The Church has been noticed for its members being good citizens of whatever country they are citizens of. In particular, Saints in East Germany were able to get a Temple before the Berlin Wall came down by virtue of their honoring their commitments to return from visiting temples in Western Europe. When the Tabernacle Choir visits other countries, it sings the national anthems and some pieces in the languages of those countries out of respect to them. They still get much applause for singing Battle Hymn of the Republic wherever they go.
I was bothered by the author worrying about what people in the congregation who may not be American born. I love my country, the Founding Fathers are my heros. I respected the customs of the people of Turkey when I was stationed there in the US Air Force. I also love to the Stars and Stripes waving in the breeze, in front of chapels as well as on Temple grounds, to me, it is a banner of freedom. I would recommend both author and those posting comments, to read "The Covenant, One Nation Under God" by Timothy Ballard. I consider myself a patriot. When I took the oath to defend the Constitution of The United gates of America, when I enlisted in the Air Force, it is a life time commitment to me. I also would suggest reading the history of the Star Spangled Banner, how the flag was held upright by true patriots, and as they were dying another would take his place. I apprecIate Jim Merrell's comments.
I'm the bulletin specialist for my ward and learned something interesting after that particular Sunday. I put in the bulletin, under the information for the hymn, "Please, if possible, stand for our national anthem." The bishop informed me afterwards that the presiding leader at the meeting decides if standing is to be done or not. I'd never heard that before... BTW: Our ward stood.
We must remember that God established our free land--first and foremost, among its many virtues, as a place where the true gospel of Jesus Christ and His Church could be restored. (This is recognized by latter-day saints, wherever they may live.) So our National Anthem is most appropriate for inclusion in our hymn book, WITHOUT any qualms.
Right on Paul H
As a non American member, I do find it inappropriate seeing flags (of any nationality)actually in chapels, on the stand and more especially, on Temple grounds.
I guess it is all about cultural differences, but I personally feel uncomfortable with the idea. Church property should be neutral territory.
You asked, "But again, isn’t it wrong and even dangerous to affirm “conquer we must,” even if we add the qualification “when our cause it is just”? "
How did you understand that notion? Did you understand it to me "we must go forth conquering and to conquer"? I have never so understood it. I have always taken it to mean that when our cause is just, and there is no other way to fulfill what is right without conquering and enemy who would prevent our just cause, we will not be made to fail
Notice that lately we seem to have endless wars, wars which never seem to "conquer" the opposition? Could it be that we have lost the justness of our cause?
There are hymns that I think we should include (Amazing Grace) and some I don’t care for but are in the hymn book because the lyricists were prominent Church members; not all hymns are created equal.
Does it harm anyone to acknowledge our patriotism? God gave us this country as a gift and it was sanctified by the shedding of blood. We are rearing our children to love their home country and when we have nonmembers visiting I think they should hear music that they recognize and love. One of my sons said he cringed every time “Praise to the Man” was sung when he was a missionary in the South, nonmember visitors didn’t get it.
I also wish we had more music by classic composers like Mendelssohn and Handel. That would be inspiring and beautiful.
One might want to read again the Articles of Faith if singing a national anthem celebrating the founding of the nation in which you are singing makes you uncomfortable. Being too sensitive is not healthy.
For those who might be uncomfortable with patriotic music in church they obviously haven't read their Book of Mormon or Doctrine and Covenants lately. Nephi prophesied about this promised land of freedom and liberty and how when we are righteous we will prosper in this land. In the Doctrine and Covenants it teaches us the U.S. Constitution was inspired and directed by God and for "All nations". If I were in another country and they sang their national music on their national holiday, I would not feel threatened or harmed in any way. It is clear that this author is very articulate and as such are well read. Perhaps they would consider reading books about the American Covenant by Tim Ballard which gives references time and again of the God's hand in the formation of and sustaining of this country.
I agree that we would do better to find ways to sustain this country by living righteously than just singing hymns in church about patriotism, at the same time I think rather than criticize the practice, we would be better served in discovering why we do it.
NICELY expressed! For those of us who have loved ones who sacrificed their own lives our attachments & memories find comfort in that sacrifice acknowledged in anthem. God does mend MY every flaw, and He can mend even a nation, to become even greater.
While the UK national anthem is listed in the hymn book, I do not recall ever singing it in church as I was growing up, and certainly not during regular Sunday meetings. Nor do I ever recall hearing the Mareseilleise sung in church when I was on my mission in France. I'd be curious to know whether the national anthem gets played in other countries. And yes, it does make me uncomfortable to be in a Sacrament meeting to have the American national anthem sung. And I get some very odd looks when I refuse to stand up for it or to sing the words. Not sure this article really addresses the issue raised in the title.
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