A Great and Marvelous Work is About to Come Forth
For the time cometh, saith the Lamb of God, that I will work a great and a marvelous work among the children of men; a work which shall be everlasting, either on the one hand or on the other — either to the convincing of them unto peace and life eternal, or unto the deliverance of them to the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds unto their being brought down into captivity, and also into destruction, both temporally and spiritually, according to the captivity of the devil.
1 Nephi 14 : 5-7
historical parallels between the peace movement and the latter day saint movement
· 12 April – 14 June: Joseph Smith and Martin Harris work on the translation of the Book of Mormon
· 28 August: Leo Tolstoy is born in Russia
· An umbrella group is formed in the United States to unite all the peace societies, called the American Peace Society. Peace societies became an important intellectual force in nineteenth century America, attracting speakers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, who believed that humankind went to war because it was backward and undeveloped and that it would eventually abandon such practices.
· On 4 July 1838, Sidney Rigdon gave an oration referred to as the Mormon “Declaration of Independence” from “mobbers.” In it, Rigdon declared that the Latter Day Saints would no longer be driven from their homes by persecution from without or dissension from within, and that if enemies came again to drive out the Saints, ”it shall be between us and them a war of extermination; for we will follow them until the last drop of their blood is spilled; or else they will have to exterminate us, for we will carry the seat of war to their own houses and their own families, and one party or the other shall be utterly destroyed…”
· 6 August 1838 – 22 November 1838: Mormon Missouri War. As a result of the war, nearly all Mormons in Missouri, estimated at more than ten thousand, were forced to leave the state. Most of these refugees settled in or near what would become the city of Nauvoo, Illinois. Mormon historians describe this period as change occurring in Smith’s perception of the use of violence: “From the bottom of his heart Joseph hated violence, but his people were demanding something more than meekness and compromise. It was common gossip among the old settlers that the Mormons would never fight; and Joseph came to realize that in a country where a man’s gun spoke faster than his wits, to be known as a pacifist was to invite plundering”.
· William Lloyd Garrison takes part in a discussion on means of preventing war in the Society for the Establishment of Peace among men. He concludes that the establishment of universal peace can only be founded on the open acknowledgment of the doctrine of non-resistance to evil (Matthew 5:39). The Declaration of Sentiments adopted by the Peace Convention was written by him and signed by the Society in 1838. “We cannot acknowledge allegiance to any human government… We recognize but one King and Lawgiver, one Judge and Ruler of mankind… Our country is the world, our countrymen are all mankind. The interests and rights of American citizens are no more dear to us than those of the whole human race. Hence we can allow no appeal to patriotism to revenge any national insult or injury… We regards as unchristian and wrong not only war itself, whether offensive or defensive, but all preparations for war: the building of naval ship, any arsenal, or any fortification”. Immediately after this Declaration a Society of Non-Resistance was founded by Garrison, and a journal called The Non-Resistant was started.
· Joseph Smith, Jr. writes a “Letter from Liberty Jail” while imprisoned in Liberty, Missouri, later recorded as chapters 121, 122 and 123 in Doctrine and Covenants. Section 121 teaches important lessons about righteous and unrighteous dominion, while Section 122 contains prophecies about Joseph’s future, as well as further admonition to endure his trials well. Section 123 contains instructions to document the sufferings of the Latter Day Saints and provide an opportunity for the government to redress these wrongs. In 1963, 124 years later, Martin Luther King Jr. writes a “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” while in prison.
· 12 May 1844: Joseph Smith jr. stated, “I calculate to be one of the instruments of setting up the kingdom of Daniel by the word of the Lord, and I intend to lay a foundation that will revolutionize the world…It will not be by sword or gun that this kingdom will roll on: the power of truth is such that all nations will be under the necessity of obeying the Gospel.”
· Economic & Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 (also referred to as The Paris Manuscripts) are a series of notes written between April and August 1844 by Karl Marx. Not published by Marx during his lifetime, they were first released in 1932 by researchers in the Soviet Union. The notebooks are an early expression of Marx’s analysis of economics and critique of G.W.F. Hegel. The notes cover a wide range of topics including private property, communism, and money. They are best known for their early expression of Marx’s argument that the conditions of modern industrial societies result in the estrangement (or alienation) of wage-workers from their own life.
· 27 June 1844: Joseph Smith Jr. is assassinated by a mob, while in prison in Carthage, Illinois.
