Let Us Have Peace

An excerpt from a discourse by President J. Reuben Clark, Jr.

In our course under the new gospel of interference with everything we do not like, we have gone forward and are going forward, as if we possessed all the good of human government, of human economic concept, of human comfort, and of human welfare, all of which we are to impose on the balance of the world,— a concept born of the grossest national egotism. In human affairs no nation can say that all it practices and believes is right, and that all others have that differs from what it has is wrong. Men inflict an unholy tragedy when they proceed on that basis. No man, no society, no people, no nation is wholly right in human affairs; and none is wholly wrong. A fundamental principle of the operation of human society is to live and let live.

Yet, to repeat, we have entered into new fields to impose our will and concepts on others. This means we must use force, and force means war, not peace.

What has our apostasy from peace cost us? …

In spiritual values it has brought great numbers of our youth and older men to the very depths of desponding atheism. Our whole social structure seems undermined. We are becoming a blaspheming, unchaste, non-Christian, God-less race. Spiritually we seem ripe for another war.

All this takes us into a situation that places our destinies largely in the hands of those who appear to be urging us towards war, not peace.…

It is time we returned to the political faith and work of the Fathers. It is indispensable that we do so if we are to have peace. I believe in the old faith and the old works, under which we had so much of peace. I am a political isolationist in the full sense of the term and am not fearful in declaring it.

In my view, our whole international course and policy is basically wrong, and must be changed if peace is to come. Our policy has brought us, and pursued, will continue to bring us, only the hatred of nations now — and we cannot thrive on that, financially or spiritually — and certain war hereafter, with a list of horrors and woes we do not now even surmise. If we really want peace, we must change our course to get it. We must honestly strive for peace and quit sparring for military advantage. We must learn and practice, as a nation and as a world, the divine principles of the Sermon on the Mount. There is no other way.

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