When the movie “September Dawn” was released a while ago, then when newspaper articles were written about the 150th anniversary of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, I read a few of them - and the comments about them. I quickly stopped doing so, specifically because of what I saw on both sides - the vitriol that came from those who use any excuse to spew bile about the Church, but also the reactions of the Mormons who tried to defend the Church.
What I saw disturbed me deeply.
Each side was lashing out at a perceived threat - one side swinging verbal hay-makers at the Church, and the other side swinging just as energetically back at them. There were no dead bodies - no bullets or other tangible weapons, but these people were reacting essentially in the exact same way that the local members had with the Mountain Meadows Massacre so long ago. There really wasn’t a life-threatening attack on the Church occurring, and there really wasn’t a need for a “counterattack” on the perceived attackers.
I loathe the tactics of the bitter, anti-Mormon crowd, but I am saddened much more over the members who were lashing out in defensiveness over an attack that really wasn’t a serious threat to themselves. When all is said and done, if we don’t learn from history we are destined to repeat it - even if there are no tangible weapons involved in our own "battles".
Matthew 5:44-46 is direct, and it applies to so many situations in our lives:
But I say unto you, 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: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?