Monday, May 3, 2010

Blessed are the peacemakers

Christ's disciples were ever willing to use both priesthood and the sword to vanquish their opponents.  Christ taught them restraint.  There is this incident in the Luke Chapter 9:
  51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,
  52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.
  53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.
  54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
  55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
  56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.
There is this incident in Gethsemene, a portion taken from John Chapter 18:
  10 Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.
  11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?
  12 Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him,
The balance of the account is found in Luke Chapter 22:
  50 And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.
  51 And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.
  52 Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves?
  53 When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.
  54 Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off.
Christ taught and lived this: "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."  (Matt. 5: 9.)

There are too many willing to cry for revenge or justice in the world.  Eventually the spirit of revenge and justice will be set free, and the earth will be filled with violence.  As it was in the days of Noah - those days will return again.  (Gen. 6: 11-13; Moses 8: 28-30.)  Those who want to see justified and unjustified killing will have their fill. 
In the days before the flood the earth was filled with violence.  There was also a corresponding return of Zion. It would not be as it was in the days of Noah if Zion were not to return.  For that, the pattern is set out in Moses Chapter 7:
  13 And so great was the faith of Enoch that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him.
  14 There also came up a land out of the depth of the sea, and so great was the fear of the enemies of the people of God, that they fled and stood afar off and went upon the land which came up out of the depth of the sea.
  15 And the giants of the land, also, stood afar off; and there went forth a curse upon all people that fought against God;
  16 And from that time forth there were wars and bloodshed among them; but the Lord came and dwelt with his people, and they dwelt in righteousness.
  17 The fear of the Lord was upon all nations, so great was the glory of the Lord, which was upon his people. And the Lord blessed the land, and they were blessed upon the mountains, and upon the high places, and did flourish.
  18 And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.
  19 And Enoch continued his preaching in righteousness unto the people of God. And it came to pass in his days, that he built a city that was called the City of Holiness, even Zion.
  20 And it came to pass that Enoch talked with the Lord; and he said unto the Lord: Surely Zion shall dwell in safety forever. But the Lord said unto Enoch: Zion have I blessed, but the residue of the people have I cursed.
Why was the fear of the Lord upon people who did not gather to Zion?  It was because their own guilt prevented them from drawing near.  It will be the same in the last days as it was then.  Moroni explains it in Mormon Chapter 9:
  2 Behold, will ye believe in the day of your visitation—behold, when the Lord shall come, yea, even that great day when the earth shall be rolled together as a scroll, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, yea, in that great day when ye shall be brought to stand before the Lamb of God—then will ye say that there is no God?
  3 Then will ye longer deny the Christ, or can ye behold the Lamb of God? Do ye suppose that ye shall dwell with him under a consciousness of your guilt? Do ye suppose that ye could be happy to dwell with that holy Being, when your souls are racked with a consciousness of guilt that ye have ever abused his laws?
  4 Behold, I say unto you that ye would be more miserable to dwell with a holy and just God, under a consciousness of your filthiness before him, than ye would to dwell with the damned souls in hell.
  5 For behold, when ye shall be brought to see your nakedness before God, and also the glory of God, and the holiness of Jesus Christ, it will kindle a flame of unquenchable fire upon you.
  6 O then ye unbelieving, turn ye unto the Lord; cry mightily unto the Father in the name of Jesus, that perhaps ye may be found spotless, pure, fair, and white, having been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, at that great and last day.
How much guilt we bring with us to that final day depends entirely upon the intent of our hearts, the actions of our hands, and the words we speak.  (Alma 12: 14.)  Becoming a peacemaker and meriting the call as a child of God is measured by our acts, but includes as Alma warns us, our thoughts and words as well.


  1. Amen brother. As an aside, I'm watching with great interest as the nation of Israel celebrates it's 62nd birthday later this month.... as well as the festival of weeks. Meanwhile, it seems our duty is to proclaim peace and make ourselves worthy to be admitted as citizens of Zion... so much work to do and so little time. As you say...get busy. :)

  2. A friend of mine read all the posts and comments on violence and the use of weapons, and then he wrote this back to me:

    "I’m reminded of a story about a unity minister who was withdrawing money out of an ATM late one night. As she turned around some thug stuck a gun in her face and said, “Give me the money.” She handed it to him and said, "You really must be desperate to do this. I have a little more in my purse." She reached in and gave him another $20 and said, "I’m really sorry I don’t have more to give you.” The robber looked at her and she said, “I love you.” He turned and ran.

    Ten years later the minister was in her office at church and there was a knock on the door. She opened in and the person standing there looked vaguely familiar. He said, “You probably don’t remember me but I robbed you 10 years ago. You told me you loved me and that is the first time anyone has ever said that to me. I haven’t been able to sleep or get that out of my head for 10 years and I had to come talk to you. Here is the money I took and I’m sorry.” She invited him in, they talked, became good friends and he joined her church.

    In the writings of St. John he says God is Love. If God is Love then as his children our essential nature is Love. Perfect Love casts out all fear. He who says he loves God but hates his brother is a liar.

    The Sermon on the Mount is the essence of what Jesus taught and embodied. Love your enemies sounds as ridiculous now as it did then. Yet, if we really did what he told us to do the world would have truly been transformed.

    When I go to some of these political gatherings I hear people whine about Brother Barrack saying we’re not a Christian nation and yet my observation is they worship their guns far more than the Lord of Love. I think we are a Christian Nation and that is unfortunate. When Christians took Jerusalem in 1099 AD they butchered every man, woman, child, Muslim, Jew and Orthodox Christian in the city. The inquisition killed thousands of innocent people. Christians justified slavery through their religion and engaged in systematic extermination of the native population of this continent. Hopefully someday we will become a Christ-like Nation that Lives the Law of Love. Only then will we truly become the shining light on the hill.

    I think there is a place for defending yourself but If we really did what Jesus taught the world would be transformed and then it might not be as necessary."

    I like my friend's comments.

  3. and I loved your friend's comments....


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