Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Why Mormon Men Should Be Rambo

If I were starting a family I would organize my time, life, thinking. When I started a family I was in the military. My thinking was not quite as I wished it to be. I was too “gung ho”, which is to say, too excited and ready fight. I had just got off my mission 2 years prior and was married with a son. I wish I had been a little less gung ho and more organized in my life. I was whisked away into training and I suppose that’s where my mind was. I went through basic training, tech school, jump school, survival school, and aircrew training, and weapons instructor school in a matter of the first 2 years. Then after I got settled into a job and permanent assignment, I was off training again. If I had it to do over again I think I’d do it a little different. I don’t have any major regrets, I just wish I would have put some thought into my preparation.
It wasn’t until I was older and a little wiser that I realized that I had a responsibility in what I now call the 3 P’s. Preside, Provide, and Protect. I’d like to think that I put God first in my life and then my family. I think I was not a perfect Dad, but I did alright. There are some things I would have prioritized differently.
Violence is something that seems to be wrong, and in most situations, is wrong. But the difference between what we as LDS members should learn, godly defense, and what is wrong, ungodly violence, are two different things.

Alma 48:14-16
“Now the Nephites were taught to defend themselves against their enemies, even to the shedding of blood if it were necessary; yea, and they were also taught never to give an offense, yea, and never to raise the sword except it were against an enemy, except it were to preserve their lives. And this was their faith, that by so doing God would prosper them in the land, or in other words, if they were faithful in keeping the commandments of God that he would prosper them in the land; yea, warn them to flee, or to prepare for war, according to their danger; And also, that God would make it known unto them whither they should go to defend themselves against their enemies, and by so doing, the Lord would deliver them; and this was the faith of Moroni, and his heart did glory in it; not in the shedding of blood but in doing good, in preserving his people, yea, in keeping the commandments of God, yea, and resisting iniquity.”
By following this law of non-aggression, Moroni and his brethren were worthy of the blessings the Lord promised to those who would follow. They gloried in this. The Lord would warn them to flee or to prepare for war and where to go to defend themselves. He would deliver them. What great faith they had in our Savior. The Nephites had ample rationale to start a war at this point. But they knew that reasoning to be flawed. Amalickiah had just failed in his usurpation of the Nephite nation and was propagandizing the Lamanites to war. Moroni won the information war by raising the Title of Liberty. The truth prevailed. Peace ensued for four years.
Fathers and Husbands as one who is “one of you” I would give these suggestions.
First, come to grips with the reality and “awake to a sense of your awful situation…” (Ether 8:24) and understand that there is evil out there that will not go away. It may get worse in these, the last days. Come to grips with the fact that you may have to learn some violence to be effective to your family, your country, and maybe your Church.
Second, find a discipline that will work for you. It would be wise to have more than one skill. You don’t ever know, you may enjoy one of these disciplines.
Hand to hand combat. There are many forms of this.
Weapons. There are many lethal and not so lethal weapons out there.
Learn from good instruction. You must learn to do these things properly.
Here is a non-comprehensive list:
Karate, Taekwondo, Jiu Jitsu, many others. I like the philosophy of Tim Larkin and Target Focus Training (targetfocustraining.com)
Firearms, handguns in particular.
Pepper spray, stun guns, defensive wand. These are considered non-lethal but some have dies from all of them. Especially if they are used wrong.
Many of these are up close and personal self-defense options. Obviously, I prefer a gun for self-defense. I’d rather reach out and touch someone than be up close and personal. But I also enjoy shooting and have had lots of training and experience. There are some other options that I’ve been trained on but some I’d like to be better trained on.
It is good to be well-rounded in defense. I like to be familiar with many options.
Third, you should have plans concerning your self-defense. Involve your family. I have a friend who has been involved and taught several forms of fighting for years. I usually have him set up mats in the cultural hall of our Chapel building and he teaches my family in a private lesson. Take advantage of community classes. There may be self-defense training available at little or no cost. The same goes for preparedness training such as first-aid and CPR, CERT (community emergency response teams) often give free training. The Red Cross, Fire and Police Departments, local churches, even the Boy Scouts may be good sources for preparedness training.
Fourth is practice, practice, practice! Most of these skills are perishable.

Fifth is most important. Moroni and his army had their priorities in order. Choose righteousness, prepare, and then let God take care of you. Being righteous and then trusting God to take care of you is skipping an important step. Preparation. Give God something to work with.

Some may say, “We should trust in God to help us. The Lord will provide.” Well that is true, the scriptures have many examples of miracles of protection. But I also feel that often that is the exception, not the rule. The scriptures also talk about action on our part. Faith without works is dead.

2 Nephi 25:23
23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.
We are saved in many ways, after all we can do. We must act for the Lord to step in. Why is it we use seat belts, air bags, fire extinguishers, and bike helmets? We want to be prepared for if something happens. Self-defense is the exact same thing, preparation for if something happens.
Fathers and men of the Church, don’t shun your duty. Do whatever it takes to protect your family.
If I was a just starting out with my family that is what I would do. Plan, Train, and practice.
Semper Paratus
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