Saturday, November 17, 2007

Eisenhower and Moroni...Inspiring the Troops

General Dwight D. Eisenhower's message to the troops of the Allied Expeditionary Forces on the morning of "Operation Overlord," June 6, 1944, ended with these words:
The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory!

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory!

Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.
Thank goodness for a wise leader who understood the need to inspire his troops at such a crucial moment. Eisenhower's message reminds me of the 43rd chapter of Alma in which Captain Moroni encouraged the Nephite armies at a critical moment where victory hung in the balance:
48 And it came to pass that when the men of Moroni saw the fierceness and the anger of the Lamanites, they were about to shrink and flee from them. And Moroni, perceiving their intent, sent forth and inspired their hearts with these thoughts—yea, the thoughts of their lands, their liberty, yea, their freedom from bondage.
49 And it came to pass that they turned upon the Lamanites, and they cried with one voice unto the Lord their God, for their liberty and their freedom from bondage.
50 And they began to stand against the Lamanites with power; and in that selfsame hour that they cried unto the Lord for their freedom, the Lamanites began to flee before them...
Sadly, many of our leaders today do not have the same wisdom to inspire those who are fighting to defeat terrorism. Worse, they are discouraging our troops. For example, on April 19, 2007, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared "that this war is lost, that the surge is not accomplishing anything."

That kind of talk will not inspire the sacrifice, selfless service, and dedication needed to win the war on terror. Thank goodness for a wise man with vision and hope who lead the efforts of the free world in that dark hour of World War II. May we be fortunate enough to elect leaders who can lead the free world to victory against the tyranny of terrorism.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Churchill and the Defense of Freedom

Freedom – agency – is one of the greatest gifts granted us by our Father in Heaven. The Lord told Enoch,
"Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency." (Moses 7:32)
So important was this gift that Satan sought to take it away during the War in Heaven:
Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down;" (Moses 4:3)
Satan has continued his war on our agency through the present day. This war manifests itself in many ways from actual armed conflict by aggressors like the Nazis to the enticements of sin which can bind us with the chains of hell (2 Nephi 28:22). Gratefully, inspired men and women have stood up against Satan's in defense of liberty.

Winston Churchill was one of these men. The speech Dwight D. Eisenhower made at Churchill's funeral on January 30, 1965 shows how devoted Churchill was to this cause. The following are quotes from this speech:
The war ended, our friendship flowered in the later and more subtle tests imposed by international politics. Then, each of us, holding high official posts in his own nation, strove together so to concert the strength of our two peoples that liberty might be preserved among men and the security of the free world wholly sustained.


At this moment, as our hearts stand at attention, we say our affectionate, though sad, goodbye to the leader to whom the entire body of free men owes so much.


In the coming years, many in countless words will strive to interpret the motives, describe the accomplishments, and extol the virtues of Winston Churchill—soldier, statesman, and citizen that two great countries were proud to claim as their own. Among all the things so written or spoken, there will ring out through all the centuries one incontestable refrain: Here was a champion of freedom.


May we carry on his work until no nation lies in captivity; no man is denied opportunity for fulfillment.
To read the entire speech, click here.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Captain Moroni and the War in Iraq

The book of Alma is full of many accounts of wars between the Nephites and the Lamanites. Captain Moroni, leader of the Nephite armies during that period reminds us of the difference between the Nephites and Lamanites. I believe that difference reflects the situation we find ourselves in today in Iraq and Afghanistan and, indeed, throughout the world in the war on terrorism.

At the beginning of Alma 44, a Lamanite army that sought to conquer the Nephites has been surrounded by the Nephite army. God has strengthened the Nephites and delivered the Lamanites into their hands. In verse 2, Moroni declares the following to Zerahemnah, the Lamanite commander:

"Behold, we have not come out to battle against you that we might shed your blood for power; neither do we desire to bring any one to the yoke of bondage. But this is the very cause for which ye have come against us; yea, and ye are angry with us because of our religion."

The U.S.-led coalition finds itself in the same situation today. We have no desire to conquer and control Iraq and Afghanistan. Rather, like Moroni, we are trying to defend free people from those who wish to bring the world into "the yoke of bondage."

Marcus Luttrell, a heroic Navy SEAL who fought in Afghanistan, confirmed this when he stated:

"Just like always, warlords were trying to drive out the usurpers. Us. And we weren't even usurping, just trying to stop another bloody tribal upheaval and another regime change from the elected to the dictators." (Lone Survivor, page 73)

Of course, we should always seek for peace. Jesus Christ taught, "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God" (Matthew 5:9). However, we are also taught to defend freedom "even unto bloodshed" if necessary:

"And again, the Lord has said that: Ye shall defend your families even unto bloodshed. Therefore for this cause were the Nephites contending with the Lamanites, to defend themselves, and their families, and their lands, their country, and their rights, and their religion." (Alma 43:47)

Pray for peace, but be willing to fight when necessary to defend God-given freedom.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Message of Hope from Iraq

Too often we hear only bad news coming out of Iraq. Here's a message of hope and success. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working with local Iraqi authorities and workers to increase electrical generation capacity that will provide power for an additional 180,000 homes. This is just one example of many showing how Americans and Iraqis are sacrificing much together to bring a bright future to the people of Iraq who want and deserve the freedom we enjoy. To read the story, follow this link: