For a bit of compassionate understanding flowing in another direction, LDS (and Deseret News) blogger Mark Paredes offers five insights to the Middle East he wishes he could share with his Mormon brothers and sisters in "Mormons, Empathy and Palestinian Nationalism: An Unholy Mix" on JewishJournal.com.
"The fact that God loves all of His children is useless as a means of analyzing what is happening in the world," Paredes writes. "If we can't criticize evil leaders or groups because we believe that God loves them, we can't be a force for good in the world. God loved Hitler and Eichmann, but moral people still needed to oppose Nazi Germany in WWII. There's no doubt that God has unbounded love for Syria's President Assad, but I certainly hope that all thinking Mormons (and Jews) oppose the brutal war that he's currently waging on his own people."
Speaking specifically to Latter-day Saints, Paredes says he doesn't believe "that the Book of Mormon prophets wrote about the Gadianton robbers (a secret band of robbers and criminals) just to fill space on the metal plates. There are evil groups and movements in the world, and it is irresponsible to pretend that we are obligated as Mormons to put on our blinders and pretend that everyone is equally moral and just. Just because there are competing narratives doesn't mean that they are all equally valid."
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