Should Latter-day Saints Support the Modern State of Israel?

Stand with Israel?A Mormon Perspective on Israel and United States Foreign Policy

A Common belief among conservatives, especially mainstream Republicans, is that the United States has a responsibility to support and defend Israel (1) (2) (3). There has even been a lot of hype over the Glenn Beck “Restoring Courage” rally being held in Israel on 8/24/11. According to glennbeck.com, “Restoring Courage is an opportunity to demonstrate to the world that Israel does not stand alone.”

Is this the proper stance to take? Should we stand for Israel, no matter what? Are we not alienating other nations? Just because something is popular, and everyone is doing it, or thinking it, doesn’t make it right. As with all issues we should base our support on correct principles. In this article we will examine teachings from the scriptures and words of modern Church leaders to see if there is any justification for U.S. support and defense of the modern State of Israel.

In the past Israel – also called Palestine – was the “promised land” given to Abraham and his descendants, through Isaac and Jacob (later named Israel). The House of Israel was a covenant and blessed people, but their promises from the Lord were conditional – based on their obedience to God’s law. Eventually the Israelites, being ripe in iniquity, were swept off the land of their inheritance.

Today many Jews, a part of the House of Israel, are returning to Israel. However, as Bruce R. McConkie said, “Let there be no misunderstanding in any discerning mind on this point. This gathering of the Jews to their homeland and their organization into a nation and a kingdom is not the gathering promised by the prophets. It does not fulfill the ancient promises” (The Millennial Messiah, p. 229).

Part of the conflict in Israel today is that the Arab Muslims (also descendants of Abraham) have a claim upon that land, and had occupied the land for two thousand years prior to the return of the Jews. In fact, it wasn’t until after World War I that hundreds of thousands of Jews began moving into Palestine. Eventually the Arabs were forced to give up a large portion of their land to the Jews (for more info see: “Arab-Israeli Conflict”).

President Howard W. Hunter has reminded us that “…both the Jews and the Arabs are children of our Father. They are both children of promise, and as a Church we do not take sides. We have love for and an interest in each. The purpose of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to bring about love, unity, and brotherhood of the highest order” (“All Are Alike Unto God,” Brigham Young University Fireside, February 4, 1979).

Many Latter-day Saints today strongly support defending the State of Israel, even in going to war against the Palestinians. Spencer W. Kimball lamented:

“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, in the manner of Satan’s counterfeit of true patriotism, 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… (Matt. 5:44–45.) (“The False God’s We Worship”, Ensign, June 1976, 3).

What then should be the foreign policy of the United States of America?

Ezra Taft Benson taught that we should “observe good faith and justice towards all Nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and Morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it?” (“United States Foreign Policy“, Preston, Idaho, June 21, 1968)

Quoting further from Ezra Taft Benson with regard to United States Foreign Policy:

“Ever since World War I, when we sent American boys to Europe supposedly to ‘make the world safe for democracy’, our leaders in Washington have been acting as though the American people elected them to office for the primary purpose of leading the entire planet toward international peace, prosperity and one-world government.

“…We mistake the object of our Government… Conquest or superiority among other powers is not or ought not ever to be the object of republican systems. If they are sufficiently active & energetic to rescue us from contempt & preserve our domestic happiness & security, it is all we can expect from them… (The Records of the Federal Convention [Max Farrand, Editor], 1: 402)

“There is one and only one legitimate goal of United States foreign policy. It is a narrow goal, a nationalistic goal: the preservation of our national independence. Nothing in the Constitution grants that the President shall have the privilege of offering himself as a world leader.

“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 peoples or even to defend them against their enemies.

“The proper function of government must be limited to a defensive role.” (Ezra Taft Benson, “United States Foreign Policy”, Preston, Idaho, June 21, 1968)

As has already been pointed out, the modern State of Israel is not the same as the promised return of the House of Israel; these modern Jews are not God’s chosen people. Considering the common conservative support of defending Israel and the promoting of wars against the Arab nations, let us turn to the Book of Mormon and Doctrine & Covenants regarding those matters.

“Behold, this is the law I gave unto my servant Nephi, and thy fathers, Joseph, and Jacob, and Isaac, and Abraham, and all mine ancient prophets and apostles. 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.” (D&C 98: 32-33)

“Now the people said unto Gidgiddoni: Pray unto the Lord, and let us go up upon the mountains and into the wilderness, that we may fall upon the robbers and destroy them in their own lands. But Gidgiddoni saith unto them: The Lord forbid; for if we should go up against them the Lord would deliver us into their hands; therefore we will prepare ourselves in the center of our lands, and we will gather all our armies together, and we will not go against them, but we will wait till they shall come against us; therefore as the Lord liveth, if we do this he will deliver them into our hands.” (3 Nephi 3: 18–21)

“And it was because the armies of the Nephites went up unto the Lamanites that they began to be smitten; for were it not for that, the Lamanites could have had no power over them. But, behold, the judgments of God will overtake the wicked; and it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished; for it is the wicked that stir up the hearts of the children of men unto bloodshed.” (Mormon 4: 4–5)

Stand with Israel?

I can find no scriptural basis or modern Church teachings that could be interpreted to mean that we must support Israel no matter what, and no matter what the cost (we can’t afford it anyways). There is no basis at all for such meddling in the affairs of other nations, whether to prop one up or pull another down. As Thomas Jefferson said: “Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none. . .” (March 4, 1801; Works 8:4)

Now is the time to stand and restore courage. I invite those who value freedom, honor and faith to stand with others in your respective communities and churches as disciples of Christ. Let us strive to be beacons of freedom and liberty, and an example of righteousness to all nations. Sadly this nation (USA) is becoming ripe for destruction (as prophesied in the Book of Mormon). Fortunately, as individuals, there is still hope; we can be such examples within our families and communities and let that influence spread from there.

