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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Risky Opinion?

May I be honest?

Osama Bin Laden's death is no occasion for celebration.

Should we feel a sense of accomplishment? Maybe. Consolation? Perhaps. Certainly, not celebration. I admit his death does wash over me a sense of relief. But does it inspire me to hoot and holler and rejoice in his execution?

Bin Laden orchestrated terrible crimes and directed blood-thirsty groups. He demonstrated no remorse and confessed his endless devotion to the annihilation of nations. But once upon a time, before entering this temporal state, the man was our brother. We loved him and wished well for him as he did for us. Somewhere between his mortal birth and death, he became powerful, wicked, and lost. Still, he is our brother and one of our Heavenly Father's sons.

 Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God
Doctrine &Covenants 18:10 

I am not naive to think that all Bin Laden needed was a good missionary discussion and a hug. He had long ago been converted and promoted to preach death and fear. Regardless, the God I worship does not rejoice in the killing of his children, no matter how wicked. My God is saddened for souls that end their temporal state without repentance or correction of their actions.

In Genesis of the Old Testament, God was saddened by the wickedness running rampant on the earth. With floods, He washed over the planet, saving only a few. Nowhere is there record of God pumping his fist in the air and yelling "huzzah!" In contrast, he presented a token in the sky and made a covenant to never ever take that extreme measure again to remove the wicked. (Genesis 9: 8-17) Promising to abstain from planet-wide floods does not sound like the result of a joyous tactic but rather something God would rather not ever inflict again.

When impressed by the Holy Spirit to kill the wicked Laban in order to obtain the holy records, the prophet Nephi in the Book of Mormon hesitated. He did not have the heart of a murderer and "shrunk and would that I might not slay him." The Spirit spoke to him a few more times reassuring him "the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes. It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief" (1 Nephi 4) before Nephi followed through. Knowing how much he wanted to avoid killing another human being, it is unlikely that he later celebrated the death of Laban.

Osama Bin Laden is dead. Do I feel relief?  Yes. But I cannot rejoice in his demise just as I would not rejoice in the demise of a wicked brother or uncle. I do not dare exhibit the same jubilation terrorists exhibit when death claims one on our team. Otherwise, how could we tell who is on which team when we're not wearing jerseys?


Englishfam said...

Great post! I totally agree.
p.s. Don't stop blogging!I love your blog and many of your posts have given me great insight into something I hadn't thought about before. Also you are hilarious and I always can use a good laugh. I will totally understand if you don't, but just wanted you to know you still have fans out there! :)

Amber Mock said...

Thank you, Adhis, for having the courage to say what I could not.

Lyns said...

Great Post. (And I agree with Heather). :)

steelebjm said...

I agree, which is why I respect the decision to give him the traditional Muslim rites of burial. It really irks me that people are saying, "No one on 9/11 got respect!" Really, so we should be at that level, then?

Kristen said...

I made a comment on Facebook about how I'm never happy to hear that somebody died. And within THREE minutes I had a dozen comments, ripping me apart. They completely misunderstood me and I deleted it. Maybe if I'd expressed myself as well as you did... =o) I agree that things have to be done. Justice is important. Protection is even more. But as a whole we could be a little more somber about it. People's reactions have been so HATE-filled and it really kind of freaks me out. I know it brings closure to a lot of people. If all terrorism died with him, then that would be different. Anyway, I hear ya! I was not against the action we took, but the attitude afterward is disturbing.

Cindy said...

Hmm... I don't completely disagree with you. But in reflection, I personally feel like what people are feeling is a sense of winning a war, not hate and revenge. I'm not saying that there aren't some out there who have hate and revenge in their heart, just saying that I feel that the majority feel like its a stepping stone in fighting terrorism. And that is something to celebrate. Terrorists have made many victories in America besides just 9/11. Our freedoms have been washed away in the name of security, in particular at the airport. And people let it happen because they are scared. When Hitler died, so to do his Nazi regime. Terrorism will not die completely with Bin Laden's death, but the groups that follow him have lost steam. There are others just as scary forming and planning but to celebrate a win in a war (that has been eating at our freedoms) is not sinful. Esspecially when the terrorists consider this a holy war. I guess I just disagree with you on what it is that people are celebrating. I don't think most people are just celebrating his death, I think they are celebrating what his death means.

Sheree said...

I felt the same way Adhis. I don't feel any relief knowing he is gone. I wish I did! I guess I am just sad that there has to be so much hate between our people. I think this is far from the end of the violence unfortunately. I hope I am wrong.