What Should Be the LDS position on Syria?

by: Mormon Heretic

September 9, 2013
Tony Gentile / Reuters Pope Francis attends a prayer calling for peace in Syria, in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican, Sept. 7, 2013.

Tony Gentile / Reuters
Pope Francis attends a prayer calling for peace in Syria, in Saint Peter’s square at the Vatican, Sept. 7, 2013.

A somber-looking Pope Francis made an impassioned appeal before 100,000 people on Saturday to avert a widening of Syria’s conflict, urging world leaders to pull humanity out of a “spiral of sorrow and death.”

Francis, who two days ago branded a military solution in Syria “a futile pursuit,” led the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics in a global day of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria, the Middle East and the world.

“Violence and war lead only to death, they speak of death! Violence and war are the language of death!” Francis said at the midpoint of a five-hour prayer service. Police and the Vatican estimated a crowd of about 100,000 in St Peter’s Square.

The above excerpt is from an NBC news report.  The LDS Church has supplied $1 million to help with the Syrian refugees, but has been much more silent on the subject of air strikes against Syria.  The Community of Christ offers a yearly peace prize, and is generally quite anti-war.  Back in July, they posted a prayer of peace.

What should be the LDS position on Syria?

  • They should more publicly proclaim peace. (64%, 34 Votes)
  • They should remain silent on the issue. (28%, 15 Votes)
  • They should support the U.S. government. (6%, 3 Votes)
  • Other: (I'll provide another option below.) (2%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 53

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How should the U.S. government handle the chemical weapons attack in Syria?

  • The government should stay out of the civil war. (67%, 31 Votes)
  • The government should respond with cruise missiles to attack the Syrian government. (11%, 5 Votes)
  • Other (I'll add my answer in the comments.) (9%, 4 Votes)
  • The government should send troops in to stabilize the country and protect chemical weapons from falling into hands of terrorists. (7%, 3 Votes)
  • The government should impose a no-fly zone. (4%, 2 Votes)
  • The government should help friendly Syrians set up a democracy. (2%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 46

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When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan back in 1979, we supported Osama bin Ladin in throwing the Soviets out.  (We also supported Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq War.)  Is the U.S. making a similar mistake in Syria?

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14 Responses to What Should Be the LDS position on Syria?

  1. Nick Literski on September 9, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    The question hearkens back to Gordon Hinckley’s general conference speech, which overall was fully supportive of the fraudulent GOP/Bush invasion of Iraq. Public relations man that he’d been all his adult life, Hinckley threw in a few sentences which could let LDS members who didn’t support the invasion feel justified, but that was pretty clearly just window dressing. Monson, on the other hand, hasn’t anywhere near the skill that Hinckley had in terms of presenting an evil political agenda as deity’s will. If he’s learned anything at all from his tenure thus far, he’ll remain silent on the issue. Perhaps he can simply evade the subject altogether, shifting to one of his more profound, prophetic statements, such as “Let’s go shopping!!”

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  2. Jeff N. on September 9, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    The LDS Church should support the government and the position of the US Government should be that we follow the will of the citizens and Congress and Stay Out of This. There are no good guys in this as we define “Good Guys”. This a region that is populated by people who live to kill each other and that is not going to stop…..ever.

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  3. Kullervo on September 9, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    Jeff N., what about the Christians in Maaloula? What about the kidnapped bishops?

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  4. Jeff N. on September 9, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    You could make a list from here to the moon of people who are oppressed, attacked, kidnapped and murdered in that region of the planet. It will never stop, the USG will never stop it, The UN will never stop it, only the second coming will stop it and even then it may take the entire millennium to stop it.

    By the way don’t look for a solid stand against anything from the established leadership of any large organization. Though they are good men, trying to the right thing for their organization and members, they are establishment organization people first, appointed by men, and acting as men for the good of their organization, trying to keep as many people happy as they can in a diverse international organization. Don’t look for a real Prophet among the established hierarchy of any church even the LDS Church, don’t even look for strong stands on really controversial divisive issues long term,….history, the scriptures, Joseph Smith Jr. and Christ Himself testify that Prophets are outsiders, voices in the wideness.

