The Warlike People Billboard

This episode of the LDS Liberty show is to help Latter-day Saints understand why we placed a billboard along I-15 that says: “Why did Spencer W. Kimball say: ‘We are a Warlike People’? Find out at” We examine general and specific reasons why we should obey the Lord’s commandment in Doctrine and Covenants section 98:16: “(…) Renounce war and proclaim peace, and seek diligently to turn the hearts of the children to their fathers, and the hearts of the fathers to the children.”

Thanks to all the donors and helpers who made this billboard possible!

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See the billboard and help to fund it’s second month at: WARLIKEPEOPLE.COM

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18 Responses to The Warlike People Billboard

  1. Chip Browne says:

    How do we reconcile the sophisticated military preparations of Moroni and the Nephites in the Book of Mormon? Are swords also Gods of steel?

    • Chip,
      Captain Moroni’s preparations and fortifications were defensive. The lessons of war in the Book of Mormon are twofold:
      First, we have an obligation to defend our lands and families.
      Second, God forbids us to take the battle into the lands of other people. If we do so, He withdraws his protection from us.

      Today, America’s military, in the words of John Quincy Adams, “goes out in search of monsters to destroy” with our gods of steel before us. Pre-emptive or aggressive warfare is forbidden throughout the Book of Mormon, as well as D&C 98:33.

    • WYp8riot says:

      I believe if used for legitimate self defense obviously not. If used for unconstitutional wars of the Banking Cartels and military industrial complex, then we have put our faith in the arm of flesh and laws of men that cometh of evil.

    • Jordan says:

      From Hugh Nibley – Leaders and Managers

      But if Moroni hated war so much, why was he such a dedicated general? He leaves us in no doubt on that head–he took up the sword only as a last resort: “I seek not for power, but to pull it down” (Alma 60:36). He was determined “to pull down their pride and their nobility”–the pride and nobility of those groups who were trying to take things over (Alma 51:17).

  2. I really enjoy seeing this billboard which reminds me of the prophet’s words which are the words of the Lord.

    I want to share my testimony that pre-emptive or aggressive wars are wrong morally, wrong constitutionally, wrong based on the eternal principles of Liberty and wrong from the financial aspect as well. They are always contrary to the commandments of God.

    We only are supposed to go to war to defend our Liberty when being invaded but never to go invade other nations. The Lord will always fight our battles for us when we stay and prepare to defend our Liberty. The foreign policy of Christ, of the Book of Mormon, of all the scriptures and all the prophets is a foreign policy of non-interventionism.

    The Founding Fathers won the Revolutionary War going up against the most powerful military in the world, which was the British, and which outnumbered the forces of the Patriots 3-1. The Founding Fathers, against all odds, won the Revolutionary War because the Lord fought their battle for them. It was a just war because it was not pre-emptive or aggressive, it was defensive to preserve, protect and defend our Liberty.

    Thank you,


  3. Adrienne Nielsen says:

    The LDS church itself does not teach its members to be “warlike”.
    The gospel is centered around Jesus Christ teachings which again are not “warlike”.
    If you are talking about what the USA as a country is doing as far as war is concerned, they are totally separate.

    • JC says:

      Adrienne, Did you read the website Nobody is saying that the Church teaches people to be warlike. You may want to re-read.

  4. Rhett Sorensen says:

    I tend to agree in just about every respect with the thesis of this podcast, though not necessarily for reasons based on the book of Mormon (I’ve never put the subject into that context before, but it does make sense now that I’ve heard it in that context). Also I personally believe the war on terror was a pathetically contrived notion to allow our government to declare war on anyone anywhere with no legitimate explination. The idea of a war on terror is so broad in scope that it makes no sense at all and there is no way to A) fight such a war and B) win it. In fact by fight a war on terror is it not possible that we ourselves have become terroristic towards many of the worlds nations?
    Anyways, some thoughts that crossed my mind when using the scriptures to demonstrate that Moroni’s reaction to the anti-Nephi propaganda being spread in the Lamenite lands. And I apologize if I sound like I am contradicting the sacred text of the BoM but perhaps there is some missing context to why Moroni chose the action that he did.
    First, is it possible that the Nephites lacked the man power to launch a successful invasion? In which case it might make sense that taking a defensive position would be Moroni’s only sensable course of action.
    Second, what if Moroni made the wrong choice? We all know that in the BoM that the Nephites eventually lose the wars, perhaps had Moroni chosen an aggressive offensive approach to the war then the Nephites would not have perished (I think this is unlikely, but it is worth consideration).
    So just opinions and some things to chew on, thanks for the podcast.

    • Mark N. says:

      “… perhaps had Moroni chosen an aggressive offensive approach to the war then the Nephites would not have perished…”

      To my understanding, that was one of the reasons why the Nephites perished: they went on the offensive instead of remaining strictly defensive. In chapter 3 of Mormon, the Nephites decide that it’s time to end the Lamanite problem once and for all by going on the offense, and that’s when Mormon tells them: that’s it, I’m done. For Mormon, going on the offense was “wickedness and abomination”.

  5. Just to represent who I am. I served 4 years in the Navy and I am of the LDS faith. I believe in the right to defend your family and your country. I dont believe what our country has done in the name of 9/11 in Iraq and Afghanistan will stand up to God’s test of loving our fellow man. Yes evil man have been killed, but it didnt bring anyone back. How many innocent poeple died in 9/11 compared to the innocent lives of Iraqi and Afghanistan people after years of war? Are thier lives worth less because they were not American? Are we not all children of God? Some may call my comments “un-American”. I chose a while ago, I follow Christ. I just happen to live in America.

