In one of my posts, I speak of the Community of Christ as a peace church alternative to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As a former member of the LDS Church, the Community of Christ represents a refreshing and thoughtful outlook on the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ as a Gospel centered on Peace. Latter-day Satyagraha takes on the task to formulate a peace theology from an LDS perspective. This site proposes ideas and ways in which LDS members may learn and in turn explain to others their LDS theology and beliefs as they seek to “be the change that they want to see in the world” – just like Gandhi.
In the LDS Church, establishing Zion (or the Beloved Community) is related to the building of latter-day temples. Building and attending Temples may arguably be understood as Mormon Peacebuilding. Also the Community of Christ has introduced “Temple worship” in its liberal theology. Their Temple, dedicated to the pursuit of peace and justice, is to be seen as a center for leadership education and spiritual formation. In a way, temple-goers in the Restoration movement become “Saviors on Mount Zion”: peacemakers, peacebuilders and peaceworkers.
In the reorganization of this site, I was inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.’s Principles and Steps of Nonviolence, as well as Hugh Nibley’s article A House of Glory on the significance of Temples in Restoration theology: ”We seem to forget that for over 150 years the church has published, proclaimed, and circulated the most enlightening treatment of the subject [of temples]“, he writes, “and to this no one seems to pay any attention. That is the dedicatory prayer of the Kirtland Temple. Let us analyze Section 109 of the Doctrine and Covenants”:
… “(verse 5) First of all, the temple is a place in which God manifests himself, a place of appointment, a meeting place… The temple is where the people come together at a particular prescribed time and place… What people? (verse 6) The answer is all the Saints in “solemn assembly.” This makes them a special society which is to initiate the work of bringing all things together — a sort of grand unifying theory toward which all the sciences seem to be looking today, bringing everything together in one. (verse 7) They are to bring their brains with them, that is the first qualification, that your brain and intellect may be clear and active. We are to “teach one another learning even by study and also by faith.” Out of the best books? Where is the list? Why no syllabus? Because we are to do the seeking. It is we who must decide which are the best books and to do that we must “prove all things [and] hold fast to that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). We must make our own syllabus as part of organizing ourselves and preparing “every needful thing.” This is what this site has done and will continue to do. It seeks truths out of the best books and attempts to bring these together and encompass them within a single whole – in Christ.
I invite you to discover the different attributes of a house of God, dedicated to peace and justice as it were, and explore together with me how they relate to Gandhian and Kingian Philosophy by clicking on the “a house of…” images on your right side bar.
Much of the Book of Mormon deals with military conflict. It teaches that war is a result of iniquity. Gordon B. Hinckley once said of the Book of Mormon, that its ‘narrative is a chronicle of nations long since gone. But in its descriptions of the problems of today’s society, it is as current as the morning newspaper and much more definitive, inspired, and inspiring concerning the solutions of those problems. I know of no other writing which sets forth with such clarity the tragic consequences to societies that follow courses contrary to the commandments of God. Its pages trace the stories of two distinct civilizations that flourished on the Western Hemisphere. Each began as a small nation, its people walking in the fear of the Lord’.
‘But with prosperity came growing evils’, Hinckley continues. ‘The people succumbed to the wiles of ambitious and scheming leaders who oppressed them with burdensome taxes, who lulled them with hollow promises, who countenanced and even encouraged loose and lascivious living. These evil schemers led the people into terrible wars that resulted in the death of millions and the final and total extinction of two great civilizations in two different eras’.
In this light, it makes sense to view the Book of Mormon as an anti-war, pro-kingdom/pro-peace scripture. The website “latter day satyagraha” is undertaking to study peace – and not war – with the Book of Mormon through the relatively new field of Peace Studies, asking the fundamental question: will humanity ever find a way to settle its differences without resorting to the violence of war? For peace articles on the Book of Mormon, please follow this link.