Something very strange is going on during the Russian invasion of Ukraine: there appear to be more fake images from the war than real war footage.
It may just be that this is the new reality of our social media-obsessed world. Or it may be something more sinister.
President Harold B. Lee warned us how to prepare during difficult times:
“… We should have our loins girt about with truth. What is truth? Truth, the Lord said, was knowledge of things as they are, things as they were and things as they are to come [D&C 93:24]. … ‘Our loins shall be girt about with truth,’ the prophet said.
“And the heart, what kind of a breastplate shall protect our conduct in life? We shall have over our hearts a breastplate of righteousness. Well, having learned truth we have a measure by which we can judge between right and wrong and so our conduct will always be gauged by that thing which we know to be true. Our breastplate to cover our conduct shall be the breastplate of righteousness.
“[By] what shall we protect our feet, or by what shall we gauge our objectives or our goals in life? … ‘Your feet should be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.’ (Ephesians 6:15). …
“And then finally the helmet of salvation. … What is salvation? Salvation is to be saved. Saved from what? Saved from death and saved from sin. …
“Well, now the Apostle Paul … had his armoured man holding in his hand a shield and in his other hand a sword, which were the weapons of those days. That shield was the shield of faith and the sword was the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God. I can’t think of any more powerful weapons than faith and a knowledge of the scriptures in the which are contained the Word of God. One so armoured and one so prepared with those weapons is prepared to go out against the enemy” (Feet Shod with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year [Nov. 9, 1954],
In contrast, our times seems filled with many more lies than with truth, and many of the lies are coming directly from government leaders and elected officials.
Check out this propaganda from warmonger Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger, who is pushing for U.S. planes to join the fight and shoot down Russian planes:
Kinzinger has been told several times that the image was from 2016, not 2022, but he put it on Twitter anyway in an attempt to gin up support for the Ukrainian army.
(To be clear, it is the Russian army that has invaded Ukraine, and I am in favor of independence for Ukraine and all other people who want independence. The point of this post is not to favor Russia or the invasion — the point is to avoid accepting the propaganda that is being spread far and wide. Christians should favor truth, not fake news).
There are unfortunately hundreds of other examples of propaganda being used during this conflict.
This video gives some examples of propaganda being used in Russia and the Ukraine:
Tik Tok is also apparently filled with fake videos:
Stop and go back and watch the two videos above. The amount of false propaganda is staggering. Many of these fake videos are asking you to send them money when the people involved are suffering in Ukraine, and many of the videos were clearly not even filmed in Ukraine.
Check out more propaganda:
During these stressful times, it is incumbent on all Christians and especially Latter-day Saints to promote the truth, not lies. War is always heart-breaking, and I pray that the Russian invasion will stop and that peace will come to that region. At this time, it is incumbent on us to be “wise as serpents, but harmless as doves.” Let’s not forget both parts of that admonition.
The less newspapers have to say of value and of truth, the more pages they seem to take to say it. Usually a few minutes is more than sufficient to read a paper. One must select wisely a source of news; otherwise it would be better to be uninformed than misinformed. The subscribers of some mass magazines and newspapers are ever reading but seldom able to come to a knowledge of the truth in the areas of most vital concern.
Hobart, that is a great talk!
This is a member of the Church in Kharkiv. He’s been using his own funds and donations to feed people. Heartbreaking and also miraculous. I would encourage people to stop trying to “take a side” and focus on the humanitarian aspect. Real people, real loss, real victims. https://www.instagram.com/andrepolonski/
Thank you Geoff for sharing this message.
We read in the Book of Mormon that hearts and minds can be stirred up to repentance or stirred up to anger and war. The aim of the Adversary is to stop us from accepting Christ and living His doctrine. One of the tools Satan uses to divert our spiritual progress is anger.
“For the kingdom of the devil must shake, and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance, or the devil will grasp them with his everlasting chains, and they be stirred up to anger, and perish; For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good” 2 Nephi 28:19-20
Another tool the Adversary uses is to cater to our laziness and to lull us to sleep, saying, “All is well in Zion”. Another tool is to exploit our flattery.
Consistent with all these strategies is the Adversary’s expertise in telling lies and practicing deception. Thus we see in our world history that the most evil dictators have been expert in propaganda to hide and justify their inhumanity.
Disciples of Christ must be discerning of good and evil. We have been commanded to be discerning and we have been instructed how to be so. I marvel that the closing messages given by both Nephi and Moroni focus so intently on the power of the Holy Ghost to teach us truth and draw us closer to Christ.
“If ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.” ~ 2Nephi:32:5
“By the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” ~ Moroni 10:5