Thursday, September 29, 2022

Becoming A Danite

Many years ago I was a full time missionary. This was in the dinosaur days before the internet. In those two years I was exposed to a lot of anti-mormon literature. I had a collection, at the suggestion of one of the assistants to the President. I started to throw it all in a shoe box (of which none of it was worthy.) I didn’t spend much time looking at it or studying it, in fact some of it I had never read. I learned this about anti-mormon information. It is all the same. They find some obscure thing and harp away at it until it is their obsession. I could say the same thing about this modern day group of anti-mormons. Nothing has changed, they just moved to the internet. I tell you, I do not go looking for this stuff. It always finds me. My wife calls me an anti magnet. She’s always asking how I find this stuff. I do not seek it, but it does find me. Let me change gears here. I am a gun guy. Through childhood experience with guns and hunting, and then experience in the military, I’ve become a gun guy. I like guns. I don’t think I’m obsessed, even though I think I like to sound like I’m obsessed. I still have other things in my life. My family, the church, music, our homestead, all these things can occupy my life. In the early part of my military life I qualified for some courses that the military doesn’t just give out to people. I changed my job in the military because I wanted a little less danger, I had a family. But because the military went through the trouble of letting me qualify for this training they wanted to use their resource the best that they could. So, they followed through on sending me to training that was related, but not required for the job I had changed to. In the process, I met some outstanding guys and also had some opportunities I took advantage of. I figured if the military was going to use the heck out of me, I may as well use the heck out of them! In that process I became a weapons instructor even though my job did not normally become a weapons instructor. I enjoyed some of the training and schools because I didn’t care whether I did that great in this training. I mean I did my best, but if I actually did not do well it would not affect my job. Because of this training, I held SEI’s (Special Experience Identifier) that actually got me in trouble. I was sent to some places I really would not have wanted to be. I went through some combat experiences that taught me something about myself. So what do these 2 things have to do with each other? One is I have become a defender. I have defended my country and family. I also defend my church. I’m not talking about grabbing a weapon and standing a post. I’m talking about identifying threats, and fortifying against them. I see many threats to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mostly it is sin. Sin can threaten the members of this church. We need to fortify against sin by learning of Christ and living as close as we can to His life and keeping Heavenly Father’s commandments. But I also feel drawn to defend the church against those who try to pull the faithful away and those who try to sully the Church’s name. This means identifying those who fight against the Church. Most of them are “Zarahemnah’s”, those who were members but now fight against it. Zarahemnah was a ex-Nephite in the Book of Mormon who fought against the Nephites and those who were trying follow Christ in His church. There are also some “members” who stay in the Church to fight against it. Some of them are hidden, some are in the open. You can identify Zarahemnahs because often they have left the church but not necessasarily. The first thing they will tell you is they’ll give you their “church resume”. “I’ve grown up in the church.” I had this calling or that calling. They must establish that they were faithful and experienced in the church. Then some traumatic thing drove them away. This frustrates me because my “church resume” is long and wonderful too. I’ve had crazy things happen to me yet I am still here. The Danites were a group of members in church history who were vigilantes. There are those who say Joseph Smith endorsed their lawless and evil actions. It was a volatile time in the church. Members were being persecuted, killed, and driven out of places they tried to colonize. Missouri had an extermination order on “Mormons”. Missouri’s Governor Boggs directed that "the Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace—their outrages are beyond all description". You can understand how violence can come out of this from both sides. Governor Boggs executive order was only rescinded in 1975! It was issued in 1838. It took 137 years to rescind this ridiculous order. So when someone (usually an anti-mormon) gripes to you as a member about the secret Danites, remind them of a government willing to exterminate a people. I’m not saying anything evil or lawless is justified, but if something like this happened now we would have an uprising. I’ve been called a modern Danite. I don’t picture myself as this but I can see why some might name me that. I am not a member of a secret organization that assassinates those who oppose the church. But that would be cool wouldn’t it? I am just kidding people. I hope you can appreciate dark humor. I am not looking to kill anyone. I am not looking for violence of any kind. Let me tell you another story. There is a family in my ward who I have known for a long time. We come from a similar background and are both from Arizona. This family is a wonderful faithful family. One of their sons went through a divorce and met a sister in our ward that he actually knew for many years. She too had gone through a divorce. Her divorce was bitter. I knew the guy she had married and was her priesthood leader when they got married. He is no good. My wife thinks if I ever see this guys face again that I’ll beat him to a pulp. Maybe. Probably not. After this bitter divorce this ex-husband was a real jerk to his ex-wife and their children. He was a snake and even caused my old family friend and the snakes ex-wife (they married) some great legal problems. He even came looking for his children he thought he should have had for the weekend at church and caused a problem there. (I was out of town at the time. I’m so grateful because I probably would have beat the guy up and ended up in jail.) Anyway, I met this guy alone in the hall of our ward one day. He lives in another city a few hours away so I don’t see him often, thank goodness. But as we passed I stopped and I told him I was on to him. He played innocent, but I knew better. I told him that I knew exactly what he was doing to his ex wife and children. I told him he was trying to convince anyone who would listen that he just wanted the best for his kids. I told him that I was watching him and that he should be careful and watch for me. It was intimidating but I didn’t actually threaten him. I just wanted him to know that he wasn’t fooling me. This is the way I feel about some people who are staying in the church to cause havoc. Some of them are open about what they are doing and some are not. To those who are doing this openly I say, “I see you, and if you don’t cause problems you’re welcome. The moment you start trouble, it’s my job to show you the door.” I know some would say that’s not very Christlike of you, and I can see their point. But I’ve watched people bent on fighting the church cause a lot of problems in a ward. I say, and this is just me, there’s no place for you here. If you’re not genuinely trying to learn or have your questions answered, or you’re bent on trying to disparage leadership both local and in Salt Lake, then out with you! If your purpose is to tear down the church and its leaders I don’t want you here at church. There are those who would do this openly, but some do it covertly. In my experience you’re not that hard to spot. I will defend the church with words or with the tools I have learned through the years. Your choice. If that makes me a modern Danite then so be it. I’m not a murderer and I actually am not a fighter, but I am a warrior. I strive to be as Moroni. I’ve never been a man of blood. I do know there are others like me out there. You are ex military or law enforcement and you have a hard time abiding those who think they can do what they want in this church and not get any push back. Most members are not like me, thank goodness. They lead quiet lives serving and giving. They are not acquainted with violence and have never been hardened by it. It is OK. That is a very good life. Sometimes I wish my life was more that way. Because they are meek and humble people they can get abused easily. I will not allow that. The anti-mormons and predators that try to infiltrate and tear down the church will be eliminated. No, I’m not talking about murder, but I can help you to see that you would be more comfortable away from the church and its members. I understand that many of these ne’er-do-wells have friends and family who are active members. I get that, but what I’m talking about is the general population of wards and stakes. There are others out there like me. We should get together and compare notes and strategies. I’m not talking about organizing and certainly not in secret, but I wish there was a place we could go to communicate. I’m not sure that would go over well even with Salt Lake. I know the anti’s would accuse us of all kinds of things. Just look what happens to Dez Nat and those associated with something as innocuous as a hash tag. I didn’t mean for this to be a rant so I hope that it is not. I just desire to know if my PTSD is making me completely crazy or not. But if I am a modern day Danite, then I’ll be the best one I can be! Semper Paratus Check 6 Burn

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