As we approach this election, I'm concerned that America will remain mired in no-win foreign wars which engorge the coffers of the elite few while sacrificing the well-being and some of the lives of the rest of us. I admit that I speak with great bias, for I have eight grandchildren and the prospect of seeing any of them dragged into war terrifies me.

Both candidates for America's next autocrat can be trusted to spend trillions to meet the needs of the military-industrial complex. One candidate seems intent on provoking a foolhardy war with Russia by enforcing a no-fly zone over Syria, another country where we are involved without a constitutionally sound basis.  The same candidate was the author of the "Pivot to Asia" policy that, as adapted by President Obama, already has our military here in Asia provoking China. The winds of war are blowing, even if we ignore the rise of Isis and trouble in other spots in the world.

War has changed a lot from the good old days of blood and gore on the front lines. There will always be that, but in a war involving Russia or China, there could be some bitter surprises for all of us, and I'm not talking about nuclear weapons. If a serious but non-nuclear war with other superpowers were to occur, I predict that on Day One or shortly thereafter, we will find just how much damage the world's best hackers actually can do when needed. Imagine banks being shut down, accounts closed, and ATMs run dry. It would not be difficult to have power plants shut down, water purification systems fail, much of the grid brought down, and many portions of the Internet brought down. None of these are going to improve our flagging economy. Any one of these could have dramatic effects on your personal life and well-being. The food you have stored and the cash you have on hand at home may be all you can access for a period of time. Are you prepared?

This would be a good time to review the wise words of a great prophet of God, Spencer W. Kimball, in "The False Gods We Worship" (Ensign, June 1976):
In spite of our delight in defining ourselves as modern, and our tendency to think we possess a sophistication that no people in the past ever had—in spite of these things, we are, on the whole, an idolatrous people—a condition most repugnant to the Lord.

We are a warlike people, easily distracted from our assignment of preparing for the coming of the Lord. When enemies rise up, we commit vast resources to the fabrication of gods of stone and steel—ships, planes, missiles, fortifications—and depend on them for protection and deliverance. When threatened, we become antienemy instead of pro-kingdom of God; we train a man in the art of war and call him a patriot, thus, in the manner of Satan’s counterfeit of true patriotism, perverting the Savior’s teaching:

“Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

“That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:44–45.)

We forget that if we are righteous the Lord will either not suffer our enemies to come upon us—and this is the special promise to the inhabitants of the land of the Americas (see 2 Ne. 1:7)—or he will fight our battles for us (Ex. 14:14; D&C 98:37, to name only two references of many). This he is able to do, for as he said at the time of his betrayal, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matt. 26:53.) We can imagine what fearsome soldiers they would be. King Jehoshaphat and his people were delivered by such a troop (see 2 Chr. 20), and when Elisha’s life was threatened, he comforted his servant by saying, “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them” (2 Kgs. 6:16). The Lord then opened the eyes of the servant, “And he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” (2 Kgs. 6:17.)

Enoch, too, was a man of great faith who would not be distracted from his duties by the enemy: “And so great was the faith of Enoch, that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch.” (Moses 7:13.)

What are we to fear when the Lord is with us? Can we not take the Lord at his word and exercise a particle of faith in him? Our assignment is affirmative: to forsake the things of the world as ends in themselves; to leave off idolatry and press forward in faith; to carry the gospel to our enemies, that they might no longer be our enemies.

We must leave off the worship of modern-day idols and a reliance on the “arm of flesh,” for the Lord has said to all the world in our day, “I will not spare any that remain in Babylon.” (D&C 64:24.)

When Peter preached such a message as this to the people on the day of Pentecost, many of them “were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37.)

And Peter answered: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and … receive the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38.)

As we near the year 2,000, our message is the same as that which Peter gave. And further, that which the Lord himself gave “unto the ends of the earth, that all that will hear may hear:

“Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh.” (D&C 1:11–12.)

We believe that the way for each person and each family to prepare as the Lord has directed is to begin to exercise greater faith, to repent, and to enter into the work of his kingdom on earth, which is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It may seem a little difficult at first, but when a person begins to catch a vision of the true work, when he begins to see something of eternity in its true perspective, the blessings begin to far outweigh the cost of leaving “the world” behind.

Herein lies the only true happiness, and therefore we invite and welcome all men, everywhere, to join in this work. For those who are determined to serve the Lord at all costs, this is the way to eternal life. All else is but a means to that end.
May be avoid war and proclaim peace.  May we regain the rule of Constitutional law in our land and learn to apply the checks and balances meant to restrain the ruthless ambition of modern Gaddiantons or scoundrels who cannot be trusted with unlimited power and the dreadful machines of modern war.

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