When I decided to take a break from this blog (see my last post), I had hoped to continue to at least feature different blogs and articles from around the Bloggernacle that I felt everyone should see. Unfortunately, I haven't been doing that the past couple of months and so, after spending a couple of days with mormongandhi and hearing his views, I've been reminded of my original intention. I learned a lot this past weekend after meeting mormongandhi and I feel that it is worthy of being shared with others.
In addition to his blog, mormongandhi has started the Peaceable Followers Forum, a "discussion forum for peaceable followers of Christ to discuss and comment on the nonviolent study chapters of the book of mormon posted on the main “latter day satyagraha” site."
In his own words, mormongandhi states:
"I am not a trained theologian (at all), but on the other hand I did finish institute and seminary, I served a mission and I certainly came to love the scriptures. I have a bachelors degree in peace and development studies and a master’s in peace operations (including a couple of years in the military).
The source of my nonviolence comes from believing the words of Jesus in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. You have to use those books together, like they say, and not just read them. 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 appreciate the warnings of the prophets – mostly referred to as presidents of the church – and the advice we receive from apostles too. For this reason, I quote widely from their talks and conference addresses. I see no contradiction in that. 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."
He also expresses his intention with his blog:
"My intention with (my) 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.
Someone once said: ‘it is better to be alone than in bad company. It is even better to be in good company than to be alone’. Being a minority within a minority has never been easy for anyone (a nonviolent practitioner in a violent faith in a predominantly secularized society), and these are difficult questions to grapple with – emotive questions. I share the little I have come to know in the spirit of humility, motivated by brotherly love. I hope that one day, we will all come to see him – the other (black, muslim, female, gay person with disability and internally displaced with nowhere to go, victim of war and/or prisoner of conscience) - as he is, and see that he is a man like ourselves (D&C 130:1)."
The topic of peace seems to be especially relevant at the present time, with wars raging in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, and the "Holy" Land. But "peace," as I learned from mormongandhi, is about much more than simply the absence of war. With Christmas just around the corner, people are often talking about "peace." "Peace on earth, peace be with you, the Prince of Peace," etc. What does that all really mean and do we give it enough thought? Probably not.
We always hear that the Book of Mormon was meant for our day and that it's just as relevant today as it ever was. So perhaps it's time to study the Book of Mormon through a new lens and to see it for what it really is: not a record of war, but one of peace.
Latter Day Satyagraha: http://mormongandhi.com/
Peaceable Followers Forum: http://peaceablefollowers.wordpress.com/