This whole business of burning the Koran for whatever reason makes me heartsick. Of all people, we members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints know what it’s like to be assaulted for what we believe and to have our scriptures belittled.
However, I was pleased the other day when the Church issued a statement (September 8, 2010) through a spokesman which said, “A key tenet of our faith is to accord everyone the freedom to worship as they choose. It is regrettable that anyone would regard the burning of any scriptural text as a legitimate form of protest or disagreement.”
The Church is definitely not defending the actions of the church in Florida or the one potentially in Kansas which are threatening to burn the Koran. It is merely defending their right to do so.
Does that leave us to allow such disgraceful behavior to take place on our country’s soil? Certainly not. Nor does it leave us vulnerable, as says General Petraus, to retaliation against our troops who are serving in Muslim countries.
I have a former student, Nathan Dalley, who is shown in the picture above, who was killed on November 3, 2003 in Iraq. He was as fine a person as I’ve known. Among other things, he was Senior Class President at Brighton High School in Salt Lake City which shows the value other students placed on him. He was a great kid. He was respectful, loved the Lord, was bright, was a fun, joyful boy who loved everyone. He is missed to this day. I, and many others, don’t want to run the risk of losing anyone else if we don’t have to.
So do we put our hands in our pockets and say, let anyone just go ahead and do anything they want regardless of how it might impact on the rest of us? Of course not. That’s not what the Lord meant when he inspired the eleventh Article of Faith which is: “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”
He also taught us to teach, preach and to pray to bring upon ourselves and our families, friends, and our detractors his greatest blessings. And these we need so badly these days. He also taught us to be courageous and to take heart.
We can’t forget this because of fear, despair and in our forgetfulness of one of the greatest scriptures of them all: Luke 1:37, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”