· 28 August 1844: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, the authors of the Communist Manifesto met at the Café de la Régence on the Place du Palais, 28 August 1844. The two became close friends and would remain so for their entire lives. Engels ended up staying in Paris to help Marx write The Holy Family, which was an attack on the Young Hegelians and the Bauer brothers. Engels’ earliest contribution to Marx’s work was writing to the Deutsch-französische Jahrbücher journal, which was edited by both Marx and Arnold Ruge in Paris in the same year.
· 21 December 1844: The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers was a group of 28 weavers and other artisans in Rochdale, England, that was formed in 1844. As the mechanization of the Industrial Revolution was forcing more and more skilled workers into poverty, these tradesmen decided to band together to open their own store selling food items they could not otherwise afford. With lessons from prior failed attempts at co-operation in mind, they designed the now famous Rochdale Principles, and over a period of four months they struggled to pool together one pound sterling per person for a total of 28 pounds of capital. On 21 December 1844, they opened their store with a very meager selection of butter, sugar, flour, oatmeal and a few candles. Within three months, they expanded their selection to include tea and tobacco, and they were soon known for providing high quality, unadulterated goods. Ten years later, the British co-operative movement had grown to nearly 1,000 co-operatives.
· The Mormon Battalion was the only religious unit in American military history, serving from July 1846 to July 1847 during the Mexican-American War. The battalion was a volunteer unit of about 500 Latter-day Saint men led by Mormon company officers, commanded by regular army officers.
· On July 24, 1847, Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon pioneers enter into the Salt Lake Valley, where the Latter-day Saints settled after being forced from Nauvoo, Illinois and other locations in the eastern United States.
· On 30 September 1847, the Vegetarian Society was formed as a result of a meeting held at a hospital, Northwood Villa, in the UK. A resolution was passed unanimously that a society be formed called The Vegetarian Society. The growth of the vegetarian movement has led to the development of other organisations which, although not part of the Society, are nevertheless directly associated with their work. The Vegan Society, with its aim of excluding all animal products from the diet, goes further than the Vegetarian Society, which accepts the use of eggs and dairy produce.
· 1847: Abraham Lincoln uses his office as an opportunity to speak out against the war with Mexico, which he attributed to President Polk’s desire for “military glory — that attractive rainbow, that rises in showers of blood.”
· 1849: Civil Disobedience (Resistance to Civil Government), an essay by Henry David Thoreau is first published. It argues that people should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that people have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. Thoreau was motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican-American War.
1857 – 1858
· May 1857 – July 1858: The Utah War was an armed dispute between LDS settlers in Utah Territory and the United States federal government. The Utah War was America’s “most extensive and expensive military undertaking during the period between the Mexican and Civil Wars, one that ultimately pitted nearly one-third of the US Army against what was arguably the nation’s largest, most experienced militia.” In the end, negotiations between the United States and the Latter-day Saint hierarchy resulted in a full pardon for the Mormons, the transfer of Utah’s governorship from church President Brigham Young to non-Mormon Alfred Cumming, and the peaceful entrance of the army into Utah.
· 1 November 1857: John Taylor gives the speech in the Tabernacle The Kingdom of God or Nothing. “If you, our enemies, are determined to invade our rights, trample upon our liberties, snatch from us the rich boon we have inherited from our fathers, to make us bow in vile subservience to your will, we will resist you: we will not submit to it. We will say, Stand back and give us our rights. We will act the part of freemen, and we say it shall be “The kingdom of God or nothing.” It may be asked, How can we live under the dominion and laws of the United States and be subjects of another kingdom? Because the kingdom of God is higher, and its laws are so much more exalted than those of any other nation, that it is the easiest thing in life for a servant of God to keep any of their laws; and, as I have said before, this we have uniformly done.”
· Leo Tolsto’s conversion from a dissolute and privileged society author to the non-violent and spiritual anarchist of his latter days was brought about by two trips around Europe in 1857 and 1860–61, a period when many liberal-leaning Russian aristocrats escaped the stifling political repression in Russia. During his 1857 visit, Tolstoy witnessed a public execution in Paris, a traumatic experience that would mark the rest of his life. Writing in a letter to his friend V. P. Botkin: The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens … Henceforth, I shall never serve any government anywhere.
