What if I struggle with all the violence in the scriptures?
    Footnotes

    “What if I struggle with all the violence in the scriptures?” New Era, Mar. 2019, 43.

    To the Point

    What if I struggle with all the violence in the scriptures?

    war

    Painting by Gary Smith

    The scriptures tell many violent stories. We may be shocked and troubled by the violence we read about, but we should remember a few things:

    • God has commanded us to love one another, but many who reject Him and His commandments “are without affection, and they hate their own blood” (Moses 7:33).

    • As a rule, the Lord condemns violence and the hatred and indifference that accompany it (see Genesis 6:11; Moses 7:33; Doctrine and Covenants 59:6).

    • God’s ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts (see Isaiah 55:8–9). We trust that He is merciful, just, and all-wise and knows best how to achieve His purposes.

    • Sometimes “the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes” (1 Nephi 4:13).

    • When an entire people, despite having been warned by prophets to repent, continues in sin until it is “ripe in iniquity” (1 Nephi 17:35), the Lord may send utter destruction upon them.

    • God does not delight in the death of the wicked (see Ezekiel 18:32; 33:11).

    • It is sometimes necessary to defend ourselves and our families, country, rights, and religion (see Alma 43:47; Doctrine and Covenants 98:33–38).