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Comments about ‘President Monson blogs for Washington Post's 'On Faith' about spiritual lessons of 9/11’

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Published: Thursday, Sept. 8 2011 2:12 p.m. MDT

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Montana Mormon
Miles City, MT

Vanka:

Your quintessentially caustic comment was posted by DN. So what is your complaint really about? It appears to me that those who have chosen to post comments have also chosen to show respect for Pres. Monson and to express their appreciation for his wise reflections on a horrific tragedy that changed the world.

Really, Vanka, you're too much.

JFFR
Salt Lake City, UT

I remember that on Sept 11, 2001 the Mormon Tabernacle Choir had a concert planned. After the events of the day, they decided not to cancel the performance, but to dedicate it to the victims and families of the victims. It was on TV shortly after President Bush addressed the nation.

President Hinckley offered a few words, but what I remember more than any other words that were offered that day were the words that Pres. Monson offered in his opening prayer. It was a short prayer.

He simply quoted DC 25:12

"For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads."

Then he said (not a direct quote) "Heavenly Father we need you now. This choir will sing hymns, please bless us."

No other prayer/meeting has brought more peace to my life.

JFFR
Salt Lake City, UT

@Cougzz and the truth

Maybe I am alone, but I am incredibly embarrassed by your comments. The fact that 15+ have already "recommended" your comments makes it even worse.

Just because someone likes and respects our leaders doesn't mean they want to join our church. I know missionary work is important, but if you are over-eager your will push people away. "Be bold but not overbearing"

Chris B offered some kind words and we all really appreciate them, but right before he offered those kind words he very clearly stated that he doesn't want to be a member of our church. Please respect that. You can be a good, God-fearing person and not be Mormon (I shudder that I even have to say this. I hate saying this, it should be obvious.)

Sorry, I might be overly sensitve but I cringed when I read your posts. I really appreciated Chris B's comment, he extended out a hand of neighborly love. I feel like you guys grabbed that hand and said "Join us!" when you should have said "Thanks brother."

Montana Mormon
Miles City, MT

JFFR at 3:52:

Well said! Thank you.

Vanka
Provo, UT

JFFR,

Thank you for your comment.

The flip side of that same disrespect for those of us who are not of your faith is the criticism and condemnation that we receive if we openly and honestly tell you not only that we don't want to "join" you (much less become clones of you), but WHY we don't.

We are accused of being "anti-Mormon", "haters", and all manner of horrible things. We are told we are not "truly" happy (no "fulness of joy!"), and that our lives are being lived "in the dark".

We grow tired of it. We do not want to be assimilated (I do not mean that in a trite or rude way).

It is this lack of respect and treating everyone like a "mark" - like a target for your missionary zeal - that blinds you to the wonderful people that thrive and enjoy life OUTSIDE your Church.

And taken to an extreme, it is the same lack of respect for our differences and unique value in the world that dehumanizes people and allows religious and political zealots to create the destruction that is pictured and memorialized in this article.

Vanka
Provo, UT

Montana Mormon,

My comment was not "caustic". It is "caustic" to have said so.

My comment was, at most, ambiguous and vague.

I disagree with some of the points made by Monson.

Disagreement is not disrespect.

Refusal to allow disagreement IS disrespect.

My comments have repeatedly been denied because they are not "faith-promoting".

But that does not mean they are disrespectful or that they violate the DN comment policies.

In fact, your comments toward me on several occasions have violated those policies, but they get posted anyway, while mine get denied. Why? Because you are a supporter of the Church and I am not (although on behalf of my LDS wife, I have probably paid more tithing and donations than 90% of actual members).

So, if the Editorial staff will allow it, I will try again to submit my respectful disagreements.

Vanka
Provo, UT

OK, here's hoping...

"If there is a spiritual lesson to be learned from our experience of that fateful day, it may be that we owe to God the same faithfulness that He gives to us,"

Using 9/11 as a lever to encourage increased "faithfulness" and "commitment" to God seems to ignore the fact that it was extreme and fanatical "faithfulness" and "commitment" to God that fueled the attacks.

We must never forget that 9/11 was executed *in the name of God* - in the name of the God of Abraham, whom some LDS leaders have said is the same God as the LDS God.

9/11 was motivated by a hatred toward modern societies and their encroachment on the fundamentally religious-based cultures of the Middle East. Their perception that "the world" is evil and corrupt has direct parallels to that same sentiment among LDS. Such parallels are of concern, suggesting we keep our eye on LDS culture lest it provide the religious fodder for similar fanaticism down the road (echos of Mountain Meadows).

In short, I disagree that we should take the "spiritual lesson" from 9/11 that Monson recommended.

(Admittedly, he does tell good stories).

MiP
Iowa City, IA

"We are accused of being "anti-Mormon", "haters", and all manner of horrible things."
---Vanka

Those are horrible things.

It's almost as bad as being called clones.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

Vanka, I'll have you know that for the sake of argument... I attempted to reply to you and was denied. I know why I was and it was certainly warranted. But the point is, you're not the only one who gets denied, and I'm not fighting the LDS Church, I defend it... as you well know.

In the end, my point was this-

1- fighting the LDS Church brings nothing good. While disagreeing isn't necessarily disrespectful... making one's entire efforts in conversation focused on fighting others beliefs is disrespectful.

