Best days lie ahead for LDS Church, with no room for prejudice, leaders say

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  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Oct. 5, 2017 7:04 p.m.

    @BelieveInAmerica - St George, UT

    Mi dear Sir/Lady, do you realized that Columbus never set foot in what is now the United States? At best Puerto Rico. Which is by many accounts a colony of the U.S.A.
    If we all Humans are children of God. The Nationalism is wrong.

  • eigerjoe Sandy, UT
    Oct. 5, 2017 5:06 p.m.

    Nationalism means each country is governed by the citizens of that country. Nationalism is the opposite of Globalism which favors worldwide government. Populism is a belief in the power of regular people, and in their right to have control over their government. Elitism is a belief that a small group of political insiders or a wealthy elite should govern. In my view, President Trump's politics (and mine) stands for Nationalism and Populism. His opponents usually favor Globalism and Elitism.

  • 212degrees Williams, AZ
    Oct. 5, 2017 4:52 p.m.

    @byugraduate "Nationalism protects freedom of religion."

    I guess whether that comment is true or not, depends on which nation and which religion.

  • illuminated Kansas City, MO
    Oct. 5, 2017 3:19 p.m.

    Just who is putting politics over the gospel? Not me.

    I'm following the Book of Mormon, "the most correct of any book on this Earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than any other book."

  • JRL in AZ Tucson, AZ
    Oct. 5, 2017 2:12 p.m.

    I knew this was coming, but it is still disconcerting to see so many members of the Church putting their political beliefs above the teachings of living prophets. It was a lot easier to be a politically conservative Mormon when nothing church leaders said was too challenging to your beliefs. But now that the prophets' counsel is getting uncomfortable for some conservatives, they have to choose - what is your highest priority? The gospel or your politics? I hope and pray that you will choose the gospel over politics, whatever your politics may be.

  • BelieveInAmerica St George, UT
    Oct. 5, 2017 1:09 p.m.

    I was able to count 10 different verses in the Book of Mormon which use the phrase "choice land above all other lands" when referring to America. That's not including the verses where the Lord reveals to Nephi how Columbus was guided here by the hand of God and that the nation's founding was divinely inspired.

    Captain Moroni also seemed to be a strong Nationalist who wanted to keep his nations border, culture and religion intact when he built up his armies, formed walls around his cities, and even went to war against his own government using the Title of Liberty as his rallying call.

    I could go on, but how much more evidence do you need to show that the "keystone" of the LDS religion is, at it's very core, nationalistic?

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Oct. 5, 2017 11:23 a.m.

    I find the advice about "nationalism" very adequate. If the LDS Church is to be the Church of the Lord, if it is to be a nationwide church it needs to eliminate divisions and differences based on cultures, ethnicity, nationalism and particularly those misguided feelings of superiority or exceptionalism.

    Even though I disagree with the church in some aspects. I have to admit and express my admiration for the freedom to evolve the Mormon church demonstrates. This is one example of an organization that is growing and getting comfortable with its growing prominence in the world stage.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Oct. 5, 2017 9:54 a.m.

    "Despite growing opposition and commotion, the best days are ahead for the kingdom of God and there is no need for church members to fear."
    What growing opposition and commotion? It's time the church shed its persecution complex once and for all.

  • worf McAllen, TX
    Oct. 5, 2017 9:41 a.m.

    Yes! There is some prejudice in this country, but much of it is emphasized, created, and exaggerated by media and politics.

  • TMR Los Angeles, CA
    Oct. 5, 2017 8:30 a.m.

    The term “nationalism” in its historical and contemporary use speaks of arrogance and selfishness. “America First” is a good example of both of these characteristics. The gospel tenants, on the other hand, speak of others first.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 5, 2017 7:57 a.m.

    In today's world of politics, Nationalism means each country is governed by SOME OF the citizens of that country.
    Let's face it, there are those citizens that feel entitled to govern, and to determine that some citizens are not entitled to govern.

  • bass679 Novi, MI
    Oct. 5, 2017 7:28 a.m.

    It does if you are the correct religion. Make no mistake, most nationalists consider Mormons to NOT be part of that category.
    Look at Russia's recent restrictions placed on religions other than the Russian Orthodox church. Do you feel that LDS missionaries being unable to proselyte and in a couple cases, being expelled from the country counts as protecting religious freedom?

  • byugraduate Las Vegas, NV
    Oct. 4, 2017 9:25 a.m.

    Nationalism protects freedom of religion.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Oct. 4, 2017 8:31 a.m.