 

Further reading:

About Brian M.

Brian M. is the creator of LatterdayConservative.com and LDSFreedomForum.com. Brian is a web designer, and particularly enjoys creating websites that advance the cause of Liberty.
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61 Responses to Should Latter-day Saints Support the Modern State of Israel?

  1. Joshua says:

    Great article.

    It should be mentioned that the modern nation-state of Israel is a creation of the U.N. and not necessarily a creation of God. Every time the restoration of Israel is taught in Sunday school, it seems the sign seekers of the congregation seem to focus on the UN declaration of 1946 as a fulfillment of prophecy rather than a satanic trick used to persuade well-meaning people into choosing sides in a false dichotomy.

    Also, I would suggest questioning what is Israel and what it is supposed to be?

    Also, Revelations 2:6-15, and 3:9 makes explicit mention of those who call themselves Jews but are not. I believe John included it in Revelations to provide a historical reference, as well as a prophecy of the future, concerning the nature of the conflict in Israel. It would make sense that a satanic agenda is afoot using the name of Israel as a means to fool disciples of Christ into unintentionally supporting Satan’s plan rather than Christ’s.

    • James says:

      This entire article seems to setup a straw man against Glenn Beck and anyone who thinks we should stand with Israel. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but Lets argue after we understand where each other is coming from. Brian beating a strawman around is not helpful in the least. for reference this is what Glenn Beck was actually pushing at the Israel rally which he then ran around the world and gave.

      A Declaration of Rights & Responsibilities.
      —————————–
      In his speech at the Restoring Courage eveng in Israel on Wednesday, Glenn Beck announced a new movement to champion human rights for those — such as Israel — who have seen them trampled on. He mentioned a declaration of rights and responsibilities. Link: http://www.glennbeck.com/2011/08/24/declaration-of-rights-responsibilities/

  2. Richard says:

    “Equal and exact justice to all men” is precisely what requires us to dare stand with Israel against the enemies of God and all humanity.

    We do not stand with Israel “no matter what”, but in defense of those fundamental principles of justice and honor without which no people (not even Americans) can ever withstand the Judgment of the Almighty.

  3. Elias Returns says:

    As a member of His church I have been conflicted with supporting the current state of Israel. One only has to look at the facts behind who created the current state of Israel and why?

    Fact, most jewish people residing in Israel are not even Hebrew, they are from a country called Khazaria, which occupied the land locked between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea which is now predominantly occupied by Georgia. The Khazars under the instruction of the King, converted to the Jewish faith in 740 A.D., but of course that did not include converting their Asiatic Mongolian genes to the genes of the Jewish people.

    You will find that approximately 90% of people in the world today who call themselves Jews are actually Khazars, or as they like to be known, Ashkenazi Jews. These people knowingly lie to the world with their claims that the land of Israel is theirs by birthright, when in actual fact their real homeland is over 800 miles away in Georgia.

    So, next time you hear an Israeli Prime Minister bleating about the so-called persecution of the Jews, consider this, every Prime Minister of Israel has been an Ashkenazi Jew. Therefore when all these Prime Ministers have curried favour with the West for their re-establishment of a Jewish homeland, they have knowingly and deliberately lied to you, as they were never from that region, and they well know it, because it is they who call themselves Ashkenazi Jews.

    The Book of Revelation, Chapter 2, Verse 9, states the following which would appear to be about these Ashkenazi Jews:
    “I know thy works, and tribulation and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.”

    The most wealthy bloodline in the world bar none and the leader of the Ashkenazi Jews in the world today is the Rothschild family.

    Fact, 1948: In the Spring of this year, the Rothschilds bribe President Harry S. Truman (33rd President of the United States 1945 – 1953) to recognise Israel (Rothschild owned Zionist not Jewish territory) as a sovereign state with $2,000,000 which they give to him on his campaign train.

    They then declare Israel to be a sovereign Jewish state in Palestine and within half an hour President Truman declared the United States to be the first foreign nation to recognise it. …

    Not to mention that Israel has been caught many times spying and stealing from the U.S., and yet they are our closes ally? This is but a few examples of when one knows the real history of Israel and who is behind that history, it makes it very hard for me to defend the Gadiantons.

    • Rex says:

      Interesting comments. Would you mind referencing them?

      • T says:

        Wow! I’m not quite sure where to start on this one.

        Initially, I planned to agree w/Rex regarding the references requested from Elias Returns. Then I just looked it up myself. I’m impatient that way…it’s a virtue I struggle with every day ; )!

        So, after researching NOAH’s lineage to confirm the Ashkenazi Jews are, in fact, genetically Jewish (descended through Japheth’s son Magog), it allowed me to disregard Elias’ research that they are not “genetically” Jewish. They are (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham's_family_tree).

        I continued my research to the Rothschild family and learned a great deal.

        My deductions from all my research are this:

        1.) Ashkenazi Jews are genetically Jewish….not that it is in any way relevant to this topic of discussion.
        2.) There are fanatics who participate in unacceptable behavior on BOTH sides – this IS relevant because we should, as Latter-Day Saints, support only those who are not the fanatics and are peaceful.
        3.) If the Rothschild Family wishes to purchase land in Israel for the return of their distant cousins, why shouldn’t they? – Again, not particularly relevant and, in no way relevant to whether or not this is God’s will. Does God not enact His will through the behaviors of His children? ie: Was it God or Satan that convinced Adam and Eve to eat the fruit? Was it God’s will they ate it???
        4.) If the Rothschild Family wished to purchase buildings to house the Government of this state, why shouldn’t they? – Again, irrelevant to the topic of this discussion.
        5.) We believe that man will be punished for their own sins and not for the Rothschild family transgressions. (ie: just because your family is evil, doesn’t mean you are) – Again, not relevant to the topic of this discussion.
        6.) Lastly, if you want to know God’s will, there is a much simpler way than scouring the internet for the words and opinions of fallible humans. James 1:4–5

        I will end by saying I am confused that any of this is in an issue for anyone who is LDS. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel, do we not? We know it happens before Christ comes….probably not all the same day. So, how many more days will they need to all gather there? I would say, more than a few.

