archive.lewrockwell.com/orig8/boyack4.1.1.html
17. Letter signed by Joseph Anderson for the First Presidency, January 1968, reprinted in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought (Spring 1968):8. 13
18. Nils-Olov Bergkvist & Ragnhild Ferm, “Nuclear Explosions, 1945-1998, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, p. 15, http://www.iaea.org/inis/collection/NCLCollectionStore/_Public/31/060/31060372.pdf
19. “Leo Szilard’s Petition to the President,” atomicarchive.com, July 3, 1945, http://www.atomicarchive.com/Docs/ManhattanProject/SzilardPetition.shtml
20. The photo of the display is the 6th from the bottom on this blog post. http://www.runningthecountry.com/thank-goodness-for-missouris-katy-trail/
21. “Academics and scientists on preventing war,” Scientists As Citizens, May 15, 2014, http://scientistsascitizens.org/2014/05/15/academics-and-scientists-on-preventing-war/
22. Leuren Moret, “Depleted Uranium is WMD,” Battle Creek Enquirer, August 9, 2005, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article9728.htm
23. Marilynn Marchione, “45% of new veterans file claims for disability,” Boston Globe, MAY 28, 2012, http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2012/05/27/almost-half-new-veterans-seek-disability-benefits/sYQAAY00ddXBRoqfsKMheJ/story.html
24. Thomas Gaist, “Toxic fallout from US war produces record child birth defect rates in Iraq,” World Socialist Web Site, October 13, 2014, http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/10/13/fall-o13.html
25. Bob Feldman, “War on the Earth,” Dollars & Sense, March/April 2003, http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2003/0303maps.pdf
26. “World Religions: War and Peace, Peace Pledge Union, http://www.ppu.org.uk/learn/infodocs/st_religions.html
27. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Beyond Vietnam,” April 4, 1967, http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/encyclopedia/documentsentry/doc_beyond_vietnam/
28. “Court Decision: U.S. “Government Agencies” Found Guilty in Martin Luther King’s Assassination,” GlobalResearch, January 21, 2013, http://www.globalresearch.ca/court-decision-u-s-government-agencies-found-guilty-in-martin-luther-kings-assassination/5320024
29. Improvement Era, May 1942, 31
30. In Conference Report, October 1946, 89, http://archive.lewrockwell.com/orig8/boyack4.1.1.html

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3 Responses to Loving Our Enemies: An American Mormon Perspective

  1. Valerie Goodness says:

    Thank you for this, brother. It made me cry. I am feeling stronger in my faith knowing that there are more like minded in the world.

  2. Brett Wilcox says:

    Thank you, Valerie. If we were any more like minded, we’d be sister and brother. But of course, we ARE sister and brother.

  3. Pingback: The Mormon Church and Vaccines: A Letter to the First Presidency | Running The Country

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