· 16 June 1858: Accepting the Republican nomination for Senate, Lincoln delivered his famous speech: “‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’ (Mark 3:25) I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other.”
· March 1861: Tolstoy’s political philosophy was also influenced by a March 1861 visit to French anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, then living in exile under an assumed name in Brussels. Apart from reviewing Proudhon’s forthcoming publication, La Guerre et la Paix, whose title Tolstoy would borrow for his masterpiece, the two men discussed education, as Tolstoy wrote in his educational notebooks: If I recount this conversation with Proudhon, it is to show that, in my personal experience, he was the only man who understood the significance of education and of the printing press in our time.
· Brigham Young tells the Saints with regards to the building of the Salt Lake City Temple: “If you wish this Temple to be built, do all you can. Some say: ‘I don’t want to do it. We never began to build the Temple without the bells of Hell beginning to ring.’ I want to hear them ring again. All the tribes of Hell will be on the move, but what do you think it will amount to? You have all the time seen what it has amounted to.”
· 18 November 1861: Julia Ward Howe writes the lyrics of “the Battle Hymn of the Republic” to the tune of John Brown’s Body. John Brown (May 9, 1800 – December 2, 1859) was an American abolitionist, and folk hero who advocated and practiced armed insurrection as a means to end all slavery. He led the Pottawatomie Massacre in 1856 in Bleeding Kansas and made his name in the unsuccessful raid at Harpers Ferry in 1859.
· 1 March 1869: Business was opened at Zion’s Cooperative Mercantile Institution. The railroad and the increased contact that it brought with national markets and the world outside presented a most serious threat to the cohesiveness and solidarity of the Saints. Because he anticipated trouble, confusion, and the inevitable cultural and social diversity that accompanied the railroad, Brigham Young planned what amounted to a frontal attack. At the October 1868 LDS General Conference, President Brigham Young and other church leaders urged the members to cooperate economically. Later in the month LDS businessmen from around the territory met in Salt Lake City to organize a wholesale cooperative store. Brigham Young was elected president of the ‘People’s Store’ or ZCMI.
· May 10 1869: The First Transcontinental Railroad is completed at Promontory Summit, north of the Great Salt Lake. The railroad brings increasing numbers of non-Mormons into the state, and several influential non-Mormon businessmen would make fortunes in the territory.
· Te Whiti, a Maori leader in New Zealand, declared 1869 as “The Year of Trampling Underfoot” – the year where the people of power were to be humbled: without using violence or force , it was his intention to negotiate a separate treaty between the white settlers and the Maori of his district, a treaty between equals. Te Whiti urged his people to make or to grow everything they used and not to buy British goods, and to plough the lands that had been occupied by white settlers. In 1879, Te Whiti instructed the ploughmen: “Go put your hands to the plough. Look not back. If any come with guns or with swords, be not afraid. If they smite you, smite not in return. If they rend you, be not discouraged. Another will take up the good work”. The settlers panicked in the face of nonresistance. The local newspaper even called for “a war of extermination”.
· 02 October 1869: Mahatma Gandhi is born in Porbander, India. Gandhi’s thinking on socio-economic issues was greatly influenced by the American writer Henry David Thoreau. By championing homespun khadi clothing and Indian-made goods, Gandhi sought to incorporate peaceful civil resistance as a means of promoting national self-sufficiency. Gandhi led farmers of Champaran and Kheda in a satyagraha (civil disobedience and tax resistance) against the mill owners and landlords supported by the British government in an effort to end oppressive taxation and other policies. Gandhi and his followers also founded numerous ashrams in India (Gandhi had pioneered the ashram settlement in South Africa). The concept of an ashram has been compared with the commune, where its inhabitants would seek to produce their own food, clothing and means of living, while promoting a lifestyle of self-sufficiency, personal and spiritual development and working for wider social development.
· In April 1889, Woodruff, then president of the church, began privately refusing the permission from the First Presidency that was required for members to contract new plural marriages. In October 1889, Woodruff publicly admitted that he was no longer approving new polygamous marriages, and in answer to a reporter’s question of what the LDS Church’s attitude was toward the law against polygamy (Edmunds-Tucker Act of 1887), Woodruff stated, “we mean to obey it. We have no thought of evading it or ignoring it.” In the 1890 Manifesto, Woodruff declares “We are not teaching polygamy or plural marriage, nor permitting other number of plural marriages have during that period been solemnized in our Temples or in any other place in the Territory. One case has been reported, in which the parties allege that the marriage was performed in the Endowment House, in Salt Lake City, in the Spring of 1889, but I have not been able to learn who performed the ceremony; whatever was done in this matter was without my knowledge. In consequence of this alleged occurrence the Endowment House was, by my instructions, taken down without delay”.