        As for standing with Israel, which was the topic of this discussion, I stand with anyone who is RIGHT. This does not mean I will initiate violence of any kind. It means I will prayerfully DEFEND those upon whom violence has been initiated and protect those who cannot protect themselves (Matthew 25:40).

        • Coach E says:

          Thanks for your reponse T. You said exactly what I was going to say. It’s important that we not take that which others say for the gospel truth. We must research it, pray and ponder. Remember too that Satan will often give us a 90% truth in order to perpetuate his 10% lie. And yes, many times the Lord has used seemingly wicked men or events to bring out his “way”. Anyway, well said.
          E -

        • Ruth Petersen says:

          Amen to this rebutal and I agree as members of God’s true Church we are responsible for standing up and defending who and what is right at all times and in all places and in all things. It does not mean we have to be violent to support anyone. I attended a viewing of Glenn Beck’s Restoring Courage Rally. It was inspiring. It inspired me to make a decision to no longer stand by and do nothing when people (any people) are maliciously attacked in any way. The people of Israel and Jews in general all over the world are being attacked on a daily basis. I for one will do what I can to thwart these attacks.
          The Jewish people are great examples to us of courage and that is exactly what we need to be against evil-COURAGEOUS.

    • LaMar says:

      Joseph Smith commissioned Orson Hyde to go to the Holy Land and bless it for the return of the Jews. Orson Hyde spent from April 1841 to December 1842 in Jerusalem. Orson Hyde on October 24, 1841 he climbed up the Mount of Olives and both wrote and recited that dedicatorial prayer, which in part reads:
      “Now, O Lord! Thy servant has been obedient to the heavenly vision which Thou gavest him in his native land; and under the shadow of Thine outstretched arm, he has safely arrived in this place to dedicate and consecrate this land unto Thee, for the gathering together of Judah’s scattered remnants, according to the predictions of the holy Prophets — for the building up of Jerusalem again after it has been trodden down by the Gentiles so long, and for rearing a Temple in honor of Thy name..….
      I personally believe that “the gathering together of Judah’s scattered remnants” means the real Jews that God meant, and not some “false Jews” you spoke of. Since that time Jews have been returning to the land of Israel in great numbers.
      A person can be a Jew in three ways:
      1. By blood. Genetically of the line of Judah.
      2. By citizenship.
      3. By being of the Jewish faith

  4. Andrea Nelson says:

    Very interesting and enlightening posts. I would like to know what the evidence is that the Rothchild’s assassinated president Kennedy. Although the arguments here seem to indicated that Israel and the “Jewish” people do not deserve our (US) backing, I don’t think the palestinians deserve backing either. When one group (government, religion etc.) vows to wipe out another and does so through gadianton type processes it’s like the pot calling the kettle black. So what we are left with is a whole world ripening for destruction. Hopefully we are each individually prepared. In the meantime missionaries teach, temples are built, and service is rendered. The axiom “stand ye in holy places” becomes a tangible admonition that should be followed each and every day.

    • thanks for alerting me to the problem in israel today. what you say makes sence to me. please send ma a list of books to study about how ezra taft benson felt about these problems. thanks–charles e yates

      • Karen says:

        President Benson said that he wished everyone would read None Dare Call It Conspiracy, by Gary Allen. It’s a good introductory book, but it was written in the 70s, and there are hardly any footnotes (though if you research the claims, you will find they are accurate).

        The Creature from Jekyll Island, by G. Edward Griffin, is a thick, daunting book, but it includes the needed references that you can verify for yourself. As to the size of the book, if you do no more than study the first 100 pages, you will be more enlightened than 99% of the world, without exaggeration.

        The third book I would recommend is Inside the United Nations, by Steve Bonta. He has purposely left out documentation so that the book is short and easy to read, but I personally verified and documented every reference in the book and am trying to persuade the publishers to republish it with footnotes. Wish me luck.

  5. iamse7en says:

    Great ETB quotes! Thank you.

  6. Rex says:

    I believe in the spirtual concept of Israel, not the UN-created creature. I sort of agree with the orthodox Jews who reject the Israeli state, saying that the Messiah will establish Israel, not man. Having said that, we know from the scriptures that critical latter-day events will yet o
    occur there.

  7. MamaBear says:

    Standing with Israel means much more than just blindly following someone else’s idea of support. And it doesn’t mean that we judge them by what the rest of world thinks of Israel.

    Here is a quote from Joan Veon (unfortunately no longer with us but one of my heroes along with ETB.

    “We need to walk in boldness because Jesus cancelled the effects of Satan. We have power over depression, fear, oppression, etc. Because I have spent more time studying UN documents than the Word of God, my . spirit is not as built up as the soul. How can I walk in faith and confidence when I am cowering after the machinations of evil people?”

    She wrote a wonderful, enlightening article on “UNDERSTANDING THE POWER OF ABRAHAMIC COVENANT IN A TIME OF EVIL”. Please look it up and read it.

    I truly believe we should stand courageously with Israel as it is not our place to judge whether they kept all of covenants or not. Or if the UN had anything to do with it. I would rather support and defend Israel than be neutral or sympathetic to Palestine or other countries promoting their evil beliefs by gun point.

    My experiences with Jews have been overwhelmingly positive. From bosses, associates, and friends. They have proven to be fair, sober, and giving. Even when others expect their generosity and think they are pulling one over on them….. they continue to give because it’s the right thing to do.

