Notes for my writing

This blog is made up of notes on the gospel as found in the only true and living church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This includes notes that are either excerpts from or ideas for books I either have in draft or may yet write.

Friday, October 2, 2015

The purpose of Peter's sword

I have been thinking about the fact that Peter had a sword. I find that interesting. They were obviously poor, and typically swords, being large hunks of forged metal, are expensive items. The scriptures speak of men beating their spears into pruning hooks  because forged metal was too expensive to simply buy a replacement for, and a spear has far less metal than a sword.

When Peter struck out against a servant among the group who came to arrest Christ the Savior warned him not to live by the sword. In isolation that sounds like the Savior objected to Peter's sword altogether, but had only just thought to mention it.

But Peter's sword held a purpose the Son of God had no objection to. During his last supper, Christ gave them new counsel that when they went forth to teach the gospel, the should not take purse, scrip, and sell a garment if necessary to buy a sword. They told him they had two swords with them at the time, and he said it was enough.

Luke 22:
35 And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.

 36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
 37 For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.
 38 And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.

Brigham Young tells us both the Nauvoo and Kirtland temple were built buy himself and others working with a sword or musket in one hand and a trowel or hammer in the other.

The adversary always inspires wicked men against the truth, but wicked men can often be held at bay by a show of potential force. As a rule, they are cowards. 

"... with that awful fear of death which fills the breasts of all the wicked, did they await to receive them..." Mormon 6:7

Thus Joseph Smith organized the Nauvoo Legion. What did he intend to conquer with such a force? Why absolutely nothing of course. But the existence of an organized and trained defense helped keep their enemies at bay.

The right to bear arms within our country plays a similar critical role. Protecting citizen's right to bear arms isn't about toppling government any more than the Nauvoo legion was about military conquest. But it keeps wicked and conspiring men at bay who would gladly use the force of arms every government has at its disposal to effectively hold our people hostage and play the tyrant.

George Washington showed wisdom about men and nations when speaking of our country:
"There is a rank due the United States among the nations that will be totally lost by the reputation of weakness. If we would avoid insult we must be able to repel it, if we would secure the peace, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war."

The armies of Helaman were miraculously spared by God while slaying the Lamanites so fiercely that it scared the Lamanite armies. They were able to do so because:

Alma 36:47 Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.

They said "Father, behold our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth; we would not slay our brethren if they would let us alone" (Alma 56:46) 

It was the same God that spared the armies of Helaman in battle and it was the same Christ that told his disciples to sell their garment to buy a sword that shortly thereafter told Peter not to live by the sword.

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