· Baroness Bertha Von Suttner, an Austrian peace activist and the author of numerous books of fiction and nonfiction, published a central antiwar novel in 1889. The novel, titled “Lay Down Your Arms”, is a semiautobiographical story of an aristocratic Austrian woman from a military family who comes to realize that the values with which she was raised were grievously mistaken. “Lay Down Your Arms” was a huge international success – it was to the peace movement what Uncle Tom’s Cabin had been to abolitionists.
· 6 April 1893: Salt Lake City Temple is dedicated. As part of the dedicatory prayer, Wilford Woodruff uttered the following words: “Almighty Father, increase within us the powers of that faith delivered to and possessed by Thy Saints. Strengthen us by the memories of the glorious deliverances of the past, by the remembrance of the sacred covenants that Thou hast made with us, so that, when evil overshadows us, when trouble encompasses us, when we pass through the valley of humiliation, we may not falter, may not doubt, but in the strength of Thy Holy name may accomplish all Thy righteous purposes with regard to us, fill the measure of our creation, and triumph gloriously, by Thy grace, over every besetting sin, be redeemed from every evil, and be numbered in the kingdom of heaven amongst those who shall dwell in Thy presence forever”.
· 14 May 1893: Leo Tolstoy publishes his book “The Kingdom of God is Within You”. It is the culmination of thirty years of Tolstoy’s Christian thinking, and lays out a new organization for society based on a literal Christian interpretation. The content of the book may thus be summarized: ”Eighteen hundred years ago a strange new teaching, unlike any previous religion, appeared in the heathen Roman world, and was attributed to a man named Jesus. Instead of all the rules of previous religions, this teaching set up the ideal of inward perfection, truth, and love in the person of Christ, and the result of that inward perfection attainable by man in an outward perfection foretold by the prophets – the Kingdom of God, when all men, taught by God and united by love, shall cease to be at enmity and the lion shall lie down with the lamb. The fulfillment of the teaching consists in progress along the appointed path towards inward perfection by an imitation of Christ, and towards outward perfection by the establishment of the Kingdom of God. Man’s greater or lesser blessedness, according to this teaching, depends not on the degree of perfection he has attained but on the progress he is making.”
· 1893: Mohandas Gandhi leaves India for legal work among Asian immigrant merchants in Durban, South Africa; encounters race prejudice (thrown off train at Pietermaritzberg) and begins organizing petitions for redress.
· The 1910 World Missionary Conference, or the Edinburgh Missionary Conference, was held June 14 to 23, 1910. Some have seen it as both the culmination of nineteenth-century Protestant Christian missions and the formal beginning of the modern Protestant Christian ecumenical movement.
· 23 June 1910: Gordon B. Hinckley is born in Salt Lake City, Utah to prominent LDS writer and educator Bryant S. Hinckleyand Ada Bitner Hinckley. As a President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Gordon B. Hinckley gives a speech in April 2003 on War and Peace shortly after the invasion of Iraq, explaining to the Church members the inherent contradictions that lies in being subject to one’s government, including answering the call to go to war, and at the same time professing to be a true follower of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
· 20 November 1910: Leo Tolstoy, the author of the world-renowned epic roman War and Peace, dies. In his memory, Gandhi establishes Tolstoy Farm, an ashram, near Johannesburg.
· The first body to use the name “Fellowship of Reconciliation” was formed as a result of a pact made in August 1914 at the outbreak of the First World War by two Christians, Henry Hodgkin (an English Quaker) and Friedrich Siegmund-Schultze (a German Lutheran), who were participating in a Christian pacifist conference in Konstanz in southern Germany. On the platform of the railway station at Cologne, they pledged to each other that, “We are one in Christ and can never be at war.” To take that pledge forward, Hodgkin organised in 1915 a conference in Cambridge at which over a hundred Christians of all denominations agreed to found the FoR. United States Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR USA) was founded in 1915 by sixty-eight pacifists, including Norman Thomas, A. J. Muste, Jane Addams and Bishop Paul Jones, and claims to be the “largest, oldest interfaith peace and justice organization in the United States.”Its programs and projects involve domestic as well as international issues, and generally emphasize nonviolent alternatives to conflict and the rights of conscience.