    As far as goes the exceptionalism of the US, the sad fact is that the US has become much like other nations in many ways and is ceasing to be exceptional. The founders did not err so much as that subsequent generations have undone their work. This is a great pity. I recall President Hinckley referring to the fact that we have had few great presidents since the remarkable generation that established the foundation of the nation, and regretted the embroilment in wars that defined the twentieth century.

    De Toqueville cannot be over-quoted in his statement in "Democracy in America": If America ceases to be good America will cease to be great. We have come a long way down that road and it can only be reversed by repentance. Most seem to have accepted too much that is morally bad and morally unacceptable.

    The Book of Mormon demonstrates that other nations have populated the land choice above all others and only prospered inasmuch as they were righteous. We are subject to the same rules as were they.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    Oct. 3, 2017 1:08 p.m.

    @Rubydo. @LDS Liberal.
    Rubydo said, "So are we supposed to think that the USA is just another country equivalent to some third world nation since nationalism is a sin now in the eyes of church leaders?"

    While the people of the USA are no more precious in the eyes of God than the people of Uganda, the USA actually is governed primarily by documents established by God. We know this is true, because this truth was revealed to God's prophet, and canonized in scripture (D&C 101). So, in that sense, all members of the LDS Church believe that the United States is different than other nations. I don't think Elder Ballard was challenging this notion with his statement about "nationalism."

    But, the appropriate recognition that America's governing documents were divinely established should never lead American LDS members to boastful or prideful behavior. Rather, they should lead to greater gratitude to God and more humility.

  • eigerjoe Sandy, UT
    Oct. 3, 2017 8:49 a.m.

    In today's world of politics, Nationalism means each country is governed by the citizens of that country. Nationalism is the opposite of Globalism which means all countries are governed by a single global government (a worldwide government). I stand for Nationalism and oppose Globalism!

  • bass679 Novi, MI
    Oct. 3, 2017 7:16 a.m.

    So you come to a crossroads. Does your politics direct your faith or your faith direct your politics? I've noticed people are fond of religious leaders getting into politics as long as they agree with the statements but shying away as soon as it does not.

    The church has several times in the last few months drawn a line in the sand regarding our current flavor of nationalism. This is no different than when a line was drawn regarding gay marriage. I know many left leaning members had a hard time with that. But they either stood with the Church or they stood with their politics. Now it's time for the right leaning members to make the same choice.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Oct. 3, 2017 6:56 a.m.

    Rubydo - Provo, UT
    Oct. 2, 2017 10:30 a.m.

    So are we supposed to think that the USA is just another country equivalent to some third world nation since nationalism is a sin now in the eyes of church leaders?


    America = Uganda... the same children of the same God.

    Elder Ballard was spot-on.

    FYI, Nationalism is a form of Pride. and Pride is what destroyed the Nephites.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 2, 2017 3:21 p.m.

    "Nationalism is anathema now? Love of country and the sacrifice it takes to defend and care for one's nation is now thrown in with sexism and racism?"

    That's patriotism. Nationalism is a corrupted version of patriotism that drifts towards things like hatred of foreigners.

  • Commenter88 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 2, 2017 3:07 p.m.

    @Gilda: You provide an agreeable definition of "nationalism" that is backed by common sense and good will.

    However, the problem is that is not the denotation or the history of the word. In fact, "nationalism" is one of the great unifying phenomena in the history of the world. The rise of nationalism in preceding centuries brought disparate and cross-ethnic peoples together with common purposes of defense, economic trade, and improvement in general welfare. Before "nationalism" the world was was ubiquitously engaged in ethnic, or tribal conflicts, across the globe.

    I can't help but suspect that this is either an unfortunate usage, or a targeted reference against Americans having protectionist views on their labor and middle-class, working family conditions. I hope I am wrong. I do not welcome receiving political-economic prescriptions in church. Or having my economic viability ideas lumped in with "racism" and "sexism."

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 2, 2017 2:08 p.m.

    I'm trying to remember a Conference that was as powerful as this one.

    As we witness the decay of society and as we witness men who's "hearts wax cold" and who's "hearts fail them", I walked away from this Conference with greater optimism and faith than I ever have before.

    The best days of the Kingdom of God on Earth are ahead of us. I invite everyone, critic and believer, to believe in Christ and seek after Him. A good place to start would be an honest, sincere study of the Book of Mormon.

    Peace and respect to all.

  • aj6145 clearfield, ut
    Oct. 2, 2017 12:52 p.m.

    This general conference talk is NOT about politics. It is about how people in the church treat each other. PERIOD!!!

  • aj6145 clearfield, ut
    Oct. 2, 2017 12:44 p.m.

