Who is Mormongandhi?
The nickname is intentional, as it probably is an oxymoron to most people. For although I am no longer a member of the LDS church, I still consider myself to be a mormon, culturally and spiritually. My main reason for leaving was due to Church leaders justifying the use of violence by Latter-day Saints against citizens of other states. I couldn’t believe my own ears when Gordon B. Hinckley said that members in uniform will not be held accountable before God for the people they kill in line of duty… At times we see that LDS contemporary culture is at odds with the teachings of Jesus. That is why I make the difference between being a Latter day Saint and being a Latter-day Satyagrahi. The latter of the two is committed to nonviolence..
I have spent two years in the Norwegian Air Force, working as a basic training officer. Because of that, I have taught 300 young kids how to use guns, and of that I am ashamed (see anti-nephi-lehi conversion story). I am fortunate however to never have served in the battle field, and grateful that I never had to make that choice. My new-found conviction in relation to the principles taught in the restored gospel of peace are informed by the years in which I did a bachelor’s in peace and development studies at the University of Bradford. My main interest was in religious peacebuilding, exploring the positive role the Churches can play in society, and many of the articles on this blog are taken from a final year dissertation on the same topic. My main concern was to find my own voice within the mormon faith.
the source of my nonviolence
The source of my nonviolence comes from believing the words of Jesus in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. There is a reason why the Sermon on the Mount is such a central text in both books. Mormons should therefore be twice as committed as anyone else to those same teachings. I love the Temple and its rituals, and am not therefore a stranger to what is taught there. I miss it. I do. I am saddened however that too many members fail to see the rituals and the teachings we receive there as an elongated Sermon on the Mount.
My intention with this blog is to love my opponents in the faith – those who still practice the saying: an eye for an eye. I want to do good to those who have difficulty showing love, to bless those who speak evil of others whom they do not know, and my prayer is that latter day saints would see us, the mormongandhis, the jesus radicals, the anti-nephi-lehies, the pacifists, the nonviolent practitioners, the LDS anarchists, as co-partakers of the fruit and that through our words and our actions they too might be converted – not the other way around.
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