1920 – 1921
· 18 August 1920: Woman suffrage in the United States was achieved gradually, at state and local levels, during the 19th Century and early 20th Century, culminating in 1920 with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provided: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
· 17 March 1921: Norwegian-born John A. Widtsoe is ordained an apostle. Widtsoe’s writings, particularly Rational theology and Joseph Smith as Scientist, reflected the optimistic faith in science and technology that was pervasive at the time in American life. According to Widtsoe, all Mormon theology could be reconciled within a rational, positivist framework.
· December 1921: Mahatma Gandhi assumes leadership of the Indian National Congress.
· Gandhi’s autobiography “the Story of my Experiments with Truth” is first published in 1927.
· Dorothy Day, a gifted writer and committed political activist, pacifist, suffragist, and ardent advocate for the poor, has been described as “the most significant, interesting, and influential person in the history of American Catholicism”. She was also one of the twentieth century’s most important practitioners of nonviolent social change. The moment of her conversion came in 1927, a year after the birth of her daughter Tamar (born on 04 March 1926). She turned to faith not in anguish, but in happiness, in the celebration of the miracle of life. She later launched the Catholic Worker in 1933.
· Thomas S. Monson was born on August 21, 1927, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
· ”All Quiet on the Western Front” (German: Im Westen nichts Neues) is a novel by Erich Maria Remarque, a German veteran of World War I. The book describes the German soldiers’ extreme physical and mental duress during the war, and the detachment from civilian life felt by many of these soldiers upon returning home from the front. It is perhaps the best antiwar novel ever written. “It should be distributed and read in every school”, said the French newspaper Le Monde. The novel was first published in book form in late January 1929. In 1930, the book adapted into an Oscar-winning film of the same name, directed by Lewis Milestone.
· 15 January 1929: Martin Luther King, Jr. is born in Atlanta, Georgia. Martin Luther was an American clergyman, activist and prominent leader in the African-American civil rights movement. His main legacy was to secure progress on civil rights in the United States, and he has become a human rights icon: King is recognized as a martyr by two Christian churches.
· 15 July 1929: Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs for the first time its weekly radio program – Music and the Spoken Word
· C.S. Lewis fought greatly up to the moment of his conversion in 1929 noting that he was brought into Christianity like a prodigal, “kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance to escape.”He described his last struggle in Surprised by Joy: You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.
· 6 April 1930: LDS church celebrates its first centennial and John A. Widtsoe’s book In Search of Truth: Comments on the Gospel and Modern Thought is published for the first time.
· 6 April 1930: Gandhi finishes his famous Salt March to Dandi, having marched for 400 kilometres from Ahmedabad to Dandi to make salt himself.
· 24 October 1930: Johan Galtung is born in Oslo, Norway. Johan Galtung is a Norwegian sociologist and a principal founder of the discipline of Peace and conflict studies.
· 14 December 1930: Albert Einstein, in a speech delivered in New York, says: “The kind of pacifism that does not actively combat the war preparations of the governments is powerless and will always stay powerless. Would that the conscience and common sense of the people awaken!”
· The Screwtape Letters is a Christian apologetics novel written in epistolary style by C. S. Lewis, first published in book form in 1942. The story takes the form of a series of letters from a senior demon, Screwtape, to his nephew, a junior tempter named Wormwood, so as to advise him on methods of securing the damnation of a British man, known only as “the Patient”. Screwtape, is not interested in getting the patient to commit anything spectacularly evil, saying that “the safest path to hell is the gradual one.” He sees a demon’s primary goal to befuddle and confuse, rather than tempt.In 2006, Elder Neal A. Maxwell wrote a book titled “The Enoch Letters” following a similar format to that employed by C.S. Lewis, but set as letters from friends into and out of the translated city of Enoch.
· 5 February 1942: Helmuth Hübener was arrested by the Gestapo at his workplace in the Hamburger Bieberhaus. While trying to translate the pamphlets into French, and trying to have them distributed among prisoners of war, he had been noticed by Nazi Party member Heinrich Mohn, who had denounced him. On 11 August 1942, Hübener’s case was tried at the Volksgerichtshof in Berlin, and on 27 October, at the age of 17, he was beheaded by guillotine at Plötzensee Prison in Berlin. Helmut Hübener was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Germany. He was also the youngest opponent of the Third Reich to be sentenced to death by the Volksgerichtshof and executed.