  6. Gregg S says:

    Just saw the bill board today as I was heading home (southern Utah). I couldn’t wait to get home and look up the website. As I read comments on this website, they resonate with the thoughts and feelings I have had for the last decade. As a reformed “pro war” person, this talk by President Kimball (The False Gods We Worship) is frequently on my mind. I have repeated and reread that paragraph on war dozens of times in the last few years. How amazed I was to be driving down the highway and see it plastered on a billboard!

    During the last century, each generation has grown up in a continual culture of war. We’ve all been exposed to powerful media forces that have shaped our thinking regarding war, which tug at our feelings of patriotism. These emotions are combined with noble traits such as sacrifice, service, dedication and selflessness. These feelings are very powerful, and if we let them, they can cloud our vision to what war really is, whose purposes it serves, how contrary it is to all that Jesus Christ represents.

    My eyes began to be opened when I read the Book of Mormon focusing on the topic of war. I wanted to know when war was justified, what were the characteristics that made war “righteous” versus “evil.” There are lots of good people who are not necessarily pro-war, but who believe pre-emptive war is okay (that going after terrorists in Afghanistan or pre-emptively striking Iran before they get us is justifiable). This reasoning is contrary to the teachings of the Book of Mormon. The only justifiable wars were those fought in defense and on their own land. There is a great YouTube video that has quotes by church leaders about war.
    Read the notes to see the scriptural references from the Book of Mormon that demonstrate three examples of situations where the Nephite armies wanted to “take it to the enemy” and what the response of the righteous leader in charge was. There are no examples of righteous pre-emptive strikes, attacks or wars which were fought in enemy territory, in the Book of Mormon.

    Since this book was written for our day, our time, perhaps there is a lesson we should be learning from it. Two dominant themes to the 2nd half of the book are; secret combinations and war. The two same themes that dominate the political landscape today.

  7. Mark H. says:

    I would assume that the Nephites were justified in the “defend/not invade law,” if they stood on the border of their land and fire slings and bows into the Lamanites’ land as they charged.

    How does this translate to our ammo that can be fired around the world? Can we land our “arrows” in other countries at all? Or only at points in that country where an attack was launched?

    What about oceans? Can our navy protect our ships while in our nation waters only? Can we extend protection to international waters? Once they enter foriegn water, are they on their own? What should have been the righteous approach to the Barbary Wars? Washington urged for the creation of a national navy due to these Ottomon pirates in the north of Africa. Tired of paying tribute, Jefferson & Madison attacked to put an end to the threat in two seperate wars.

    If we cannot defend freinds abroad, we must be prepared to extract whole cities/countries when they are attacked and enslaved, just as the people of king Limhi were helped to escape the Lamanites.

    I believe that we should quit nation building, foriegn aid, and the U.N, since these are influenced generally by the bad side of capitalism, CORPORATISM (vs. the good side FREE MARKET). If we take out corporate interest in miliarty affairs, our foriegn policy would be down to Israel and humanitarian issues.

    If the we want to support Israel, give them money thru BUY-cots and support of Israeli companies which will funnel money to their own defense. Let them choose their own path and not bow to the US in fear of loosing aid money.

  8. Cory says:

    It has been wonderful to read the discussion and see everyone being so respectful of each other, thank you.

  9. Craig says:

    I was 16 when President Kimball’s article was written from which the quote was taken. I have practically memorized that article and have talked in scores of meetings about this issue until I am blue in the face. How very grateful I am for the billboard. Apologies if this has already been mentioned, but perhaps the best book explaining warfare in the Book of Mormon is titled “Warfare in the Book of Mormon,” published by FARMS and edited by Stephen D. Ricks and William J. Hamblin. It includes numerous essays effectively refuting every argument attacking the statements of the prophets on the evil of offensive (versus defensive) wars. Really a must read. I am grateful for the collection of numerous additional statements on your website. Excellent work.

  10. PJ says:

    Let us not forget the fall of Europe at the hands of the Natzis prior to our entry to World War II. We had policies very similar to which many are suggesting here. Consider whether that helped the US and the world or was utilized against us by our enemies. While I support wholeheartedly the spirit people are voicing here, let us not be naive or overly simplistic when approaching US foreign policy in an age of globalization. Our borders, be they militarily strategic or geopolitical are not so easily defined making “defense” a little more complicated. Just wanted to add a brief thought to the conversation.

  11. Brittany says:

    I could cry. I can’t tell you how much it means to me hearing this podcast & finding you people. In the past year I have been persecuted relentlessly by members of my ward for having these “dissenting libertarian ideas.” I have been falsely accused of many things & called in to speak with my bishop to defend myself. But that’s not the point of this comment. My point is, that I am so happy to have found a place where other LDS people believe in freedom, & liberty. I’ve spent many sleepless nights wondering how I could feel one way while reading my scriptures, and see things so plainly stated in black-and-white, and then be so hurt at my weekly meetings. Thank you for your efforts, your posts, your writings, & your time. It means the world to me, to know there are others like me out in the world.

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  13. Erik says:

    Everyone on Earth is a child of God, therefore tyrants around the globe ought to be dealt with accordingly. Saying the USA should wall itself up only to respond when a massive attack has taken lives is not only insane, but it is at odds with scripture. Liberty and justice know no borders, all men whether US citizens or not have the right to live free and in peace.

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