    Some of these comments are very political. When I read the church leaders comments about "prejudice", I relate it to my own experiences in the church. I am not proud to state that I have been married several times but the experiences in doing so has given me a very different perspective on church members and on these comments of prejudice. I have experienced how it feels to be treated so differently depending on what status I have had in the church at various times in my life. I have been single, divorced, married in the temple, not married in the temple, poor, on church welfare, off of church welfare, married to a Mexican, married to an anglo, married to a Bolivan etc. I was treated very good when married to an anglo with a cute little family. Been treated very bad when married to a Mexican and a Bolivian. I know what it feels like to be constantly ignored and basically just treated very rudely when going to church. I don't understand where you people are going with this "nationalist" stuff and all the other political talk but I've sure met a lot of very "prejudice" members at church over the years. 47 yrs. worth. I don't think people understood the message. I did!

  • bass679 Novi, MI
    Oct. 2, 2017 12:41 p.m.

    @third Try Screen name
    I recall a EQ lesson several years about about the priority list of who you are. For example, while I'm a registered Republican and typically vote as such. I am an American before I'm a Republican. I would never consider protecting the party at the expense of the nation as a whole. By that same token, I'm a member of the LDS church before I'm an American.

    I love my country, I think there is no better nation in the worlds than the US. But I see no way that those two things mean restricting immigration, at least to the level that seems to be in vogue at the moment. This country was built on the dreams and hard work of immigrants. It boggles my mind how folks seem to think that changing the foundation of our nation will somehow make it stronger.

  • Logit ,
    Oct. 2, 2017 12:24 p.m.

    I agree that Ballard's use of the term "nationalism," without clarification, is/was unfortunate. I mean, look at the very distracting conversation happening here in the comments section debating it! Ballard should've stuck with, "racism" and stopped there. The word "nationalism" is a too politically charged term at the moment. Without clarification, it could lead some to (mis)interpret an LDS apostle as condemning patriotism, national sovereignty, or controlled immigration--things I don't suspect Ballard necessarily intended.

    (And if Ballard *did* intend such an interpretation, well... I suspect the church would see an exodus of tithing dollars rivaling early saints leaving Nauvoo).

  • iammad ROOSEVELT, UT
    Oct. 2, 2017 12:10 p.m.

    Alright. Since we are quoting dictionaries. Here is the "Webster's New World Dictionary" from a book (remember books?) not off an internet source that can be manipulated. There are many ways "nationalism" can be described. It depends how it is used on the sentence.
    Personally, I would like a clarification from Russell Ballard on what he meant. I am confused by what he meant. Otherwise, I guess we can take our pick of what Ballard meant.

    1. a) devotion to one's nation; patriotism.
    b) excessive, narrow, or jingoist patriotism; chauvinism.
    2. the doctrine that national interest, security, etc. are more important than international considerations.
    3. the desire for or advocacy of national independence.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    Oct. 2, 2017 12:04 p.m.

    I can't remember "nationalism" being condemned so roundly in previous General Conferences. Of the definitions I found in the dictionary, 5 of them appear to be entirely harmonious with the gospel as I know it. Only 2, excessive patriotism/chauvinism, and having interests separate from the interests of other nations appear to be counter to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

    I could even be convinced to have open borders (not just with Mexico, but) with all nations, so long as we can effectively exclude those who wish to do us harm. Like almost every other nation I can think of, we should also require that those who want to come to the US do not become a burden on the US taxpayer. I am not saying that everyone who comes gets to automatically be a citizen, either (and no anchor babies, either). But, I am saying, under the right circumstances, open the borders to any who want to come and enjoy the rich opportunities a free society like America has to offer would be beneficial to all.

    Now, of course, my Midwestern neighbors, so indoctrinated over the years in "unionism," would be absolutely terrified if they knew I was in favor of open borders.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Oct. 2, 2017 10:47 a.m.

    My problem with the use of the word "nationalism" is that the media has co-opted the term as a substitute for supremacy.

    The Charlottesville jerks were termed "white nationalists," which taints the meaning considerably. As such, it appeared that Elder Ballard was taking sides by not issuing the same warning about groups like Antifa, Black Lives Matter and AztlÁn.

    Further confusion arises about whether or not Saints can support Trump's "America First!" agenda, or even call for our own sovereignty as needed.

    The antithesis of nationalism then becomes Open Border-ism, probably a good thing for the Church but a bridge too "Pharr" for many American members.

    My recommend expires at the end of the month. The interviews should be interesting.

  • libertyflag Provo, UT
    Oct. 2, 2017 10:35 a.m.

    I would suggest nationalism was used in the context of feeling superior to others and not to diminish patriotism, which is the love for one’s country. In the end, I hope we can get to a point where there are no ites, but we are all gathered under one banner as Christ’s children.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Oct. 2, 2017 10:32 a.m.