· An official statement of the First Presidency of the Church, was made on October 3, 1942: “[Satan] plans to destroy liberty and freedom — economic, political, and religious, and to set up in place thereof the greatest, most widespread, and most complete tyranny that has ever oppressed men. He is working under such perfect disguise that many do not recognize either him or his methods. There is no crime he would not commit, no debauchery he would not set up, no plague he would not send, no heart he would not break, no life he would not take, no soul he would not destroy. He comes as a thief in the night; he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Without their knowing it, the people are being urged down paths that lead only to destruction.”
1958 - 1959
· ”Music and the Spoken Word” was voted America’s favorite classical and religious program for 1958-59. In 1959, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir released the grammy-award winning record “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” with the Philadelphia orchestra.
· Martin Luther King, jr.’s book “Stride Towards Freedom” describing the bus boycott in Montgomery and his conversion to nonviolence is first published. Martin Luther King visits India and Gandhi’s family with help from the American Friends Service Committee. The lyrics of the Battle Hymn of the Republic appear in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s sermons and speeches, most notably in his speech “How Long, Not Long” from the steps of the Montgomery, Alabama Courthouse on March 25, 1965 after the 3rd Selma March, and in his final sermon “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop“, delivered in Memphis, Tennessee on the evening of April 3, 1968, the night before his assassination. In fact, the latter sermon, King’s last public words, ends with the first lyrics of the Battle Hymn, “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”
· 06 April 1958: One of the most widely known symbols in the world, the peace symbol is recognised in Britain as standing for nuclear disarmament – and in particular as the logo of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). In the United States and much of the rest of the world it is known more broadly as the peace symbol. It was designed in 1958 by Gerald Holtom, a professional designer and artist and a graduate of the Royal College of Arts.The Direct Action Committee had already planned what was to be the first major anti-nuclear march, from London to Aldermaston, where British nuclear weapons were and still are manufactured. It was on that march, over the 1958 Easter weekend that the symbol first appeared in public.
· 06 April 1958: During the 1958 April General Conference of the LDS Church, around the same time as the above-mentioned march was being planned, President J. Reuben Clark Jr., Second Counselor in the First Presidency, elaborates on the dangers of new technology in a nuclear era: “We are living in perilous times. That is trite. Man has discovered and is trying to learn how to use some of the great forces that evidently were operative at the time of the creation of the universe. We know nothing about them, we play with them as a child plays with the live end of a high voltage transmission wire. We know not how to control them nor what they will do”. Gordon B. Hinckley, later to become the 15th President of the LDS Church, is called as assistant of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
· 29 August 1958: Michael Jackson was born, the eighth of ten children to an African American working-class family, in Gary, Indiana, an industrial suburb of Chicago. His mother, Katherine Esther Scruse, was a devout Jehovah’s Witness, and his father, Joseph Walter “Joe” Jackson, a steel mill worker who performed with an R&B band called The Falcons.
· 25 February 1963: The Feminine Mystique is a book written by Betty Friedan and published on that date. According to The New York Times obituary of Friedan in 2006, it “ignited the contemporary women’s movement in 1963 and as a result permanently transformed the social fabric of the United States and countries around the world” and “is widely regarded as one of the most influential nonfiction books of the 20th century”.
· 8 August 1963: Martin Luther King delivers his “I have a dream” speech on the steps of Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. In the same year, Martin Luther King writes “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” while in prison, 124 years after Joseph Smith recorded his revelations received while in Liberty Jail.
· 124 years after Joseph Smith Jr.’s emprisonment in Liberty Jail, Joseph Fielding Smith presides over the establishment of a partial reconstruction of the Liberty Jail, sometimes described as the “Prison Temple”, wholly within a museum in Liberty, Missouri.
· 10 October 1963: Thomas S. Monson, the current prophet and president of the LDS church, is ordained apostle at the age of 36.
· February 1968: Barbara Deming’s seminal essay “On Revolution and Equilibrium”, is first published in Liberation magazine. The essay is described as the decade’s most persuasive intellectual challenge to the call for violence. Deming offered an eloquent defense of the Gandhian method and issued a passionate plea for more forceful but still nonviolent forms of resistance.
