Quote Category: ‘War’

Speaking of “our personal pledge to duty, honor, country,” President Thomas S. Monson told some 19,000 people at a patriotic service here June 28 that those words were “our watchwords, whether in war or peace.”….Quoting Gen. Robert E. Lee of Civil War fame, President Monson said, ” ‘Duty is the sublimest word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more; you should never wish to do less.’” He also quoted Harry Emerson Fosdick, a renowned Protestant minister and speaker, saying, “‘ Duty is never worthily performed until it is done by one who would gladly do more if he could.’”

Speaking of honor, President Monson explained, “Honor is akin to duty. It is an expression of our inner selves, a commitment to do that which is right. We remember the adage: ‘You can’t be right by doing wrong, and you can’t be wrong by doing right.’”

As he began his address, President Monson spoke of his love for the flag. He recalled returning from a recent assignment in England, Holland and Denmark and seeing beautiful flags at each house in his neighborhood in commemoration of Flag Day. “Gazing at the sight of Old Glory,” President Monson said, “took me back many years to those boyhood days of long ago.”

He then reminisced about boyhood experiences of being a member of the Junior Red Cross and of the Drum and Bugle Corps of his elementary school. While he could not play the bugle, he said he simply “loved marching and hearing the sound of those who could play while carrying the precious flag to the proper spot and lifting it to the top of the flagpole in reverent silence.”

While he was in junior high school, Pearl Harbor day changed his world and that of Americans everywhere, said President Monson. Toward the end of World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy and said he often waited “for the clear sound of the bugle playing Reveille as morning dawned, and the mournful sound of Taps in the evening indicating lights out. I confess that at such moments I felt a lump in my throat and the beginning of tears in my eyes.”

( Source: Watchwords in War Or Peace Are ‘duty, Honor and Country’, LDS Church News, 4 July 1998 )

The Book of Mormon 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. 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.

No other written testament so clearly illustrates the fact that when men and nations walk in the fear of God and in obedience to His commandments, they prosper and grow, but when they disregard Him and His word, there comes a decay that, unless arrested by righteousness, leads to impotence and death. The Book of Mormon is an affirmation of the Old Testament proverb: “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).

The God of heaven spoke to these people of the Americas through prophets, telling them where true security could be found: “Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ” (Ether 2:12).

( Source: “A Testimony Vibrant and True”, Ensign, August 2005 )

We should be grateful for our Founding Fathers, for Washington and Lincoln, and for our boys and other great men who have fought and died for our freedom.

( Source: Man May Know for Himself 387-88 )

So today in the midst of the difficulties that exist in the world, while there are transgressors of the laws of the land, and there are transgressors of the laws of God, in the midst of the conflict in which we are now engaged, this awful world war, it is a great joy and satisfaction to my soul that while there are those persons who are opposing this government set up by the power of God, there are no members of this Church in good standing but are sustaining the law and order and the government of the United States, so far as it lies in their power. There is one Church upon the continent of America that has been taught by God that this government has been raised up for the blessing of mankind. There is one Church whose members cannot remain in good fellowship in it if they criticize and find fault and tear down and oppose the legal action of the constituted authorities of the land, with reference to going into this war; and why? Because we have been trained by the gospel in a knowledge of the purpose of this government. We have been taught by inspired men, who have pointed the way, and all Israel, to a man, comes forward in the crucial hour and says: “If I am needed, Lord, here am I” [Abr 3:27]. If my country requires it, my all is on the altar, and my life if need be. God help us to be worthy of our heritage, help us to sustain the government that has been so good to us, that has made it possible for the establishment of this work. Let us sustain good men and great men everywhere, and pray for them as we are told to do in this same record. Pray for the chief executive of the Nation and his associates, asking God to inspire them to labor for the good of humanity and the liberty of mankind.

( Source: Conference Report, Oct 1917, 45 )

Five hundred of our able-bodied men had been taken from us by the call of the Government, and went to fight the battles of their country. There are women and children sitting here to-day, whose husbands, sons and fathers went on that campaign to prove to our Government that we were loyal, who became widows and orphans in consequence of that requisition.

. . . We were accused of disloyalty, alienation, and apostacy [sic] from the Constitution of our country. We were accused of being secessionists. I am, so help me God, and ever expect to be a secessionist from their wickedness, unrighteousness, dishonesty and unhallowed principles in a religious point of view; but am I or this people secessionists with regard to the glorious Constitution of our country? No. Were we secessionists when we so promptly responded to the call of the General Government, when we were houseless and friendless on the wild prairies of Pottawattamie? I think not. We there told the brethren to enlist, and they obeyed without a murmur. . . .

. . . I knew then as well as I do now that the Government would call for a battalion of men out of that part of Israel, to test our loyalty to the Government. . . .

. . . Have we not shown to the world that we love the Constitution of our country and its institutions better than do those who have been and are now distracting the nation? You cannot find a community, placed under the circumstances that we were, that would have done as we did on the occasion of furnishing the Mormon Battalion, after our leading men had been slain and we had been compelled to leave our farms, gardens, homes and firesides, while, at the same time, the general Government was called upon in vain to put a stop to such a series of abuses against an innocent people. . . .

After all this, to prove our loyalty to the Constitution and not to their infernal meanness, we went to fight the battles of a free country to give it power and influence, and to extend our happy institutions in others parts of this widely extended republic. In this way we have proved our loyalty. We have done everything that has been required of us. Can there anything reasonable and constitutional be asked that we would not perform? No. . . .

. . . The outside pressure now is that this people, called the Latter-day Saints, are secessionists in their feelings, and alien to the Constitution and institutions of our country. This is entirely false. There is not another people upon the face of the earth that could have borne what we have, and still remain as loyal to our brethren as we have been and are. They might be displeased with some of the acts of the administrators of the law, but not with the Constitutional laws and institutions of the Government.

( Source: Journal of Discourses 10:105-08 )