Peace: how do we get there

In my scripture study this morning, I came across a quote from Marion G. Romney from 25 years ago that had a ring of relevance to today’s situation, where I’m disappointed in the resurgence of violence in the Middle East. I thought they’d got their heads on straight and were on the path to talking things out in a civilized way. Unfortunately, whenever men rely solely on themselves to sort things out, it doesn’t work out. Here’s the quote:

Sometimes we put great well-meaning hope—even desperate hope—in the works and wisdom of man. I remember that just before the First World War broke out in 1914 Dr. Jordan, then honorary chancellor of Stanford University, and an eminent advocate of peace, stated that the conditions of the world made any great war between the nations impossible, that there never could be and, therefore, never would be another great international war, that the world had passed beyond that stage of savagery.

Said Elder James E. Talmage who heard him speak, “He showed that the business interests were so closely knit that if a nation should be so rash as to declare war upon another, the bankers would veto the declaration because they had too much at stake; and that if the voice of the bankers was not heeded then the people would rise up and say, ‘There shall be no war.’ … Then by another splendid array of facts he showed the prospective cost of warfare in this day and proved to his own satisfaction that there was not wealth enough in the world to keep up a big war for more than a very few months. When he had closed his address, [Elder Talmage said] to him: ‘I wish I could believe you, doctor.’ ‘You do not believe me?’ ‘I do not.’ ‘And why?’ ‘Because you have left out some of the most important factors of your problem.’ ‘And what are they?’ ‘The words of the prophets.’ ” (James E. Talmage, Liahona, vol. 5, pp. 677-79.)

The fact that within the thirty years following Dr. Jordan’s prediction the world passed through two World Wars and has since had three [now five] decades of wars and rumors of wars brings to mind the words of … Isaiah: “The wisdom of their wise men shall perish.” (Isa. 29:14.)

If we would have peace, … we must make up our minds to pay the price of peace …, the influence of Satan must be completely subjugated. Even in heaven there could be no peace with him after his rebellion. There, in the world of spirits, the Father and the Son could find no ground upon which they could cooperate with him. He had to be cast out—not compromised with, but cast out.

Marion G. Romney, 1983

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