    Israel is not an apartheid state. The evil from apartheid cannot be found in Israel.

  8. James says:

    I could be wrong but I think when people like Glenn Beck say “stand with Israel” they probably mean mainly the Israeli people because of the rise in anti-semitism that they believe is resurfacing. I think they support the state mainly in it’s right to defend itself from attack. The UN may be 99% evil now but the original intentions and people involved back then were more than likely 90% gullible and naively idealistic with 10% evil pulling the strings behind the curtains. Since the state of Israel was reestablished under the power of the UN the gentile nations have literally cared for and protected the state of Israel much like they were prophesied too. While the quote from Elder McKonkie serves Brians point of view well it is not official enough, to be taken as gospel. Elder McKonkie said other things he later had to recant or admit he had new information which brought him to new conclusions. Offhandedly I can think of his statements on blacks and the priesthood and the catholic church being the church of the devil referred to in scripture.

    From the corrupt country of England sprung the United states which was a fullfillment of revelations. From the Babylonian exile came the power and riches of non-Israelite nations to help the Jews reestablish Jerusalem at one time. The Lord often uses the wicked to chasten or humble his people or those who are more wicked. My point. Just because the “UN” planted a few Jew’s back in Jerusalem does not mean that the Lord had no hand in it. It doesn’t mean it was not the fullfillment of revelation. Elder McKonkie’s quote is just not enough in this case.

    Brian wrote “Are we not alienating other nations?”

    Correct me if I am wrong but I think it was Ballam that blessed the Israelites when he was asked to curse them. Was he not taking sides? Was he not alienating other nations, as you put it. Yet he obeyed the word of the Lord and spoke the blessing as it was given to him. What did Ballam know about the Israelites other than what God told him. I get that we are all God’s children but the Israelites have a special blood born promise upon their heads that God swore to Abraham. They can of course sin and fall under-condemnation but isn’t that God’s judgement to make not ours?

    Brian wrote “Just because something is popular, and everyone is doing it, or thinking it, doesn’t make it right.”

    Amen, but let’s not be so jaded that we assume that just because something is popular that it is bad either(although I would start from that assumption – odd’s and all that). I don’t know if your in Utah or not(assuming you are) but standing for Israel is not popular in the least in the country at large. Not anymore. Not even in Hollywood anymore. I think folks like Glenn see huge financial and social upheaval coming. And history has shown a consistent pattern that when these things happen Israelites (mainly Jew’s and also Adopted LDS Israelites) became scapegoats and the targets of demagogues. There have been many recent groundwork efforts to begin painting the Jews as that scapegoat again. Some, probably want to go on the record that blaming Jew’s or anyone other than the actual corrupt indivduals responsible, is not the answer. And will not be tolerated this time. I for one know only a handful of Jews but I plan on telling them right now that they can count me as a friend if the need ever arises. If they need a place to hide, protection or help of any kind. Simply because I see them being set up similar to a Weimar scenario. But the time may soon come when they will be too afraid to ask who their friends are…. they need to know right now while the Ponzi scheme is still operational.

    This system is coming down and we have only ourselves to blame. We have turned our backs on God as a whole. It’s really as simple as that. He has let us reap what we have sown and the harvest is just getting started.

    I totally agree that war should only be defensive. The Book of Mormon makes this very clear as you documented very well. But the quote from Elder Kimball seems like it would apply negatively on Captain Moroni. A man who built heavy fortifications, weapons and armies yet maintained a defensive stance only. By the Elder Kimbal quote he would qualify as a counterfeit patriot. “… train a man in the art of war and call him a patriot, thus, in the manner of Satan’s counterfeit of true patriotism, perverting the Savior’s teaching…” come on. Mormon, under the direction of the Lord to compile a record for our times, made special effort to show Captain Moroni as a model of Sainthood and Patriotism. Going as far as to say that if all Men were like him, Satan would have no power over the hearts of men.(paraphrase)

    Brian posted “Thomas Jefferson said: “Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none. . .” (March 4, 1801; Works 8:4)’

    This is Jefferson’s view and not actually in the constitution. No more than separation of church and state. I am personally disgusted when the preamble’s “general welfare” reference is treated as if it is the actual constitution and is used by statist’s as authorization to do transfer payments. Libertarianism has much to admire but it is not my God. I get the feeling that your twisting and torquing yourself to adapt to Libertarianism’s view on the world even to unreasonably oppose Israels right to defend itself which is all I think people like Glenn Beck and others are doing.

    I don’t think Ron Paul would not begrudge a private citizen from lending their support to another nations defense as long as it is not the federal government. Heck even a state may be able to do it as long as it’s not in the name of the Fed’s. Not sure on that one. I agree with 95% of the articles I find here but this one just bothered me. Being pro Israel is not Anti Palestinian. I think a more consistent approach may be to be Pro-SelfDefense and Anti-aggression.

