May 3, 2011

Without Civilization

My thoughts and feelings on Osama bin Laden's death are without a doubt mixed. Mixed because I believe the Navy SEALS who killed him were right to do so. Bin Laden has taken credit for the deaths of thousands of people. 
Americans celebrate as the White House shares news of bin Laden's death.
And the celebrations over someone dying repulse me. These are the same types of photos that I have seen a half a world away...and though we are not beheading anyone or dragging dead bodies in the street, the uncivilized celebration over someone's death indicates that our culture is not so different than theirs. Hate begets hate and nothing positive will come from it.

Anti-American protest in Pakistan.
I am reminded of another people whose neighbors hated and warred against them. The ancient prophet Alma wrote this about the Nephites and the Lamanites:
Alma 48
v. 23Now, they were sorry to take up arms against the Lamanites, because they did not delight in the shedding of blood; yea, and this was not all—they were sorry to be the means of sending so many of their brethren out of this world into an eternal world, unprepared to meet their God.
 v. 24Nevertheless, they could not suffer to lay down their lives, that their wives and their children should be massacred by the barbarous cruelty of those who were once their brethren, yea, and had dissented from their church, and had left them and had gone to destroy them by joining the Lamanites.
 v. 25Yea, they could not bear that their brethren should rejoice over the blood of the Nephites, so long as there were any who should keep the commandments of God, for the promise of the Lord was, if they should keep his commandments they should prosper in the land.
It saddens me that bin Laden is unprepared to meet God. In his heart he knows that he has led unjust attacks against innocent people. Just like the Nephites, our government has a responsibility to protect our people against such attacks. It just disturbs me to think of my fellow countrymen falling into the same trap of hatred because we as a people are also unprepared to meet God.

Another prophet Moroni, who lived about 500 years after Alma, wrote of his Nephite people and how far they had come from being a righteous people to being without civilization.
Moroni 9
v. 5For so exceedingly do they anger that it seemeth me that they have no fear of death; and they have lost their love, one towards another; and they thirst after blood and revenge continually.
 v. 10...they did murder [the Lamanites] in a most cruel manner, torturing their bodies even unto death; and after they have done this, they devour their flesh like unto wild beasts, because of the hardness of their hearts; and they do it for a token of bravery.
v. 11O my beloved son, how can a people like this, that are without civilization—
v. 14How can we expect that God will stay his hand in judgment against us? 
It is my hope that as a people we can learn from those who went before us. Wickedness never was happiness. It all starts with me. And you. And everyone individually. We will be faced with many choices today. I hope for the strength to choose kindness in both word and deed.

8 Riveting COMMENTS:

  1. Oh Bridge I like this post, I feel the same as I watched the news I was pleased to hear they got him, but then FB and twitter went crazy people were singing and dancing on the news, an suddenly my desire for details of his death dissapeared. Thank you for sharing the scriptures, now I have another desire...

  2. Bridget, you verbalized all the feelings in my heart! Thank you.

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  4. These are exactly the verses I was thinking of! I think bin Ladin was definitely a "Laban" character, and that the Navy SEALS pulled off a "Teancum" move, but the Book of Mormon teaches us how Christians should behave in wartime, and it specifically says that Moroni did NOT delight in bloodshed, and that they were sorry to see their brethren die so unprepared to meet their God. Thanks for writing this :)

  5. Exactly!!!!! Thank you for saying this.

  6. for once i agree with you on politics :)

  7. I agree as severely saddened me to see all of the American citizens in the streets celebrating over someone's death. I honestly felt like it was showings like that that create the hatred other countries feel for us.

  8. Bridget, my #1 missionary companion: we served and taught the gospel together in a wonderful land and I learned so much from you. Thank you for this post. I'm surprised to say, though that I disagree with half of what you said, but you always were the better person and more Christ-like. :)

    I was excited for the party in front of the White House. We didn't burn any of their flags, and we didn't burn the Quoran or anything. We celebrated our Armed forces for finding Gaddianton! The Gaddianton Robbers terrorized the Nephites and Lamanites for years until they finally decided not to take it anymore and go purge the wilderness of the evil villains!

    We were also celebrating men like Teancum (my son's name) who went and slayed the evil king to save others. Granted, it didn't stop the Taliban, but for all the crazy parties they've shown to demonstrate their beliefs I'm glad we had a victory and a modest celebration (it didn't last for days and days) to show that we won't just lie down and be wasted or terrorized by them!

    I'm not sad that he wasn't prepared to meet his maker because he had all the same choices to make in life as all of us and he chose Satan's. I hope he and Hitler and all the other terrorists of the world enjoy their time in outer darkness.

    The party in front of the White House was awesome, patriotic, and 10 years coming.


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