Appendix III
Justified and Unjustified Warfare

      [In 1990 and 1991 Daddy became extremely concerned that the U.S. might enter into a war of aggression, and eventually suffer the same consequences the Nephites did, when they waged aggressive war against the Lamanites. In an effort to spare at least the mormons from voting for such a war, he wrote the LDS senators and congressmen. Daddy was aware of only one who agreed with him, and voted against the war. After the war was won, even that one said he made a mistake voting against the war. Daddy believed that eventually our nation will have to suffer terribly for that act. There were ten LDS congressmen and three LDS senators who received letters almost identical to the one below.]

      It has come to my attention that the Congress of the United States is debating the possibility of waging war against the nation of Iraq in the event that their nation fails to withdraw its armed forces from Kuwait on or before a specified deadline. I wonder if in considering this matter you are aware of the Laws of God which state in the clearest of words that aggressive warfare is forbidden.

      I am enclosing for your considerations, some statements from the LDS scriptures which I urge you to ponder. As you will note, they state that war is justifiable in the eyes of the Lord only in the defense of life. No one can logically claim the action the United States is now contemplating against Iraq falls in that category.

      If I am correctly informed, you feel aggressive action against Iraq is justified at this time to forestall the possibility of a nuclear war — if and when Saddam Hussein comes into possession of nuclear weapons. The scriptures deal with the idea of preventive war and indicate disaster for the aggressor (3 Nephi 3:20-21 and Mormon 4:4-5).

      Even though you choose to believe that this scripture is not applicable to the present situation, surely you realize that anyone of a dozen other nations can, and probably will, pose a similar threat within the near future, and eliminating one of those possible [p. 204] aggressors will do little to obviate that danger.

      Inasmuch as only those who accept the scriptures of the LDS Church understand clearly the will of the Lord with respect to war we have a very heavy responsibility to utilize that knowledge for the benefit of ourselves and others. If we fail to do so, our punishment for the terrible crime of waging aggression will be far heavier for us than for others because we sin against the light.

      As a final item, I note that the United States Constitution give; to Congress the exclusive power to declare war. This places upon you and fellow members of Congress the awesome responsibility of making decisions relative to this matter.

      May the Lord bless you in the discharge of your heavy responsibilities. Sincerely,

-Elder H. Verlan Andersen

      He attached to the above letter the following:

Scriptures Forbidding Aggressive Warfare

Now the Nephites were taught to defend themselves against their enemies, even to the shedding of blood if it were necessary; yea, and they were also taught never to give an offense, yea, and never to raise the sword except it were against an enemy, except it were to preserve their lives.

And this was their faith, that by so doing God would prosper them in the land, or in other words, if they were faithful in keeping the commandments of God that he would prosper them in the land; yea, warn them to flee, or to prepare for war, according to their danger,

And also, that God would make it known unto them whither they should go to defend themselves against their enemies, and by so doing, the Lord would deliver them; and this was the faith of Moroni and his heart did glory in it; not in the shedding of blood but in doing good, in preserving his people, yea, in keeping the commandments of God, yea, and resisting iniquity. (Alma 48:14-16)

Nevertheless, thine enemy is in thine hands; and if thou rewardest him according to his works thou art justified; if he has sought thy life, and thy life is endangered by him, thine enemy is in thine hands and thou art justified.

Behold, this is the law I gave unto my servant Nephi, and thy [p. 205] 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 unto battle against any nation, kindred, tongue, or people, save I, the Lord, commanded them.

And if any nation, tongue, or people should proclaim war against them, they should first lift a standard of peace unto that people, nation, or tongue;

And if that people did not accept the offering of peace, neither the second nor the third time, they should bring these testimonies before the Lord;

Then I, the Lord, would give unto them a commandment, and justify them in going out to battle against that nation, tongue, or people.

And I, the Lord, would fight their battles, and their children’s battles, and their children’s children’s, until they had avenged themselves on all their enemies, to the third and fourth generation. (D&C 98:31-37)

Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost. (2 Nephi 28:31)

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 3:20-21)

Let no man think he is ruler, but let God rule him that judgeth, according to the counsel of his own will, or, in other words, him that counseleth or sitteth upon the judgment seat. (D&C 58:20) [p. 206]

...the crowding in of the socialistic reform programs ... are threatening the very foundation of the Church, ... I warn you that government subsidies are not the Lord’s way; and if we begin to accept, we are on our way to becoming subsidized politically as well as financially.

(Harold B. Lee, The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, [1996], p. 314-15)

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