    • Brett says:

      As pertaining to the comments on Captain Moroni (which is one of my favorite stories in the Book of Mormon) I would like to share the things I have learned about this mighty man of God. Also know that I do not consider myself a scripture scholar by any means so please study this out on your own.
      It’s best if you read about his experience firsthand. Maybe a good place to start is Alma 43. I would like to share some things from this chapter of scripture. At the beginning of this chapter you will read that Alma and his sons went forth among the people to declare the word of God. I’m sure the Lord know what was coming and the best way to defend yourself is to come closer to Jesus Christ and His gospel. I have no doubt that this is what we should be focusing on too.
      Next this chapter describes the wicked intents of the Lamanites, Amalekites, Zoramites, and the descendants of the wicked priests of Noah. Their intent was to bring the Nephites into bondage and kill all who worshiped God. We all know that all the Nephites wanted was to preserve their rights, privileges, and liberty and that they might worship God according to their desires. In Alma 43:14 it says “…thus the Nephites were obliged to contend with their brethren, even unto bloodshed.” I think it interesting that this verse does not refer to the Lamanites and others as enemies but brothers.
      In Alma 43:4 it talks about how the Nephites saw the Lamanites were coming upon them. Now remember this is after the point of preaching the gospel to the people that the Nephites prepared for war. This next part I love it describes how the Nephites prepared for war and how the Lamanites prepared for war (Alma 43:18–22). The contrast between the two was so great that when the Lamanites saw the Nephites they turned and ran in fear even though they greatly outnumbered the Nephite army.
      When the Lamanites took off Captain Moroni didn’t just sit around thinking he had victory. He immediately sent spies to follow them. This next part along with how Moroni prepared his armies tells me he saw inspired by God and desired to know what God wanted him to do. In Alma 43:23 he sends his spies and send others to ask the Prophet Alma where the Lord would have him send his armies. I feel only a righteous God fearing man would do such a thing.
      From this point in the chapter it describes How Captain Moroni prepares to meet the Lamanites in battle and again I have no doubt he was inspired by the Lord to do what he did because it worked perfectly in beating the Lamanites. In Alma 43:47–50 it redefines why the Nephites are fighting and consequently why they are winning. In the end we see that Nephites could’ve completely destroyed the Lamanites but Captain Moroni commanded his men that they should stop shedding their blood. Another great set of verses to read that describe perfectly how Captain Moroni feels and his belief in Christ is Alma 44:1–7.
      The reason I shared this is to say that if we were all like unto Moroni this world would be a much better place (Alma 48:17). I would also say that yes Moroni was a man of war but he was first a man of God and what he did was only the things God wanted him to do. So we see that he is anything but a counterfeit patriot.

      • James says:

        Amen to that. I wish we all were like Captain Moroni. He was a true hero and model for how to stand up to wickedness. He was a perfect example of “Peace through Strength”. He was defensive only, took no pride or joy in having to fight but did not shrink from defending it when his brothers forced his hand, and always deferred to God via the proper lines of authority. A Great Great Man. Not a counterfeit patriot in the slightest.

    • Ruth Petersen says:

      Amen to this rebutal as well. Excellent points.

  9. Karen Johnson says:

    Joshua’s post is RIGHT ON! I think it is extremely important to recognize that the establishment of the state of Israel by the U.N. is NOT the creation of the state of Israel by God. The U.N. is a diabolical tool of Satan and has been since its inception at the hands of Alger Hiss. Israel recieves the most foreign aid of any country and uses much of that aid money to buy arms which in turns helps our military/industrial complex here in the U.S. AIRPAC is the largest lobby in Washington D.C. and allmost any Congressman that goes against them is doomed in their relection bid. I am tired of watching and hearing so many of the LDS people parrot the Pastor John Hagee’s, Pat Robertson’s, Ralph Reed’s etc: lines of absolute support for Israel at any cost and a curse on the U.S. if we do not. Also Sarah Palin. Israel has the nukes in the middle east and the other Arab countries should be concerned about them being used on them. Bravo Brian for your candor and courage!!!

  10. K.L. Adams says:

    Well said. Thank you!

  11. Jim Cumber says:

    As we discuss whether we “take sides” with the Jews or the Muslims, we must also remember that the Muslim worship of Allah is worship of a Babylonian Moon God. When one gives dispassionate consideration to the “standard legend” of how Muhammad got the Qur’an, it is obvious that Satan was appearing as an “Angel of Light”. This comes from a person who was being trained as a Middle East Analyst, and learned of Islam from Muslim instructors! I also have three separate translations of the Qur’an, all of which I have read. One must also realize that Muslims are trained in “al-Taqqiya”, which translates as “intelligent dissimulation” and means that Muslims may deliberately LIE to non-Muslims in order to further Muslim goals and aims. To be blunt, we CANNOT trust Muslims! They are worshipping the WRONG DEITY! The also are deliberately trained to LIE, to further their aims and goals, as befits the MASTER OF ALL LIES! We may not be justified in defending Israel at all costs, but, likewise, we are also NOT, as Latter-day Saints justified in taking up the Muslim side in this “Religious War”!

    • Jim says:

      Thanks. That’s enlightening as to why Muslim end times prophecies seem to be the exact opposite side of biblical ones. They actually believe they need to start world war III or even nuclear war in order to hasten the return of the Mahdi. For their Messiah to return they believe they need to drive the world into total chaos death and destruction regaardless of the death of innocent lives. This explains ALL of their behavior. ALL of it. This doeot mean all people born in the Muslim countries are evil. Hardly. Most of them live in fear and oppression of their Muslim masters that will kill them for the slightest dissent. They live under complete and total tyranny and priestcraft. They deserve our prayers and honest love.

    • Anonymous says:

      Jim,

      I don’t think this is so much of a “who’s side are we on” debate. The question is whether or not we as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints should support the state of Israel. As has been quoted in the article, and also in another comment below, we should remember that “nothing in the Constitution nor in logic grants to the President of the United States or to Congress the power to…. feed their peoples or even to defend them against their enemies.”

      By seeing this as either it’s support for Israel, or support for Palestine I believe we are missing the entire principle of the matter. The matter is constitutional law. Anything that is more or less than what is constitutional is evil. The scriptures are clear on this matter.

    • Phill says:

      Well, in an Ensign article addressing the Muslims and it’s religion, it mentioned how many similarities we have with them. And we don’t have “further knowledge” to fully judge or condemm Muhammed for who he was or did or saw. The church has been very embracing to their religion and beliefs. I invite to you search for that ensign piece.