· 03 April 1968: King addressed a rally and delivered his address “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” at Mason Temple, the world headquarters of the Church of God in Christ: “And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord”. On 4 April 1968, he was shot dead at the age of 39, in Memphis, Tennessee, 124 years after the martyrdom of Joseph Smith, when assassinated at the age of 38 in the city of Carthage, Illinois. Martin Luther King’s main legacy was to secure progress on civil rights in the United States. King is recognized as a martyr by the Episcopal and Lutheran Churches of the United States.
· 05 April 1968: Boyd K. Packer in a Conference Address “Military Service in Vietnam, not a Conscientious Objector!” states: “Though all the issues of the conflict are anything but clear, the matter of citizenship responsibility is perfectly clear. Our brethren, we know something of what you face and sense, something of what you feel. I have worn the uniform of my native land in the time of total conflict. I have smelled the stench of human dead and wept tears for slaughtered comrades. I have climbed amid the rubble of ravaged cities and contemplated in horror the ashes of a civilization sacrificed to Moloch; yet knowing this, with the issues as they are, were I called again to military service, I could not conscientiously object!” His reference to Moloch is interesting as Moloch is, in medieval demonology, a Prince of Hell. Moloch finds particular pleasure in making mothers weep; he specializes in stealing their children”. In John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Moloch is one of the greatest warriors of the fallen angels, and gives a speech at the Parliament of Hell where he argues for immediate warfare against God. Gustav Flaubert in a semi-historical novel about Carthage (Tunisia), published in 1862, included a version of the Carthaginian religion, including the god Moloch, a god to whom the Carthaginians offered children.
· 22 April 1978: The One Love Peace Concert was a large concert held on April 22, 1978 at The National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. The One Love Peace Concert brought together 16 of Reggae’s biggest acts, and was dubbed by the media as the “Third World Woodstock”, “Bob Marley plays for Peace” and simply, “Bob Marley Is Back.” The concert attracted more than 32,000 spectators with the proceeds of the show going towards “much needed sanitary facilities and housing for the sufferahs in West Kinston.”
· 08 June 1978: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints extends the priesthood and temple blessings to ‘all worthy males’ under the presidency of Spencer W. Kimball, ending a general policy of excluding ‘Canaanites’ (blacks) from Priesthood ordination and temple ordinances.
· Desmond Tutu becomes Secretary-General of the South African Council of Churches. From this position, he was able to continue his work against apartheid with agreement from nearly all churches. Tutu consistently advocated reconciliation between all parties involved in apartheid through his writings and lectures at home and abroad. Tutu’s opposition to apartheid was vigorous and unequivocal, and he was outspoken both in South Africa and abroad.
· 05 May 1981: The First Presidency issues a statement on the planned basing of the MX missile in Utah and Nevada. “Our fathers came to this western area to establish a base from which to carry the gospel of peace to the peoples of the earth. It is ironic, and a denial of the very essence of that gospel, that in this same general area there should be constructed a mammoth weapons system potentially capable of destroying much of civilization. With the most serious concern over the pressing moral question of possible nuclear conflict, we plead with our national leaders to marshal the genius of the nation to find viable alternatives which will secure at an earlier date and with fewer hazards the protection from possible enemy aggression, which is our common concern”.
· The Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign is founded in D.C. SANE wins the cancellation of plans for MX missiles in Utah and Nevada.
· Hugh Nibley’s book Approaching Zion is first published
· Fall of the Berlin Wall
· The Cochabamba protests of 2000, also known as “The Cochabamba Water Wars,” were a series of protests that took place in Cochabamba, Bolivia’s third largest city, between January and April 2000 because of the privatization of the municipal water supply. The movement MAS, led by the current president of Bolivia Evo Morales, participated in the water wars.
· 30 April 2000: The Cochabamba Bolivia Temple is dedicated by Gordon B. Hinckley. Excerpts of dedicatory prayer: “This nation is named for Simon Bolivar, the great liberator of much of South America, who died the year Thy Restored Church was organized. May the incomparable principle of democracy be preserved forever in this Republic. Bless the land and its people. May Thy work grow and prosper in this area of Thy vineyard. We remember before Thee the sons and daughters of Father Lehi. Wilt Thou keep Thine ancient promises in their behalf. Lift from their shoulders the burdens of poverty and cause the shackles of darkness to fall from their eyes”.