2- Consider the other option, working together, focusing on what we have in common, rather than simply fighting everything you don't like about the Church.

Montana Mormon
Miles City, MT

Vanka, I owe you an apology. I will try to view your comments through a different set of eyes. Your posts of 6:29 and 6:38 provided me some perspective that I obviously needed.

katiefrankie
Provo, UT

"I have probably paid more tithing and donations than 90% of actual members."

Still trying to see how that comment is less awful than a heartfelt invitation to share in what has made someone else's life happy (Cougzz)....

Striker
Omaha, NE

Chris, you're on your way to becoming a true BYU and LDS fan. Just keep reading comments from Pres. Monson and keep posting half of the comments on BYU articles and you'll be converted in no time at all...

Vanechka
NEWPORT COAST, CA

katiefrankie,

That I have probably paid more tithing and donations than 90% of LDS members is "awful"?

Please explain.

Vanechka
NEWPORT COAST, CA

Montana Mormon,

I appreciate your last comment. Trust me when I say I have no animosity toward Mormons or the Mormon Church.

I am married to the best Mormon your Church has ever had!

But she is a great person despite her Mormonism, not because of it. She just happened to have been born into a relatively prominent Mormon family whom we love dearly.

I have sincerely studied the BOM and LDS Standard Works, attended meetings, and in every way lived as an active LDS person for two decades now. I have never received a "testimony" or anything like it.

Over the years, when missionaries, EQ Presidents, HP Group Leaders, Bishops, Stake Presidents, and a GA (70) have discussed the Church with me, with very few exceptions (1), they all turn this lack of an "answer" back as an accusation and condemnation against me: I am insincere; I am too proud; I am too intellectual; I am insufficiently humble; I have not fully repented (of what?); I have not tried hard enough; yada yada.

Just because a person doesn't believe the same as you, and honestly did not receive any "answer", does NOT mean they are unworthy sinners!

katiefrankie
Provo, UT

Vanka,

It was the apparent spirit in which you made that tithing comment that I found distasteful, especially after you attacked Cougzz for his/her invitation to ChrisB to meet with the missionaries.

It called up the vision of the widow's mite that Christ mentions in Luke 21 - after the wealthy give their gifts to the treasury, a poor widow gives a paltry sum, and Jesus reflects that, "Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all." Why? Because while others may have given much to the LDS Church because their 10% is a greater sum and their fast offerings are larger, it is the poor whose 10% is that much more dear who truly give the most.

If, indeed, you have given more via tithing and offerings than 90% of Church members, you are probably quite wealthy. What a blessing that is, and something to rejoice in and thank God for! How much good we can do with our means. If it really bothers you that your wife gives money to the Church, why not ask her to stop?

Screwdriver
Casa Grande, AZ

Of course President Monson is correct. I imagine that mormons don't think they ever lost thier way though - they will think Monson is talking about everybody else.

We lost our way very quickly after 9/11 looking for revenge and payment where it was never due in Iraq and Afganistan. It was Saudi Arabians that attaked us and Iraq nor Afganistan had weapons of mass destruction. We did the mass distructing if you remember those years.

I do rememeber the church making a statement that we should be very carefull in matters about going to war but most outspken members I knew were talking "bomb'em". As a black sheep liberal of the ward I was very dissapointed. I do think there are many more that don't speak up because so many prestood holders were talking about how we need to bomb the enemy and those that support them. The evil influence of the right wing on the church.

There was a list of other clergy that spoke about 9/11 and I was very impressed with how pointedly they addressed the issue.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

To screwdriver: You miss a very valid point and that is that it was Al Quiada that attacked us, not Saudi Arabia. Al Quiada was being supported and hid by the Taliban in Afagansistan. Therefore, the attack and continued presence of the US Military there is of utmost importance. I still feel that Iraq was a good move but that it was done incorrectly, too much politics.

If we had not attacked the Taliban and Al Quiada then we would have continued to have problems as we did on Sept 11. Your views scare me more than anything in that it seems you feel we should have left well enough alone. If that is true then the dead of Sept 11 would have done so in vain. Your attitude is similar to many during WWII. Until we learn that we must be able to defend ourselves, our way of life, then our freedoms mean nothing. Freedom isn't free, it costs the greatest blood of a generation. Though I agree that many wanted revenge, we still needed to do what was done. We continue to do that today.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

To McBillay: I disagree in the so called abuse of Religion caused 9/11. I find that extremists caused 9/11 and used religion as a crutch. You statemany that it has happened in Utah and the only ones that has caused this in the name of religon is polygamy that when practiced under the guidelines the Lord sets for it does and will work. Unfortunately, there are those who have misinterpreted this for their own reasons. They again use it as a crutch. If we take the guidance that President Monson and others have stated then yes it is a means to solve it. There are good Muslims, Good Christians, Good Hindus and etc. that are devout in their religions. These then have a tendency to share that love with all they come in contact with, thus helping others to change and become better people. People make choices everyday and religion is one of those choices. So many people use religion as a crutch. They only practice it on a holy day. This is wrong as to believe and follow ones religion is a way of life. That is the big difference between the hypocrits and not.

weightless skittles
Hewitt, Texas

Thank you President Monson for your prophetic thoughts and teachings. Your comments are for all. May we never forget and may we become more unified as a nation of caring people as we were after this terrible tragedy. May we "love one another".

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