  12. S. Berrett Warnick says:

    Presented very well. Good work.

  13. Steve Benard says:

    Brian, you know that I consider you a great friend and a fellow student of righteous government and our Constitution. However, in this article, you have created a straw man of Glenn Beck and have thereby borne false witness against him. There is NOTHING in the single sentence that you cited from Glenn’s website that is contrary to gospel teachings or prophetic counsel, unless you erroneously read into it more than what it really says or what Glenn intended. Are you suggesting that the gospel requires us to “let Israel stand alone” — or any other nation, for that matter? Are we no longer to assist others in “bearing one another’s burdens”, as our baptismal covenants require? Are we to send food and assistance to ravaged countries, but NEVER assist or contribute in defense of peoples against tyrants and despots? Such would not be harmonious with gospel principles, and I doubt you are advocating such.
    Glenn does not advocate foreign policy for the US government. Restoring Courage was NOT a foreign policy recommendation or declaration. He has also never suggested that the US government provide unconditional support of Israel. He has also never advocated standing by Israel “no matter what”, as you repeatedly implied! That simply is not his position or his belief! If, instead of reading and believing false media reports, or making assumptions from a single sentence, which assumptions are NOT in Glenn’s comment, you actually listened to what Glenn said and took it in context, then you would probably find that you and he are probably very close in your perspectives. You would also find that you have erred in your assumptions about his.
    Glenn Beck is advocating that we as INDIVIDUALS make a choice to stand with the Israeli people in defense of their right to live in peace without harassment or violence against them by their antagonistic neighbors who wish to annihilate them…

    I have seen other members of the Church allow themselves to be drawn into a false debate against Glenn Beck based upon false assumptions or false media reports. It is critical that we do our research and refuse to be used by them. It not only hurts our cause, but it also wastes our time debating a straw man that is purely fictional.

    • Jim says:

      Very very well put. Brian seems very much off base in this post. Thanks for taking the time to break it down so much better than I was able to. I am personally amazed by the Israelis restraint. Just yesterday Palestinians carried a casket down their streets making a huge fuss about he Zionist Israeli butchers that had killed their peaceful and loved brother. Nevermind that Israels attack was retaliation to root out rocket sites that had been used to attach Israel hours before. At one point as they carried the casket down the street before the press and the world one of them tripped causing the casket to fall to the ground and the body to roll out. THEN THE DEAD BODY JUMPED UP AND GOT BACK INTO THE CASKET AND THEY PROCEEDED AS NORMAL. As if no one would notice….. this just has to stop. But I think the US should get out of Israels business and let Israel protect itself.

    • Brian says:

      Actually, Stephen, in your comment you have done the very same thing you accuse me of, created a straw man argument. My article is not about Glenn Beck, and I never pretended to be addressing Glenn Beck’s personal stance on Israel, war, foreign policy, etc… Mentioning Beck and his Israel rally was just a way to introduce the topic at hand. I realize there is room for improvement, but unfortunately you seem to have missed the main point of the article and gone off on a Glenn Beck tangent, and thus creating a straw man argument against my article.

      • T says:

        Brian,

        Just wanted to thank you for posting/emailing this article. It has certainly been enlightening to read all the comments and compare research.

        In the end, just as we know the Gospel is the WORD of God through prayer and personal revelation, we can know the WILL of God by the same means.

        Still, it was good to have the impetus to have that conversation with God, and I want you to know I appreciate your efforts!!!

        No fear….

    • Karen says:

      I don’t think all of Brian’s arguments are flawless (I thought James did an excellent job of pointing out the weak areas of the article), but I think his article is far more correct than you are giving him credit for. When Glenn Beck–and almost everyone who speaks on the subject–talks about “supporting” Israel, they are almost always talking about sending them money through government-to-government transfers. This is wholly unconstitutional.

      We who love the Israeli people can seek out reliable PRIVATE charities and other means of supporting Israel. Christ never advocated robbing your neighbor to help the poor, which is what welfare programs do, I don’t believe for one second that we should be doing this on a national level. When our government taxes citizens and sends that money to other governments, it is simply welfare on a larger scale.

      The term “support” definitely means different things to different people.

      • Huh? says:

        I don’t think “when Glenn Beck–and almost everyone who speaks on the subject–talks about ‘supporting’ Israel,” it has anything to do with sending them money from the Government OR supporting them militarily.
        But, I say that based on the words that have come out of his mouth, so I could be wrong?
        Maybe I misunderstood what you were saying????

      • Brian says:

        Even I recognize that certain points in my article could be improved, especially to clarify to the reader what was meant. I appreciate the feedback received and I may even consider revising the article at some point. I believe some commenters have misunderstood what I was saying, others simply don’t want their ideas to be challenged.

        The article is not about Glenn Beck. I made reference to Glenn Beck because it was timely.

  14. I second the comments of Elias Returns. This person has obviously done sufficient historical research to understand the underlying problems. People should draw their conclusions from the scriptures, and from a study of the histories of other countries, not from the corporate-controlled, privatized pro-war media, for which Glenn Beck formerly represented at Fox until he inadvertently exposed the origins of the Federal Reserve. We should also abandon our support for certain well-paid evangelical Christian-Zionist pastors. The Israelis destroyed 500 Palestinian towns and villages and made refugees of the long-time inhabitants, many of whom were Christian, in their brutal seizure and continued military occupation of Palestine. Brian has divulged some great truths, with appropriate references. Great job, Brian!

  15. Ken McLure says:

    Well I agree with about 80% of what’s being said however, regardless of how everything has came to be in Israel today, these are still our brothers and sisters. We can compare the UN land deal for the Jews in the State of Israel today to our governments low income housing projects here in the United States. Just because people moved into the projects to live does not mean if a rival group from the other side of town wants them out and all dead, we have to just say well they asked for it.

