In 2019, Pope Francis met with religious leaders from all over the world and signed an “historic declaration of fraternity, calling for peace between nations, religions and races“. This of course sounds perfect however it also “condemns all destruction, all terrorism” which necessarily condemns all protests against the government also. These last few years we have seen heavy handed approaches by the government and their response is always they are doing it for “our safety”.
I personally have seen police surround a hospital in order to prevent an elderly, senile old women from leaving because she didn’t want to get a covid test. I personally have also seen 100’s of national guard troops stationed around the WA state capitol buildings in order to prevent people from entering during a “public” session. I personally have seen police threaten people (me), for meeting for religious purposes, during the lockdown. Therefore, I am very reluctant when any leader does anything for “peace”, “safety”, or for being a “good global citizen”.
Rant aside, a global gathering of religious leaders is also a bit troubling because of the current efforts to establish a “one world religion“. This religion would of course have multiple facets so individuals would feel like they are exercising their own will. However, we can already see religions losing their potency and essentially merging together into a generic prosperity gospel message with a few meaningless differences. Of course, the word “God” will be sprinkled in there as well as the effort to be “good” or “better”. However, what about being like Jesus? Shouldn’t we ignore everything else and try to be like our God who sacrificed himself to allow us a way to the Father?
Pope Francis continues in his remarks to state that the “diversity of religions … [is] willed by God“. This of course is technically true, however interpreting a verse of scripture 100 ways is not willed by God. We should seek the best way which is God’s way and follow that. The fear of being wrong makes religions silos of belief that crumble to the ground with the slightest introspection.
Et tu, Soares?
On September 14, 2022, Elder Soares of the 12 Apostles gave an address before the Seventh Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions which was held in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. This group is a world-wide collection of religious leaders that gather every 3 years to discuss “peace”. Certainly, peace is a worthy goal however what does “peace” really mean when the nations of the world are already using extremely oppressive means to establish “peace” and “safety” today?
In his short address he spoke about “peace” and the “common good”. He also spoke about how “social isolation and loneliness are widespread”. This is strange to me since the LDS church literally told people not to visit each other during the covid panic. I personally was told by my leaders not to visit anyone for any religious reason. I guess if we dropped dead in the streets then the LDS church didn’t want it to be traced back to them for the “common good” ostensibly.
One thing I noticed about his talk though, was a distinct lack of Jesus. Jesus was nowhere to be found and he is supposed to be an Apostle of Jesus Christ. He is literally a full-time, highly paid, witness for Christ and he didn’t speak of Christ or witness of Christ. He just gave a generic message about peace when Jesus is the only way to actually achieve peace.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.John 14:27
Quite often we seek peace through coercion, control, and more oppressive government programs. These things seek to establish the divine laws of heaven on earth by utilizing the broken laws of man. This will never work and can never work. Divine peace can only be established by living the divine laws of God. This can only be done by people that are willing to perfect themselves until they are living according to Christ and his way. Christ tells us that living according to his laws is the only way to have true peace in this life.
Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me. I am Jesus Christ; I came by the will of the Father, and I do his will.Doctrine & Covenants 75:21-22
I understand why the LDS church gave a generic message however I don’t understand why we are not advocating for people to live a Christ centered life. The world is imploding faster every day and we are avoiding the obvious until it will become too late. Elder Soares, who is supposedly a prophet, should have taken that opportunity to boldly declare to the world that they must repent or the true god of this world will sweep them all off. He will make room for a people that will worship him and establish Zion. This is the only way to peace and anything else is a cheap counterfeit designed to pacify us until it is everlastingly too late.