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  5. Mormon Heretic on September 9, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Jeff, isn’t the Pope head of a much larger organization making a stand? How come the pope can do it?

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  6. Jeff N. on September 9, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    He sure is and he is showing the guts that his predecessors did not show, as I recall his background is very non-traditional for a Pope very non-establishment. I also think that the Catholic Church is taking it’s usual position, in that they are not for any nation so much as against all war….at least in recent history. It also is not a American based entity, in fact the US is a rather small part of it’s world wide member base so it can be a bit more out of step with the USG without much political or membership ramifications.

    The LDS being US based and with a larger percentage of it’s total membership living in the US and will have a harder time taking any sort of anti-American or Anti-USG Stand if military action is authorized by congress. The only entity that can stop the madness right now is the US Congress and we should be praying that they make the correct decision here.

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  7. Will on September 9, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    The church needs to stay out of this issue.

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  8. Paolo on September 9, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    I feel that if God has a prophet on earth, then that prophet should express the mind and will of God, which I would assume would be the message of peace. The church is not afraid to jump into the politically charged waters of say, the definition of marriage, which is also a moral issue, but probably doesn’t physically impact the lives of people quite as directly as war, genocide, and religious killing.

    In the Old Testament and in the Book of Mormon, prophets spoke on war, strategies to win wars, heck, even participated in wars. I find it interesting that God clearly stated to Joseph Smith the dimension of the mansion house and how many shares people were allowed, but we don’t seem to hear from Him about the critical life and death issues in various regions of the world.

    The prophet is supposed to be the prophet of the whole planet, but I haven’t heard much about these incredibly complex issues. God seemed to answer in days of old when the prophet asked. Even if the world rejects the message, at least it would be nice to hear what God thinks.

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  9. Jeff N. on September 9, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    Paolo, I am sure that is a prophet out there as I write this shouting at the top of his lungs to anyone who will listen…..Probably a number of true prophets. Sadly as usual they are drowned out by the the crowd, attacked and marginalized by religious and governmental “Authorities” and labeled as crackpots. Keep your eyes, ears and mind open and you may be able to hear one of them….they are there and they are not trying to hide. As i said in an
    earlier post, he will be an outsider, a voice in the wilderness.

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  10. nate on September 9, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    The church should stay out, but I personally am for a strike, not as a strategic move, (we need Assad in power) but to give him an old fashioned spanking for using chemical weapons.

    As a human race, collectively, we are on a gradual path to greater civility. We still murder each other, but certain actions are no longer acceptable to our collective consciousness. Gobbling up other counties is one. Saddam did that and was immediately reprimanded in the first gulf war. We left him in power, but the lesson was learned. There have been no more territory grabs since then.

    Chemical weapons is another red line of collective conciousness. Even Hitler was part of that collective human conscience and forbade the use of chemical weapons in warfare. If we let this one slide, we risk loosing the collective consciousness, and going back to WWI era consciousness.

    More important than strategy, than expense, than short term losses, than our commitment to being anti-war, is that we protect this vital collective conscience that has gradually been making the world a better place.

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  11. Douglas on September 9, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    Olie should pray for peace in Syria and whereelse men takes up arms to slay each other.

    No, the Church should not take a stance especially where the US Government’s foreign policy is concerned. It should encourage members in all nations to participate in their respective political processes so we may bring forth conditions wherein the Gospel may be preached.

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  12. Mormon Heretic on September 9, 2013 at 10:47 PM

    Russia is asking Syria to hand over all their chemical weapons so they don’t get used and so they don’t get attacked. This is a potential positive development. But Obama is skeptical. See http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/09/09/20399319-obama-on-russias-syria-chemical-weapons-proposal-take-it-with-a-grain-of-salt?lite

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  13. Brady on September 10, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Actions speak louder than words. The LDS Church giving over a million dollars so far in aide is a pretty big message. Think about it. There is a time to speak. And there is a time to remain silent and let things play out. But the LDS Church giving support to the refugees solidifies their position.

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  14. Kullervo on September 13, 2013 at 8:34 AM

    A million dollars from an organization that is as large and as rich as the LDS Church (that is itself a charitable organization for tax purposes) is not very much money.

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