    I have been really interested in learning about the “Secret Combinations” and how these people really do exist and are working to bring down this country and create a new world order. I know that these people are of all religions and are most likely very rich and powerful. I am not sure this plays into the current State of Israel or not, but it sure plays into the United States and a host of other countries.
    As far as I am concerned if the idiots in the Middle East continue, no one will be safe. I do think it will all make since once we lose our country and hand it over to the UN and the new world order, watch Israel wiped of the map and millions dead. But by then it will be too late anyways.

    Quoting Ezra Taft Benson
    “We, the blessed beneficiaries, face difficult days in this beloved land, “a land which is choice above all other lands” (Ether 2:10). It may also cost us blood before we are through. It is my conviction, however, that when the Lord comes, the Stars and Stripes will be floating on the breeze over this people. May it be so, and may God give us the faith and the courage exhibited by those patriots who pledged their lives and fortunes that we might be free, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”

    As good shepherds we watch over our flocks day and night. We do so with a humble and contrite spirit. However, we are expected to take the sword and slay the wolf if necessary. If we do not get involved as a righteous Christ loving people and start living and leading as we need to, then as latter Day Saints we can before God at judgment and try to explain how we allowed the destruction of our Constitution and allowed wicked men to bondage and kill our brothers and sisters. I will pray for all of you sideliners, may God have mercy on you. As for me, I am stocking food and lead, bring it on!

    • Jane Tilton says:

      Ken, where did you get the quote from President Benson? It sounds somewhat like what I heard him say at Valley Forge in 1987, but not exactly as I remember it. Perhaps this is from a different meeting.

      • Ken McLure says:

        It was taken from his book “The Constitution, a Heavenly Banner”. Its a short book but well worth the read. So appropriate for whats happening today.

        • Jane Tilton says:

          Thanks, Ken. When was it written?

          As I remember it (and my mind may be showing its age) President Benson, whom we had met personally a number of times, gave a talk at Valley Forge for the 200th anniversary of the Constitution. We took our family to hear him. He gave a powerful talk on God’s version of correct political principles as given by revelation to the writers of the Constitution. He compared socialism to “legalized plunder.”

          Then he said toward the end that when the Savior came again “I trust…… (and he paused for a time) then said, “I HOPE that the American flag will be flying over this nation.”

          At the time, it struck me as significant and I have remembered it that way all these years. If I’m mistaken, someone please correct me.

          • Ken McLure says:

            It looks like it was printed April 1989. I have a personal website http://www.kenmclure.com if you would like you can go there and send me your personal email address on the conteact page. (that way it will not show up here) and I will be happy to send you the PDF version of the book.

  16. Bobbi Peterson says:

    Wow! I, too, would like references for Elias’ remarks. And
    others. I’ve been trying to learn about the history of modern
    Israel for a year or so, but I haven’t dug deeply enough. And
    I get distracted w/ life. There is so much food for thought
    here. I understand that the whole world will be against Israel
    when the Savior will step in. Will He not step into the modern
    nation of Israel–the Mt. of Olives?
    Bobbi

  17. Steve says:

    Well said.

  18. Anonymous says:

    It seems to me that many people who seem to have taken offense at this article for various reason, be it Glenn Beck or not, may consider President Benson’s statement which was cited above in the article. Whether or not you think Elder McConkie’s statement is supported by church doctrine, I think we would be unwise not to follow the counsel from President Benson.

    President Benson states: “There is one and only one legitimate goal of United States foreign policy. It is a narrow goal, a nationalistic goal: the preservation of our national independence. Nothing in the Constitution grants that the President shall have the privilege of offering himself as a world leader.

    “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 peoples or even to defend them against their enemies.”

    We can decide for ourselves how to apply President Benson’s counsel, but as for me, I base my beliefs on the scriptures, (such as D&C 98, where it states that any law that is more or less than the constitution is evil) or the words of our modern day prophets. If we follow the scriptures and our prophets, we can find the true way.

    • James says:

      Thanks for the reminder on Elder Bensons remark. While I generally agree with it I can’t take it as gospel when he was not the Prophet or even the president of the twelve at the time. You seem to mention it as if it settles the question when it does not.

  19. Joshua says:

    James, you seriously need to let go of the Glenn Beck thing. It’s a non-issue, even for Glenn Beck. This will soon be relevant only to those who are misguided and no longer listen to the Savior’s message regarding the children of Israel, who they are, their history, and their destiny.

    Instead, prayerfully study 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Revelations, and Jacob 5, FOR YOURSELF, and find the patterns that will help you know who the Savior talks about when he mentions Israel, their history, and their destiny. This will help you, and everybody else, understand who or what they are, or are not, supporting. Blessings in your quest.

  20. Ben says:

    As Latter Day Saints we are blessed with the knowledge that Christ will come to Zion “The New Jerusalem” and to his people in Israel. This alone should remind us of the mighty spiritual and temporal connection with the State of Israel. In order for God’s plan to go forth, ISRAEL MUST REMAIN, and they will. Citizens of this country certainly will not understand our connection with Israel, but the Saints do, and with this knowledge we must stand by them and defend both chosen lands: USA and Israel. There is great error in the reasoning of “Far right Libertarians” in the way they advocate constitutional freedomsm but continually avoid recognizing the many spiritual/moral responsibilities that need to be addressed in matters such as this.

  21. Brian says:

    If you’d like to continue with the article-length comments, you are invited to take the discussion here: LDS Freedom Forum. Thanks.

  22. Nancy Bishop says:

    Yes, finely someone has it right!!! Thank you Elias! The Khazaria Jew was alive and well at the time of our Savior Jesus Christ. It was these that he was speaking of, in Revelation 2:9 and 3:9. They were hidden as they are now but with a discerning spirit of the Holy Ghost all will be revealed at the right time! God Bless!

