Monday, September 11, 2006

Why I Remember

The reason it's easy for me to remember where I was when the world stopped turning on September 11, 2001 is because the essence of 9-11 is simple. We are in a war between those who desire freedom of religion, speech, and choice and those who would compel us to do only as they say.

On this September 11th, 5 years after the greatest terrorist attack on American soil, anecdotes coming to us over the airwaves from Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and I'm sure other places illustrate that Muslims of the fundamentalist mentality still don't get it. The whole point of life is to choose who and what we want to be.

For those of you who know I am a Utah soldier who recently returned from Iraq, you would be relatively safe to speculate that I am a Mormon. That is the case. And I'm sure my religion colors my thinking about the war against Muslim Fundamentalist Terrorists (MFTs). In point of fact, my religion is why September 11th, 2001 is often on my mind.

The Book of Mormon, additional scripture of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, teaches many principles that I believe were tailored for our day and time. Interestingly enough, from time to time in Book of Mormon history, there were terrorists. It is highly instructive for us today to learn how terrorists were combatted during Book of Mormon times. Those terrorists, even more interestingly, came from the generally non-Christian group called Lamanites, but were occasionally augmented by dissenters from the generally Christian group called Nephites. The Nephite dissenters usually had a dramatically negative impact on peace in the Book of Mormon world, being much more successful in stirring up the Lamanites to become terrorists than their fellow Lamanites were--in other words to attack Nephite men, women, and children for no other reason than that they were angry and they wanted power over them.

The following passage illustrates the juxtaposition of good (God-fearing Nephites) versus evil (power-hungry Lamanites as well as Nephite dissenters):
8 For behold, [the]adesigns [of a particular Nephite dissenter] were to bstir up the Lamanites to anger against the Nephites; this he did that he might usurp great power over them, and also that he might gain power over the Nephites by bringing them into cbondage.
9 And now the design of the Nephites was to support their lands, and their houses, and their awives, and their children, that they might preserve them from the hands of their enemies; and also that they might preserve their brights and their privileges, yea, and also their cliberty, that they might worship God according to their desires.
10 For they knew that if they should fall into the hands of the Lamanites, that whosoever should aworship God in bspirit and in truth, the true and the living God, the Lamanites would cdestroy.

Book of Mormon, Alma Chapter 43
Ultimately the entire god-fearing portion of that civilization was wiped out by those who despised liberty. The reason? They became self-worshiping rather than God-fearing.

If, for a moment, we can put all politics aside, not taking into account who in any of the last 10 or 15 United States Presidential Administrations made which mistakes and who may have told what lies that got America where we are today, the truth of the matter is that this war we are currently fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere is simply the same war of good versus evil that the Nephites fought and eventually succumbed to.
I'm flying my flag today, in memory of our heroes, both at Ground Zero and those serving around the world in the War of Good versus Evil. I'll be flying my flag all week. I hope you will, too. I hope you will also pray not only for the safety of our troops, but that they will be guided by God to act in a dignified manner and to be successful in their mission.

We should honor not only those nearly 3,000 Americans of various ethnicities and ancestries who died 5 years ago today, but also the nearly equal number of American fighting men and women who have since given their last full measure of devotion in the attempt to insure that such vile treachery will never happen again.

For me it's easy to remember. It happened once before long ago in Ancient America. And it's trying very hard to happen again. There is a pattern for what we are seeing. That ancient civilization forgot God and is now only known in the pages of history. If we forget our Maker, we will be history, too. If we don't, we can't help but win in the battle for liberty.

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