· 19 August 2000: Hugo Chavez is re-elected as President of Venezuela under the new Constitution. Chavez’s opposition to neoliberalism isn’t just negative criticism of policies emanating from Washington. And aside from his principled stand against political and economic policies that are meant to subvert his country’s sovereignty, its right of self-determination, free development, and the needs of its people, Chavez sees Venezuela’s mission as an international one as well.
· 20 August 2000: The Caracas Venezuela Temple is dedicated by Gordon B. Hinckley. Excerpts of Dedicatory Prayer: We pray for this great nation of Venezuela. May it hold its place among the sovereign nations of the earth. May its people be blessed and prospered. May they enjoy freedom to worship Thee without molestation of any kind. Bless the leaders of the nation with wisdom and understanding, and a great desire to serve the needs of the people.
· 11 September 2001: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had never been under greater scrutiny than in the year of the 9/11 attacks, because of the upcoming Winter Olympics to be held in February 2002 in Salt Lake City. The Mormons found themselves alternatively sharing cover pages of magazines and newspapers with ‘Islamic fundamentalists’ and Osama Bin Laden. A faithful, while referring to the widespread attention the international press had given to Mormon fundamentalists, was troubled with the fact that Mormonism was becoming known as a violent faith: “Could we go on the offensive to counteract that image? If we were to take a pro-peace, anti-war stance, who could doubt we would engage widespread attention, and what today comes with higher stakes than our response to the rising tide of violence that surrounds us?” (Moloney, “Wicks, Modems, and the Winds of War” in Dialogue, Journal of Mormon Thought).
· 15 February 2003: the 15 February anti-war protest was a coordinated day of protests across the world against the imminent invasion of Iraq. Millions of people protested in approximately 800 cities around the world. According to BBC News, between six and ten million people took part in protests in up to sixty countries over the weekend of the 15th and 16th; other estimates range from eight million to thirty million.
· 06 April 2003: President Gordon B. Hinckley gives a bench-marking speech on War and Peace – also opening for a liberationist interpretation of the LDS gospel. Encouraging the congregation to respect national leaders, President Hinckley said, “As citizens, we are under the direction of our respective national leaders. They have access to greater political and military intelligence than do the people generally.” President Hinckley referred to the twelfth article of faith, which states, ”We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.” President Hinckley said that many are speaking out under the democratic law. ”That is their privilege and their right,” President Hinckley said. President Hinckley said there is much that church members can do to defend peace in these last days. ”We can teach the gospel,” he said. ”Even when darkness and hatred ring in the hearts of some, we can proclaim with Paul that neither death, nor life, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God”.
· 22 September 2005: BYU Professor Steven Jones presented his views on the collapse of the World Trade Center towers and World Trade Center 7 at a BYU seminar attended by about 60 people. Jones suggested that the evidence defies the mainstream collapse theory and favors explosive demolition, possibly by the use of thermite or nanothermite. He called for further scientific investigation to test the controlled demolition conspiracy theories and the release of all relevant data by the government.
· Beginning in February of 2006, as Professor Jones went around the country lecturing on the facts regarding the 911 attacks, he would routinely urge people to participate in garnering support for the action item to “Impeach Cheney First.” This was the decided upon action item by many in the 911 Truth movement. Significant momentum was beginning to build to this end. Then in September of that year, Prof. Jones was pulled into a meeting with the College Dean and Chairman of the Physics Department at Brigham Young University. They asked him to stop talking about Cheney or Bush, and any mention of impeachment. Though he complied with this request, still under pressure surrounding the controversy of his stance on the facts of 911, on Oct. 20, 2006, Prof. Jones announced his retirement from BYU, under duress.
· 04 April 2007: BYU was contacted by the office of U.S. Vice President Cheney about having him give a commencement speech in 2007. BYU, lead by a general authority of the LDS Church, Cecil O. Samuelson, complied and bestowed an honorary doctorate on the Vice-President. Anti-Cheney protesters at Brigham Young University were told to surrender their protest signs and go home. One protesting student brought this up to the president of BYU, who [blew him off].
An excellent 1. May speech was given by Crystal Busenbark. Here is a link to the record of her speech on http://themormonworker.wordpress.com/2009/05/01/nonviolence-in-a-revolutionary-context/