  23. Joyce Mitchell says:

    Glenn Beck’s not for war, nor for our nation going to war. Where did you get that? I agree with your position on the purpose of Gov’t and nothing that Glenn Beck suggests opposes that. I feel like you must have been watching and reading media that lies about him. If you listened to him yourself you would know what was up.

    Brian, your history of Jewish takover of Isreal seems scewed. I wish more people would read Cleon Skousan’s 1967 book: Fantastic Victory. That’s the true history of what took place.

  24. Karl says:

    “Have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people?” There’s more in 2 Nephi 29

  25. Miss Kate says:

    Its amazing what spin you can put on something when you take bits and pieces out of context. Ezra Taft Benson is one of my favorite prophets, and if you want to know how he really felt about Latter Day Saints (Mormon is a derogatory term, and in the April 2011 conference the Prophet counseled us to stop using the term) supporting Israel, read his entire thoughts on the issue. http://lds.org/ensign/1976/12/a-message-to-judah-from-joseph?lang=eng He was never one to shy away from his opinions.
    In this he talks about the covenant with Israel being renewed once the gospel was fully restored to the earth. Stand with Israel? Only if you stand with Heavenly Father.

  26. John says:

    I stand with Glenn Beck in supporting the Nation of Israel along with God;
    D&C 109:64
    D&C 133:13
    2 Ne 29:5
    O ye Gentiles, have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people? Nay; but ye have cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads; for I the Lord have not forgotten my people.

    Elder Hyde’s 1841 Dedicatory Prayer “…”Now, O Lord! Thy servant has been obedient to the heavenly vision which Thou gavest him in his native land; and under the shadow of Thine outstretched arm, he has safely arrived in this place to dedicate and consecrate this land unto Thee, for the gathering together of Judah’s scattered remnants, according to the predictions of the holy Prophets.

  27. John says:

    I Stand with Israel along with President Joseph Fielding Smith who in an
    April 1966 Conference Talk entitled, Stand With Israel, describes the creation of the nation of Israel as fulfillment of prophecy. He said “Jesus said the Jews would be scattered among all nations and Jerusalem would be trodden down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles were fulfilled. (Luke 21:24.) The prophecy in Section 45, verses 24-29, of the Doctrine and Covenants regarding the Jews was literally fulfilled. Jerusalem, which was trodden down by the Gentiles, is no longer trodden down but is made the home for the Jews. They are returning to Palestine, and by this we may know that the times of the Gentiles are near their close.”

  28. John says:

    I stand with Isarel along with Elder Ezra Taft Benson who in
    a Conference talk, April 1950, describes the establishment of the State of Israel as fulfillment of prophecy,
    “As Latter-day Saints, familiar with ancient and modern prophecies, we of course do not agree that some other more suitable place should be and will be found for the descendants of Judas. We believe in the over-ruling power of Providence in the affairs of men and nations. We believe that the Old Testament prophets clearly predicted the dispersion and scattering of Israel and the eventual gathering of Judah in the land given to their fathers.”

  29. John says:

    I stand with Isarel and President Wilford Woodruff who “uttered a very important prophecy, prayer, and testimony with reference to this people, . . . the Lord has decreed that the Jews should be gathered from all the Gentile nations where they have been driven, into their own land, in fulfillment of the words of Moses, their law-giver. And this is the will of your great Elohim, O house of Judah… Then he said further that the time would come when the armies of the Gentiles would be gathered against them, but he promised further that the time is not far distant when the rich men among the Jews would be called upon to use their abundant wealth to gather the dispersed of Judah and purchase the ancient dwelling places of their fathers in and about Jerusalem, and rebuild the holy city and temple.”

  30. John says:

    I stand with Israel along with W. Cleon Skousen.
    In W. Cleon Skousen’s book “Fantastic Victory: Israel’s Rendezvous With Destiny” he explains very well the history of the Arab Israeli conflict and the history of the Jew’s return to Palestine. This book is a must read for the Israel/Jew doubters.

  31. DJG says:

    This is a lot of nonsense. We are Israel. We need to stand up for Israel. We don’t need the Fed’s however. We can do it on our own. Most of Israel is still scattered among the nations. Find a Jew and let them know now that you are a friend and can help when (not if) things get bad for them. We can still have our federal government speak up and voice opposition to others attacking Israel. If the people of the USA want to go to war to protect Israel though it should only be done via the proper constitutional means of declaring legal and binding war not these arbitrary and illegal “kinetic actions” they have been doing for decades. But as LDS members of Israel we definitely should support Israel no doubt about it whatsoever.

  32. Sandi says:

    Modern Israel

    Brian’s question of “Should Latter-day Saints support the Modern State of Isreal?” is answered in the October 24, 1841 dedicatory prayer for the Holy Land given by Orson Hyde. It should be noted that scholars greater than I have counseled to be “more sensitive” to the feelings of our Arab friends in the interpretation of this prayer. I would offer my humble opinion that as with any blessing, it is dependent upon faithfulness of the recipient. To me this would indicate a responsibility of people of Israel to continue to do as they have been doing, respecting the civil and religious rights of all citizens of their nation regardless of race or religion.

    Now to quote the prayer, “Thy servant has been obedient to the heavenly vision which Thou

  33. Brian says:

    Disabling comments on this article for the time being… Too many misunderstand/misinterpret what I meant to say. I actually agree with some of you who posted comments disagreeing with my article. Also, this article is not about Glenn Beck. I may revise the article at some point to make some points more clear.

  34. Brian says:

    UPDATE: I highly recommend this presentation given by Stephen Pratt entitled: The Story of Israel: From Abraham to Armageddon.

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