Church statement on armed conflict

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released this statement Friday:

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has issued the following statement:

We are heartbroken and deeply concerned by the armed conflict now raging. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has members in each of the affected areas and throughout the world. Our minds and hearts have been turned toward them and all our brothers and sisters.

We continue to pray for peace. We know that enduring peace can be found through Jesus Christ. He can calm and comfort our souls even in the midst of terrible conflicts. He taught us to love God and our neighbors.

We pray that this armed conflict will end quickly, that the controversies will end peacefully and that peace will prevail among nations and within our own hearts. We plead with world leaders to seek for such resolutions and peace.

The First Presidency

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

4 thoughts on “Church statement on armed conflict

  1. Pretty wishy-washy statement. Maybe I’m missing the point, but it feels like the church feels the need to say something but doesn’t actually want to say anything.

    I understand that we sometimes need to stay neutral in order to not lose all rights in a country. I understand that we must obey, kings, rulers, governments, etc. because otherwise we would be CRUSHED!

    Still, this statement feels quite stale …

  2. Ay-man, I don’t agree. I think the Brethren have the right idea here. This conflict is much more complicated than Ukraine=good and Russia=Satan.

    Consider that even though Putin spent an hour outlining his reasons for the invasion in a speech, in the discourse surrounding the conflict not one commentator or news source speaks to his concerns. All his arguments and reasoning are completely ignored in favor of ad hominem attacks about how Putin is basically Hitler. No one is even trying to “fact check” him – and why? If his assertions are false, why not say so? If his assertions are true, or even partially true, then we need to re-evaluate how we are looking at this.

    Consider also that Ukraine is not the bastion of democracy that the legacy media claims it is. There has been ongoing conflict originating in the Donbass region of Ukraine since Russia took Crimea in 2014 – allegedly, Ukraine has cut off Crimea from its primary fresh water sources.

    Thirdly, it’s valid to consider that there are members of our church in the armed forces on BOTH sides. There are families in Russia worried about their husbands, fathers, and brothers being sent off to war – they are Saints, too, our brothers and sisters in Christ. Do we abandon them spiritually? Do we withhold our prayers and fasting from them even as they fear the worst for their families, and even their immortal souls? Are they unworthy of compassion? I say no.

    I say none of this is to justify Russia’s actions. I merely wish to illustrate that yes, there are CONTROVERSIES – more than one side. It looks from where I stand that the Brethren are the only ones who understand that right now.

  3. A Nonny Mouse, good comment. I completely agree with the Brethren’s statement, and I think it sets exactly the right tone. What side would God be on? He would be against war, against the provocations of Russia that make Russia feel surrounded and under pressure and against the Russian attack into Ukraine. God weeps that His children kill each other, and Satan laughs and enjoys the entire bloody spectacle. So, praying for peace and an end to the conflict is exactly the right thing to do. If you want to send money to Ukraine or if you want to go volunteer for the Ukrainian defense forces, that is certainly your right. But expecting the Church to take sides — when there are members in both countries — lacks understanding of how the Church operates.

  4. The First Presidency message is exactly what we expect. A message so bland that it could be published verbatim by leadership of any Christian church.

    Of course there is no reason to take offense at such banality. It is, however, an opportunity for individuals to remind themselves and teach others that peace is a fruit of righteousness. Peace does not come freely or cheaply, but it is obtained as we keep God’s commandments, repent of our sins (including those of pride and idolatry) and seek to do God’s will and not our own vain ambitions.

    Jesus said: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.”

    Jesus also said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

    A people willing to follow God’s laws and live according to His ways will enjoy peace. A people who choose to disobey God and not walk in His ways will be perpetually frustrated.

    The truth will make us free, but we must understand the truth, defend it, teach it and live it. Hallmark card Christianity is a poor substitute for the real thing. But the real thing demands real intent, real discernment between good and evil, real choices of good over evil.

    Real Faith. Real Repentance. Real Devotion to the laws and teachings of the True Eternal God.

    At America’s Bicentennial Spencer Kimball declared:

    The Lord gave us a choice world and expects righteousness and obedience to his commandments in return. But when I review the performance of this people in comparison with what is expected, I am appalled and frightened. Iniquity seems to abound. The Destroyer seems to be taking full advantage of the time remaining to him in this, the great day of his power. Evil seems about to engulf us like a great wave, and we feel that truly we are living in conditions similar to those in the days of Noah before the Flood.

    As the Lord himself said in our day, “They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own God, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall.” (D&C 1:16; italics added.)

    We believe that the way for each person and each family to prepare as the Lord has directed is to begin to exercise greater faith, to repent, and to enter into the work of his kingdom on earth, which is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It may seem a little difficult at first, but when a person begins to catch a vision of the true work, when he begins to see something of eternity in its true perspective, the blessings begin to far outweigh the cost of leaving “the world” behind.

    “The False Gods We Worship, June 1976”

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