    I think I know what was meant when a speaker referred to 'nationalism', and I think it does not mean we cannot have national laws, or should not obey laws, or that politicians should not care for the people of the nation, rather than for themselves. Neither does it mean that the Declaration of Independence was not a great thing, or that national independence should not have been sought, won and maintained, or that Brexit is not a good thing - if it is ever implemented. Nor does it mean we should not have national borders and retain a wise system for controlling immigration.

    It is not a statement against the president of the US, nor in favor of the hoodlums of Antifa. It is not an arbitrary change in the founding documents of the nation.

    It is just this: we should not be hostile to 'outsiders' in general; we should appreciate the different perspectives, that are good and useful, that 'outsiders' so often bring. No one should feel an emotional refugee in a Church meeting.

    This is totally consistent to other talks and seems to be a matter of growing importance.

  • Rubydo Provo, UT
    Oct. 2, 2017 10:30 a.m.

    So are we supposed to think that the USA is just another country equivalent to some third world nation since nationalism is a sin now in the eyes of church leaders?

  • jasuni Rexburg, ID
    Oct. 2, 2017 10:14 a.m.

    Regarding the “use of the term nationalism [as] unfortunate”(3rd try): Under one definition, "loyalty and devotion to one's country" (merriam-webster), I can agree with that, but in the context, a different definition is more appropriate.’s 3rd definition is "excessive patriotism; chauvinism", which might also be put as "viewing one's own nation as superior to others".

    I see nothing wrong with desiring to help one’s own country, as they are the people that we can serve best, but it is wrong to exalt one’s own nation at the expense of people of another nationality. As Elder Ballard stated in the quote the quote that started this thread of the conversation "We need to embrace God’s children compassionately and eliminate any prejudice, including racism, sexism, and nationalism."

    In my opinion, that which harms another nation will often come back to bite the nation which caused the initial damage. In that way, I believe that those things which put one nation above another will ultimately be detrimental to both. When that is the result of nationalism, then nationalism has gone too far, but when nationalism is inspiring people to serve in healthy ways, then it is good.

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    Oct. 2, 2017 9:52 a.m.

    @Not-in-Utah-anymore - , CA

    When using words one should look at how the word is most commonly used in the present. Historical contexts are well and good but the majority of the audience doesn't immediately think of those contexts.

  • Not-in-Utah-anymore , CA
    Oct. 2, 2017 9:37 a.m.

    Third try screen name - Mapleton, UT said: "The use of the term "nationalism" was unfortunate."

    If you're a book reader can I offer a book recommendation?

    Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence by Karen Armstrong

    She argues that although religion is often blamed for most of the violence throughout history, that was seldom the case. "Nationalism," however, has been a consistent driving force for violence and war. Maybe that's the context of Elder Ballard's comments.

    Food for thought.

  • james d. morrison Sandy, UT
    Oct. 2, 2017 9:32 a.m.

    Third try,
    No it wasn't.

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    Oct. 2, 2017 8:59 a.m.

    It was a great conference, and I was glad to hear direct and clear condemnation of racism (yes it's not always white against black) and nationalism.

  • ute alumni Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 2, 2017 8:30 a.m.

    I get it, but why not just say racism. There are many types and not all are white.

  • Gordon Dix Jr , 00
    Oct. 2, 2017 8:18 a.m.

    October 1st 1842. Orson Pratt publishes a letter in the Wasp, refuting John C Bennett's claim that the Pratts would be leaving the church. Orson further states that he and his wife intend to make Nauvoo our residence, and Mormonism or Motto.

  • esodije ALBUQUERQUE, NM
    Oct. 2, 2017 8:17 a.m.

    I’ve heard local church leaders advocate for an open border with Mexico and chide members for using “illegal” - as either a noun or an adjective - to describe anyone in violation of US immigration laws. That’s problematic for a lot of people who believe in the rule of law and the idea that countries exist primarily to benefit their citizens and legal residents.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Oct. 2, 2017 7:58 a.m.

    I love the church's strong stand against racism.......

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Oct. 2, 2017 7:40 a.m.

    The use of the term "nationalism" was unfortunate.

  • Commenter88 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 1, 2017 10:55 p.m.

    Nationalism is anathema now? Love of country and the sacrifice it takes to defend and care for one's nation is now thrown in with sexism and racism? Where is this is in the scriptures? Since when is a pre-eminent concern for the welfare, maintenance, security, well being, management, and borders of one's country, along with careful exercise of a nation's independence now considered a sin? This is really confusing.